Minnesota Department of Transportation

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April 26, 2021

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MnDOT to honor fallen transportation workers April 28 during Worker Memorial Day

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation will hold a virtual Worker Memorial Day event on Wednesday, April 28 to honor the men and women who have been killed or injured in southeast Minnesota while working on state roadways.

During the virtual event, there will be speakers from MnDOT, State Patrol, Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council and City of Rochester.  It will be accessible to the public online through a video conferencing link and MnDOT’s SE Minnesota Facebook group. The event is at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 28.

To access the event, use one of the following links:

(Password: Southeast, Phone option for audio only: 1-855-282-6330, Access Code: 187 074 3029)

Since 1960, 35 MnDOT workers and 16 contractors have lost their lives while working on Minnesota highways.
Seven of those MnDOT workers are from southeast Minnesota:

  • John Biever. Mr. Biever was working on a bridge on Hwy 16 when he was hit by a truck on Sept. 13, 1962.
  • Eugene Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell died working for MnDOT while in District 6 on April 23, 1964.
  • Earl D. Held. Mr. Held died while on a survey crew. He was on Hwy 65 when three of the four men were struck by an automobile on Oct. 30, 1964.
  • Roy Carls. Mr. Carls was on his way home from a meeting when his vehicle left the road and hit a bridge abutment. He died March 2, 1968.
  • Jerry Holter. Mr. Holter was struck and run over by a truck while performing inspection duties on Oct. 16, 1973.
  • Grayston Cain. Mr. Cain lost his life when he was struck by a truck while he was performing inspection duties on Aug. 28, 1980.
  • Thomas Schmit. Mr. Schmit fell from a falsework deck suspended under a bridge and drowned in the Mississippi River on Oct. 21, 1994.

MnDOT reminds the public that motorists and passengers suffer the vast majority of work zone deaths and injuries and urges them to follow these recommendations in work zones:

  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change due to lane shifts, closures and moving workers and vehicles
  • Watch for signs, equipment and workers
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Avoid tailgating
  • Follow posted speed limits and directional signs
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times

Visit the MnDOT Worker Memorial website to see the list of fallen workers in Minnesota and the Transportation Worker Memorial at MnDOT headquarters.

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, a foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

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