Employee of Golden Valley Company Killed in I-94 Construction Zone
A Golden Valley company is mourning the loss of an employee after he was struck and killed doing his job along I-94.
Vern Hedquist died Tuesday afternoon while working along eastbound I-94 in Rogers. He worked at WSB and Associates and was collecting data for an upcoming MnDOT project. One of his colleagues, Thomas Wood, of Maple Grove was injured in the crash. He since has been released from the hospital and is back at work.
Hedquist died when a semi rear-ended a pickup truck that was slowing for traffic. The state patrol says the crash happened fast, and serves as a reminder to slow down when approaching a construction zone.
Accident Was Preventable
“This was a moving work zone but it was posted with a large sign that the right lane was closed,” says Lt. Tiffani Nielsen MN State Patrol. “If drivers are looking down the road way 10 seconds or even 5 seconds ahead they can move over in a safe manner. We aren’t really sure what happened with these two drivers that made contact, that’s still part of the investigation. I can tell you this crash was completely preventable.”
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The state patrol also ruled out any medical emergency as a factor in causing the crash as well. Nielsen says charges are likely against the semi-truck driver, but an investigation could take months.
Hedquist’s death was the 13th this year inside a work zone resulting from a crash. That number is the most in Minnesota in 11 years. A go-fund-me page has been set up to support Hedquist’s family, you can find the link that by clicking here.