A longtime Lincoln County Highway Department employee was killed in a tragic accident one year ago next Thursday, July 14, while working on a road construction project on Hwy. 17.
In memoriam to Marcus, July 14 will be recognized with a special designation from the Lincoln County Highway Department as Marcus Wydeven Work Zone Safety Awareness Day.
Last year, Marcus was among three highway workers killed in tragic crashes statewide.
“The tragic deaths of Derrick Burkhalter, Derek Stempa and Marcus Wydeven are a profound reminder that we all need to slow down, be patient and pay attention when driving through work zones,” said Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “Please remember the workers who are doing their jobs close to traffic want to go home to their loved ones just like you do.”
In an effort to help make work zones safer, WisDOT and Lincoln County Highway Department will utilize temporary portable rumble strips on highway improvement projects this construction season. The rumble strips provide an auditory and vibratory warning to drivers to slow down when entering a work zone. WisDOT also will periodically display messages on its electronic signs on highways and will use social media to remind drivers to slow down and pay attention.
Work zone safety is every driver’s responsibility. Slow down, pay attention, stay alert to changing traffic speeds and patterns and, if possible, move over to the next lane to create an additional safety zone between your vehicle and the workers.
On average, approximately 1,600 accidents, 720 serious injuries and eight fatalities occur in work zones around the state each year.
Marcus Wydeven, 50, was struck and killed by a motorist July 14, 2015, while flagging traffic in a work zone on Hwy. 17 in the Town of Merrill. He had worked for the Lincoln County Highway Department for nearly 20 years and is sadly missed by his family, friends and co-workers.