Mark Kiper had only been working his summer job as a seasonal employee at the Ohio Department of Transportation for two weeks when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.
He was a high school valedictorian, college athlete and a dean’s list student, as his mother Joan explains in a new video from ODOT. She recalls that her son was still new on the job when he got out of a truck at the U.S. Highway 30 worksite in Wayne County just before another vehicle, loaded with steel, hit the young worker’s vehicle and killed him.
The video posted to Facebook is the latest in ODOT’s campaign to raise awareness for the state’s Move Over law, which says drivers must move over and slow down when vehicles with flashing lights, such as highway work crew trucks, are on the side of the road.
ODOT said its work zones saw 5,100 crashes incurring more than 1,000 injuries and 17 deaths in 2014.
“After this long, would (the law) have saved his life? That’s something we’ll never know,” Joan Kipper said. “But if it saves one other person’s life, one other family, friends won’t have to go through this kind of circumstance.”
The video also features a young boy named Mark who was named after his father’s best friend Mark Kipper. Towards the end, the boy is seen holding a sign that says “My name is a reminder to slow down and move over.”