GA. DOT HERO worker killed by reckless driver www.privateofficer.com
ATLANTA GA Jan 31 2011 — A HERO Unit operator killed on Interstate 85 Monday morning has been identified.
Spencer Pass, 45, of Jonesboro, was killed while helping a stranded motorist on I-85, just south of Atlanta.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that we have lost one of our Georgia DOT family members today,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith Jr. “As a HERO, Spencer spent long hours, often in hazardous roadside conditions, to keep Georgia’s traveling public safer.”
Investigators with the Georgia State Patrol told Channel 2 Action News reporter Linda Stouffer that a flatbed truck pulling heavy equipment crashed into Pass’ HERO unit on I-85 near Metropolitan Parkway. HERO stands for Highway Emergency Response Operator.
Police said the flatbed truck also hit Pass, who was outside his vehicle, and collided with the stranded pickup truck. The flatbed truck then overturned, blocking all southbound lanes of the interstate. Traffic is moving again.
Authorities told Stouffer that the driver of the flatbed truck was seriously injured. The stranded motorist, however, managed to dodge the truck as it approached.
Officials told Stouffer that Pass was the first HERO unit operator to be killed while on duty.
“Our prayers go out to his unit co-workers as well,” said Smith.
HERO units patrol metro Atlanta highways daily, helping to clear troubled vehicles off the road and to keep traffic moving. HERO unit operators help repair flat tires and provide fuel, jump starts and courtesy phones. Operators are not members of a law enforcement agency.
“I pray that his family gains comfort and strength from the caring sympathy of the entire Georgia DOT family,” said Smith.