WSDOT looks at construction safety measures, talks to contractors about 'awareness' after road rage attack

The Washington Department of Transportation is going over safety protocols with workers following what investigators described as an attack on two contractors last week, stemming from a road rage incident.   

Investigators say a man purposely drove into a construction zone and started fighting with workers there before he was shot by a Washington State Patrol Trooper. 


911 calls: I-5 road rage suspect slammed WA construction worker's head into wall before being shot

Dispatch 911 calls are providing more details about Thursday's road rage fight that ended in a deadly officer-involved shooting in Everett.

Spokesperson Tom Perace says WSDOT has already had a meeting with contractors to talk about situational awareness. They are also looking at other measures to keep workers safe with the start of construction season underway. 

"This is a rare, rare incident," said Pearce.

WSDOT traffic cameras captured the moments on I-5 when investigators say two contractors were attacked after a man drove his truck around a construction barrier and started ramming their work truck near Union Slough. 

"I’ve worked for WSDOT for 11 years, I have never seen an incident like this where somebody went into a work zone behind a concrete barrier," said Pearce.

Investigators said the man then got in a physical fight with them, wielding a hammer. After a Washington State Patrol Trooper arrived, he opened fire after the man started fighting with him, killing him.

"I think the workers did the best they could in the situation to try to avoid conflict and they did the best they could," he said.  

Since the attack, Pearce says Atkinson, the contractor's employer, has been providing assistance to the workers. 

"We work with our contractors closely on projects like this and I can tell you that Atkinson did have assistance available for their employees, they had a safety stand-down the day after this happened, just to discuss things, make sure people know what to do in various situations," said Pearce. 

FOX 13 also reached out to Atkinson for comment and is waiting to hear back. 

WSDOT has also been going over safety protocols.  

"We are working with the contract crews, just to make sure they are staying aware of their surroundings," said Pearce.  

He says before last week's road rage incident, that area had already seen its fair share of crashes.  

"In our NB I-5 Marine View Drive work zone, we have had 27 collisions where people have hit guard rails," said Tom Pearce, Spokesperson for WSDOT. 

He says it's important that drivers practice patience and awareness in construction zones.

"This summer we will continue all of our work, and we do close the lanes. To do that, we need the public to respect those closed lanes," said Pearce.


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