A memorial at one of the New York State Thruway's new service areas will serve two purposes: A tribute to a fallen employee and a reminder about the state's Move Over Law.
The memorial honoring Ron Deming was unveiled at the Indian Castle Service Area on Tuesday. Deming, who was a Thruway Authority employee for 20 years, was killed in 2016 while helping recover a car from the shoulder along Interstate 90 in Herkimer County.
Sally Deming, Ron's widow, pushed for adding the memorial to the new service area, which reopened in August. There will be a second memorial at the Iroquois Service Area after the rest stop is reconstructed.
"Ron never got to meet his grandchild or enjoy retirement with his family," Sally Deming said. "I am thankful for this new memorial, and it is a reminder that all roadside workers want to go home to their families each night. Sadly, not all have been so fortunate."
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The memorial includes an inscription honoring Ron Deming as a "construction equipment operator and member of the Thruway family who was fatally injured in the line of duty." The inscription continues, "Please remember to slow down and move over for stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles."
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll attended the dedication of the new memorial. He remembered Ron Deming as a "dedicated co-worker, husband, father, son and friend who was a valued member of the Thruway Authority and the community." He also praised Sally Deming for her commitment to raising awareness about the Move Over Law.
The law took effect in 2012 and requires motorists to slow down and move over for stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles. Sally Deming has appeared in Thruway public service announcements and at work zone events. She also attended the ceremony when the Highway Workers Memorial was unveiled at the New York State Fair in 2021.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.