Younger was part of a milling crew that had stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 40 in Hickman County, Tennessee to change a flat tire. Suddenly, a tractor trailer struck one of the parked vehicles, killing Younger and injuring three other TDOT employees. A 22-year-old maintenance worker was taken by life flight to a local hospital and later released. Two other crew members were taken by ambulance to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.
Younger was a well-respected milling and paving supervisor who earned several promotions since he started with TDOT in 2010. He left behind a wife of 40 years, two daughters, and grandchildren.
Younger’s death marked a devastating milestone as the 110th on-the-job fatality among Department of Transportation workers in Tennessee. In the first 11 months of 2018, 43 roadside workers have died.
Younger’s family has filed a lawsuit against the driver of the semi that hit him. A court date is set for March 2019, just shy of the three-year anniversary of his death.
A lawsuit won’t bring Younger back, but his daughter, Sarah Tolentino, hopes at the very least it will make people pay attention while driving in construction zones. “If you’re driving past a crew, think of passing my dad’s shoe. Pass the crew, think of the shoe. Put yourself in those shoes,” she told WKRN. “If one person can be saved and not killed the way he was, it’s worth my time.”