MoDOT vehicle safety feature may be responsible for saving lives

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two people were sent to the hospital on Wednesday, one being a Missouri Department of Transportation worker, after police say a semi-truck smashed into the back of a MoDOT vehicle.

MoDOT says a Truck Mount Attenuator, also known as TMA, possibly saved two lives Wednesday.

"This morning our crews were setting up traffic control for our bridge inspection crews on southbound 435 just south of Front Street," said Chris Redline, the Assistant District Engineer for MoDOT.

MoDOT workers were moving traffic to the left, occupying the two outside lanes of southbound traffic, when a semi-truck pulling another car hit one of the MODOT vehicles, sending two people to the hospital.

RELATED: MoDOT worker injured after semi slams into work truck

"The driver of our vehicle was sent to the hospital and then the driver of the tractor trailer who struck us was sent to the hospital also," said Redline.

He said they had all their lights on and traffic control was set up properly, he said it's just all too often people aren't paying attention.

"Unfortunately it's all too common. This is the fourth type of crash in the Kansas City area we've had this year," said Redline.

"They're real lucky, because the plan ultimately was for them to get out of their vehicles and begin work on the roadway, and if someone had been out there, who knows what could have happened. Certainly someone could have been killed," said Sergeant Bill Mahoney, with the Accident Investigations section of the KCMO Police Department.

He says that's not the only reason injuries were minimal.

"We have a device on the back of our dump trucks and when were in a lane of traffic," says Redline, "In the unfortunate circumstance that someone does hit us, they don't hit our truck first, they actually hit the crash cushion."

"It served its purpose here. It minimized injuries to both parties involved," added Mahoney.

The crash cushion collapses and absorbs the energy of the crash, minimizing injuries for both drivers.

"Our workers on the highways are at risk every single day and we do everything we can do protect them," said Redline.

Police say both parties involved were very fortunate nothing worse happened, and are urging every driver out there to pay more attention.

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