Two Owen County Highway Department employees struck by car, one killed

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OWEN COUNTY, Ind.-- Police are investigating after two Owen County Highway Department employees were struck by a car Friday morning.

The incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. A 911 dispatcher received a call saying a person had been struck by a vehicle. When first responders arrived, they found Ricky L Fishel, 60, and Jeffery A. Hodges, 51, had been hit.

Fishel was pronounced dead on the scene. Hodges was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for treatment.

Investigators believe the driver was traveling southbound on Jones Road in a 2007 Jeep Commander. As the driver approached Little Mount Road, he struck the two men, who were outside of their county-owned vehicle to remove a fallen tree.

The driver told authorities he did not see either employee in the road.

People in the town of Gosport say the driver also worked with the men.

"Everybody is just sad because like I said we're a small community here and Ricky was well known by many people and the young gentleman that hit him was also well liked and well known and I know it's a tragedy for him also and they were friends growing up and they were co-workers so he's having a difficult time," Jan Torgerson said.

With the wet weather deputies are warning drivers to be on the lookout for road workers.

"There's a responsibility on both, on everybody on both the worker and the driver to be aware of your surrounding, know your speed limits, know the weather conditions. It could even come down to how much tread is on your tires. There's so many factors that each party has to play," Deputy Andrew Deckard said.

The case remains under investigation, and the driver is not being named because he is not facing criminal charges at this time.

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