SAN JOSE -- A Clearlake man whose body was found floating near the Alviso marina has been identified as a Caltrans worker who vanished on the San Mateo Bridge eight days earlier, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol said 54-year-old James Allan Collier was reported missing May 16 after a Caltrans tow vehicle was found abandoned at substation no. 2 eastbound turnout near the base of the incline. Officers could not find the driver and also found no evidence of foul play.

On May 24, around 10:15 a.m., a kayaker near Coyote Creek and about 4 miles from the marina came upon Collier's body and called 911.

The distance between the bridge and discovery site is about 15 miles.

An extensive response from the San Jose Fire Department's marine and off-road contingent, search-and-rescue personnel and a Cal Fire helicopter was summoned to locate and retrieve the body. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office headed the initial investigation until they connected the discovery to the CHP case.

According to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office, the man died from drowning, but officials said more investigation was necessary to determine how he got into the water.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.



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