A memorial to workers, motorists, and others killed in work-zone crashes was placed on exhibit Friday at an Ohio Turnpike service plaza between Toledo and Cleveland and will be open to the public through Sept. 22.
Nearly 1,400 names are listed on the plaques that have been set up in a storefront at the Vermilion Valley service plaza near Amherst, Ohio -- Milepost 139.5 eastbound, or about 75 miles east of the I-75 interchange in Rossford.
"The Ohio Turnpike is pleased to be hosting this memorial wall, not only as a reminder to motorists to use caution when traveling in work zones, but also to honor some of our own who have lost their lives while performing their duties on the Ohio Turnpike," said Rick Hodges, the toll road's executive director.
One of the most recent local work-zone casualties was Forest John Fletcher, 53, of Perrysburg, an assistant foreman at the Turnpike's Elmore maintenance base who was killed Jan. 24, 2012, when a tractor trailer barreled through cones and crashed into several vehicles at a bridge-repair site near Fremont. Two other Turnpike maintenance workers were seriously injured. Truck driver Edward Mills, 54, of Doylestown, Ohio pleaded guilty 13 months later to vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The National Work Zone Memorial has been exhibitied so far at 50 sites across the United States. It lists the names of construction workers, motorists, law-enforcement officers, and public-safety officials who have died in work-zone crashes nationwide.