DOTD worker dies in I-10 crash while cleaning debris

POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 6:41pm

One person is dead tonight after a wreck that shut down I-10 for hours.

A worker with the DOTD was on the Mississippi River Bridge when he was run over. He has been identified as Jim Gilmer, 79.

The incident happened just before 9:30 a.m. at the I-10 West at the East and West Baton Rouge Parish line.

Gilmer, a Motorist Assistance Patrol employee, was picking up debris when he was hit.

Sherri Lebas, who is in charge of the DOTD, stated what happened this morning could have easily been prevented.

“The people that do this service every day do put their lives in danger, and they take precaution measures,” said Lebas.

She said no matter what the precautions are, people who are on the road need to check their speed, and that's even more important while driving through construction or a traffic-congested area.

“Slow down on our roadways, especially when you see a work zone because it means something abnormal is going on,” said Lebas.

It's the first time a MAP worker was hit and killed; police are still working to find out exactly how this crash happened.

Lebas said this even though this tragedy is wake-up call when it comes to looking a procedure, she's hopes everyone can learn from it.

“Please slow down so our workers can be safe,” said Lebas. “Slow down so the traveling public can be safe.”

I-10 was closed for about four hours while they worked to get the truck off the interstate.

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