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Veteran CalTrans worker struck, killed by tractor-trailer

Jorge Lopez was a 57-year-old Caltrans veteran who worked “each day to make our California roads safer,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. The governor extended his sympathies to Lopez’s wife, Leticia, and their three children after the electrician was struck by an 18-wheeler on State Route 14 yesterday. He is the 185th Caltrans employee to lose his life in the line of duty, according to the Governor’s office

Lopez had been standing on the highway shoulder when he was hit by the big rig. Two Caltrans workers witnessed the violent collision. They were not injured.

No information is been released as to why the semi -truck driver did not see Mr. Lopez. But we do know that in many similar cases of truck-pedestrian collisions, the trucker was distracted. Distractions often involve cell phones or dashboard electronics, and also include activities such as eating, drinking, talking with a passenger and map/gps reading. Driver distraction is real, and dangerous.

Research shows that a texting driver will keep his eyes off of the road for a minimum of 5 seconds. In that short amount of time, a vehicle going 55 mph will travel the length of a football field.Researchers have also determined that of the common distractions, texting is the most dangerous, with phone use closed behind. Sending and receiving texts while you are behind the wheel of a vehicle makes a crash 23 times more likely, while dialing a phone while driving makes an accident 2.8 times more likely.

For those who have been injured by a distracted driver, or who have lost a loved one due to reckless, distracted driving, a San Francisco personal injury law firm can help you understand your legal options and pursue maximum compensation for your damages.