Highway flagger Kathy Ann Ruth  (Photo: Melton Mortuary)

CHARLESTON, WV – On Thursday, April 4, 2024, Kathy Ann Ruth, a flagger working for contractors A.L.L. Construction was killed in a work zone on US 340 in Jefferson County

when she was run over by a driver who allegedly failed to yield for stopped traffic.

The West Virginia Division of Highways will hold a special ceremony honoring workers who died in the line of duty at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at the Fallen Workers Memorial at the Williamstown welcome center on Interstate 77.

A press release from the WVDOH reveals five people were killed in work zone crashes on West Virginia highways in 2023. The previous year, there were 800 crashes in West Virginia work zones, killing eight people and injuring 276.

WVDOH Secretary Jimmy Wriston had a message for drivers:

More than 50 WVDOH highway workers have been killed on the job, according to the WVDOH.

On Monday, the WVDOH held a press conference to urge drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones.” The press conference was punctuated by 57 men and women dressed in orange and draped with black sashes to remember the 57 highway workers killed in the line of duty” and was supported by the West Virginia State Police, the Federal Highways Administration, and the Contractors Association of West Virginia.

John Rogers, a local representative with the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), said 94 highway workers were killed in work zones nationwide during 2022. Alarmingly, work zone deaths increased by 62 percent between 2013 and 2021, largely due to distracted drivers or excessive speed.

Wriston said drivers must be committed to ending the loss of life on West Virginia roadways:

“With work continuing in all 55 counties across the state, the West Virginia Division of Highways and the West Virginia Department of Transportation remind the public of the importance of keeping everyone safe in work zones by keeping “Heads up; phones down!””

WVDOH is highlighting work zone safety. (Photo: WVDOH)