Caltrans Workers Memorial 2017
A Caltrans worker fell to his death on a road project north of San Diego early Wednesday, the department reported.
Caltrans leadworker William Casdorph, 57, fell about 50 feet off of a transition ramp on State Route 163 where it crossed over Highway 805 in Kearny Mesa, the California Highway Patrol reported to San Diego news outlets. The accident occurred about 3 a.m.
“We don’t know exactly how or why yet, but he did take a fall over the center divide,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Brent Lowry told Fox 5. “He got out of his truck, went to step over the wall. We don’t exactly know how or why” he fell.
Caltrans Director Laurie Berman wrote in a message to the department that the Caltrans Memorial Fund will be raising money for Casdorph’s family. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. Casdorph had worked for Caltrans for the past 19 years.
“It is at times like this that our Caltrans family comes together to help support each other and the families of our coworkers,” Berman wrote.
Caltrans in 2016 highlighted Casdorph in its employee newsletter when he and a colleague rescued a blind and deaf Jack Russell terrier that had been missing for two weeks in Mission Hills.
“When I went to go pick her up, these three gruff looking guys were holding her in their arms,” the owner told Fox 5 at the time. “I didn’t get their names, but thanked them profusely.”
Casdorph is the first Caltrans worker to suffer fatal injuries at work this year.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement expressing condolences. The Governor’s Office said Casdorph became the 189th Caltrans worker to die on the job.