CONTACT: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-645-2265
May 2, 2015

Second Work Zone Incident Prompts PA Turnpike to Again Remind Motorists to Slow Down

State Police intensify focus on Turnpike work zones in wake of second tragedy this week.


MIDDLETOWN, PA. (May 2, 2015) — Four construction workers were injured on the PA Turnpike in Bucks County this morning, one seriously, in a work-zone crash that took the life of the driver who apparently caused it. It was the second work-zone incident on the Turnpike this week. Consequently, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is again reminding motorists to slow down and pay attention in work zones.

“This is a horrific trend, and it needs to stop now. Too many construction workers were sent to the hospital this week, and too many lives shattered. Though the cause of this morning’s disaster hasn’t yet been confirmed, experience tells us that speed and distraction are likely to blame,” said Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan. “It sickens me that the people who are working to improve the Turnpike have become vulnerable targets because some motorists simply aren’t getting the message: Speeding in our work zones will not be tolerated.”

Today’s crash occurred at 5:25 a.m. at milepost 355.1 eastbound in a construction zone near the Bensalem Interchange. The incident involved a passenger vehicle with one occupant that entered a work zone striking four construction workers. The driver of the vehicle was fatally injured. One worker was transported by ground to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Philadelphia; another was flown to Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, and is in surgery; and two workers with minor injuries and were taken to Lower Bucks Hospital, Bristol, for observation. The men were working for contractors — PKF Mark III Inc. of Newtown and Meco Constructors Inc. of Bensalem — hired by the PA Turnpike to work on the Turnpike/I-95 Link.

The first crash occurred April 27 near milepost 154 in Bedford County. The driver was speeding in a work zone. When a trooper who was conducting enforcement in the work area initiated a traffic stop, the driver swerved into the closed lane to evade arrest, striking a construction worker.

Chairman Logan requested extra Operation Orange Squeeze details — where troopers conduct speed enforcement inside work zones — across the PA Turnpike; Pennsylvania State Police will be cracking down. Operation Orange Squeeze is when Troopers run radar inside Turnpike construction vehicles — including the orange dump trucks — while another trooper waits outside to pull over and cite offenders.

Any driver cited in a work zone travelling 11 mph or more over the speed limit could face around $200 in fines plus a 15-day suspension of their license. 

The danger workers face every day on the road is significant. Last year, there were 150 crashes in Turnpike work zones. “Our highway workers and their families are counting on us to help protect them, and their safety is our main concern,” Chairman Logan said.

Chairman Logan reminded travelers to visit to learn more about the importance of safe driving in work areas and to join other motorists in a safe driving pledge. By encouraging motorists to sign the safe driving pledge and to express why they are doing so, the commission is hoping drivers will stop and think more personally about what impact their driving choices can have on themselves, their own families and others on the roadway.