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Father killed on I-95 remembered during Work Zone Awareness Week: 'Pay attention'

Father killed on I-95 remembered during Work Zone Awareness Week: 'Pay attention'
Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 14:17:16-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- A mother is warning motorists against distracted driving after her son's father was killed along a construction site on I-95.

Dustin Warden, 25, was hit and killed by a car in a worksite on Interstate 95 in Prince George County on February 3, 2018.

The VDOT contractor was working to provide for his young family when he was killed by a distracted driver.

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

Each year, Warden's girlfriend Jaimie Ray wears orange in honor of him.

"Pay attention and make sure you move over when you see construction because these people are out here risking their lives every day. They've got families that they want to go home to," Ray warned.

Their son, Jonah, was very young when Dustin died. "He’ll ask, 'Where’s my daddy?' I just say that he’s in heaven," Ray told CBS 6 back in 2019.

Ray's message comes during Work Zone Awareness Week. The goal is to bring national attention to driver and worker safety while in work zones.

The American Traffic Safety Services Association said, during the pandemic, many states accelerated their construction projects. That has led to a significant increase in fatalities on the road.

Samantha Hughes of Wilmington, North Carolina was convicted of reckless driving which is a class 1 misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 10 months suspended and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Ray said she has since spoken to Hughes and has forgiven her. She said her son keeps her strong and fighting each day.

"I wish every day that my son's father was here," Ray explained.