Hit-and-run driver slams into VDOT worker helping stranded motorist

Posted at 7:10 PM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 14:01:06-04

“I go over and over in my mind what I could have done, it happened so fast.”

In his job as a VDOT Safety Service Patrol worker, Phil Fonner always knew it was a possibility but never expected to become a victim.

“I don’t think any of us are ever prepared to be hit,” said Fonner.

He was hit on the side of a major Hampton Roads interstate by a driver that never bothered to stop.

It all went down last Wednesday along I-64 in Chesapeake.

“Unfortunately, that night it was pouring rain,” said Fonner.

Fonner's VDOT truck lights flashed a big arrow telling drivers to move over while he helped a stranded car on the side of the road.

As he was setting up his safety cones...” I heard BAM! It was just instantaneous. I heard the cone get hit, and then I felt my left side get hit,” said Fonner.

“It was like two football players going head on, in what they call a stinger. My whole left arm felt that way.”

Fonner managed to get on the shoulder of the highway, but as he looked around for the offending car, Fonner could only find pieces of the red side mirror that smashed into him.

“You've hit something, and you just drive off? I don’t know how they live with their conscience like that,” said Fonner.

Thankfully, his injuries weren't serious.

One week after the accident, Fonner is finally back on the roadways helping drivers.

“I am very blessed that I am standing here right now, talking to you, that I’m not sitting at Norfolk General in the trauma center, in a bed all broken up, or that my family's being called because there has to be a funeral,” said Fonner.

Still, state troopers have not been able to find the owner of that red sedan.

“I would like to see them step forward and at least apologize to me. They just left me out there,” said Fonner.

Now, he has a message for other drivers who see flashing lights.

“Please, slow down, and move into the other lane,” said Fonner.

The “Move Over” state law--meant to save lives like his.