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Police: Oregon construction zone flagger hit and killed by drunk driver

Police said the preliminary investigation found that flagger Tyresa Monaghan of Kennewick, Washington, had a vehicle stopped for a repaving project when a silver 2005 Chrysler minivan driven by Leman Bledsoe, 76, of Milton-Freewater (pictured) sideswiped the stopped vehicle and hit Monaghan. (OSP photo; Umatilla County Jail)

ATHENA, Ore. - A drunk driver driver hit and killed a construction zone flagger Tuesday night, Oregon State Police said.

The driver continued on for nearly a mile "in the construction zone, endangering numerous other workers, before stopping," state police said.

The crash happened at 8:40 p.m. on State Route 11 near Athena, Oregon, south of Walla Walla, Washington.

Police said the preliminary investigation found that flagger Tyresa Monaghan of Kennewick, Washington, had a vehicle stopped for a repaving project when a silver 2005 Chrysler minivan driven by Leman Bledsoe, 76, of Milton-Freewater sideswiped the stopped vehicle and hit Monaghan.

Monaghan died at the scene, police said.

Bledsoe stopped about a mile later, police said. He was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton by ambulance, where he was treated before being released from the hospital and jailed.

Troopers booked Bledsoe into the Umatilla County Jail on charges of DUII, Reckless Endanger Another Person x 2, Reckless Driving, Fail to perform the duties of a driver (injured person) and Reckless Endanger a Highway Worker. State police said additional charges are pending.

The crash response closed the highway for 4 1/2 hours, police said.

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