PRAIRIEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A road commission employee was struck by an SUV in Barry County.
It happened around 12:15 p.m. Thursday on Doster Road between Merlau and Pine roads in Prairieville Township, east of Plainwell, according a Barry County Sheriff’s Department news release.
The driver of the SUV, 80-year-old Ronald Everitt, was heading northbound when he struck a worker who was directing traffic while crews repaired a guardrail.
24 Hour News 8 spoke exclusively with Everitt. He says he was on his way home on Doster Road when he says he got too close to the flagger in the road.
“I saw him, I guess, I must’ve been too close to him,” Everitt said.
Everitt was visibly upset when 24 Hour News 8 spoke with him about what led up to the crash.
“I don’t know what to say, I clipped him and that’s it,” Everitt said.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Department says numerous construction zone signs were up, construction vehicles flashing yellow lights and flaggers were posted in both directions at the time of the crash.
The Barry County Road Commission says even with flaggers and proper signage sites like these can leave crews at risk.
“I called in for him 15 or 20 minutes so they could finish the work and almost got hit” Barry County Road Commission Director of Operations Jake Welch said.
Welch says this incident serves as another reminder to drivers to stay alert.
“Drivers just need to slow down, pay attention. There’s so many distractions in the world right now,” Welch said.
The road commission employee received non-life threatening injuries and Everitt was not injured. Crews did plan on visiting him Thursday afternoon in the hospital. Everitt said he stayed in his car after the accident as crews went to help the man.
“Just a little shaken up, but outside of that I’m fine” Everitt said.
Alcohol was not a factor, deputies said in a news release. The incident remains under investigation and will be reviewed by the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office.