Critical Injuries Following Construction Accident - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/6/04

Critical Injuries Following Construction Accident

Confusion in a construction zone leads to a near fatal accident in Lubbock. It happened on the access road of Loop 289, just West of the Slide road exit but it's the details of this accident that are eerie.

Everyday the traffic proves construction is a problem. Police say this is one of the worst construction zones to navigate through in town. Early Thursday morning, the evidence of the danger proved to be tragic.

A car ended up in the middle of a construction zone at 12:45 Wednesday morning. The driver missed the on-ramp to the Loop and drove into a coned-off construction zone, pushing a pile of re-bar 90 feet.

Police reports indicate the driver was distracted and missed the construction signage. "Subsequently hit a pile of construction materials, and the re-bar came through the car and the right front passenger was injured. The re-bar entered the front of his face and exiting the back of his neck," said Sergeant Ronnie Sowell.

Sergeant Sowell says passenger Toddrick Thomas was rushed to University Medical Center after jaws of life was used to remove the bars. "This is just the kind of thing we've been fearing was going to happen out here, people are just not adjusting to their driving to the dangers of this construction zone, but it's only going to get worse."

Sgt Sowell says police aren't sure if speed was a factor in this particular wreck, but speed is a huge problem on the loop, especially in the construction zones. "We're writing hundreds of tickets out here in this construction zone for people speeding, it's 50 miles per hour and they aren't slowing down.and the problem with that is that the road is changing," Sgt. Sowell said.

The work on this frontage road is complete, which means by Friday, the areas of construction will be changing. "If you're driving crazily you may very well may miss a sign and be involved in a crash."

As of Thursday evening, Thomas remains in critical condition at UMC but his injuries are not expected to be life threatening. The driver of the car and the other passenger were not injured.

In the meantime, police want all drivers to be cautious and aware of speed limits and signage in construction zones.

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