LOLETA, CA (KIEM) – A Ferndale man is arrested on suspicion of DUI after he was pulled over for speeding on Highway 101 in a construction zone near Loleta. We spoke with The California Highway Patrol on the importance of Law Enforcement patrolling construction zones.
Just before midnight, Sunday CHP officers were at a construction paving project near Loleta. The officers saw a Mazda Sedan traveling at a high rate of speed Southbound Highway 101 north of Singley Road. When trying to make a traffic stop, they say the driver hit many traffic cones and entered the lane closure.
“With us being there, it allows us to help protect workers that are out there at that time, and being able to respond for violators that come through the area,” said Paul Craft, CHP Humboldt Public Information Officer.
The man drove in the lane closure for a quarter mile before he moved back into the open lane. Almost hitting one of the workers.
“We’ve had 17 fatalities in District One of our Caltrans workers. Laying their lives on the line. Anytime there’s a near miss like this, I know our men and women are shocked and they’re scared,” said Myles Cochrane, Caltrans District 1 PIO.
The driver, identified as 21-Year-Old Mason Gossien of Ferndale eventually stopped and was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
“Alcohol impartment will cause you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. That’s a big factor in it and why we’re there,” said Craft.
Last night wasn’t the only incident at the work zone over the past three days.
“Friday night a very similar incident happened where a DUI driver came into the zone and was observed by the officer working that detail, and was able to make a stop on them,” said Craft
The CHP works with Caltrans to ensure the safety of highway workers.
“In this case, Caltrans has funds that are available that they use for extra security at the scenes,” said Craft.
California Highway Patrol encourages motorists to slow down in Caltrans construction zones.