California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Public Affairs Office
Tamie McGowen
(916) 653-5456

April 19, 2006  


Caltrans’ 16th annual ceremony honors employees who have died in the line of duty

Sacramento – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will observe Workers Memorial Day Wednesday at 11 a.m. with a ceremony to remember highway maintenance and other employees who have lost their lives on the job. Since 1924, a total of 166 Caltrans workers have died in the line of duty. Reckless or inattentive drivers traveling through work zone have caused most of the deaths.

The ceremony will be held on the west steps of the Capitol and feature a temporary memorial of 166 orange safety cones shaped into a 60-foot-wide caution sign to signify each fallen Caltrans worker. An imprinted band on each cone features a worker’s name. The Caltrans Honor Guard will perform a special tribute, including a wreath dedication for three Caltrans workers who were killed in the past year, Jackie Ray Aldridge of Tehachapi, Daniel Broeske of Willits and Sean Merriman of Gilroy.

Secretary Sunne Wright McPeak of the Business Transportation and Housing Agency and Caltrans Director Will Kempton will lead the memorial service.

“Today we honor the great sacrifices of all these Caltrans workers and recognize the tremendous loss that their family and friends have suffered. The greatest honor we can bestow is to keep their memory alive,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton.

Also on display will be the 23-foot-long National Work Zone Memorial Wall, which is sponsored by the American Traffic Safety Services Association. The wall features the names of all highway workers who have lost their lives in work zones across the nation.