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Construction workers killed in 405 Freeway crash identified


This post has been updated, as noted below.

Authorities have identified the two construction workers killed in a crash involving two suspected drunken drivers early Sunday along the 405 Freeway in Torrance.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified the workers as 56-year-old Ramon Lopez, of Chino Hills, and 58-year-old Ricardo Zamora, of Winchester. Family members said Lopez also was known as Raymond. Authorities said a third construction worker was also hurt in the incident, but he was taken to a local hospital with injuries described as "minor to moderate."

The men were employed by contractors to Caltrans, Conley said.

The trio was doing some type of asphalt work in the northbound freeway's far right lane near Artesia Boulevard when they were struck by a Lexus SUV about 3:35 a.m., said Officer Dion Conley of California Highway Patrol.

A Lexus spun into the men after it was rear-ended by a Ford Explorer, Conley said. Lopez and Zamora were pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident occurred along a mile-and-a-half stretch of freeway partially closed for construction, Conley said. The vehicles were traveling in the lane closest to the carpool lane, which were the only two lanes open at the time.

"It was well lit, there were cones, there were lights," Conley said.

The driver of the Explorer, identified as 23-year-old Yocio Gomez, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, Conley said. The driver of the Lexus, identified as Stephen Caserta, 43, also was arrested later Sunday morning on the same charge.

The freeway was closed between Crenshaw and Artesia boulevards for several hours after the incident.

[Updated at 4:15 p.m. July 23: Although the coroner's office listed his name as Ramon Martinez, those who knew him said he was also known as Raymond.]


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Photo: Investigators examine the scene of a crash that killed two construction workers on the northbound 405 Freeway in Torrance. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times

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