Caltrans honors fallen workers at annual ceremony

Sending a message to drivers to be aware

EL CENTRO, Calif. - Caltrans District 11 held their Annual Highway Workers Memorial Day ceremony today.

The event is held every year to honor workers who lost their lives on the job.

187 fallen workers were honored, including Jaime Obeso who died in 2011. We were able to speak to his family today who stressed the importance of drivers slowing down.

 “Stay off your phone, pay attention to the workers on the side of the roads. They want to come home, we want our husbands, our brothers, fathers, home,” said Maria Obeso, wife of Jaime Obeso.

The day serves as a strong reminder to the public to slow down and watch for the safety of all people on the road.

 “Each of these cones represents an employee killed in the line of duty, it’s also a time to recommit ourselves to safety and to ask the traveling public to pay attention when you're driving through a work zone,” said Laurie Berman, Caltrans District 11 Director.

We also spoke to workers who say they see close calls to often.

 “The day to day is being out in live traffic. There's a lot going on while you're out there coming into our work zones and so we really need the public to pay attention to where they're at, slow down and give us a break,” explained Al Herrera, Maintenance Manager.

Family members tell us it’s hard to deal with their loss, and they hope today’s drivers won't take the road for granted.

“There is no consideration when people are on the roads, now when you drive you think caution. It’s someone's mom, dad, uncle, grandpa, my father in law. You know, it hurts,” said Priscilla Obeso, Daughter-in-law of Jaime Obeso.

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