Veteran Caltrans Employee Dies in Early Morning Crash

A Caltrans employee died early Tuesday morning in a single-car accident after he lost control of his department pickup truck and crashed into an embankment on Interstate 8. 

29-year veteran of the department Oscar Vargas, 54, of Chula Vista, died in the crash that happened around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. He was the only person in the truck. 

“This is devastating news. Oscar Vargas was a well-liked co-worker and friend to many employees in the Department. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family,” said Caltrans District 11 Director Laurie Berman in a statement. 

The California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating the crash, which happened on eastbound Interstate 8 near the community of In-Ko-Pah. 

“Anne and I were saddened to learn of the death of Oscar Vargas, who worked day in and day out to make the roads safer for Californians. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues mourning this tragedy," said Gov. Edmund J. Brown Jr. in a statement. 

Vargas worked most recently as a transportation civil engineer. 

He is survived by his wife Marie and two grown children, Oskar and Christian. 

Flags at the Capitol will be flown at half-staff in honor of Vargas. 

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