A California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) maintenance worker was involved in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday morning, September 7. The worker was hit by a motorcycle while removing a dead dog from the northbound Bell Street onramp at Highway 101 in Los Alamos.
Although they were able to talk to emergency responders, both the driver and the worker were taken to Marian Medical Center by ambulance. The extent of their injuries is unknown, and their names have not yet been released.
The worker and the motorcycle driver tried to avoid each other, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. John Ploetz, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Although officers stayed on the scene for over an hour after the accident, several details of the crash, including the speed at which the motorcycle driver was traveling, are still under investigation.
According to spokesman Jim Shivers, Caltrans will use this accident as an opportunity for learning. Shivers said that Caltrans continually explores ways to improve safety for its employees, working to do “everything possible not just to maintain the safety of our workers, but [finding] ways to improve safety for our workers.” The agency will assess whether this accident raised any new safety issues that might prompt a reevaluation of Caltrans practices, Shivers said.
Caltrans urges California drivers to drive with caution when in a construction zone or when there is a Caltrans truck on the side of the road, as a worker is likely nearby. Further, California state law requires drivers to move to the far lane, if possible and safe, when passing a Caltrans vehicle with flashing amber lights.
Source: Lompoc Record, “Motorcycle driver, Caltrans worker injured in crash”, Samantha Yale Scroggin, 7 September 2010.