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DOT worker falls from bucket truck near new Walmart in western Newton County

COVINGTON — A Georgia Department of Transportation employee working in a bucket truck at the intersection of Salem and Brown Bridge roads Tuesday morning fell out of the bucket after his vehicle was struck by an 18-wheeler, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The Sandersville DOT employee was working around 11 a.m. with the basket extended to install a backing on the traffic signal at the intersection.

"A tractor trailer that had been stopped for the traffic signal approached the intersection when the traffic light turned green," said GSP spokesman Gordy Wright. "The left corner of the truck's trailer struck the corner of the bucket on the DOT truck causing (the victim) to fall from the bucket. He was wearing a safety harness and apparently landed on the trailer but rolled to the side. It is believed friction of the moving tailer on the strap caused it to break and (the victim) fell to the ground."

The worker was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta with injuries to his face and head.

"He was talking with EMS personnel at the scene," Wright said.

No charges were filed against the driver of the tractor trailer, a 63-year-old Eatonton resident.