Caltrans honors fallen workers

Apr 28, 2015 6:41 PM by Charlene Cheng

Caltrans worker Shawn Baker was killed in a landslide during a job in 2013, and for his wife Tammie, living without him is an everyday struggle.

"I wanted Shawn to walk through the door that night, and I'm sure everyone else who has a worker on the road wants their family member to walk home through that door," she said.

Baker is one of 14 Caltrans District 2 employees who lost their lives on the job since 1921.

This year's ceremony honors all 183 workers killed throughout California.

14 empty chairs, adorned with reflective vests and hard hats, each representing one life that was cut too short.

There were no Caltrans fatalities in 2014, but officials say being proactive about safety remains a top priority.

"It's really up to the travelling public to be alert, cautious, and to be careful when they're around our work zones and any other activity that's out there," said Dave Moore, who's acting as District Director for District 2.

More than 1,000 Caltrans vehicles are hit on the highway every year.

Distracted drivers are one of the leading causes.

"We have the laws in place about texting and talking on cellphones, and in the split of an instant when you're thinking you're paying attention to the roadway, you can be distracted and do something you might regret," Moore said.

Carl Taylor was struck by an out-of-control vehicle on I-5 in April of 1976.

His children just have one message for the public.

"Make sure that your loved ones, they know that you love them, and vice versa. This might be your last day, you never know," said his son, Terry Taylor.


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