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Man hit while working in construction zone on State Route 176

Posted: 12:17 PM, May 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-21 22:23:57Z
Person struck in construction zone on I-71

A construction worker was hit by a truck while working in a construction zone on State Route 176 in Cleveland late Monday morning.

It's unclear at this time what led up to the truck driving through the barrier and cones and into the work zone, causing one worker to be seriously injured and rushed to MetroHealth. There is no word on the victim's condition at this time.

Cleveland police are investigating the incident to find out exactly what happened and why the truck drove right through a clearly marked construction zone.

"We almost get hit every day. Every day," said Mark Fourtounis, the owner of the construction company running the project on 176.

Fourtounis saw the whole thing happen.

"Traffic won't allow you to move real fast, and people try to dodge and weave, and I think maybe that's what happened here. He came up behind the guardrail and he was going so fast, he traveled probably 2,000 feet behind our construction zone where the guys were working," Fourtounis said.

Fourtounis said the truck hit the barrier wall they hadn't secured yet. One worker was pinned with his back to traffic between two walls, smashing his legs.

"He blacked out for a minute. My heart was racing," he said. 

Now he's hoping his employee is able to make a full recovery. 

"I am hoping for the sake of all of us and his family. I tried to go to the hospital and they wouldn't let me in, because they were doing some procedures on him."

Unfortunately, this is not the first time an accident like this has happened, even with laws in place to prevent them. On Friday, News 5 spoke with Amanda McFarland with the Ohio Department of Transportation about Ohio's Move Over Law. Moving over for law enforcement, first responders, and ODOT and construction workers on the side of the road isn't just the right thing to do — it's the law. Drivers can be ticketed for not slowing down and moving over.

RELATED: Dangerous drivers continue to put Ohio roadside workers at risk

Every year, roadside workers across the state are hit and hurt, or hit and killed, by drivers who don't heed warnings and don't pull over. 

"We just want everyone to know that when they're traveling. You can be ticketed if you choose not to slow down or move over when traveling through those areas," McFarland said.

The law is meant to prevent incidents like the one on 176. 

"We all have little kids we want to go home to. This was sad. It should not have happened," Fourtounis said. 

Fourtounis, who has seen many close calls, accidents and fatalities, all of which are preventable, said he has one simple message for every person on the road: "Please slow down," he said.