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Construction worker directing traffic struck by vehicle

May 9th, 2007 11:36 pm by Jeff Bobo



ROGERSVILLE - A construction worker directing traffic around Rogersville's Crockett Springs Heritage Trail project on Main Street was injured after a pickup truck struck him early Wednesday morning.


Rogersville Police Department Officer Chris Pinkston said about 7 a.m. Wednesday Helmer G. Martinez, 24, of Greeneville, was directing traffic around work near the Clifton Street intersection, holding a stop sign for motorists.


Martinez's employer, Parkway Construction of Greeneville, is building a section of the new trail along Main Street east of downtown Rogersville.


The accident occurred when Alfred Hale, 108 Petersburg Road, Rogersville, driving a 1978 Dodge pickup west on Main Street apparently didn't notice Martinez standing in the road.


"Mr. Martinez was standing on the side of the road holding one of those signs for ‘slow' and ‘stop,' and he had turned around to let the guy on the other end know to switch his sign for traffic to come on," Pinkston said. "When he turned back around, that's when the pickup hit him. It struck him with the front end of the truck, and it knocked him to the ground, and then they transported him on to the Hawkins County Memorial E.R."


Pinkston said Martinez was badly bruised and suffered abrasions to his arms and face, but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.


Witnesses told Pinkston that the "stop" side of the sign was facing Hale when the accident occurred.


"Mr. Hale kept saying he didn't see him," Pinkston said. "He was really tore up about it. He just kept telling me, ‘I never (saw) him standing there. I don't know how it happened. It was a bad mistake.'"


Hale was cited for failure yield to a pedestrian.


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