A flagger working in a construction area in Tolland was rushed to the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run driver Wednesday morning and a Mansfield man is accused of hitting him, according to Tolland fire officials.
The flagger, 49-year-old Robert Harrison, of Waterbury, was struck near 128 Merrow Road (Route 195) around 1:45 a.m. and thrown approximately 25 feet into the air and over a guardrail.
Police said Harrison suffered minor injuries and was taken to the trauma center at Saint Francis Hospital by ambulance.
The DOT engineer working the project was horrified when he heard about what happened.
“It was terrible for me. You know, quarter to four, the phone rings, my God, my heart was sinking,” Dilraj Josen, a DOT project engineer, said.
Police have identified the driver as Christopher Hand, 40, of Mansfield, and fire officials at the scene said he did not stop, but was pulled over on Interstate 84.
Construction supervisors said the road was down to one lane while construction crews used a crane to move large steel beams and they hope the accident serves as a reminder for drivers to slow down.
“It’s crazy. It’s part of our construction. Every day we go through this. Try to tell everybody be safe, be safe,” Josen said.
Hand was arrested and charged with evading responsibility, engaging in a police pursuit, disobeying the signal of an officer and failure to meet minimum insurance requirements. He was issued a $7,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 27, according to state police.
State police are still investigating.