Motorcyclist Killed After Hitting Back of a MODOT Truck on I-70

Construction and maintenance sites on the highway are very dangerous. We’re asked to reduce our speeds, watch out for workers, and stay off our phones when traveling through these areas—and for good reason! Traveling on the highway is dangerous enough, driving at high rates of speed through construction areas makes it all the more dangerous.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jimmie L. Watkins, 55, of Florissant, Missouri, was traveling on I-70 near Salisbury Street on a motorcycle when he struck the back of MODOT vehicle. The accident occurred around 9:15 PM on July 11, 2020.  The MODOT vehicle was moving a discarded mattress from the shoulder of the road.

Watkins was driving a Harley-Davidson FLTRX Road Glide and was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The MODOT vehicle was reported to have emergency lights on, according to State Troopers.

Construction Sites and Missouri Law

Construction site accidents are a common occurrence on Missouri roadways. Missouri’s “Move Over Law, also known as RSMo 304.022 states:

Upon approaching a stationary vehicle displaying lighted red or red and blue lights, or a stationary vehicle displaying lighted amber or amber and white lights, the driver of every motor vehicle shall:

  1. Proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle, if on a roadway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
  2. Proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible.

In other words, Missouri law requires motorists to change lanes, if safe and possible, for MODOT vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, and any other emergency vehicle with flashing lights. Driver inattention was the number one cause of work zone crashes in 2019.  According to MODOT, the average text takes five seconds to read. In that amount of time, at 55 MPH, you will travel the length of a football field. Please pay attention and obey Missouri laws when traveling through work zones.