On May 9, 2003, specialty team member James Richard Cameron, 58, with the Northern Virginia district Bridge Maintenance Unit, was killed in a work zone on the Route 236 bridge over I-395. Two vehicles collided on the bridge before one of them crossed into the work zone and struck Cameron.
A 13 year veteran with the agency, Cameron leaves behind a wife, Betty, of Front Royal, and two sons.
Co-workers took his loss hard. The Bridge Maintenance Section and many others were devastated. “He will be greatly missed by everyone,” Norma Settle, fiscal assistant in the bridge maintenance unit said.
Tom Colvin, bridge operations manager, added, “Most of the team knew James off work as well as on, so this is more like losing a family member. I will remember him as our ‘MacGyver.’ He was always inventing things and coming up with ways to improve the way we do business. He will be sorely missed.”
Citizens also stopped to acknowledge Cameron’s death. A Warrenton resident wrote. ‘I wish to express to you and all the VDOT workers and crews today my extreme sympathy… If I or my family can do anything to help this worker’s family please let me know. This is a tragic and senseless accident and I hope that you and your crews know how much we value your service to this community.”
Commissioner Philip Shucet stated in his “400-day report” that Cameron’s death overshadows all the good of the past 100 days. There just aren’t any good deeds that make up for the loss of an employee through tragic circumstances.”