Caltrans announced that Richard Gonzalez, a 52-year-old
Caltrans maintenance worker, died shortly before 9 a.m. on June 20 after being struck by a vehicle while he was picking up litter along the northbound I-15 connector ramp to eastbound State Rte. 94 in San Diego. He is the third Caltrans worker to die on the job in 48 days—the most
ever in such a short period of time.
On May 4, Stephen Palmer Sr. was struck by a trolley and killed in National City near San Diego. On June 7, Jaime Obeso was killed by an errant vehicle while working on I-8 in Imperial County.
Caltrans has called a statewide safety stand down to emphasize safety procedures. All routine or regularly scheduled highway maintenance activities are being temporarily halted to revisit and reinforce all
aspects of field safety and to ask the public for help.
Caltrans will post notices on its statewide network of more than 700 electronic highway-message signs reminding motorists to watch out for Caltrans employees. Flags will be at half staff on Caltrans buildings across the state in remembrance of Caltrans workers who have needlessly
lost their lives this year.
“Every day, highway workers put their lives in danger just by going to work,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These three tragic incidents are sobering reminders that we all must do everything we can to
keep our highways safe. Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over a lane when passing work crews.”
Since the 1920s, 178 Caltrans employees have died while on the job.