We’ll learn details Monday in Jefferson City about new safety devices the state Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is using to keep work zone crews safe.

The MoDOT Fallen Worker Memorial is located near the Capitol in Jefferson City (2019 photo courtesy of MoDOT’s Cathy Morrison)

MoDOT Deputy Director Ed Hassinger and Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Eric Olson have called a news conference for Monday morning at 10:30, at the MoDOT Fallen Worker Memorial. That’s near the State Capitol.

MoDOT and state troopers are urging you to slow down in work zones.

MoDOT spokeswoman Taylor Brune tells Missourinet the names of 134 MoDOT employees who have been killed in the line of duty since 1932 are on the memorial.

During the news conference, MoDOT will describe a new safety tool called automated flagger assistance devices, which are aimed at protecting both MoDOT crews and motorists.

Hassinger and Colonel Olson will be joined by several others at the news conference, including MoDOT maintenance worker Willie Jones and Nicole Ebker-Herbel, the daughter of fallen MoDOT maintenance worker Lyndon Ebker.

Then-Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation into law in 2017 renaming a bridge in east-central Missouri’s Franklin County for Ebker, a longtime MoDOT employee who died in the line of duty in 2016.

Former State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, sponsored the 2017 bill.

“Lyndon Ebker was a 30-year MoDOT employee who had retired and didn’t like retired life and was working part-time again for MoDOT and was flagging traffic in a work zone and unfortunately a motorist who was not paying attention struck and killed Lyndon,” Alferman said in 2017 Missourinet story about the bill.

Online court records indicate the driver, who’s now 83, Norman Haimila, pleaded guilty in November in Franklin County to “aggravated endangerment of a highway worker” and has been fined $10,000.

Under the plea agreement, in addition to being fined, Haimila also had to surrender his driver license and can never reapply for a Missouri driver’s license.

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