Car Kills HERO Operator on I-85, South of Atlanta

A Georgia car accident took the life of a Georgia Department of Transportation HERO operator on Monday, January 31, 2011. According to the Georgia State Patrol, a HERO worker was hit while helping a motorist around 10:30 a.m. on Interstate 85 at Metropolitan Parkway, just south of Atlanta.

The GSP indicates that the HERO worker's vehicle was in the southbound emergency lane of I-85 when this tragic accident occurred. The HERO unit was stopped, and the operator was outside the unit helping a driver of a pickup truck. Another driver pulling a trailer and traveling south hit the HERO truck. The truck then struck the HERO worker.

Spencer Pass, the 45-year-old GDOT HERO operator, was killed in this accident. He had been a HERO operator for less than three years, serving the traveling public and making the Georgia roads a safer place to drive. The Georgia Department of Transportation announced that Pass was the first HERO operator to be killed on the job.

During the accident, the trailer overturned and others were injured. There was no word on how many people were injured or the extent of their injuries.

The southbound lanes of I-85 at Cleveland Avenue were closed due to the crash, as well as several other ramps. All lanes were reopened several hours later.

We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic and fatal accident, and send our warm thoughts and condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Spencer Pass.