KYTC NEWS RELEASE
Dozens of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet employees honored a fallen co-worker by joining the family and friends of 44 year old Chris Adams to remember his life and service to others. Adams, a 16 year Transportation Cabinet veteran, died Saturday while plowing snow along KY 115 in Christian County, according to spokesman Keith Todd.
The family extended an invitation to his coworkers and fellow employees to attend his funeral and encouraged KYTC personnel to wear their Hi-Viz road gear and uniforms as a tribute.
Members of the Christian County Highway Maintenance Crew served as pallbearers and provided an escort for the funeral procession which was led by a Transportation Cabinet truck like the one that Adams drove almost daily as he went about his work as a heavy equipment operator.
About 5:50 a.m., Saturday, Adams called a supervisor indicating his snow plow had slid off in a ditch along a rural section of the snow-covered highway. At that time he did not indicate he was in any personal distress and asked for another truck to come pull his truck out.
When the supervisor and another crew member arrived on KY 115 Adams was slumped over in his truck seat and unresponsive. An ambulance was called to the scene. Paramedics then summoned the coroner.
The 16 year transportation cabinet employee had been on the clock since about midnight. During a break overnight he interacted with other employees and appeared to be in good spirits.
When KYTC personnel arrived at the site the driver side window on the truck was partially down and the truck was not running. When parked, KYTC trucks have a safety and fuel-saving feature programmed to automatically shut off the engine after about 6 to 8 minutes at idle without any driver activity.
On Monday, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet safety inspectors and mechanics carefully examined the truck Adams was driving in an attempt to determine if an operational issue might have contributed to the incident. They found no safety issues with the vehicle.
The Christian County Coroner’s Office has indicated Adams died as the result of a cardiac event. An autopsy was conducted Monday at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s office in Louisville.
Expressing sympathy on behalf of the agency, KYTC District 2 Chief Engineer Kevin McClearn noted that working out in all kinds of weather and circumstances allows highway equipment operators get to know the character of people on the job around them, often forging friendships and a tight knit working group. “Losing a friend and coworker is always tough,” McClearn said.
McClearn noted that after learning of the loss of their coworker on Saturday, members of the Christian County Highway Maintenance Crew continued working through the weekend to make travel safer for the driving public.
(Above Photo: Chris Adams)