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Woman Must Pay Restitution to Injured Construction Worker

Hopeanne Wohlers2 years ago

A 43-year-old Carmichaelas woman was found negligent for striking state Department of Transportation worker John B. Puckey, 51, of Cokeburg, with her vehicle while he was working in a construction zone on Route 88 in East Bethlehem Township.

About the Construction Zone Accident

Puckey was working traffic control when Jennifer Weaver’s vehicle hit him. Puckey was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, for treatment of skull, leg and rib fractures.

Although the woman’s attorney argued that heavy rain caused steam to rise from the hot asphalt that morning, impairing Weaver’s ability to see the construction worker, Puckey’s attorneys stated that Weaver failed to yield the right of way to a construction worker in a construction zone.

The Washington County jury found Weaver negligent for her role in the September 2008 construction zone accident and ordered her to pay $126,000 in restitution.

Although jurors also found Puckey negligent, they ruled that his actions did not contribute to the accident. The ordered restitution covers Puckey’s lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and future medical services.

Construction Zone Laws

  • Nearly all states have laws that increase the penalties for speeding or committing other traffic violations while in a construction work zone.
  • 33 states and the District of Columbia double the fine for speeding (or committing other traffic violations) in a work zone.
  • Some states, such as Georgia, can require up to 12 months in jail for speeding in a construction zone. New York and South Carolina laws can require up to 30 days in jail.
  • Michigan adds 3 points to the driver’s license for any traffic violation in a construction zone.
  • Signs must be posted to alert drivers in all states that enhance driving violation penalties in construction zones.


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