A road worker hit by a car is fighting for her life

Authorities suspect the driver was distracted

A member of a construction crew doing street work in the northern Twin Cities is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a car Monday.

The Anoka County Sheriff's office said in a statement that deputies arriving at the work site in East Bethel Monday found the worker in grave condition. The 33-year-old woman from Fergus Falls had been holding a sign as the crew did street work.

She was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment of injuries the sheriff's office says are life threatening.

Distracted driving suspected

The car that hit the worker was driven by a 19-year-old East Bethel woman and the sheriff's statement says: "Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, but it does appear likely that distracted driving played a role in the accident."

The 19-year-old was driving west on 237th St. in East Bethel and hit the worker at the intersection with 7th St. The sheriff's office is investigating and the names of the people involved were not immediately released.

Crashes in work zones rising after a dip

The Federal Highway Administration tracks crashes in work zones. Their 2015 numbers show crashes nationwide were up nearly 8 percent from the previous year, and were a whopping 42 percent above the level of 2013, when work zone crashes had reached a modern low.

 As for deaths on highway road crews, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health says over the last few decades they've averaged 750 per year but recently they've been lower (from 2008 through 2014 they averaged 591).

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