January 14, 2013

A hit-and-run driver is on the loose as this operator didn’t stop but police finally apprehended him several meters away from Highway 91, the scene of the accident in Riverside

At least a worker in the highway was confirmed in critical condition after he was hit by a driver who fled after the mishap. The incident happened Tuesday on the 15th of January when a highway worker suffered severe injuries in their area of construction along the vicinity of downtown Riverside.

California Highway Patrol identified the suspect as a driver of 30 years from Moreno Valley whom they found and apprehended more than one mile away. He was arrested and suspected of DUI.

Caltrans has been doing an aggressive safety campaign for the past one-and-a-half years to reduce worker’s c asualties. The crash was a sign that the campaign may not have been a success. Since 2011, there were at least seven workers from the state transportation company, its agency and contractor, who were road victims, especially from drivers who are on the wheels after drinking.

Last Tuesday, officials of Caltrans announced that their company is closely coordinating with CHP, the construction industry and traffic organizations on other ways to improve safety.

California Highway Patrol officials said that at about 9:30 o’clock in the evening of Monday the injured worker was just standing off westbound Highway 91 setting out cones for a coming freeway closure. A driver swerved into the right shoulder of the road, hit the worker and sped away.

Caltrans spokesperson, Terri Kasinga said that the driver made no attempt to stop or at least hit the brakes. The worker was identified as an Azusa resident, age 17 who is employed by SEMA Construction based in Lake Forest.

Riverside police stopped Enrique Lopez along the vicinity of Central Avenue driving a Honda 1996 Accord with front-end damage.

According to jail booking records, Lopez was filed charges on the following: (1) driving without a license; (2) suspicion of hit and run violence, and (3) DUI that leads to bodily injury. Authorities set his bail for $50,000.

During the summer of 2011, there were four deaths recorded of four workers within a two month period. This incident prompted Caltrans officials to order a stand-down, taking workers off from their shifts and giving attention to roadside safety.

Caltrans, shortly after started a statewide campaign for public awareness by large –sized freeway message boards to urge drivers to slow down.

There were lots of warnings but more highway workers were continuously killed or injured.

A resident of Corona, identified as Connor Penhall, age 21, was killed last April 4, as he was walking along Interstate-10 along Baldwin Park by a suspected drunken operator. The man DUI crashed into a work zone where Penhall was employed by a private contractor.

In July, two more contract workers identified as Raymond Lopez, age 56, a Chino Hill resident, and Ricardo Zamora, age 58, a Winchester resident, died due to DUI suspects along the I-405 in Torrance.

Accident victims have rights. If you were injured in a car accident, contact an experienced   Los Angeles car accident lawyer now for free consultation. He will protect the rights of you and your loved ones. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.

 

Source: Pe Com

(http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20130115-riverside-caltrans-worker-critically-hurt-in-hit-run-crash.ece)