Caltrans Honors Those Lost on the Job

Caltrans Honors Those Lost on the Job

Posted: May 2, 2018 6:21 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 10:40 AM

REDDING, Calif - Hundreds of people wept and mourned Tuesday morning as Caltrans District two honored the 14 employees that have lost their lives on the job.

But behind each one of the cones displayed, there's a heartbreaking story of a family that's hurting.

"I also ask heavenly father for a blessing to be upon the family of those who have gone on before us."

Terri Baker says her late husband Shawn Baker and her were married for 26 years, in that time they had four children.

One day in 2013, Shawn was working on Highway 96 when a rock slide crushed him and one other employee.

He didn't come home.

More on Caltrans fatalities

"We lost him, we also lost Robert Jones and we almost lost Kevin Skelin but by the grace of God we still have Kevin," said Baker. 

But just like the Bakers, all 14 families had a husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, son , or grandfather that was taken from them.

The majority due to distracted driving.

A message that sticks with them everyday. 

"Hopefully they will stop and pay attention and slow down because we want our husbands our wives our sons our daughters our brothers and sisters we want them to come home through that door at the end of the day," said Baker. 

In District 2, 14 employees have lost thier lives in the line of duty since 1924. 

George W. Rice , 1924 : maintenance foreman was killed while supervising a rock crushing operation near Castella in Shasta County. 

Frank Rais, 1926 : maintenance worker near Lewiston in Trinity County, killed by a tree that was uprooted in a windstorm and crushed the vehicle he was driving. 

U.S. Grant, 1926 : maintenance foreman was killed while attempting to extinguish a fire on a wooden bridge across the Klamath River near Orleans in Humboldt County. 

F.S. Christensen, 1935 : a powderman, was killed in a premature explosion during construction of the Feather River Highway. 

Raymond Buland, 1935: an assistant highway engineer was killed in an accident near Tule Lake, where he was working as a resident engineer on a grading project. 

Lyle Bilyue, 1962:  an Assistant Highway Engineer was killed as the result of an automobile accident on Hwy. 299 near Canby. 

Raphael Kreizenbeck, 1964: a Highway Maintenance Man II killed when he was crushed between his patch truck and an errant vehicle near Newell on SR 139.  

Benny Shreves, 1973
: an Equipment Operator II was killed on SR 96 near Happy Camp when a large dead tree fell on top of a 100 foot clidd and landed on the 10-wheel sump truck he was driving. 

Carl Taylor, 1976 : a landscape maintenance worker II was killed by an errant vehicle while walking behind a spray rig on the shoulder of Interstate 5 just north of the Tehama/Glenn county line.

Wade Brewen, 1980:  
an equiptmentoperator killed on US 395, approximately 30 miles north of Susanville. A  member of a four-person crew patching potholes, he was struck and killed by an errant motorist who entered the cone zone. 

Robert Essenpreis, 1993: a Civil Transportation Engineer was killed when he was crushed under the wheels of a full sand truck in a construction zone on Interstate 5, while he was inspecting a slurry seal job. 

Muoi Tran, 2008: a Civil Transportation Engineer died as a result of an automobile accident while working as part of a survey crew on the Red Bluff Maintenance Station construction site. 

Shawn Baker, 2013: an Equipment Operator was killed on SR 96 in Siskiyou County due to a slide during a rock scaling operation. 

Robert Jones, 2013: 
an Equipment Operator was killed on SR 96 in Siskiyou County due to a slide during a rock scaling operation.

Tracy Criss, 2016:  
Caltrans Equipment Operator II passed away near Big Valley Mountain Summit, in Lassen County

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