Highway Worker Struck and Killed by Motorist

A California Department of Transporation (Caltrans) worker was struck and killed by a motorist while crossing Route 15. Richard Gonzalez, 52, was killed immediately when hit by a car driven by a 27-year-old man.

The worker was apparently hit shortly before 9 a.m. by a white 1990 Cadillac de Ville, according to the CHP’s website.
According to authorities, the motorist saw the worker crossing in his path and tried in vain to steer clear of him. The front passenger side of the sedan struck Gonzalez, killing him at the scene.

The deceased Caltrans worker was identified as 52-year-old Richard Gonzalez, a San Ysidro resident. According to Caltrans, Gonzalez began his career in July 2008. He worked for the Special Programs Crew based in Chula Vista. The crew was picking up trash in area when the incident occurred, Caltrans said.

The driver was arrested and tested for drug and alcohol intoxication. He was later released when no evidence of either was found.

This is the third such fatality in California in the past two months.

Gonzalez was the third Caltrans employee to lose his life on the job in the past seven weeks. Landscape worker Stephen Palmer, 64, of Jamul was struck by a trolley in National City on May 4, and 53-year-old Jaime Obeso of Imperial was hit by a vehicle June 7 on a job site alongside Interstate 8 in the El Centro area.

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.

Information via 10 News.

According to Caltrans, the “risk of death is seven times greater for highway workers than for the average worker.