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Construction worker killed in highway accident

A 51-year-old California man was killed while working on a construction project along eastbound Highway 68 in Salinas. The fatal accident occurred when a 50-year-old driver hit the utility worker near Corral de Tierra Road a little after midnight on Oct. 30. The worker, who was employed by Bay Area Traffic Solutions, was declared dead at the scene.

At the time of the accident, the driver was reportedly traveling 90 miles an hour through the construction zone in a 1999 Mercedes Benz. He is also believed to have been under the influence of cocaine or methamphetamine, according to officers with the California Highway Patrol. The driver reportedly continued to travel for a distance after hitting the worker. When he stopped, witnesses stayed near him while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

The speeding driver was taken into custody at the Monterey County Jail and charged with felony DUI. Authorities shut down Highway 68 for over two hours so that an initial investigation could take place. Since the fatal workplace accident, the project on Highway 68 has been suspended, and work crews have received help dealing with the event from grief counselors.

A workers' compensation claim can be filed by family members of a person who was killed in a workplace accident. When filing such a claim, family members may seek death benefits to cover funeral expenses and a portion of the worker's lost income. In some cases, family members may be entitled to file a non-employer third-party claim against an individual or company that may have been responsible for the accident. An attorney may be able to assist family members with the process of filing each type of claim.

Source: KSBW.com, "Name released of construction worker killed in Highway 68 crash", Felix Cortez, October 30, 2014

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