• DOT worker killed by car while removing tree Monday


    WATAUGA, N.C. - A Department of Transportation worker was killed while removing a tree knocked down by the Monday night storms.

    A driver hit 55-year-old David Cook from Boone just one day after the new "Move Over" law took effect. The law requires drivers to move over when they see road crews to make their jobs safer.

    Troopers suspect the same weather problems that brought the DOT to the area may have also led to the tragic accident. The showers overnight caused the tree to fall across old Highway 421.

    Troopers said Robert Schaffer, of Deep Gap, was the driver of the pickup truck hit that hit and killed Cook.

    Patrick Sweeney lives nearby, and he drove past after the accident and saw somber workers cleaning up in the thick fog that hampered drivers all morning.

    "You really have to go slow. There just wasn't enough time to react," said Sweeney.

    Troopers said the wet roads and fog may have caused the crash.

    DOT workers drove by to see the place where their coworker was killed.

    Grief counselors will be at the DOT on Wednesday.

    "It's scary," said Boone safety and risk management officer Terry Story.  He said the city is working on putting up signs to remind drivers about the law.

    DOT workers said they will also try to determine what happened.

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