Delaware Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan and other officials held a special ceremony March 22 at the Interstate 95 toll plaza at Newark, Del., to
praise toll booth workers for how they responded to a dangerous crash there.
The state Department of Transportation said that on the evening of March 16 "an out-of-control vehicle crashed into the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza. Two toll booths and two [other] vehicles were severely damaged by the speeding vehicle."
It said the toll booth employees escaped injury, but the accident left people from the crash to be treated for injuries.
"Immediately after the crash toll employees from inside the plaza control office and outside in the collection lanes took action to ensure that customers and fellow employees were safe and out of harm's way," DelDOT said. "The quick and decisive actions of these employees likely prevented further injuries to motorists and employees.
Cohan said: "Delaware's toll collectors are some of the bravest people I know. I have tremendous respect for them as a group and am extremely proud of the way these individuals responded as a team to a very traumatic and dangerous situation.
"I want them to know we appreciate the risks they take each day to serve our state, and urge drivers to always drive safely as they approach our toll plazas."
She was joined in the ceremony by Division of Motor Vehicles Director Scott Vien and State Sen. Bryan Townsend. Vien added: "I'm tremendously proud of our employees and their response to this dangerous situation. Their quick and controlled reaction is to be commended and is representative of the extraordinary team we have in toll operations."
DelDOT said that dangers from reckless drivers, speeding vehicles and road debris "are just a few of the many hazards that toll collectors on I-95 and Route 1 face every minute of every day. Thanks to safety training and the heightened awareness inherent in a job so closely tied to moving traffic the incident of last week was not one that ended in tragedy. "
Officials recognized the following workers at the ceremony:
-Maykel Mikhail, shift supervisor;
-Dawn Hutchison, assistant supervisor;
-Willie Eatmon, toll collector;
-Asia Bailey, toll collector;
-Cheyenne Sapp, toll collector;
-Shirley Wright, toll collector; -Jim Spencer, physical plant maintenance/trade mechanic; -Tracy Maguire, plaza operations manager ; -Jon Osborne, toll systems administrator ; and -Vic Buono, chief of toll operations.