Woman killed near Midale working on highway construction
On her first day acting as a flag person for Saskatchewan Highways, an 18-year-old woman was struck and killed by a driver.
RCMP is amending the information previously released on a fatal collision just north of Midale last Friday. The woman was not a pedestrian but a construction worker controlling traffic.
Ashley Dawn Richards was from Lakeside, New Brunswick. A co-worker who asked not to be named told News Talk Radio that she was new to the job, and she was pregnant.
Richards and her boyfriend had recently moved to Saskatchewan from New Brunswick.
RCMP has not released many details yet but her co-worker was told the vehicle was trying to pass a long line of other vehicles beside the work site.
Alvin Dube was held up in his vehicle at that construction site after the collision Friday afternoon and he saw a Ford Explorer with its hood smashed in.
"The wife could see somebody on the other side in the south side of the ditch, definitely working on someone," he said.
RCMP says a 44-year-old driver was arrested at the scene but released the next day.
The Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety are working with RCMP on the investigation to determine exactly what happened.
Minister of Highways, Don McMorris released a statement in response to what he described as a tragic death.
While sending condolences to her family and friends, he wrote that this death underscores the need for drivers to understand safety and obey signs.
"This kind of accident should never happen. All it takes is for drivers to obey the law and slow down especially in construction zones," he wrote.
Josh Safronedz is the operations manager for HJR Asphalt, the company Richards was working for. He said too often, drivers ignore the safety of his workers.
"Don't know if I can say daily," Safronedz explained, "but it happens way too often where there's near misses, or things that could have been a lot worse." Although it's still under investigation, he feels the construction site was properly identified with signs and warnings.
By law all drivers must slow down to 60 km per hour when passing workers or equipment in construction zones and obey all instructions on signs in the 'orange zone.'
Edited by CJME's Adriana Christianson and Courtney Mintenko.