Central Kentucky highway worker killed in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT/WLKY) - A central Kentucky highway worker was killed in Louisville Thursday night after being hit by a car.

The worker, identified as 55-year-old James Bland, Jr. of Versailles was part of a crew putting out cones on the road when he was hit around 8:15 p.m. Thursday on I-64 near the Watterson Expressway (I-264).

Police said Bland died at the scene.

State highway officials say Bland was a former Kentucky Transportation Cabinet employee and was working for a local contractor.

"Typically, it's very rare to see it affect a highway worker. The majority of people impacted by work zone crashes are the motorists," said Naitore Djigbenou with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Work zone fatalities in Kentucky have been on the rise since 2014, jumping from 4 to 7, to 10 last year.

"He represents just one of many men and women who put their lives at risk to make sure we're safe on the roads, so we really want to just acknowledge his sacrifice, and our condolences to him and his family."

Investigators said the driver of the SUV stopped and was interviewed by officers. The St. Matthews Police Department is handling the investigation and is still trying to determine what exactly caused the wreck.