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North Bergen worker killed by driver in construction zone

Laws in many states are designed to deter drivers from risking the lives of people who work in construction zones. In New Jersey, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, any fines associated with moving violations in a construction zone are doubled whether or not workers are at the site. Negligent drivers who ignore the rules endanger the safety of everyone around them.

A North Bergen man was working in a construction zone on the Garden State Parkway when he and another worker were hit by a car. The overnight work site was set up in the right lane of the highway. State troopers said that an SUV driver switched from the center lane to the right lane before the accident.

The Ford Explorer crashed into the two men, construction equipment and an on-site pickup truck. The workers were hit by the vehicle and debris from the crash. The 45-year-old victim died at the accident site.

The second worker, a 60-year-old Rockaway man and the SUV driver, a 21-year-old Nutley man, suffered injuries that state police described as moderate. Investigators offered no clues about the reason the young driver plowed into the parkway construction zone.

To many drivers, road construction workers are just part of the landscape or irritants standing in the way of motorists getting to their destinations on time. How many of us have grumbled about being late because we were stuck in slow or stopped traffic through a construction area? The depersonalization of roadside workers makes it easy for drivers to forget the dangers of working alongside traffic.

Benefits for construction worker injuries and deaths are paid by workers' compensation insurance carried by New Jersey employers. Coverage for medical bills and wage losses sometimes doesn't stretch far enough for impacted victims and families. Attorneys can help plaintiffs recover additional compensation through personal injury and wrongful death claims against third parties like reckless drivers.

Source: NJ.com, "Construction worker dies after Garden State Parkway crash" Rob Spahr, Aug. 27, 2014

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