A Tennessee Department of Transportation worker was fatally injured Wednesday as he worked along State Route 54 near US 412 in Crockett County.

James “Pee Wee” Hopkins, an operations technician, was flagging traffic around a maintenance crew working along State Route 54 near US 412 when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

According to information from TDOT, no other workers were injured.

The crash is currently under investigation. 

Hopkins, 63, had been with the department since 1996. He was hired as a highway maintenance worker and was promoted in 2005 and again in 2014 to become an Operations Technician 2.

His death is the second TDOT fatality in three months.

“We lost one of our own today, and it breaks your heart for the family and for the TDOT family across the state,” said Gov. Bill Haslam. “It’s a good reminder to all of us of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them.”

“This is the second tragic loss suffered by our department in just a matter of weeks,” said Commissioner John Schroer said. “I urge all motorists to slow down, be aware of their surroundings and minimize the distractions in their vehicles. The lives of our workers depend on it.” 

The department said it would provide counselors for Hopkins’ fellow employees working in West Tennessee, as well as across the state as needed.

A total of 111 TDOT workers have been killed while working on state roadways since 1948.

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