Northbound traffic was backed up for several hours on U.S. Highway 169 in Tulsa after an Oklahoma Department of Transportation worker was struck and killed Wednesday morning. It happened shortly after 8 a.m. near the Interstate 244 interchange.


Tulsa Police say Robert Cherry had spotted some limbs in the roadway, pulled over into the center median and ran across to pick up the tree limbs. Police say Cherry was trying to clear the debris when he was struck and killed by a northbound dump truck. The driver of the dump truck told police officers he tried to avoid hitting Robert Cherry, but could not.


"It's so sad, he was trying to make it safer for drivers and unfortunately he was killed trying to make the road safer for others," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Stephanie Jackson.


ODOT officials say Cherry had been an Oklahoma Department of Transportation employee for more than a decade and was a part of a debris removal crew. Officials say he had taken the ODOT’s safety training program. Cherry was also described as hard working and good-natured.


Tulsa Police diverted all northbound traffic at the I-244-U.S. 169 interchange for about three hours while they conducted their accident investigation. Police say they are looking for anyone who might have seen the vehicle that left the limbs on the roadway.