BELLEVUE – The Brown County Sheriff’s Office says a road surveyor hit by a car Monday morning is recovering, and lucky to be alive.
The 64-year-old Hilbert man was hit on the eastbound Highway 172 ramp onto I-43 north in Bellevue. The speed limit there is 65 miles per hour.
Police say the worker was on the side of the road in a high visibility suit when he walked into traffic. That’s when a car hit him.
The driver told police he couldn’t avoid the man.
Roads can be a dangerous office
Highway workers say Monday’s incident is one they try and avoid every day.
“We use level three work wear, which basically is a standard reflection vest,” said Brown County Highway Department Operations Manager Bob Bousley.
Vigilant is a word Bousley likes to use when it comes to ensuring his workers are safe.
“Safety, safety, safety,” said Bousley. “We want to be as visible as possible.”
So when Bousley heard about the surveyor struck Monday morning, “The first thing that comes to mind, was, was it one of my guys?”
It wasn’t this time. But last July, it was.
On July 18, one of Bousley’s maintenance workers was hit while picking up debris on Packerland Drive in Howard. The driver didn’t stop.
The worker has since come back to work. However, the driver still hasn’t been found.
Hwy. 172 incident still under investigation
Law enforcement officials say even if you do everything by the book, to drive safe, accidents still happen.
“It was a surprise to a driver that was aware,” said Brown County Sheriff’s Captain Randy Schultz. He says it’s remarkable the surveyor is alive and improving. “Absolute miracle.”
The incident is still under investigation. But Schultz says it should be a lesson to everyone – be it a driver or a person who works along area roads.
“We have to realize that it’s that season and especially in Brown County, it’s heavy. This is going to be our busiest construction season with the 41 project.”
Both Schultz and Bousley say all it takes is a split second of not thinking.
“Whether it’s a driver or the worker, you have to be aware of your surroundings,” said Bousley.
And the potential consequences.