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Flagman Is Struck and Killed By Van on Colbert Lane Repaving Project, Near Waterfront Park

| April 4, 2018

The Arctic Breeze van to the right was involved in a collision with a flagman on a resurfacing project on Colbert Lane in Palm Coast Wednesday afternoon. (c FlaglerLive)

The Arctic Breeze van to the right was involved in a collision with a flagman on a resurfacing project on Colbert Lane in Palm Coast Wednesday afternoon. (c FlaglerLive)

A flagman working for Halifax Paving on the Colbert Lane resurfacing project in Palm Coast was struck by a van this afternoon, and later died at the scene.

The flagman was struck by an Arctic Breeze van going north on Colbert, a few hundred yards south of the intersection with Wild Oak Boulevard, the street that leads to the Wild Oaks subdivision of Grand Haven. The collision took place at 3:35 p.m. just before a curve, a little north of the entrance to Waterfront Park. The van’s driver remained at the scene.

The victim was not immediately killed. He was initially breathing shallow and bleeding from the nose, authorities reported. Fire Flight, the county’s emergency helicopter, was readied for launch but then cancelled, after the man died.

The Palm Coast Fire Police closed Colbert Lane in both directions at Blare Drive to the north and Waterside Parkway to the south, and remained closed past 6 p.m. as the Florida Highway Patrol’s traffic homicide investigator–who arrived at the scene just past 5 p.m.–was conducting the investigation. The medical examiner arrived at 5:20 p.m. to claim the body, which was to be transported to St. Augustine.

The resurfacing of Colbert Lane started in early March. The $1.86 million project was awarded to Halifax Paving in February. The 7 miles from Palm Coast Parkway to State Road 100 are to be completed by the end of July, along with a paved entrance to Graham Swamp Preserve.

The company typically uses temporary workers as flagmen. County officials last month said the company was to work around the clock, with concrete work being done during the day and milling and paving at night. The project includes the reworking of five miles of bike lanes along Colbert.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to the scene before turning it over to FHP, as did the Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that there were 96,626 worksite crashes in 2015, the last year for which numbers are available, a 42 percent increase since 2013. (Florida has Three-quarters of the crashes are limited to property damage, but 642 of the crashes resulted in at least one fatality, or roughly 2 percent of all road fatalities in the country. Of those who died, 85 percent were in vehicles.

The road reopened at 7:30 p.m.

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34 Responses for “Flagman Is Struck and Killed By Van on Colbert Lane Repaving Project, Near Waterfront Park”

  1. Sickened says:

    Broad daylight on a perfect day. The driver couldn’t have possibly been paying attention.

  2. Ashely says:

    So sad

  3. Dotdude says:

    I have flagged traffic in my past job as well as had flaggers work for me. The job is very dangerous especially when curves or hills are involved. Prayers of comfort to all involved.

  4. Salvatore says:

    My deepest, heartfelt condolences to his next of kin. Really saddens me.

  5. Cherie Bredbury says:

    My prayers and thoughts for both parties. This is so sad.

  6. Ready says:

    Would anyone be surprised if it is determined that the driver of the van was texting at the time of the accident considering weather was perfect??

  7. Richard says:

    I have traveled from Alaska to Key West Florida & from parts of the Northeast to California numerous times over many years in my motorcoach passing many road construction sites with multiple flagmen and I don’t quite comprehend how in the world one would get killed or even hit by a vehicle which is supposedly traveling SLOW as that is what the sign states on one side and STOP on the other. There has to be MORE to this story than what has been written here. There HAS to be some GROSS negligence either on the part of the van driver or the flagman.

  8. Gary Craig says:

    if your watching the road as required how can you accidentally hit someone or is it just another dumbass driver using their phone while driving, my $$$ would bet on the phone theory

  9. markingthedays says:

    I myself nearly ran into a flagman on Colbert, probably the same project. It was in a very shady area and he stepped out to throw up his stop sign and I thought I was going to hit him. I’m not really sure what can be done differently there. I know I will be more alert until the project is finished.

    Sad for all parties.

  10. Rick Kang says:

    Very SAD for everyone! A complete review of the accident should give us answers! Note: many states require a Police Officer with workers on roads with speed limits of 45mph and above!

  11. mark101 says:

    I mean I live off Colbert. There are signs that inform you that there is flagman ahead and be prepared to STOP. You as a driver are given plenty of notice. The flagmen well they stand there with a reflective vest on, can’t miss them and you can’t miss the STOP or the SLOW sign they are holding. So there is only two possible choices (1) the driver was NOT paying attention (2) the Flagmen was not paying attention and walked in front of the van. Either way a life was lost. The driver stopped and stayed there.

  12. John dolan esq. says:

    Nobody is paying attention. Driving TOO fast!

  13. hawkeye says:

    I also believe that the van driver was texting ,with my own 2 eyes I have seen a UPS driver almost run over a woman walking her dog,I hopped in my truck and went after him ,when I confronted him about almost hitting this woman he admitted to being on his phone ,looking for directions ,he had no clue he had almost hit her and was apologetic at least ,not nasty at all. The point I am making is that just a second or 2 of not paying attention can kill someone.

  14. Really says:

    Not watching or anticipating. Big hurry to get nowhere in jerk water USA

    RIP to the innocent victim murdered by a carelesss driver

  15. Harriett Whiting says:

    i don’t understand how this accident was possible with the necessary slow speed required to navigate Colbert as the crew carefully stopped and gestured to drivers when it was appropriate to move forward. Slow acceleration was required. The Artic Breeze van driver could not have been paying attention whether texting or just impatient . My thoughts are with the victims family for a life taken unnecessarily and much too soon.

  16. vincent smodic says:

    I live in Wild Oaks and coming out of my development yesterday I almost hit a flagman coming and going from home. The flagman I first encountered was talking on his cell phone the whole time and not even paying attention to the road. These “flaggers” had no idea what they were doing.

  17. Dolly says:

    It’s really sad that people are sitting here making assumptions without knowing what actually happened!! Maybe before you go on here bad mouthing you should get your facts together!! Do you know the driver? Do you know anyone that was there that actually saw the accident? I’m sure the answer is no!! It’s easy to come on here and persecute someone without any knowledge at all!!!! Those of you on here running your mouths should take a good look in the mirror!!! It could happen to anyone that’s why it’s called an accident!!! Who’s at fault? That is the question of the day!! No one on here knows the answer unless you saw the accident take place!! Do people drive texting? Yes! Do some drivers not pay attention? Yes! Are workers sometimes negligent? Yes! Are workers sometimes not paying attention? Yes! So how exactly does everyone assume the driver was at fault? Why are you assuming that the driver was texting? Why because you do? Why are you throwing the driver under the bus without knowing what actually happened? Take a step back people and have some consideration for the family of the deceased and the driver who has to live with this the rest of his life!! Fault or not this is tragic!!! For everyone involved!! I pray that what these people are going through is something none of us have to ever deal with because guaranteed if you do you would change your tune fast and in a hurry!!! God Bless the families involved in the absolutely horrible accident and give them strength to continue forward!!! Be careful people this could happen to anyone of us!!!

  18. Pamela says:

    Tragic no matter who is at fault. I was in that back up that was being rerouted. We all know of the work going on at Colbert and have to pay extra attention and allow for extra time to get to wherever we are going. I don’t care if they are on a phone, we are the driver and need to pay extra attention especially when we know we have working people out there just doing their job. As the owner of a vehicle we must pay attention. I have had my own close calls many times (today a lady walked across the street and never once did she look to see if a car was coming, I put my window down and said “ I care about you, please look before you walk). She was clueless. If I hit her, it was probably her fault but it would have forever changed my life for the worse and I would blame myself for not paying full attention to my surroundings. My heartfelt condolences to all who know this person who doing his job. Tragic

  19. Jenn says:

    Very sad prayers go out to the victims family. Now this man has to live with this the rest of his life that he killed a man. Very sad.

  20. Murphy says:

    First of all none of us were there so let’s not be judge mental by what we think happened let’s say we are very sorry pay tension and watch where we’re going for both parties is very sad I am sorry for what has happened once again in Flagler County .

    Let’s not judge what we don’t know we cannot guess what happened because we were not there as a driver on our road in this county there is too many spots that are being worked on people are driving much much too fast and we all must pay attention and slow down is all I can say be respectful of people no judgments

  21. vicki shepherd says:

    So sad this happened prayers for the worker and his family.. don’t know why this happened Colbert is a two lane road and it was a clear day, I feel people are driving too fast and trying to find a way around the work being done, so sad for everyone, the workers have been doing a good job trying to direct traffic.

  22. Richard says:

    Thank you Dolly and Pamela for your VERY thoughtful and considerate responses to this tragedy. I hope that one day soon there will be a followup article stating what the true story was as to how this accident happened.

  23. Jazminn says:

    Before passing judgement on any part of the sistuation you all need to remember this man had a FAMILY!! This man was my father. He was at work & was killed, if you can’t post sympathy & condolences then you shouldn’t be posting a single thing about it!!

  24. Instigator says:

    Some of you folks sound like Director Comey. You sit in judgement without knowing ALL the facts. You assume. There were no charges filed yet. Judge ye not…

  25. Bc. says:

    Prayers to the family may he RIP also prayers to the van driver that he will have to live with this for the rest of his life.

  26. Salvatore says:

    How truly sad, my deepest condolences to his next of kin

  27. OSHA 10 Certified says:

    I drove that stretch the day before. It was obvious that the road pavers were trained and “required” to wear the florescent reflective vests–their’s were dingy showing daily use. The flag operators were obviously from a different labor resource pool–NO OBSERVED vests on the day before for them. I had to drive that same stretch where the casualty occured the day afterward–EVERY FLAG OPERATOR HAD A BRAND NEW REFLECTIVE VEST CRISP AND FLORESCENT, A DAY TOO LATE. Day prior to accident I noted that a darker worker was wearing a green camo backpack with radio equipment and a camo head scarf to keep the sun off–he very closely blended into the background of the freshly paved road. It is likely that this could have been prevented with proper equipment and a little more patience and training.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I was in the line of traffic yesterday and my husband said this is unreal the water truck ahead was careless he pointed out and the flagman was clueless what he was doing his thought this is on the general Contractor (he is a retired Architect) and then we here this sad we were in area at 2:45

  29. markingthedays says:

    It is hard for some people to believe that car accidents happened (and still happen) without “texting” being the cause.

  30. Ready says:

    There is no doubt that car accidents can happen without texting, especially when there is no texting device in the car. Simple logic what is your point!!

  31. anon says:

    I’m so sorry for your tragic loss, Jazzminn. Prayers and condolences for you and your family.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Had anyone thought that a temp agency hiring temp flagman doesn’t do as good job of training? Did this worker have a family that was informed details and can look further into this very sad avoidable tragedy. Someone needs to speak for this victim.

  33. Chris says:

    Sorry jazmin I was one of the flag men who was there and seen your dad hit

  34. Jazminn says:

    Thank you Chris. Thankfully my father is in a better place. He is greatly missed but at least I know he is in a better place.

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