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Family urges vigilance for drivers in work zones

A construction worker from Wathena was hit by a car Tuesday, now the family has a message about distracted driving.

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 6:44 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 9:07 PM

(LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo)— It’s not the way anyone wants to leave work, on a stretcher, with nasty wounds.

Coy Higginbotham was working a construction site in Lee’s Summit, when he was hit by a car on Tuesday, according to his family.

Now his family and employer want to remind drivers of the importance safety in work zones. 

"I mean he was just minding his own business, doing his work and now he’s in the hospital because of it," said Ryan Higginbotham, a construction worker for Ideker Inc. and son of Higginbotham.  

Ryan Higginbotham told KQ2 exactly how his father's Tuesday ended after doing road resurfacing work on Woods Chapel Road.

"He was just coming over to check on his crew you know, just working like the rest of us," Ryan Higginbotham said.

That’s when he said a distracted driver struck his father. 

"The lady wasn’t paying attention through the work zone and hit him," Ryan Higginbotham. 

Both men work for Ideker, a construction company based in St. Joseph.

The company said initially Coy was knocked unconscious, but came to on the way to the hospital.

"It's every contractor’s worst nightmare, to get that phone call," said Paul Ideker, president of Ideker Inc.

Ideker added the issue of distracted driving is growing.

"We’ve had a lot of [occurrences] on the projects with people in work zones hitting equipment, hitting things," Ideker said. 

Higginbotham’s family wants drivers to understand how important it is to be vigilant in work zones.

"[Don't just] put your phones down, but you know don’t play with your radio, don’t worry about your kids screaming in the backseat, just pay attention to where you’re going," Ryan Higginbotham said. "We’re out here just making a living for our family, we would like to go home at night, so just pay attention please."

Coy's injuries were described as serious but non-life threatening with recovery expected to take months.  

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Temperatures will remain slightly above average today with highs in the mid to upper 70s under mostly sunny skies. Winds will also remain on the breezy side as well with gusts up to 25 mph. Winds will start to calm down this evening. A weak cold front will move overnight tonight into early Wednesday morning giving us the chance for a few light showers, however most areas will stay dry. Dry and seasonal conditions look to continue for the rest of the work week with highs in the 60s. Rain chances look to increase by late Saturday night into Sunday.
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