MONONGAHELA (KDKA) – A PennDOT worker was recently hit by a pickup truck while flagging traffic in Monongahela, Washington County.

The sun was just coming up and glaring down on Fourth Street, when PennDOT worker Ernest Crawford was tossed to the ground.

“I put my flagger on the road. He was standing there, and a woman pulled out of a corner of a street over here, First Street, and was only going a few miles per hour, and knocked him to the side of the road,” PennDOT Highway Foreman Scott Cowley said.

Cowley said Crawford has been with PennDOT for about five years. They had literally just started the workday, repaving the roadway minutes, before he was hit.

Police said one of the crew members is also a medic and was able to help his coworker until the ambulance got on scene.

Coincidently, National Work Zone Awareness Week was just last month, but police said this appears to be a pure accident. The driver, Valerie Vestrat, stayed on scene and police said she will not be charged.

Police believe the sun may have blinded Vestrat as she was making the turn from First Avenue onto Fourth Street.

“She’s real shook up. We tried to comfort her, as well as him,” Cowley said.

Crawford was flown to Allegheny General Hospital where he continues to recover.


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