AUSTIN, Texas - One person has died and four more are seriously injured after a crash at a construction zone Tuesday night along the north Mopac Expressway.
Crews had been out there no longer than 45 minutes before the crash took place.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority said crews were out Tuesday night to fix a guard fence along the highway. They say working at night for that type of damage is typical.
"The goal being to get out there when traffic is the lightest starting 8 or 9 pm when the traffic has died down," said Mike Sexton, director of engineering for The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
Sexton said depending on the damage, the work can be finished in just a few hours. However, Tuesday night as the crew was just starting work, a car swerved across the road and entered the worksite.
Austin Travis County EMS and additional first responders responded to the scene. According to EMS, there were five patients. One died on scene and the other four all had serious to life-threatening injuries. They were taken to nearby hospitals.
"The loss of life and injury is obviously very troublesome," said Sexton. "It's something we talk about with our staff and our safety crews on a regular basis."
AAA said a work zone worker is killed on average every two weeks in the U.S. because of work zone crashes. In Texas, this year alone, there have been 19,733 related crashes with 129 being fatal and 486 yielding serious injury. Here in Travis County, there have been 968 construction zone-related crashes since the beginning of the year with 10 being fatal and 26 having serious injuries.
"Whether or not you're in a work zone, whether or not you see an emergency vehicle, or if you see someone on the side of the roadway, the best thing for you to do as a driver is just to be courteous and move over yourself," said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas.
No one ever knows who could be the one on the side of the road. "It could be a friend or loved one so we want to make sure they can go home to their friend or loved one," said Sexton.