Problem Solvers investigate metro-area construction zone safety issues

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DENVER -- A Colorado Department of Transportation construction worker is in critical condition and fighting for his life after a hit-and-run crash with a driver who reportedly ran a red light in northwest Denver.

The crash, along with new video released from an E-470 construction zone, prompted FOX31 Problem Solvers to dig deeper into the issue of construction zone safety.

Not even 24 hours after the hit-and-run crash Friday, E-470 Public Highway Authority released shocking video showing a truck slamming into a traffic control vehicle on the highway construction zone.

“That’s why sharing this video on social media was so important to us,” E-470’s Maureen Walker said, adding, “So we can show really important and real reminders of dangers in a work zone.”

Problem Solvers learned the sobering scene from E-470 is just one of 21 crashes along that highway work zone since July.

FOX31 showed the video to workers replacing pipes underneath Denver roadways Tuesday.

“We try to be as safe as possible -- put out cones, let people know in advance -- but they don’t care,” heavy equipment operator Christopher Miranda said, adding, “We have our flaggers, we try to tell people to slow down. But they just give us the middle finger.”

Like the rest of the motoring public, Miranda has a life and family.

“I have a wife and two daughters. We always try to go home at the end of the night,” Miranda said.

However, in his position, getting home every night is never a guarantee.

“When I leave my house, I always tell my daughters be safe, I tell them I love them because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Miranda said.

In an effort to save lives on E-470, the highway authority increased its contract with state patrol so more troopers can protect work zones.

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