Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Work Zone Safety - From a Widow's Perspective

A plea - from the wife of Dennis Beard, who was killed in an Illinois work zone in 2012. Let her words sound in your ears any time you see construction or flashing yellow lights.

This (click to see photos) is my husband, Dennis. The most important part of his life was his family and friends. Second was his work. Dennis was very passionate about his work, the people who worked for him, and their safety and well being. On May 22nd Dennis, his nephews Kory Links and Adam Evans, and his friend Brian Moore were all struck by a vehicle while doing their jobs. Dennis was killed by this driver whom was driving dangerously and erratically at a high rate of speed in a construction zone. Dennis was not killed instantly, but lived a very short while, alert and thinking he was going to survive. Because of one person's negligence, Dennis' precious life was taken from us and the lives of his family have been changed forever.

I cannot explain the devastation this has caused our family. We lost our dear Dennis - a husband, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a great-uncle, a cousin, and a friend to many, many people. If you just try to imagine what it would be like to have to come home and tell your children who walk in the door smiling that their dad was just killed at work - you would think about how IMPORTANT it is to pay attention and slow down in work zones. Our family will never be the same because of the constant pain we feel and the huge hole we now have in our family and hearts.

Please let me tell you a little bit about Dennis. Most importantly, Dennis was not ready to leave this earth. He had many things left unfinished. He has three children - Tessa age 12, James 8, and Alayna 4. He just recently involved his children and nephews in go-kart racing. Dennis spent every waking hour outside of work working on the go-karts for the next following week’s race. He loved the outdoors and wanted his kids to love it too. He took them boating, camping, hunting, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, racing, and most recently they began fishing together. Dennis had a big heart and was always very giving to everyone he knew and met.

The single most important thing that you can do for our family and other families who have loved ones working on the roads is to be patient, pay attention, and slow down in construction zones. Everyone wants their loved ones to return home every single day from work. My husband left for work and was gone from this earth three hours later. We didn’t even have a chance to say good bye.

Josie Beard

See pictures of Dennis, Josie and their family here.