Fired MoDOT supervisor claims department hadn’t required work zone training in years before deadly crash

modot crash
modot crash
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:29 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A MoDOT supervisor who oversaw workers killed in a deadly work zone crash last November claims the department hadn’t required work zone training in nearly five years and that she didn’t know about key safety policies.

On November 18, 2021, a MoDOT crew was doing striping work on Telegraph Road near I-255 in St. Louis County when a driver plowed into the work zone. The crash killed James Brooks and Kaityln Anderson, who was six months pregnant with a baby boy she named Jaxx. Their co-worker Michael Brown survived; he now suffers lifelong injuries.

James Brooks(right) and Kaitlyn Anderson were killed in November of 2021 after a driver plowed...
James Brooks(right) and Kaitlyn Anderson were killed in November of 2021 after a driver plowed into a MoDOT work zone.(KMOV/CBS)

The families affected said they believe MoDOT could have done more to protect their loved ones.

“My husband went to work that day and didn’t return, a year later and still no answers,” said Brigit Brooks. “It’s so unfair, it’s so unjust.

Brigit Brooks says she’s tired of waiting for answers and she wants to see changes at MoDOT.

“I’m not sugarcoating this. My husband is gone because of negligence that day,” Brooks said.

One of the crew’s supervisors, Kristina Jordan, was fired in September 2022 for not following safety rules on a different project. Jordan’s termination letter doesn’t mention the deadly crash, but she oversaw the crew that day and believes it’s part of why she was fired.

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“Somebody on the ground has to take the fall for their mistakes, they’ll never admit that the higher-ups don’t even know what they’re doing,” said Jordan.

Jordan worked as a maintenance crew leader. She says she didn’t do anything wrong on the day of the crash.

“I sent the crew out on a normal day, doing a normal job like [any] other day,” Jordan said.

Jordan gave News 4 Investigates her training records at MoDOT, which show the last time she did one for work zones was in 2016, more than five years before the crash. Two weeks after the crash, MoDOT assigned her a work zone training.

All MoDOT employees are supposed to follow key safety policies called Typical Applications, commonly referred to as TAs. The TAs detail how to set up specific work zones and what safety equipment is required.

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Jordan claims she worked at MoDOT for 18 years and didn’t know what a TA was until after the crash.

“Before the accident, we didn’t even know what a TA was. After the accident, those were starting to get pulled and read through,” Jordan said. “We had no idea what a TA was or that we were supposed to be using them, nobody knew in our building.”

Jordan’s boss got in trouble for not following TAs. Recently News 4 investigates uncovered Michael Love was put on paid probation over safety failures related to the crash. Love is currently still on the job and overseeing crews.

MoDOT declined an interview for this story. A spokesperson said the department cannot comment on pending litigation or personnel matters.

The families say they won’t stop pushing for safety changes.

“It has to stop. It has to stop now. Take accountability, this is sad,” Brigit Brooks said. “It’s not okay, it will never be okay until justice is done.”