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Road worker hit by car is still in a critical condition

The 33-year-old was struck at a construction site in East Bethel on Monday.
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The road worker struck by a car at a construction site in the northern Twin Cities remains in a critical condition in the hospital.

The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Laura Soto Silva, of Fergus Falls, who according to a post by her sister on the GoMN Facebook page is a mother of six children, the youngest of them born just three weeks ago.

Isabel Soto said her sister was holding a stop sign at road construction in East Bethel on Monday, and was headed to the shoulder when she was hit by a car driven by a 19-year-old woman who police have said may have been distracted.

Soto suffered horrendous injuries, including two broken legs, a broken arm, a shattered pelvis and a fractured skull.

She is still in a critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her partner, Ryan Berg.

Doctors fortunately have found no sign of her suffering head trauma, but the post says she will need "many surgeries" and as of Tuesday was not breathing on her own.

"The hospital woke her up last night briefly and confirmed she was responsive, wiggles her toes, and gave a soft thumbs up before they sedated her again," Berg writes.

The driver of the car that struck Soto is under investigation by the Anoka County Sheriff's Department. 

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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