MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation employee who died Sept. 30, 2022, after a car struck him on I-55 was laid to rest on Friday.
Joseph Trent Johnson was a 33-year-old bridge inspector supervisor who is survived by a wife as well as three children, according to his obituary.
According to TDOT, he was inspecting a bridge near the I-240 interchange when an oncoming vehicle hit him. TDOT said he had been with the department since 2015.
The obituary also stated that Johnson was an "avid hunter," was "always the first to lend a hand when needed," and was "the first to laugh at you when you did something crazy or rally around you when you just could not go on."
The obituary described Johnson as "a simple man who wanted nothing more than to love his family, hunt, fish and pray."
TDOT said Johnson's death was the first TDOT fatality since 2016 and the 113th TDOT worker killed in the line of duty since the agency began keeping records in 1948.
Johnson's passing took place less than two days before another highway crash made headlines in Memphis.
On Oct. 2, two members of the Memphis Fire Department were already working on a crash on I-240 when a man hit them with his car, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).
The firefighters were both transported in non-critical condition — one requiring surgery for a broken leg — and the man behind the wheel was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, according to MPD.
Fire Chief Gina Sweat released a statement on social media describing the wreck as "unforgiveable" and asking pedestrians to "slow down and move over," so that members of MFD can work "without fear."