Three union Laborers struck in construction zone crash

Missouri Correspondent

                                                 – KSDK Channel 5 screencap

Ferguson, MO – Three union Laborers working for a MODOT subcontractor were struck and injured – two of them seriously – on Nov. 6 when a Florissant man allegedly drove through a closed construction zone at 10:30 p.m., hitting three workers and fleeing the scene.

Two of the workers are members of Laborers Local 110: Sean Degonia, 22, and Zachery Beaver, 38. The third worker, Josh Whitworth, 35, is a member of Laborers Local 840 in Rolla.

Degonia received moderate injuries and was treated and released from Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Beaver and Whitworth both suffered fractured pelvises, among other injuries, and remained hospitalized.

The accident happened near New Halls Ferry Road and Interstate 270, south of Pershall Road in St. Louis County. All three were working for Pace Construction on part of the $278 million “I-270 North project,” which is expected to be completed in December.

The driver, Mario Eiland, 33, of Florissant, Mo., has been charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in physical injury. Witnesses said he drove his Ford Focus through a closed roadway construction zone, struck the workers, and fled on foot.

Police found Eiland not far from the scene and witnesses were able to identify him. He is being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

“Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the workers and their families, said Local 110 Business Manager Ronny Griffin. “We are really sorry this happened, but it serves as a reminder to make yourself aware that anything can happen in a work zone. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen.”

Degonia, Beaver and Whitworth were each wearing safety vests and highly visible reflective ankle bands, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The construction zone was well-lit with bright portable lightning.

Sixty-four percent of highway contractors have reported work zone crashes in the last year, according to a 2022 nationwide study by Associated General Contractors of America. Ninety-seven percent also reported that the risk of highway work zone crashes is as great or greater than a year ago.

Whitworth’s fiancée, Sabrina Brake, told KSDK Channel 5 in addition to a shattered pelvis, he suffered fractures to his right wrist and right shoulder. He underwent two surgeries on Nov. 7, she said, and is now out of the intensive care unit.

“Josh loves being a construction contractor, He’s been working for Pace Construction for about six months,” she said. “It’s just so scary to think that he could have been killed, but thank God he wasn’t. It’s a big miracle he’s still with us.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Whitworth, who’s expected to be out of commission for the next six months. You can donate by visiting

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