One late fall day in 2009, at approximately 3:30 PM, two land surveyors had completed surveying tasks for the day and were walking north, on opposites sides of a two-lane rural state highway. They were returning surveying equipment to the company truck. Surveyor 1, company owner, was walking with traffic on the east side of the road, in the grass, a few feet to the right of the pavement. Surveyor 2 was walking on the edge of the pavement on the west side of the road. Both men were on the road on the blind side of a hill and there were no emergency shoulders. A passenger car traveling north, driven by a young driver, crested the hill. After cresting the hill, the driver saw the pedestrians, applied the brakes, and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle skidded off the pavement toward Surveyor 2 on the left side of the road. Surveyor 2 saw the vehicle coming towards him and ran down the embankment away from the oncoming vehicle. The car left the pavement, became airborne, and landed on top of Surveyor 2. Emergency services were called. Upon arrival of EMS personnel, Surveyor 2 was transported via helicopter to the nearest trauma hospital where he died later that same day. He was 47 years old.

To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

Recommendation No. 1: When surveying on land near roadways, safety cones and warning signage should be erected to slow down motorists.

Recommendation No. 2: A hazard assessment should be performed before land-surveying work commences.

Recommendation No. 3: Land surveying companies should have a comprehensive written safety program.

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A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

09KY079 _Summary.pdf (14 kB)
Case Summary