Worker, Trooper Killed in Same I-75 Work Zone by Hit-and-Run Drivers

A contract worker for the Georgia Department of Transportation was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in a construction zone on Interstate 75.

head shoulder photo Nathaniel B McCrearyNathaniel B. McCrearyNathaniel McCreary GoFundMe pageThen less than 6 hours later, a state trooper investigating the incident was also struck by a hit-and-run driver and killed.

The crashes occurred on I-75 North near Mt. Zion Boulevard in Clayton County.

Nathaniel B. McCreary, 68, was struck at about 8 p.m. February 19 by an unknown driver of a black Kia Forte that intruded into the construction zone.

Then at 12:30 a.m. February 20, Georgia State Patrol Trooper 1st Class Chase Redner, 31, was investigating the crash when he was struck by a vehicle, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Redner had worked for the department since 2017.

Flags were flown at half-staff around the state for Redner after a decree by Governor Brian Kemp.

memorial photo Georgia State Trooper chase RednerGeorgia Department of Public Safety“As the second state patrolman to die in the line of duty in less than a month, our hearts are broken for his mother and fiancée, for his friends and community, and for the entire Department of Public Safety family,” Kemp wrote in a statement. “This is an incredibly painful time for their elite ranks, and we ask that all Georgians – and those far beyond our state – pray for Trooper Redner’s family, loved ones and colleagues.”

McCreary was a father of four grown children, including daughter Alyssa McCreary, a sophomore at Alabama A&M University who has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 for funeral expenses.

“I love my Dad so much & he is what keeps me pushing,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I just want to give him a proper burial, back home in Jacksonville Florida & keep making him proud and still receive my degree.”

The investigations into the crashes are being conducted by the Troop C Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team and are ongoing.

According to the National Work Zone Safety website, fatal work zone crashes have risen nearly 30% between 2018 and 2021. There were 874 fatal work zone crashes in 2021, killing 956 people. An estimated 29,000 work zone crashes resulted in injuries in 2021, according to the site. In all, the site reports 106,000 work zone crashes in 2021.

The 2024 National Work Zone Awareness Week is scheduled for April 15-19. It will be hosted by Maryland Department of Transportation with the theme of “Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” The kick-off event is scheduled for April 16. For more information, go to NWZAW website

bar chart work zone crash statistics 2021National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse