CDOT workers remember their fallen colleagues

Fifty-five Colorado Depart-ment of Transportation workers have died on the job since 1929. Two of them died in Northwest Colorado.

CDOT plans to remember its workers who died in the line of duty during a ceremony on Tuesday, which the state road department has dubbed Remembrance Day.

CDOT will hold ceremonies across the state, including in Craig at Loudy-Simpson Park.

"Since nearly half of the 55 employees died in work zones, it is important to remember the dangers of working in and driving through a work zone," CDOT spokesperson Nancy Shanks said in a statement.

This is the first year Colorado has held such an event, Christie Beckerman, office manager at Craig's CDOT office, said.

But the event is especially important in light of a tragedy that occurred in Denver last year, Beckermann said. A drunk driver drove the wrong way up a highway ramp and killed two workers, Paul Forster and Eladio Lopez.

The first CDOT employee to be killed in the line of duty died in 1929.

CDOT tragedies have touched Craig, too. In 1999, Lawrence Brooks rolled an asphalt roller while working on U.S. Highway 40 in Craig.

CDOT will recognize Brooks and the other fallen workers by reading their names and holding a moment of silence, coordinated to occur at the same time at the eight ceremony locations.

An orange balloon will be released for each worker.

In Craig, CDOT will honor the employees who died away from work or after retirement during the past five years with a moment of silence and a release of white balloons.

Finally, CDOT will recognize the families of those killed.

The ceremony is part of the sixth annual National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 3 to April 9.

The ceremony starts at 8:30 a.m.

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