WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) -- A Department of Transportation worker has died as a result of injuries caused by being struck by a vehicle on Route 8 in Waterbury.
General Supervisor Daniel Dinardi, 41, of Rocky Hill, had worked for the Department for 21 years. Dinardi had apparently parked his DOT truck on the shoulder of the road, turned on the flashing lights and got out, possibly to remove an object from the highway, when he was struck by a truck.
Director of Communications Judd Everhart of the DOT released the following statement: "As word spread around the building, people were crying and asking each other how it could have happened. Dan was quite well known around the headquarters building, and very well liked. It really is like a big family here. And highway safety is something we talk about all of the time. It's just tragic. Commissioner Jim Redeker sent a message to employees expressing his sympathies and asking that Dan and his family be kept in their thoughts and prayers."
Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman released the following statement regarding the death of Dinardi, and the importance of keeping workers safe:
"We are extremely saddened by the death of Dan Dinardi. Our sympathies and prayers are with his family and friends as they are grieving his loss, and with his colleagues who have been deeply shaken by this terrible event. Connecticut has workers who, in the course of performing their jobs, are at risk every day. This tragedy reminds us to reflect on their efforts, and to recognize their dedication and commitment. We must do everything we can to keep our workers safe. We are grateful for Mr. Dinardi's 21 years of service to the Department of Transportation, and all that he has done to make this state a better place."
The accident happened on the northbound side near exit 29.
"Route 8 is a tough place to work, it is only two lanes that is why they have to work extra hard to be safe there," said bridge worker John Vanaman.
He has been doing heavy bridge work all over the state for years and knows the dangers that come along with the job. He had some close calls.
"I was having lunch on the side of the road and a tractor trailer skidded on the Jersey Barrier right next to us, our head was there and the truck was there, it happens all the time," said Vanaman. "I have done heavy highway for years, and if it wasn't for our company doing it right, I probably wouldn't be here like he isn't, and I am really sorry that he died, and I wish his family the best."
The state police truck unit is continuing to investigate.
According to police, Route 8 has reopened.
Also on Route 8, an overturned vehicle near exits 16 and 17 northbound was blocking two lanes of traffic.
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