The long two-lane road that goes from Easton all the way to Tilghman Island is called Rt 33, or the St. Michaels Road, and it’s the only way in and out of Bay Hundred. That road received some special attention from the state recently – meaning slowdowns, one way traffic, cones and highway workers for a couple of weeks. They put an entire new surface on Rt. 33 and it’s quite nice.
But not so much, when we consider the 40 year old father, working highway contractor who was controlling traffic when he was hit by a car and killed on August 21st right in front of Martingham outside of St. Michaels.
We all sat in those lines of traffic for weeks, and waved to those guys. “Which one was he?” I wonder? He was only 40 – a dad, who lived in Denton. I even searched on the internet for a memorial or obit photo but there was none. It mattered to me, to know which one of the workers he was. I’m certain his eyes met mine at least a dozen times during those road construction weeks, as they’d wave traffic through, and I’d wave my hello and appreciation, every time. It felt like we knew them and they knew us – we were all involved in that job together.
Both Kevin and I had to turn around and come home on the afternoon of the accident. Once it happened, the road was closed for hours. Everyone feels horrible when these things happen – in our little rural area, with a limited population over that long skinny peninsula, when there’s a bad accident, it rings extra heavy and dark. The person who hit him was a man, 84 years old. He probably wasn’t texting, like half the people on that road seem to be doing. As a child of two still-driving parents in their 80s, my heart lurches at the thought of what probably happened there. Ach…
I’m glad someone put up a memorial at the edge of the woods – you can see his boots are there too. It’s more than sobering to see, so powerful.
Farewell, John Kenneth Shahan. Thank you for your service. May your family be surrounded by love and support. May everyone who drives by here be reminded to slow down and focus on the road. And may our 84 year old neighbor who hit you find some kind of peace. Everyone lost here. Deep sadness.