The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 18, 2013

ALDOT workers still in hospital following interstate crash

By Lora Scripps

ATHENS — By Lora Scripps

Two Alabama Department of Transportation maintenance technicians remained hospitalized Thursday after being struck by an 18-wheeler Wednesday morning on Interstate 65.

Ronald Fletcher and Mickey Collier were in the surgical intensive-care unit at Huntsville Hospital. Fletcher was listed in a good condition Thursday, according to a hospital spokesperson. Collier was in fair condition. Two others, ALDOT highway maintenance superintendent Bobby Smith and 2nd Division District 4 Manager Darnell Spencer were also injured. Smith was transported to Decatur General Hospital and Spencer was transported to Huntsville Hospital. Both were treated and released.

The men were patching potholes on I-65 when the crash occurred about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, just north of the Interstate-565 interchange near mile marker 344 in the Tanner community.

The wreck shut down the northbound lanes of I-65 for about five hours before one lane was reopened. Both lanes were reopened Thursday.

Troopers are still investigating the cause of the wreck.

ALDOT spokesperson Rebecca Leigh White said drivers are asked to use caution and to slow down when crews are repairing roadways. She said crews in North Alabama would continue to patch roadways during the winter months due to wet-freeze-thaw conditions.