News release from Department of Transportation
CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is mourning the loss of a worker fatally injured (Wednesday).
James “Pee Wee” Hopkins, an Operations Technician, was flagging traffic around a maintenance crew when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. No other TDOT workers were injured. The crash is under investigation.
Hopkins, 63, had been with the Department since 1996. He was hired as a highway maintenance worker, and was promoted in 2005 and again in 2014 to become an Operations Technician 2. His death is the second TDOT fatality in three months.
“We lost one of our own today, and it breaks your heart for the family and for the TDOT family across the state,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “It’s a good reminder to all of us of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them.”
“This is the second tragic loss suffered by our department in just a matter of weeks,” Commissioner Schroer said. “I urge all motorists to slow down, be aware of their surroundings and minimize the distractions in their vehicles. The lives of our workers depend on it.”
Counselors will be provided for fellow employees in Region 4 (West Tennessee) and across the state as needed.
Since 1948, 111 TDOT workers have lost their lives while working on Tennessee roadways. –