YPSILANTI, Mich. – Construction workers are asking for something to change after two of their own were killed on the job in Ypsilanti earlier this month.
The two workers, 23-year-olds Davyon Rose and Nicholas Andres Sada, were victims of a suspected drunk driver.
“This was our last big weekend. It was our last push to get everything done. And then to have this happen, it was horrendous,” said road worker Mary Crowl.
A little bit before 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, Crowl and dozen of workers were fixing part of Interstate 94 in Ypsilanti when the suspected drunk driver, 29-year-old Ryann Musselman, of Belleville, came barreling through the work site, hitting and killing Rose and Sada.
Crowl heard the crash and ran toward it.
“I just wanted to know if it was our guys, and it was our guys,” she said.
On major projects overnight, the work zone is usually well lit and well protected. On smaller projects, like patch work, there’s usually just barrels separating workers, who are spread out for miles.
“I don’t believe we should be doing these operations at night, where they are spread out at night. I just don’t feel it is safe. We all have to work together to make change,” Crowl said.
“When things like this happen, it’s devastating to our community,” said construction engineer John Stevenson.
Stevenson said all-night work and extra police presence should be revisited. However, their biggest threat is distracted driving.
“I see a lot of people with cellphones, eating, drinking, doing all kinds of things while driving,” he said.
Workers said the change should be industry-wide, and agencies like the Michigan Department of Transportation need to implement them. MDOT agrees that police presence helps.
“Drivers didn’t slow down because they were thinking of construction workers, they were afraid of tickets. If that’s what it takes, then we need to do that, but it is expensive,” said Diane Cross with MDOT. “Nothing is more important than somebody’s life.”
“I feel responsible. What could I have done? What could any of us have done differently?” Crowl said. “But I can’t control that driver either.”