It’s a fact of life across the country: Summertime means road work.
Especially in northern states, road crews have no choice but to work frantically during the warm months before winter returns.
But while road projects have the best interests of the traveling public at heart, they present a very real danger.
On July 13, 65-year-old Charles Rice became proof that summer construction can be fatal.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Mr. Rice was driving his 2007 Ford Fusion south along Interstate 75. Around 3:05 a.m., he approached Exit 47 (Central Avenue), where the highway split near a work zone.
While attempting to follow two southbound lanes to the right, a seemingly confused Mr. Rice passed between two construction barrels and drove one-fourth of a mile along a closed stretch of I-75. That’s where the roadway ended and the Fusion plummeted three yards onto a 1996 Toyota pickup truck belonging to 33-year-old Matthew Vonbargen.
Investigators say Mr. Vonbargen had made the same mistake and crashed just minutes earlier. He was rushed into surgery at Kettering Medical Center and is expected to survive.
Paramedics transported Mr. Rice to Miami Valley Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him. His three passengers were hospitalized.
Authorities say the road project began in April 2011. Despite signs to alert drivers to traffic shifts and narrow lanes, the zone seems particularly dangerous.
The incident provides a reminder to all motorists that one can never be too careful during summer construction season.