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Lamont advocates for road safety after recent deaths of two CT state employees

Governor Lamont speaks with construction workers on a job site.
Molly Ingram
Governor Lamont speaks with construction workers on a job site.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is calling on drivers to slow down and move over when they see workers and stopped vehicles on the side of the road.

Two state employees have been killed by cars while on the job in the last month.

Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier and Department of Transportation employee Andrew DiDomenico were both working on the shoulder of the highway when they were struck by drunk drivers.

Pelletier, 34, had been conducting a routine traffic stop for a seat belt violation. DiDomenico, 26, had been picking up trash for mowing crews.

Lamont said the state has installed cameras in work zones and passed extensive slow down and move over laws — but that people have to make the decision to drive safer.

“I need folks to look out for each other, I need you to say to somebody who's driving a car that shouldn't be driving a car, 'pullover,' I need you to say if somebody's busy texting and not paying attention, 'stop it.' We're doing everything we can as a state to take the lead on this, but the rest really is up to you,” Lamont said.

Connecticut law requires drivers who encounter stopped vehicles on the shoulder of the road to reduce their speed and move to the right lane, if safe and possible.

State Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto said drivers have gotten worse since 2020 — and that it’s a national problem.

“They're driving faster, they’re driving more aggressively, they're driving more radically, they're driving more distracted, they're driving more impaired,” Eucalitto said. “And nobody knows why. It probably has something to do with the stress that people had in 2020, the stress they're going through still to this day.”

Both of the drivers involved in the accidents that killed Pelletier and DiDomenico have criminal histories. They have been apprehended and remain in custody while they await trial.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.