Archive for Thursday, September 4, 2008

Construction worker describes U.S. 59 fatality scene

September 4, 2008

A construction worker struck by a pickup truck speeding through a work zone described the scene on U.S. Highway 59 nearly a year ago.

"I saw shovels and hard hats flying in the air," Curtis Delzell testified. "I tried to process what I was seeing."

Delzell, a former heater mill operator for Dustrol Inc., took the stand late Wednesday afternoon as the trial continued in Douglas County District Court for Ramona Morgan, 49.

The Washington woman is facing aggravated battery charges for injuring Delzell, as well two counts of reckless second-degree murder for the deaths of two other construction workers on Sept. 11, 2007, as crews were repaving a two-mile section of the highway near Pleasant Grove.

Delzell described seeing a dark-colored pickup truck speed through the work zone twice in a roughly 45-minute period.

As the truck made its second pass, Delzell said he stepped out into the middle of the road in an effort to get the vehicle to slow down.

"It continued accelerating toward me," he told jurors. "I realized I needed to take evasive action to avoid being hit."

Delzell was struck in the left leg, the heel of his work boot ripped off. The force of the impact threw him into the ditch.

He said that when he looked down the road seconds later he saw his co-workers flying through the air.

Earlier in the day, at least two other Dustrol employees took the stand, pointing to Morgan and identifying her as the driver of the truck that struck and killed their co-workers.

Testimony in the case is scheduled to resume at 9:15 a.m. today.


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