INDIANAPOLIS — Two Rieth Riley construction workers removing traffic restrictions after overnight paving were killed Friday morning when a pickup truck crashed into them along Interstate 69 in northeast Indianapolis, police said.
Rieth Riley is based in Goshen.
The crash happened about 5:45 a.m. in the southbound lanes a couple miles north of I-465, causing traffic heading into Indianapolis to back up for several miles in the heavily traveled suburban area.
State Police Sgt. Rich Myers said investigators didn't immediately know why the driver of the pickup ran into the large arrow board set up in the left lanes of the highway or how fast the truck was going at the time.
The Reith Riley construction workers are contract workers for the Indiana Department of Transportation and are working on the road construction project on I-69.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that Reith Riley construction workers were completing their overnight shift and were removing cones from the blocked southbound left lane of I-69. The arrow board, still in operation and directing traffic to the right, had been hooked up to a utility truck so it could be removed from the highway when all the cones had been removed, police said.
Indiana State Police said that a southbound 1996 Ford pickup truck driven by Jordan Stafford, 22, of Fortville, failed to move from the left lane and struck the directional arrow board sign and the two construction workers. The pickup continued around the truck hooked to the arrow board and came to rest head on into the left lane concrete barrier.
Stafford was extracted from the pickup and transported to Methodist Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The two construction workers, Kenneth DuersonJr, 49, of Indianapolis and Coty Demoss, 24, of Noblesville, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
Myers said, "They were essentially done and had backed up to the arrow board with another truck, had it hooked up and were standing along the right-hand side when they were struck."