ST. LOUIS – A former MoDOT crew leader says she was just fired, so that the state could say it’s making safety changes after last year’s deadly work zone crash.

The 18-year MoDOT veteran, Kris Jordan, claims she’d never been written up for a safety concern before being fired Monday.

“They need to hold somebody accountable for November 18,” Jordan said.

Former crew leader Jordan sent out the MoDOT crew that tragic day. A pregnant Kaitlyn Anderson died with her unborn baby. James Brooks died, and Mike Brown continues struggling with a brain injury.

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“That day should have never happened,” Jordan said.

She said she hadn’t been safety trained in more than a decade.

“It had been 15 years since I had any work zone training – 15 years,” she said.

Jordan crew had no protective vehicle, often called a TMA (Truck Mounted Attenuators). Jordan said MoDOT had no TMA’s available that day because of a decision above her.

“We were taking the TMA’s and dropping them off at maintenance facilities for a snow event coming in,” she said.

Jordan showed FOX 2 what she said were internal MoDOT documents, which stated, “The protective vehicle may be eliminated if the roadway is posted at 45 mph or below.”

The stretch of Telegraph involved in November’s fatal crash was 40 mph.

“I’ve been out there many a times without a back-up truck,” she said.

Jordan said MoDOT has had a lot of safety training since last November, often emphasizing the need for a protective truck.

“…talked to the district engineer about this days before I was terminated and told him, we don’t have the TMA’s, we need more TMA’s,” Jordan said. “(He said) we just don’t have it in our budget. We’re maxed out now.”

Jordan also showed FOX 2 her termination letter. It noted an August incident, in which Jordan said her crew did have a back-up protective vehicle, but that a worker walked behind it to pick up cones as they left.

“They stated in my termination papers that I was unsafe, but any of the training that they had given us and nothing to do with having a back-up for a back-up,” she said.

FOX 2 reached out to the MoDOT communications office for a response, and a spokesperson responded that they do not discuss personnel or issues pending litigation.