Widow of roadway worker ecstatic over Foundation’s youth activity books

Books offer great way for children to learn about the importance of work zone safety

Rachel Snell, center, holds one of the youth activity books delivered to her by Foundation

Director Lori Diaz and Foundation Board Chair Dave Krahulec.

At a regional event in Michigan two years ago, Rachel Snell met Dave Krahulec, chair of The ATSS Foundation Board, and asked if the Foundation had any materials she could use with her students.

She wanted to teach them about the importance of work zone safety, thinking that if they started at a young age, the message would be remembered when they got old enough for a driver’s license. They also could share it with their parents and encourage them to be alert when approaching and passing through a roadway work zone.

This week, Krahulec delivered 250 of the Foundation’s youth activity books to her when he traveled to Macomb County, Mich., to attend the national kickoff event for National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Snell is superintendent of Carrollton Public Schools in Saginaw and was thrilled to have the books for her students. She was stunned to discover she provided the impetus for their creation.

“I think it’s pretty awesome. It’s an honor,” she said. “To know that somebody listened and put it to action is amazing.”

Snell’s husband, Dave, was a killed in a work zone incident on June 14, 2018. He was a hydro demolitionist working on a roadway project on Interstate 75 near Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. He had finished his shift but had agreed to work the night shift because the crew was short-staffed.

He was helping switch traffic to another lane and was hitching a trailer to a truck when he was hit by a vehicle about 1:30 a.m., Rachel Snell said. He was killed almost immediately.

Dave and Rachel Snell would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary the next month.

The loss has been rough for everyone in the family that includes two adult sons, an adult daughter and one granddaughter.

News that her idea had led to an activity book for children to learn about the importance of work zone safety stirred Snell’s emotions again this week.

“This has just touched my heart in more ways than you can imagine,” she said.

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