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Caltrans Honors Workers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, May 2, 2013

More than 1500 California Department of Transportation workers attended a memorial today for their co-workers killed on the job.   Giant road signs flanked a diamond of 180 orange cones on the west steps of the State Capitol.  Each cone represents a worker killed in the department's history. 

Rick Land of Caltrans says public service campaigns have helped reduce the number of employee fatalities, but there are still 1000 incidents every year where drivers run into Caltrans vehicles, "We've got over 650 active construction contracts underway. That's the largest total ever.  So, projects are going on up and down the state.  Our challenge is to this complete this record amount of work while keeping California's highway workers safe."

John McPherson's brother was hit and killed by a truck on a freeway onramp in 2008.  McPherson says the memorial is a continuing reminder of the need for safe driving in construction zones, "I hate to see another family go through what we went through.  These guys understand this is a dangerous job, but they know what they're getting into.  We as a public just really have to do our part and get out of their way and move over and do the things we need to do to make their jobs easier."

Caltrans employees Shawn Baker and Robert Jones died in a landslide in Yreka last week.  Caltrans employee Dean Patton was riding his motorcycle to the memorial when he was involved in a traffic accident on Highway 99 and died.

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