September 11, 2009 – A Caltrans employee and a county probation worker were seriously injured yesterday when they were struck by a car on the shoulder of northbound I-15 north of SR-94, authorities said.
The female Caltrans employee and male probationer were hit by a white 1992 Infiniti J30 driven by a 50-year-old San Diego woman, who suffered minor injuries, said California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Baehr.
The driver of the sedan told CHP investigators that she had averted her eyes from the road and was looking for some change when the accident occurred about 10:40 a.m.
The probation worker was one of three probationers picking up trash on the shoulder, said Caltrans spokesman Edward Cartagena. They were being supervised by two Caltrans employees, one of whom was following slowly behind them in a 2002 GMC Savana van to create a barrier from traffic.
The driver of the sedan clipped the rear of the van, then careened to the left, overcorrected to the right, and veered back on the shoulder, striking both individuals, Baehr said.
Both suffered major injuries and were taken to Scripps-Mercy Hospital, Baehr said.
The driver of the sedan was treated at UCSD Medical Center and released, he said.
Baehr said it was not known if the driver would be charged pending results of the CHP investigation.
The far-right lane of north I-15 was closed during the investigation and a traffic alert was issued.
Probation employees picking up litter along area freeways are usually fulfilling court-ordered community service for various violations, and Caltrans works with such crews on a daily basis, Cartagena said.
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