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Roadway Worker, Driver Survive Crash in San Benito Along Hwy 77

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SAN BENITO – A highway worker is recovering from an accident that took place in San Benito on Tuesday.

San Benito Police Chief Michael Galvan tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the highway worker and the driver are lucky to be alive.

A day of clearing out gutters along Highway 77 in San Benito nearly turned deadly for a highway worker. 

Galvan said the man was standing between his work truck and the median pumping out debris when a woman lost control and slammed her SUV into the work truck.

"He almost got pinned-up against the wall, but when he fell upon impact, the trailer did go over one of his legs," Galvan said. "So he was still on the ground for a while. He did get up and move around." 

Galvan said the female driver also survived the full-speed impact without major injury. She was wearing her seat belt. 

Police are still investigating why she didn't see the work convoy on the shoulder lane. 

Galvan is warning drivers about distracted driving. 

"If you're traveling 60-70 miles per hour, you can travel a lot of ground just at a glance down," Chief Galvan said. "So, whether it's texting and driving, or switching the radio, those are the last things you should be doing when you are traveling at those speeds." 

Efrain Garcia is well aware of the possible dangers on the highway. 

"It just boils down to that, just being aware of your surroundings. Always drive defensively and never assume that the driver next to you is driving defensively," Garcia said.

He makes sure to use both hands on the wheel, always look at the road ahead and avoids texting. 

"If you are on the expressway, you can see at least a mile ahead of you," Garcia said. "There's always signs available so you are always just cautious and moving over the lane that they ask you to move over (too)."

Jose Luis Alejandro said the rules of the road are simple.

"I make sure I'm not impaired. I try not to look at my phone and I don't get distracted," Alejandro said.

Galvan said the Rio Grande Valley is growing and with that, construction will continue. He's asking drivers to respect the road.

The rest of the work on the gutters was put on hold for the day.

Galvan added that the driver will be cited.

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