DOTD releases statement on death of employee following tragic crash
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 6:23:57 PM
MONROE, La. – It is with great sadness that the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces the death of employee and DOTD family member Johnny Cole following a tragic accident that occurred on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Johnny worked in the Monroe District.

Tuesday morning, Johnny and another DOTD employee were performing routine sign installation work on LA 563 in Lincoln Parish as part of the District’s sign crew when Johnny was struck by the driver of an 18-wheeler who failed to stop. The other employee was not injured in the crash.

An 11-year service employee, Johnny was a District Sign Specialist with the traffic section.

“We are saddened by the death of DOTD employee Johnny Cole,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Johnny was a dedicated state employee who worked tremendously hard and took great pride in his work. Today’s tragedy puts in perspective the dangers that DOTD employees face, and I ask all drivers to be aware of the hardworking men and women we depend on to improve our roadways. Donna and I send our condolences and prayers to his family, friends, and everyone affected by this tragic loss.”

“Making announcements like this and contacting the family members after a tragic accident like the one experienced today, is the most difficult part of my job as DOTD Secretary, and one that will forever stand out,” said Dr. Shawn Wilson. “We understand the risks associated with working for the highway department, but losing a member of the DOTD family in a preventable crash is always heartbreaking. This should serve as a constant reminder that personal safety in our daily work is paramount.”

We ask that you keep the family of Johnny Cole in your thoughts and prayers as they process this tragedy, especially his wife and children.

Additionally, situations such as this have lasting impacts on the survivors and coworkers. We take time to think of the crew members involved, as well as the entire Monroe District. The flags of all department facilities have been lowered to mark this sad occasion.