Father killed on I-95 remembered during Work Zone Awareness Week

Posted at 11:30 PM, Apr 11, 2019

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va., -- Jaimie Ray still struggles to answer one tough question from her three-year-old son, Jonah.

"He’ll ask, 'Where’s my daddy?' I just say that he’s in heaven," Ray recalled.

Jonah's father and Ray's boyfriend, 25-year-old Dustin Warden, was killed on February 3, 2018 along Interstate 95 in Prince George County.

Warden, a VDOT contractor, was struck by a southbound car when he was cleaning up a mobile work zone near mile marker 35.

Virginia State Police said a driver looked down, took her eyes off the road, and fatally struck Warden.

"When I got the news I was just all broken," Ray remembered. "He was an awesome person and an awesome dad. He was my best friend."

Warden was working overtime to provide for his young family when he was killed.

Ray said she'll one day be forced to tell her son how his father died.

"He does not know what happened and why it happened and it just breaks my heart," she said.

Ray wanted to share her story during National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is held from April 8 through 12.

The goal is to bring national attention to driver and worker safety while in work zones.

"While slightly fewer work zone crashes were recorded in 2018, the numbers remain high. Last year, 2,523 work zone crashes resulting in 1,256 injuries and nine fatalities were reported. This was a 5.4% decrease in crashes, a 5.35% decrease in injuries and an 18% decrease in fatalities from 2017," according to VDOT.

Ray hoped to warn drivers to "pay attention because you have families out here waiting for their loved ones to come home."

The single mother added, "I don’t want anybody else to go through what I'm going through."

Samantha Hughes of Wilmington, NC was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.

Her attorney told CBS 6 "no comment." Hughes' trial is scheduled for May 9 at Prince George Circuit Court.