REDWOOD CITY -- A San Mateo man cleaning up the side of Highway 101 was killed and another worker injured when a driver suddenly swerved onto the freeway shoulder in Redwood City on Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
The crash occurred south of Woodside Road on the southbound side of the highway, according to CHP Officer Art Montiel. It was reported at 11:05 a.m.
It is not yet known what caused the woman, identified as 38-year-old San Jose resident Dee Di Benedetto, to veer onto the highway shoulder, where a nine-person job program crew was picking up trash and clearing weeds, Montiel said. Di Benedetto suffered minor injuries and was taken to Stanford Hospital along with one of the workers. Investigators will be checking to see if drugs or alcohol or a medical condition contributed to the accident. She was not arrested or cited.
"She was driving on the freeway and then all of the sudden went off the road," Montiel said.
San Mateo resident Mark Santos was killed in the collision and East Palo Alto resident Jimmie Lee Ballard suffered major injuries, according to the CHP. The crew was hired by Caltrans through an organization called JobTrain, Montiel said.
The Menlo Park-based nonprofit, which works with low-income people, posted a two-sentence statement on its website Tuesday, saying: "We are shocked and saddened about the tragic accident that took place this morning on Highway 101. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those involved, and we will be working to provide counseling and support."
Susan Boiko, JobTrain's director of development and marketing, confirmed that program participants were on the crew but noted that she did not yet have any additional information to provide.
JobTrain receives funding from private and public sources, including San Mateo County.
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