According to the Henry County Coroner, Holmes was plowing along Route 17 when he stopped to help a stranded motorist. Holmes was outside of his plow truck when another vehicle reportedly lost control, colliding with the truck and then striking Holmes.
Holmes was transported to Kewanee Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 10:30. The department of transportation says Holmes was a monthly snowbird driver for the state and had worked with the winter operations crew since 2007.
The Henry County Coroner and the Stark County Sheriff's department are investigating the accident.
Statement from Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider:
“We are deeply saddened by a tragic accident this morning that claimed the life of one of our Illinois Department of Transportation employees. Michael Holmes of Wyoming, Illinois was a monthly snowbird worker for IDOT and had been with the Department’s winter operations team since November 2007,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. Holmes was 49 years old.
“The safety of our workers always will be a top priority at IDOT and we are working with law enforcement authorities who are investigating this incident. My thoughts and prayers are with our employee’s family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time.”
Statement from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn:
"Michael Holmes is a hero. He gave his life while making our roads safer for his fellow citizens. Michael selflessly faced challenging conditions every winter since 2007 so the rest of us could arrive safely at our destinations.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and fellow employees during this difficult time. I'm ordering the state's flags to be flown at half-staff so all Illinois citizens can be reminded of Michael's dedication and sacrifice."