TDOT Worker Killed While Flagging Traffic

Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 16:57:19-04

A worker with the Tennessee Department of Transportation has been killed while working in Crockett County.

Officials said the employee, identified as 63-year-old James “Pee Wee” Hopkins, was flagging traffic Wednesday around a maintenance crew along State Route 54 near US 412.

Authorities said he was fatally hit by an oncoming vehicle. No other workers were injured.

According to those with TDOT, Hopkins had worked for the department since 1996.

He was originally hired as a maintenance worker before being promoted in 2005 and again in 2014 to be an Operations Technician 2.

“We lost one of our own today, and it breaks your heart for the family and for the TDOT family across the state,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “It’s a good reminder to all of us of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them.”

Hopkins’ death remained under investigation. TDOT officials said his death was the second with the department in three months.

“This is the second tragic loss suffered by our department in just a matter of weeks,” Commissioner Schroer said. “I urge all motorists to slow down, be aware of their surroundings, and minimize the distractions in their vehicles. The lives of our workers depend on it.”

For fellow Region 4 employees and those across the state needing help following Hopkins’ death, counselors have been set to be available as needed.

TDOT released information saying 111 TDOT workers have lost their lives while working on Tennessee roadways since 1948.