Man dies in highway 40 construction accident
Lay, Colorado — Tragedy struck again on the roads of Moffat County Monday when a Colorado Department of Transportation employee was killed two miles east of Lay on U.S. Highway 40.
At approximately 1 p.m., Lawrence A. Brooks, 52, of Maybell was killed when the asphalt roller he was operating rolled over on top of him.
The accident took place in a designated construction zone where crews are overlaying the highway.
A Hamm Pneumatic Asphalt Roller, driven by Brooks, left the road and rolled one-and-a-quarter times down a steep embankment. Brooks was backing up on the westbound shoulder packing the chip and seal mixture when the accident happened.
Brooks either jumped or was thrown from the roller and died as a result of massive head and internal injuries.
According to Moffat County Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg, who responded to the scene, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts were made to save Brooks.
“They were performing CPR on him but he probably died right away,” said Hoberg.
The accident is being classified as an industrial accident because it took place in a construction zone with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) equipment. Bernie Lay, highway superintendent for CDOT, said their investigation is underway, but their concern has turned toward the family of the victim and the other employes who were at the site.
“Our hearts go out to the family,” said Lay. “We’re going to do what we can for the family and the 21 employees who were on site are talking to a counselor right now.”
As far as the investigation goes Lay believes that the equipment wasn’t to blame.
“Any construction equipment can be dangerous,” said Lay. “The safety people are here from Denver right now investigating.”
There will be a cooperative effort by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), the Moffat County Sheriff’s Department and the Colorado Department of Transportation Occupational Safety Division to investigate the accident.
Sergeant Hank Chase is investigating the accident for the CSP believes the investigation that should be complete by the end of the week will show that it was nothing more than an accident.
After two days of competition at the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association State Finals, riders and ropers from Moffat and Routt counties are making their way into the home stretch.