Caltrans Worker Struck and Killed on Freeway

A Caltrans worker struck and killed by a big rig driver on a Southern California freeway Thursday was identified as a 57-year-old electrician, the governor's office said.

Jorge Lopez, of Sylmar, died when he was struck as he was standing outside his vehicle on State Route 14 in Acton. Two other Caltrans employees driving behind Lopez were uninjured in the crash.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement said that in honor of Lopez, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

"Anne and I were saddened to learn of the death of Jorge Lopez, who worked each day to make our California roads safer," Brown said in the statement. "We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and many colleagues who are mourning this tragedy."

Lopez, who was with the agency for 16 years, is the 185th Caltrans employee to die on the job. He is survived by his wife Leticia and three children.

"Today we mourn the loss of one of our own in this tragic incident," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. "Our thoughts and focus are on supporting the family at this time. This is an unfortunate reminder of how dangerous highway work can be."

Lopez was struck about 11:35 a.m. at Red Rover Mine Road, according to the California Highway Patrol, which reported that an unspecified crime was being investigated at the scene.


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Caltrans temporarily halted all road work to remind crews about safety.

Caltrans said it would post notices on its statewide network of electronic highway signs reminding motorists to watch out for highway workers.

"These tragedies are sobering reminders that we must all do everything we can to keep our highways safe," said Dougherty. "Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over a lane when passing work crews. This is why we have the 'Move Over' law."

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