A Death by Holding a Sign

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Fifty-one-year-old Deborah Wead was killed overnight by a drunk driver. Deborah was working in Schaumburg holding a slow down sign in a work zone.

A 28-year-old Lemont man hit Wead, lost control of his car and crashed into a concrete barrier. Like Wead, many workers put their lives in jeopardy to make improvements.

She's the first line of defense so other workers can re-surface a major construction project on I-90. Flagger Debbie Blankenship has been getting calls all morning making sure she is okay. In her fifth year on the job Debbie says there's no time for distraction in a construction zone.

Debbie says, “Travelers blow through stop signs but don't understand that up ahead there could be a crew or on-coming traffic."

With very little barriers an escape route is always in sight. Debbie says, “I make sure I have a way to go. I would go to a ditch but so would the driver."

A close call came a week ago as a motor home blew through her sign putting a co-worker at risk. “If they had not had slow reaction to my stopping him they would have hit him."

Though this latest incident weighs down on her mind, but says it's not stopping her from doing her job.


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