Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) HELP Operator James Rogers has died following an incident in which he was struck by a vehicle while he was helping a stranded motorist Dec. 24.
TDOT reports Rogers, 30, was changing a flat tire for a family on Interstate 40 in Davidson County. He was struck by a vehicle crossing onto the shoulder a few minutes after advising a member of the family go inside the car for safety reasons.
Operators for TDOT’s HELP (Highway Incident Response Unit) program drive routes in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville and began in 1999 as a means of assisting motorists, improving safety and helping to reduce congestion. TDOT says the Region 3 HELP operators in Middle Tennessee worked roughly 40,000 incidents in 2016.
Rogers is the third TDOT employee killed while working in 2016 and 112th since 1948.