My name is Kerry
Bramhall and I am the District One, Area One Office Coordinator at the Horton
KDOT office in northeast Kansas. I have worked at KDOT for 19 years, three of
which I was a traveling Survey Technician on a statewide survey crew. I have
had several close calls during my time at KDOT.
The first close call I
remember quite well. We were surveying some section corners north of Parsons.
We had our signs out, and two flaggers flagging traffic in a long, flat and
well-visible area. I was in the middle of the road holding a range pole on a
section corner while my co-worker was getting readings from it. I saw a semi
coming toward me with a line of traffic behind him.
As he approached, the
semi behind him proceeded to pass in the work zone, leaving me squeezed between
the two trucks. The passing semi’s mirror hit my hand taking the range pole
with it. I watched as the range pole went flying ahead, thinking that could
have been me.
The worst of my fears
came in September of 2007. I was doing paperwork in our office in Seneca when
my Construction Engineer, Kevin Palic, came out and said, “Get in the car we
are going to Lawrence,” in a panicked voice. As I got in the car, Kevin told me
that one of my co-workers who had been doing a project in Lawrence had been hit
by a reckless driver. We drove as fast as we could to get there.
As we arrived, we found
out that he did not make it. I volunteered to drive my other co-worker home who
was with him at the time of the accident. The whole trip home we talked about what a
great guy and friend our co-worker was. All that I could think about was if the
traveling public only knew how much that hurt to lose a buddy, they might be
more aware in work zones.
One of my other duties
here at KDOT is plowing snow in the winter months. I have had several close
calls with the snowplow truck. This last year, I was plowing snow at night in
what I would call a blizzard. Visibility was next to nothing. As I was plowing,
a car proceeded to pass me as I’m sure they thought I was not going fast
enough, and they were in a hurry.
When the car got past
me, I could barely see the taillights as they spun around in front of my
snowplow blade and ended up in the ditch. All I could think was I could have
hit them, or they could have hit me.
If you are reading
this, please slow down and pay attention to your surroundings in a work zone or
behind a snowplow, because at the end of the day we would like to go home to
our families just like you do.