MDOT concerned by Increase of Road and Work Zone Fatalities

Zachery Morisette

LANSING, MI – Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials say while there may be fewer motorists on the roads, the number of road and work zone fatalities are on the rise. The increase in crashes and fatalities comes at a time when the department is reporting a 20-percent decrease in overall statewide traffic volumes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of September, 730 people have died on Michigan roads. That’s an increase of 58 deaths compared to this time last year. Most recently, vehicles struck three on-the-job road workers, killing two of them.

On Monday, Sept. 21, Zachery Morisette, a 26-year old Macomb County Department of Roads employee, was struck and killed while replacing a manhole cover on I-94 near 9 Mile Road in Macomb County.

Martin Smith, 51-years-old, of Harper Woods, was arraigned Friday afternoon in connection with the fatal hit and run of Zachery.

Smith was charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault, resulting in death and failure to stop at the scene of an accident, resulting in serious impairment or death.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Jeremy Zeitz, a 40-year old road worker from Gladwin, was struck and killed while working on Sherwood Highway over I-69 in Eaton County.

“We are deeply saddened by these recent road worker fatalities. These workers had families and friends who loved and will miss them immensely,” State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said. “As we begin our Rebuilding Michigan bonding program aimed at catching up with years of our state’s underinvestment in roads, you can expect a great deal of work on highways across the state. We implore you to slow down and drive through work zones as if it was your own workplace.”

MDOT understands that traveling through work zones can be frustrating. The department is working diligently to reduce the impacts that road work has on motorists while delivering smooth and safe roads. As a reminder, motorists should always slow down, follow all posted signs, be alert, and remain calm when driving through a work zone.  

MDOT is dedicated to zero deaths on our roads and protecting all workers who build and maintain Michigan’s infrastructure.

Learn more about work zone safety at


Zachery James Morisette, age 26 of Chesterfield, passed away September 21, 2020. Zachery was born October 15, 1993 to Rodney and Dawn Morisette in Mt. Clemens. Zach was blessed to have 2 brothers Rodney and Ross. Spending time with his family was very important to him. He worked at the Macomb County Road Commission and prior to that was a tree trimmer. He was never afraid of hard work. He also enjoyed playing cornhole, watching football and drinking beer, wrestling, and fishing. Zach was also a 3 time cancer survivor.Loving son of Rodney and Dawn; beloved brother of Rodney (Victoria) and Ross; cherished grandson of James and Sandra Morisette, Larry and Bonnie Kort, and Muriel Kort; loving boyfriend of Rachel Gillotte; dear uncle of Jordan, Rozlyn, and Rodney (Bubba); Zachery is also survived by many extended loved ones and friends.He will be greatly missed.

To send flowers to Zachery’s family, please the Lee-Ellena Funeral Home floral store.

Funeral Mass Saturday
September 26, 2020
10:00 AM
St. Mary Queen of Creation Catholic Church
50931 Maria Street
Baltimore, MI 48047

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MDOT concerned by Increase of Road and Work Zone Fatalities via @miheadlines