Frank Dorizio

Frank Dorizio was a member of ADOT’s Incident Response Unit.

CASA BLANCA — An Arizona Department of Transportation employee was struck and killed Wednesday while setting up a sign alerting drivers to pavement repairs along the Interstate 10 “safety corridor” between Casa Grande and Chandler, authorities said.

Frank Dorizio, 55, was a member of ADOT’s Incident Response Unit, which sets up traffic control signage, removes debris and assists stranded motorists, the agency said in a press release.

Following the incident, the westbound lanes of the interstate were closed at the Casa Blanca Road interchange on the Gila River Indian Community at 10:51 a.m. The lanes were closed for more than three hours as traffic was diverted on State Route 87.

The Department of Public Safety said Dorizio was struck by a minivan 2 miles west of the State Route 587 (Casa Blanca Road) junction.

“At this location, ADOT was in the process of closing the far-right traffic lane in order to perform asphalt repairs west of milepost 172,” said DPS Public Information Officer Raul Garcia. “The ADOT worker was in the process of setting up a temporary traffic sign within the right dirt shoulder, near his assigned Incident Response truck, when he was struck.”

Preliminary information indicates the driver of the minivan steered evasively in order to avoid rear-ending traffic congestion in front of him, Garcia said. The evasive action caused the driver to lose control, subsequently striking Dorizio and his truck.

The driver and passenger of the minivan were not injured.

DPS said the incident remains an active investigation.

“While the Arizona Department of Public Safety continues its investigation, this is a tragic reminder that drivers must stay alert around construction zones and always be prepared for the unexpected,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said in a press release. “Lives are on the line when dedicated highway workers like Frank Dorizio are making things better for all of us in work zones.”

Dorizio joined ADOT in October 2015 as a highway operations worker with the Little Antelope Maintenance Unit in northern Arizona. In 2017, he joined the Happy Valley Maintenance Unit in Phoenix. He joined the new Incident Response Unit last September.

“Whether or not we worked directly with Frank Dorizio, each of us at ADOT mourns his loss and honors his commitment to getting everyone safely home,” Halikowski said. “His co-workers and friends say the same thing about Frank: ADOT was his family, and he was committed to our agency’s mission and to the people of Arizona.”

Dorizio is the first ADOT worker since 1998 to be struck and killed while working along a highway.

ADOT said that to call attention to the need to stay alert around work zones, many of the agency’s overhead message boards will show the following over the weekend: “ADOT worker killed in work zone. Drive alert.”