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HERO worker hurt at I-85 accident site

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

DULUTH -- A HERO worker was injured after being struck by a vehicle along Interstate 85 in Gwinnett on Tuesday afternoon.

The worker, Troy Moore of Conyers, was removing tire debris on the freeway just north of Old Peachtree Road at around 4 p.m. when he was struck, GDOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said that Moore had stopped his HERO truck in the second lane from the right shoulder. A pair of pickup trucks had also stopped "a good 50 yards" behind him when a tractor-trailer reportedly came barreling through, slamming into one truck and sideswiping another before striking the HERO driver, Smith said.

Officials said Moore was conscious and taken to Gwinnett Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. He likely sustained only a broken bone or two, police speculated.

A driver and passenger in one of the pickup trucks were also transported with "minor complaints."

The driver of the tractor-trailer, who has not been identified, reportedly claimed his brakes malfunctioned. GDOT officials performed an investigation of the scene, but could not be reached for results late Tuesday evening.

Outside of traffic citations, police said he will likely not face any criminal charges.

"I don't think there will be anything to arrest him for," Smith said.

According to GDOT's Navigator website, five lanes were affected by the crash. Smith said traffic was drastically affected "for hours," even after all lanes were cleared.

Tuesday's incident comes on the heels of a more tragic one involving a roadside worker.

In January, HERO operator Spencer Pass of Jonesboro was killed during the morning rush hour while helping a motorist on I-85 south of downtown Atlanta. He was the first HERO operator killed in the line of duty since the Highway Emergency Response Operator program began 15 years ago.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article