Caltrans Remembers the Fallen at Workers' Memorial
District 7 employees and guests took a moment out of their day on Thursday, May 17 to recognize and remember Caltrans District 7 workers who were killed on the job.
Unfortunately, 32 District 7 employees have lost their lives while working on California’s highways and freeways. Statewide, Caltrans has lost 178 employees since 1924, when the Department began keeping records of such fatalities.
“With thousands of vehicles flying by work zones, it takes a lot of responsibility and grit to do this kind of work,” said District 7 Director Michael Miles. “Even with all of the safety precautions that we take, the danger is still very real.”
Representatives from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Professional Engineers in California Government, California Highway Patrol (CHP), KABC 7, and KTLA 5 were in attendance to show support for Caltrans fallen.
“Our reason here today is to remember and honor our fellow employees. One way to pay tribute to them is by keeping ourselves safe and able to go home at the end of each day,” said Caltrans Safety Office Chief Lincoln Horst. “Remember to be your brothers’ or sisters’ keeper by looking out for each other. Remember, Caltrans is a part of your family.”
As Caltrans’ partner in transportation, the CHP knows all too well the risks and losses that highway work presents. During CHP Southern Division Chief Steve Beeuwsaert’s call for a moment of silence, the agency’s H-62 helicopter flew over the event as a gesture of understanding and camaraderie. Thankfully, the CHP was able to schedule H-62’s fly-over as part of its daily patrol.
Unfortunately, many motorists have yet to understand the risks they take by allowing themselves to be distracted. When motorists are distracted by texting or talking on their cell phones, are intoxicated or driving impaired, or aren’t attentive, accidents can occur.
The reality is that until motorists change their behaviors, the risk of injury or death for highway workers will remain high. That’s why it’s up to every motorist to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over to put an end to the senseless death and injury of thousands of highway workers and motorists nationwide.
"ithin these work zones are sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, colleagues, friends, providers, grandparents, husbands, and wives -- much more than just people on the side of the road,” said District 7 Deputy Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman. "One death is one too many."