A worker for the Idaho Transportation Department was killed on Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 20-26 when the backhoe he was driving was hit from behind by a semitractor-trailer.
56-year-old Mark Reinke of Howe, which is about 63 miles west of Rexburg, was driving west on US20-26 at milepost 253 in the backhoe at about 7:06 a.m. when he was hit by a 2005 Peterbilt semi pulling two trailers. Both vehicles went off the right shoulder, according to an Idaho State Police news release.
Both Reinke and the semi’s driver, Felipe Saldana Blanco, 64, of Terreton, were wearing seat belts. Reinke was transported to Lost Rivers Medical Center in Arco by ground ambulance, where he died of his injuries. Next of kin has been notified.
Reinke, an Idaho Transportation Department technician, was performing roadwork when the accident occurred, according to an Idaho Transportation Department news release.
“At ITD, we value every single employee, and losing any one of them is like losing a member of the family,” said director Brian Ness in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s loved ones, and to those in District 6 who had the privilege of working with Mark.”
Reinke's death brings the number of Idaho Transportation Department employees killed on the job since 1960 to 40, the release said.