San Diego

Caltrans Employee Dies After Fall From Highway Overpass

The incident temporarily closed the southbound SR-163 connector ramp to southbound I-805.

A Caltrans employee has died from injuries he suffered when he fell from a highway overpass Wednesday.

Maintenance Leadworker William Casdorph, 57, fell from the State Route 163 ramp onto the transition ramp to southbound Interstate 805 at approximately 3 a.m.

Casdorph landed on a grassy area and suffered major injuries, California Highway Patrol officers said.

He died from his injuries at a nearby hospital, Caltrans officials said. 

“Our Caltrans family is grieving today,” Caltrans Director Laurie Berman said. “Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Mr. Casdorph’s family and all those who worked with him.”

Gov. Jerry Brown also released a statement following Casdorph's death.

"Anne and I mourn the loss of Caltrans Highway Maintenance Leadworker William D. Casdorph, a dedicated public servant who worked to make our roads safer for nearly two decades. On behalf of all Californians, we extend our deep condolences to his family, friends and the Caltrans community as they struggle to cope with this sudden loss."

The incident temporarily closed the southbound SR-163 connector ramp to southbound I-805.

NBC 7’s Melissa Adan reports from Kearny Mesa.

Surveyors were still inspecting the site of the fall nearly 12 hours after the incident happened. 

It appears Casdorph missed a step when he got out of his truck as he prepared to work with a landscaping crew.

“This doesn’t happen very often, I’ve only investigated two of them in my career,” said CHP Sgt. Brent Lowry. “Anytime anyone is on the freeway for any reason other than driving through it’s just not a safe place to be.”

Casdorph had worked for Caltrans for 19 years and was based in Kearny Mesa. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

This is the 189th California Department of Transportation employee to be killed on the job since 1921.

In 2017, two employees were killed. One of those fatalities was due to an errant driver, according to the agency’s website. 

In August, two Caltrans workers were injured in a suspected DUI crash on Interstate 15. 

Another Caltrans worker was hurt along I-15 when a driver crashed into the back of a Caltrans truck in Escondido in May.

Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff in honor of Casdorph.

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