Saturday marks two years since MoDOT workers killed in work zone crash

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 10:23 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Saturday, November 18, marks two years since two MoDOT workers were killed in a work zone crash.

In 2021, Kaitlyn Anderson, who was six months pregnant with a son named Jaxx, and James Brooks were killed while working on a MoDOT striping crew on Telegraph Road at I-255 in St. Louis County.

A third MoDOT worker, Michael Brown, was left with lifelong injuries.

Anderson’s mom, Tonya Musskopf, held a memorial ceremony to honor her daughter and grandson.

“They took something from me that I’ll never get back,” Musskopf said.

It’s a day Musskopf can only describe as heartbreaking.

“This pain is something that I can’t even describe to you in words,” Musskopf said.

Earlier this year, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill naming the bridge on Telegraph Road by the crash site for Anderson.

“If MoDOT had protected her I wouldn’t be standing here,” Musskopf said. “I’d be fishing or at a park with my grandson.”

Governor Parson also named I-70 in St. Louis City and County for Brooks.

The families came to First Alert 4 earlier this month, after they say a dedication ceremony was never coordinated by MoDOT.

A MoDOT spokesperson sent First Alert 4 Investigates a statement saying, “We are not providing comment at this time due to pending litigation.”

Both Anderson and Brooks families used today to create their own ceremony.

“I miss you so much,” Musskopf said. “I miss you so much. Two years today I lost her and my grandson. I don’t know how I’m going to make it another two years but I know I will.”

Brooks’ wife Brigit Brooks said both families are pushing for stronger laws in Jefferson City.

“We have became united together to make changes in the laws to have stricter laws when it comes to workers on the highway,” Brooks said.

Musskopf said her effort to make the roadways safety for workers is not going to stop.

“I get my strength from Kaitlyn,” Musskopf said. “Every morning when I wake up, I know she would want me fighting so her buddies at that shed go home. I’m getting a little help from up there.”

First Alert 4 Investigates exposed how multiple supervisors were disciplined over the crash for not following safety standards.

Reporting by the I-Team uncovered how MoDOT has more than 300 trucks and trailers designed to protect crews called Truck and Trailer Mounted Attenuators (TMAs) but are not always used and weren’t with the crew the day of the deadly crash.