Delaware honors fallen transportation workers

    By: Phil Andrews

    The Delaware State Senate recently passed a resolution recognizing and observing April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month. And yesterday, Deldot honored that resolution with an emotional ceremony in Smyrna.

    By: Phil Andrews
    pandrews@whyy.org
    Caption: DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks

    The Delaware State Senate recently passed a resolution recognizing and observing April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month.  And yesterday, DelDOT honored that resolution with an emotional ceremony in Smyrna.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090409deldot.mp3]

    At exactly 11 Wednesday morning at the Delaware Highway Memorial Garden in Smyrna, Matt and Phillip Nelson rang a bell 32 times in remembrance of state transportation employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1933.  One of those employees: their father Phillip who was offering road side assistance along with fellow DelDOT worker Matt Gardner on Fathers Day, 2006 when things took a tragic turn.

    Wicks: Arriving on the scene approximately at the same time the two men parked their vehicles on the shoulder and got out, suddenly without warning the vehicle drifted off the road striking Phillip killing him instantly then hitting Matt breaking 13 bones, puncturing a lung, fracturing facial bones and breaking teeth out.

    Delaware Secretary of Transportation Carolann Wicks. And while Gardner was lucky to escape with his life, Philip Nelson’s widow Deborah offered this plea:

    Nelson: Please,please slow down obey the laws of the road so that a state trooper doesn’t have to come to someone else’s door, to notify them that their loved one will not be coming home.

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