The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has recently issued a press release about the death of an employee in District Seven, in Los Angeles County. According to Caltrans, Jorge Lopez, an electrician and 16-year employee of Caltrans, was struck by a semi truck as he was standing outside of his vehicle on State Route 14. Lopez was 57 years old and is survived by his wife and three adult children. The incident happened at about 11:35 a.m. on September 1, 2016. Very few details about this incident have been released, but we do know that two other Caltrans employees were on the scene at the time of the crash.
Fatal Crash Involving Caltrans Worker
The crash happened in the southbound portion of SR-14, near Crown Valley Road. Caltrans reported that Lopez is the first Caltrans employee in District Seven to be killed on the job since 2005. He is also the 185th Caltrans employee to lose his life on the job. At this time, there has been no word on why the semi truck struck Lopez or if any charges or citations have been made. This incident could still be under investigation with law enforcement officials.
A Dangerous Job
It’s no secret that roadway work is dangerous. Keeping roads in California safe and properly maintained requires workers to be on the scene, working beside traffic, everyday. They don’t have the luxury of a high-rise office building or an air-conditioned environment. At an absolute minimum, they need to be safe. Drivers in California and all over the nation need to be on the lookout for roadway workers, first responder’s and all others who may be working directly beside busy traffic. Engaging in behaviors like distracted or alcohol-impaired driving puts their lives and the lives of all other roadways users at risk for injury causing or potentially fatal crashes.
At this time, all routine or regularly scheduled highway maintenance activities in District Seven are being temporarily halted to revisit and reinforce safety for workers in the field. Caltrans is calling on motorists all over the State of California to be on the lookout for highway workers.
The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. sends their deepest condolences to Jorge Lopez’s family members, friends, loved ones and colleagues.