An ODOT construction zone flagger was hit and killed by a driver suspected of being drunk at the wheel Tuesday evening on State Route 11, near Athena, Oregon. Oregon State Police say flagger Tyresa Monaghan, 49, of Kennewick, WA had a vehicle stopped when suddenly a silver minivan side-swiped the stopped vehicle and struck Ms. Monaghan, injuring her fatally. The minivan driver continued through the construction zone for about a mile, nearly hitting several other construction workers.
Preliminary information shows a construction zone flagger, Tyresa Monaghan (49 ) of Kennewick, WA. had a vehicle stopped when a silver 2005 Chrysler minivan, operated by Leman Bledsoe (76) of Milton-Freewater, side swiped the stopped vehicle and struck Monaghan. Monaghan sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Bledsoe continued for approximately 1 mile in the construction zone, endangering numerous other workers, before stopping. Driver Leman Bledsoe, 76, of Milton-Freewater was determined to be drunk and was jailed for drunk driving, recklessly endangering ODOT workers, reckless driving, fail to perform the duties of a driver among other charges – some to be added later.
Highway 11 was closed for approximately 4.5 hours while OSP reconstructed the sequence of events involved in the accident.