Caltrans honors fallen workers with memorial ceremony


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BRAWLEY – Caltrans District 11 held their annual Highway Workers Memorial Day, Wednesday, at the Caltrans facility on East Main Street in Brawley.

The event is held to honor and remember Caltrans employees who gave the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the line of duty, while serving  California state highways and freeways.

Since 1924, 180 Caltrans employees have been killed while on the job by drunk, drug impaired, or inattentive drivers.

Three workers have been killed in the last 2 weeks.

“The public is asked to do their part to travel safely, be attentive to traffic guidance systems and roadway conditions, and slowdown and move over when they see a Caltrans stationary vehicle with its amber lights on or any other emergency response vehicle on the side of the road with its amber lights on,” said Everett Townsend, Caltrans District Division Chief of Maintenance. “Moving over and slowing down will help insure the safety of Caltrans workers.”

The names of the 180 fallen workers were read  by 11 coworkers while the visiting dignitaries and Caltrans employees in attendance listened solemnly.

Some families of the fallen workers also attended the ceremony.

1One hundred eighty orange traffic cones were set up with the names of each of the fallen workers.

“Tragedy can strike in a very short time when an impaired or inattentive driver loses control and strikes a Caltrans work zone, leaving all of us numb and devastated,” said Laurie Berman, Caltrans District 11 Director.  “Today’s memorial is important because working around live traffic leaves no room for error. It leaves no room for a moment of inattention. It leaves no room for a bad decision. There are so many close calls and when things go wrong in the field, they go wrong really fast and there isn’t always room to recover.”

Safety is Caltrans’ number one priority.

Workers in attendance were reminded to follow all safety procedures. Safety procedures are constantly reviewed, evaluated, and updated.