CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee Department of Transportation worker was killed on Wednesday after he was struck by a vehicle.
According to a release, James “Pee Wee” Hopkins, an operations technician, was flagging traffic around a maintenance crew on State Route 54 when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle.
“We lost one of our own today, and it breaks your heart for the family and for the TDOT family across the state,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “It’s a good reminder to all of us of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them.”
Hopkins, 63, had been with TDOT since 1996. He was initially hired as a highway maintenance worker before being promoted in both 2005 and 2014.
His death is the second TDOT fatality in three months.
“This is the second tragic loss suffered by our department in just a matter of weeks,” Commissioner John Schroer said. “I urge all motorists to slow down, be aware of their surrounding and minimize the distractions in their vehicles. The lives of our workers depend on it.”
No other TDOT workers were injured in Wednesday’s crash.
The accident remains under investigation.
Counselors will be provided to employees in Region 4 and across the state as needed.
Since 1948, 111 TDOT workers have lost their lives while working on Tennessee roadways.