Construction zone flagger hit by drugged driver dies

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NEW HAVEN, Vt. (WCAX) Officials confirmed Saturday morning that James Alger, a construction zone flagger who was hit by a car on Friday, has died. Police say the driver was under the influence of drugs.

Jennifer Bergevin

Alger was directing traffic for a crew working on a rail line across Route 7 in New Haven. Police say the driver, Jennifer Bergevin, 49, of Middlebury, was headed north and as she entered the construction zone, she crashed her car into the flagger.

"I got to the bottom of the hill and I saw the flagger's sign fly into the air, I mean it was 20 feet up, and I thought the flagger had thrown it until I noticed that his helmet was also flying at the same time," witness Jeffrey Fox said.

Police on scene Friday morning confirmed the witness' story.

"It sounds as though he was trying to stop traffic, he did have a... his stop and slow sign, it doesn't sound as though the car yielded to whatever direction was being given and, unfortunately, the flagger was struck by the vehicle," Vt. State Police Sgt. Chris Scrodin said.

Alger, 38, of Barre, was transported to Porter Hospital before being airlifted to the UVM Medical Center with severe facial and internal injuries. He succumbed to those injuries overnight.

Troopers say after questioning by drug recognition experts, they determined Bergevin was impaired. She is currently charged with driving under the influence of drugs and grossly negligent operation.