Road worker killed in Orkney crash named by police

The Orkney flag flies at half-mast in tribute to Keith Johnston
The Orkney flag flies at half-mast in tribute to Keith Johnston

An island council has paid tribute to a long serving roads worker who died after being hit by a lorry.

Keith Johnston was described as “highly skilled and experienced” by Orkney Islands Council (OIC), for whom he had worked for 24 years.

The 52-year-old from Dounby died on Wednesday morning after being struck by a lorry while working on the A967 Dounby to Twatt road.

Mr Johnston had worked for the council since 1993 in the roads team, initially as a road worker and charge hand.

He was latterly working as an acting foreman.

OIC chief executive Alistair Buchan said: “On behalf of everyone at the council I offer our condolences to all those affected by Keith’s death.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and workmates at this sad and very difficult time.

“Keith was a much valued member of staff and a highly skilled and experienced member of our roads team. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues.”

The flag at the council headquarters in Kirkwall was flying at half-mast yesterday as a mark of respect to Mr Johnston.

Mr Buchan also confirmed that the council has launched an internal inquiry into the incident, alonside investigations by police and the Health and Safety Executive.

It is understood that the lorry involved in the collision was also involved in the same roadworks as Mr Johnston.

The incident happened at 10.03am on Wednesday near Twatt in the north-west of the Orkney Mainland.

Sergeant Angus Murray of the north’s road policing unit, said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Johnston’s family at this sad time.

“Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal as is standard procedure.”

The Health and Safety Executive has also previously confirmed that it has been made aware of the incident and will carry out an investigation alongside police.