Flagger injured at accident site

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Greencastle man was struck by a car as he was directing traffic away from an overturned semi-truck Monday morning.

Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Wallace told the BannerGraphic that the incident occurred at the intersection of U.S. 231 and Ind. 236 at 7:38 a.m. Mark Stoelting, 48, a flagger for the State Highway Department, was one of two workers directing traffic.

Wallace said the other flagger had motioned for a 1998 Chevrolet Silverado truck driven by Gary Brock, 36, Ladoga, to proceed south on U.S. 231 from Ind. 236.

Brock told Wallace that he only saw the other flagger and ended up hitting Stoelting.

"It was so dark out there that the driver didn't realize there was another person out on the road," Wallace said.

The sunrise did not occur until about 8:02 a.m and it was still dark outside at the time of the accident.

Even though Stoelting was wearing a reflective vest, it was still hard to see him in the intersection, Wallace said.

"It is rare to have a flagger hit in our work zones" said Public Information Officer Debbie Calder of the Crawfordsville District of the Indiana Department of Transportation, but "it is common to have flaggers jump out of the way to avoid inattentive motorists."

Calder also said four out of five injuries in work zones involve motorists and not workers like Stoelting.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation website, at www.state.in.us/dot, 69 state employees have died while on the job since 1969. The website offers the name, date, location, and the obituary of the deceased.

The last fatality was on June 13, 2005. The most recent local fatality in the Crawfordsville District was Robert A. "Rob" Zell on Feb. 3, 2005. Zell was picking up road debris when he was struck by a motorist who lost control of their vehicle.

Operation Life transported Stoelting to Putnam County Hospital where he was treated for lower back pain. He was released later that day.

Wallace said no charges were filled against Brock.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: