From the California Highway Patrol:
On 6/9/19, at approximately 1140 PM, CHP Officers Thompson and Mendoza were monitoring traffic in a Caltrans construction zone on southbound US-101, north of Singley Rd. They were parked in the closed #1 (left) lane with their emergency warning lights activated. Officer Thompson observed a Mazda sedan pass the patrol vehicle at approximately 75mph. While attempting to overtake the Mazda to make a traffic stop, the officers observed the Mazda strike several of the traffic cones and enter the lane closure. The Mazda traveled in the closure for approximately 1/4 mile towards the construction workers, before moving back into the open lane and barely missing one of the workers. The officers were able to make a traffic stop on the vehicle on the Singley Rd. off-ramp. Upon contacting the driver, the officers noticed signs of alcohol impairment. An investigation was conducted and the driver, Mason Gossien (21) of Ferndale was arrested for suspicion of DUI.
The CHP shares Caltrans’ concern for safety. Unfortunately, we as a Department know all too well the grief of losing employees doing their job on the side of the road. These preventable tragedies underscore the danger everyone who works alongside the roadway faces on a daily basis. The CHP works with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to ensure highway work zones are as safe as possible. In an effort to enhance worker and motorist safety, the CHP has an agreement in place to provide supplemental CHP officers to assist Caltrans at construction and maintenance work sites throughout the state. The presence of CHP officers in highway work zones serve as a reminder to the motoring public to slow down, observe and obey posted signage, and use care while driving through the work zone.
To help keep highway workers safe, in January 2009, California’s Move Over, Slow Down law (CVC 21809) was amended to include Caltrans vehicles that are displaying flashing amber warning lights. Stationary tow trucks displaying flashing amber lights are also included. As of 2012, all 50 states have Move Over laws to help make the roads safer. Information regarding each state’s Move Over law can be found at: www.moveoverlaws.com.