Caltrans District 1 remembers those who’ve passed at workers’ memorial

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17 Caltrans workers in our district have died on the job since 1921.

The most recent death was in 2017. These 17 cones represent those who have fallen.

“Our biggest risk is the traveling public themselves as we try to get the work done on the highways while having traffic flowing pass.” deputy district director Tom Fitzgerald said.

Speakers shared stories of the fallen and urged drivers to be more mindful on the road.

Sergio Aceves recounted an experience with a co-worker who died on the job.

“He was a great individual, taught me the ropes and shared everything he knew with me,” Aceves said. “Two months after he started working for us, driving the 70 corridor just north of Marysville, he got into a horrible accident and lost his life.”

This workers’ memorial ceremony was the first one held in person post-pandemic. Many people showed up for the service.

“We’re all one family. And I think it’s as hard when we lose somebody, especially in the works where possibly we could save lives and be proactive about safety and be looking out for one another as we work in our safe zones with our construction teams,” Caltrans District 1 director Matthew Brady said.

“We try to emphasize that this is not just a maintenance event. Everybody plays a role in making the highway safer for everybody,” Fitzgerald said.

This comes as Caltrans continues to work on its biggest project in humboldt, the Indianola interchange on Highway 101.

“I would just say I drive through every work zone as if you had a family member on the ground working,” Fitzgerald said.