Highway worker killed in work zone vehicle crash in Oregon

A still from KOIN TV footage at the scene of the accident.A still from KOIN TV footage at the scene of the accident.

A construction worker inside a highway work zone in Salem, Oregon, was killed earlier this week by a man police say was driving under the influence.

According to a report from KOIN TV, William Hatch III, 55, was killed when Roberto Lopez-Dejesus, 20, allegedly crashed into the work zone near Interstate 5 in his 1992 Lexus early Tuesday morning.

“He simply plowed right into it, struck a grinding machine at the corner where Mr. Hatch was standing,” Marion County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Steve Birr told the station.

Hatch was employed by Salem Road and Driveway, contracted by the Oregon Department of Transportation for a nighttime paving project.

Hatch died later that day at the hospital.Lopez-Dejesus was charged with first degree manslaughter, reckless driving, reckless endangerment of a highway worker and DUI, the station reports.

According to a recent survey by Associated General Contractors, nearly half of all U.S. road contractors have seen a work zone vehicle crash in the last year.