Jorge Lopez, a 57-year-old electrician with Caltrans was struck and killed in a freeway accident in Acton the morning of September 1, 2016. According to an NBC Los Angeles news report, Lopez was standing outside his vehicle on State Route 14 when a tanker truck struck him. Two other Caltrans employees driving behind Lopez were not injured. The incident occurred at Red Rover Mine Road.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement in honor of Lopez saying that the death of this 16-year agency veteran marked the 185th Caltrans employee to die on the job. Caltrans has said it would post notices on its statewide network of electronic highway signs reminding motorists to watch out for highway workers. Officials are once again reminding motorists to slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over a lane when passing work crews.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Jorge Lopez for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
California’s Move Over Law
In July 2011, Caltrans launched the Move Over campaign to increase motorists awareness of the law. The state’s Move Over Law exists to provide a safer environment for Caltrans maintenance and emergency vehicles that are stopped along the side of highways, close to fast-moving traffic.
The law requires drivers to move over one lane, if safe to do so, or slow down when passing vehicles with flashing amber lights. What vehicles should you move over for? Any stationary vehicle displaying emergency or warning lights such as a marked Department of Transportation vehicle, an emergency vehicle that has its lights flashing or a tow truck that is displaying flashing amber warning lights.
Compensation for Victims
In such cases where a fatality occurs on the job, victims’ families may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. In addition, the family may also be able to file a claim against the driver of the tanker truck and potentially his or her employer seeking compensation for the victim’s wrongful death. In such cases, it is critical to carefully examine physical and other evidence at the scene in order to determine who or what caused the accident and resulting injuries and damages.
Families of deceased accident victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer who has handled these types of cases and help them receive financial compensation for their tremendous losses.