Caltrans honors fallen workers

Apr 22, 2014 7:45 PM

The scene is heartbreaking at a ceremony honoring 14 fallen workers from Caltrans District 2.

14 empty chairs, 14 hard hats, and in the front rows, family members of Shawn Baker and Robert Jones, two employees killed while inspecting loose rocks last April.

"For the family, close friends, and co-workers of Robert and Shawn, men who sacrificed their lives, this day may be a painful reminder of their loss. For all, may we come to the same conclusion. We lost a couple of exceptional men who can never be replaced," said Caltrans District 2 employee and Redding Police Chaplain Mark Robertson.

Baker's widow is among those paying tribute.

"It was very hard. They did a very nice job honoring him and the other fallen workers," Tammie Baker said.

"Robert and Shawn will forever be members of our Caltrans family." said District 2 Director John Bulinski.

The camaraderie is obvious in a sea of neon yellow uniforms.

Workers bonded by a common goal to improve the roadways.

"For many of us, this is a day that reminds us of the difficult and often dangerous jobs our employees engage in. for your safety and my safety and that of the motoring public," Robertson said.

This memorial is a reminder that motorists can do their part to help increase safety for highway workers.

Since 1921, 182 employees have lost their lives on the job.

In 2011, Caltrans kicked off a "Move Over" campaign after three highway workers died within 48 days.

Designed to protect those who protect you, the Move Over law requires motorists to get out of the way of Caltrans, law enforcement, or other emergency vehicles.


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