MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The family of a road construction worker is speaking out about his death and the law they are trying to pass in his name. Kenneth Long Jr., who his family and closest friends knew as "Peanut," was hit and killed while working in a construction zone back in August of 2013.
"Hit and... killed my son. My only baby," Elizabeth Ward said. Peanut was a flag worker and just 22 years old when he was killed. A truck crashed into another vehicle Peanut had stopped, sending that vehicle into him.
"I only had two grandsons, and he was one of them. Several times he would tell me, they just won't slow down. And I told him, I said, you stay… you jump out of the road if you see them coming but this time, he didn't have time to jump… he was just plowed down," Alberta Howard said.
The man who killed Peanut walked away with a $310 fine, and points on his license.
The bill related to work zone safety hasn't been changed since 1976. Even though there is a motion to amend the bill with Peanut's Law, calling for harsher penalties for those who speed in work zones, the State House sent it back to the Senate floor last year.
"We're angry now… it's getting to the point we are just getting really angry," Ward said.
Ward said the bill has been in the Senate for nearly four years now, and because she and her family watch each Senate discussion, she knows it has been brought up four times since session started in February.
"They need to pass this bill, it's just been sitting there too long. There's no reason for it to go back and forth back and forth," Ward explained.
Ward said it seems senators have really been spending most of their time going over the new roads bill after October's flooding, which is why she feels Peanut's Law is even more important.
"If they start these new constructions on these roads and bridges, these workers need to be safe, so they can go back to their families," Ward said.
Even though Peanut never returned home to his family, and the family doesn't believe they will ever have a true sense of closure, passing Peanut's Law would help.
"It would help to know his name will live forever... people will remember him," Howard said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2013, there were five traffic fatalities in work zones. In 2014, there were nine.
Peanut's family doesn't want any family to feel the pain they've felt. They often post updates to their Justice For Kenneth