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Watch For Increased Road Construction Workers While Driving During Summer


PENNDOT Construction Worker Fatality

The Pottsville Republican Herald is reporting today about a construction road worker fatality. After reading about the tragic accident it will remind everyone to be ever more cautious while driving during the summer.

According to the report, the Pine Grove Township road master was killed yesterday when he was struck by a vehicle while working on Chapel Drive.

Ralph Geist, 63, of Pine Grove, died of injuries he suffered just after 11 a.m., when he was hit by a pickup truck less than a mile off Oak Grove Road.

The driver of the pickup truck that struck Geist, Jeremy Wise, 24, of Pine Grove, was not injured. His 2003 Ford F-150 truck sustained moderate damage to the front passenger side corner.

State police Trooper Timothy Rymarkiewicz of the Schuylkill Haven station said Wise was traveling south on Chapel Drive at 11:04 a.m. following a right curve when he saw Geist, who was either standing or walking in the middle of the road.

Rymarkiewicz said Wise tried to avoid hitting Geist by moving into the left lane but was unable to do so and struck Geist.

After being hit by the truck, Rymarkiewicz said Geist was thrown in the air and found off the west side of the road.

The investigation into the crash is continuing with the assistance of a state police accident reconstruction expert.

Joseph O’Donnell, a traffic safety coordinator with North Central Highway Safety Network in Pottsville, said PennDOT is urging drivers to pay particular attention for work crews during the warm-weather months.

He said Thursday’s accident is an example of how road crews, firefighters or other emergency workers are at risk doing their jobs along streets and highways.

“Road workers are at risk anywhere, any time they are on or near the road,” O’Donnell said.

Vehicle traffic increases on rural roads during the construction season since drivers often opt to stay off major thoroughfares where construction is under way.

Construction or maintenance is often being done on rural roads as well, O’Donnell said.

“Drivers have to expect the unexpected all the time,” he said.

Read the Pottsville Republican Herald for additional information and updates on the accident.



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  1. Robert Burch says:
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    Robert Burch, CHST- Technical Trainer-Expert Witness
    Mr. Burch has more than forty years experience, including construction, eighteen years as a safety consultant, accident investigator and expert witness passed Daubert standard in many states. Case history and references available upon request.
    Accident Investigations, Depositions and Courtroom Testimony:
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    • Snow plow/snow and ice
    • Vehicle accident reconstruction
    • Vehicle accidents caused by roadway/signage defects
    • Work zone

    Education – Certification – Experience
    • Attended the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA Training Institute
    • Authorized instructor for the OSHA 10 & 30 hour courses
    • Certified instructor for Mine safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
    • Attended Yavapai College for Accident Reconstruction and traffic accident investigation
    • Attended the Arizona Peace Officer’s State Training (POST) program for Accident Reconstruction
    • Participated in The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research projects
    • Served as an expert witness more than 40 litigations for plaintiff/defendant cases
    • Served as Safety Program Analyst for Arizona Counties Insurance Pool (ACIP)
    • Participated in the design and delivery of numerous technical training programs including National highway Institute (NHI)
    • Certified instructor for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Work Zone Inspection courses
    • Certification as a Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH)
    • Crane Inspector Certification

    Offices located in:
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  2. Bryan says:
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    Thanks for the warning. Summer is when construction in public places would abound because it’s the best condition to build.