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Caltrans worker killed by vehicle on San Diego freeway

June 20, 2011 |  4:38 pm

Caltrans worker killed A 52-year-old Caltrans maintenance worker was killed Monday when he was struck by a vehicle in San Diego.

Richard Gonzalez was the third Caltrans worker to die on the job in the  last 48 days, the agency said.

Gonzalez died shortly before 9 a.m. while picking up litter along the northbound Interstate 15 connector ramp to State Route 94.

On June 7, Caltrans employee Jaime Obeso was killed by a vehicle while working on Interstate 8 in Imperial County. On May 4, Stephen Palmer Sr. was killed after being struck by a trolley in National City, Caltrans said.

The deaths, the agency said, underscore the risks that maintenance workers face as they work on California highways.

"Every day, highway workers put their lives in danger just by going to work," acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a statement. "These tragic incidents are sobering reminders that we all must do everything we can to keep our highways safe."

Since the 1920s, Caltrans said, 178 agency employees have died on the job.

On Monday, the agency issued a "safety stand-down," temporarily halting all regularly scheduled maintenance operations to allow officials to review and upgrade safety operations.


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— Robert J. Lopez

Twitter: @LAJourno

Photo: California Highway Patrol officers at Monday's accident scene. Credit: KTLA