ODOT Worker Killed In Crash On I-40 Near Henryetta

Monday, June 25th 2012, 3:23 pm
By: News On 6

Editor's note: An earlier story incorrectly reported the number of vehicles in the crash. There were three vehicles involved.

An Oklahoma Department of Transportation worker died in a crash on Interstate 40 near the Henryetta exit shortly after noon Monday.

He has been identified as Tim Vandiver, 47. Vandiver was the superintendent of Checotah Interstate Maintenance at ODOT.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash happened in a work zone in the eastbound lanes of I-40 just east of Henryetta.

Vandiver was in a construction truck parked off the side of the road at the beginning of a work zone. The driver of a recreational vehicle was drowsy, and the RV veered off the roadway, striking the ODOT truck, according to Lieutenant George Brown with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The truck flipped and Vandiver was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

"Preliminary investigation shows that that truck was well off the shoulder here east bound, mostly onto the gravel," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown said. 

"In this case, ODOT worker, well off the shoulder. No place is safe out here, so we ask people in this instance if you are tired, pull over. Tired drivers are very dangerous drivers."

Vandiver had been with ODOT for the past 17 years. 

An ODOT spokesperson said, "The department is deeply saddened by this tragedy, which is felt by each of his 2,400 coworkers statewide. Our thoughts are with Vandiver's family, friends and fellow crew members during this difficult time."

Authorities said the driver of the RV was Ronald Honea, 65, from Idaho.

There were six passengers in the RV, as well: two adults and four minors. All were taken to a local hospital and treated and released with minor injuries.

Brown said they would continue to investigate the wreck. Three vehicles, including the ODOT truck and the RV towing an SUV, were involved in the crash. 

"Life and death important that if you're tired, pull over, get to a safe place and rest," Brown said.