How a dump truck driver saved an Indianapolis paving crew


August 25, 2019, could pretty properly have been just one of the most tragic days in Indiana work zone heritage.

“We were out there in the center of the evening on I-65,” recounted dump truck driver William Honey, 45, whose CB manage is “Porkchop.”

“We had been milling, using the floor off the street and repaving the road. You may possibly have twenty, thirty, forty, fifty dump trucks on each individual crew.” 

It was a large enterprise, developed to get the road completed as swiftly as achievable. Two large crews – just one to peel off the previous pavement, just one to lay down new pavement. This was downtown Indianapolis. 

“It was about 1:30 in the morning. A call arrived about the radio from a fellow driver named Angela:

‘Everyone seem out. There’s a police chase in the barrels heading the incorrect way!'” 

Twenty-12 months-previous Jonathan Hipolito, driving on a suspended license, was fleeing the Indiana Point out Police. Toxicology reports later on exposed a blood alcoholic beverages count at much more than two times the lawful limit. Now touring southbound on the northbound lanes of I-65, he had breached the barrels of a stay construction zone just past the milling crew and was practically seconds absent from plowing into the paving crew.

Porkchop ongoing his tale: “I was coming off the exit ramp to get on the interstate. I was suitable up there by the paving crew. I could see him coming with the blue lights behind him. There had been twenty-five personnel up there on the ground. These guys on the ground have it a large amount more challenging than men like me. They have barrels and cones, maybe a piece of tape to shield them. None of them experienced a radio. They couldn’t know what was going on.

“I knew if I could transform my truck sideways, he could not get earlier me. There was a concrete barrier wall, so I pointed my truck towards it.

“I did not even have time to established the air brakes when he hit me. It knocked me from the driver’s seat all the way to the passenger aspect. I acquired my brakes set and obtained out. 

“The trooper mentioned, ‘Sir, I will need you to go stand from the wall!’

“I could see the dude. He was out of it. Did not even know wherever he was. Then a entire bunch of cop cars and trucks arrived, then the fire vans and the ambulance.”

Luckily, no a person was damage.

William 'Porkchop' Honey portrait photoWilliam “Porkchop” HoneyWilliam HoneyWilliam Honey and his act of bravery would become the things of nearby blue-collar legend. Associates of the Laborers Community 120 chipped in and obtained him a present card to Bass Professional Shops in gratitude for the life he most probable saved. He was awarded a plaque at a ceremony attended by state dignitaries. A people music was even commissioned by the Laborers union in his honor. Regional news outlets ended up requesting interviews. At a certain point, nevertheless, he made it obvious that “there is just not a solitary Teamster on that jobsite who wouldn’t have carried out the exact matter I did.”

Nonetheless, for the sake of basic safety, he graciously agreed to this interview.

These days, Porkchop has settled back into doing the perform he enjoys. “This job,” he explained. “I will under no circumstances do nearly anything else. I really like the rumble of the motor, the smell of diesel, the targeted visitors.”

But, storybook villains and sung heroism apart, from the vantage place of his dump truck, Honey nevertheless sees men and women putting themselves and construction personnel at danger.

“I can seem down in their autos and see people today feeding their babies in the backseat,” he claimed. “I’ve viewed them alter their dresses. I’ve seen them getting sexual intercourse. Ninety-eight to ninety-nine % of them have their cellphones in their arms. You can see that thumb likely again and forth.”

The unfortunate irony of operate zone safety, in accordance to Brian Limited, district committeeman of the Laborers union, is that “seventy-5 to eighty p.c of individuals who are wounded in operate zones are the motoring general public.”

For Porkchop, the trigger of do the job zone protection extends significantly beyond his personal pores and skin. “My daughter has adopted me into the Teamsters. Her soon-to-be partner is a laborer on the floor. Not that any individual is likely to listen, but our lives are worth no much less than yours.” 

Locate all the installments in Long Haul Paul Marhoefer’s “Faces of the Street” collection of profiles/oral histories through this connection.


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