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CalTrans Workers at Risk of Injury from Intoxicated Drivers

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Dec 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

California transportation workers face serious injury, or even death on a daily basis. Construction crews working to pave or repair our roadways, may have cars and trucks speeding by at 70 miles per hour or more, only inches away from where they are working. While the state tries to maintain a higher visibility for roadside workers, including increasing fines for speeding through a work zone, intoxicated drivers with reduced reaction times may find themselves facing criminal charges if they crash into a construction zone.

Many of us have seen the paving work taking place on I-580. Recently, a Caltrans contract worker was killed while working on the road repairs taking place in Oakland. In the early morning hours, near Lakeshore Avenue, the two left lanes of the freeway were closed off for road work. A CHP spokesperson said that a driver lost control of their vehicle, and hit 33-year-old Miguel Rodriguez Delacruz, a resident of Oakland. Delacruz died on the scene, and the driver was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

Under California law, vehicular manslaughter, including drinking and driving that results in the death of another person, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case. The penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter can include up to 10 years in prison, in addition to the penalties for a DUI.

In southern California, another Caltrans contract worker was also killed in a suspected DUI crash. A 21-year-old employee was part of a crew working to repair sprinklers on the side of the road off I-15, near Escondido. Reginald Grigsby was driving his Mitsubishi Montero, when he lost control of the vehicle which hit and killed the roadside worker. Grigsby was taken to the hospital for minor injuries, where he was later arrested on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, and vehicular manslaughter.

A Caltrans contract worker who was picking up cones near Milpitas was also struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver. 34-year-old Frankie Jimenez was struck by a Nissan, severing his legs underneath the vehicle, leading to his death. The driver of the vehicle and another construction worker were taken to the hospital. The driver now faces charges for a felony DUI.

In Los Angeles County, Yocio Jonathan Gomez was leaving a gathering where friends were asking him not to drive. Gomez got onto the 405 near Torrance at after 3 a.m., driving his Ford Explorer at nearly 90 miles per hour. Near a construction zone doing asphalt work on the busy freeway, Gomez hit another SUV and lost control of his vehicle. Two Caltrans contract workers were hit and killed, and a third worker was injured. Gomez was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, and his blood alcohol content tested at 0.21%.

Gomez was found guilty of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of the roadside construction workers, and DUI causing injury related to the third worker.

At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing a DUI and other traffic-related charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick will conduct an in-depth investigation, including obtaining all relevant video and audio evidence, in order to fight for your rights. Call the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands how to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for over 38 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the Immediate Past President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense. Lynn is a Specialist Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association and lectures frequently to other attorneys regarding DUI and DMV issues.


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