MILPITAS -- A 34-year-old highway worker from Vacaville was struck and killed early Friday morning by a suspected drunken driver who veered into a closed lane on northbound Interstate 680, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The worker was identified as Frankie Armando Jimenez, 34, of Dixon. A second worker was also hit and suffered minor injuries, according to the CHP.
The driver, 20-year-old Adrian Valencia Sanchez of Gilroy, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, according to the CHP. Sanchez was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and released to the care of the hospital, according to CHP Officer Ryan Fifield.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will eventually decide what charges to file against Sanchez.
Both workers were employees of Statewide Traffic Safety & Signs, a Caltrans subcontractor based out of Fairfield, according to the CHP.
The collision happened at about 2:40 a.m. on northbound 680 just south of the Scott Creek Road off-ramp. Sanchez was behind the wheel of a Nissan when it veered into the closed lane and rear ended a flatbed F-350 truck, Fifield said.
The two male contract workers were standing near the back of the pickup. They were removing signs located on the right shoulder warning motorists of an upcoming construction zone when they were struck. Both men were wearing the required safety gear and reflective clothing, according to Fifield.
Caltrans was doing emergency road repairs in Fremont, north of Scott Creek Road, Fifield said. Caltrans spokesman Marcus Wagner said workers followed all of the safety protocols for the roadwork project.
The workers who were hit were removing signs warning motorists of roadwork ahead.
"We're pleading with motorists to be careful when approaching and entering construction zones," Fifield said. "We want motorists to slow down and take heed."
The CHP sent a specialized traffic investigation team based out of Vallejo to investigate the fatality, a protocol any time a Caltrans worker is killed, Fifield said.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.