A 21-year veteran of the Department of Transportation was killed on Route 8 Thursday after being hit by a truck just north of the town line between Waterbury and Naugatuck.
Daniel Dinardi, 41, of Rocky Hill, had pulled over in the northbound lane around 2:45 p.m. between exits 29 and 30 in Waterbury to pick up some debris on the highway, when he was struck by a passing tractor-trailer, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman.
Vance said there was no official DOT work operation going at the time, although Dinardi had activated his pickup truck’s hazard lights and was legally parked in the shoulder.
Emergency responders rushed Dinardi to Waterbury Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Judd Everhart, spokesman for the DOT, told The Hartford Courant that Dinardi was well known and liked around the DOT headquarters.
"As word spread around the building, people were crying and asking each other how it could have happened," Everhart told the Courant.
Route 8 northbound was closed until about 6:30 p.m. as an accident reconstruction team investigated the accident. Vance said the driver had stopped and pulled over after striking Dinardi.
The case remains under investigation by the state police.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman released the following statement regarding Dinardi’s death:
“We are extremely saddened by the death of Dan Dinardi. Our sympathies and prayers are with his family and friends as they are grieving his loss, and with his colleagues who have been deeply shaken by this terrible event. Connecticut has workers who, in the course of performing their jobs, are at risk every day."
The statement continued: "This tragedy reminds us to reflect on their efforts, and to recognize their dedication and commitment. We must do everything we can to keep our workers safe. We are grateful for Mr. Dinardi’s 21 years of service to the Department of Transportation, and all that he has done to make this state a better place.”