The California Highway Patrol is looking into the inspection history of the dump truck that backed over and killed a construction employee and pinned his co-worker on Highway 17 near Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County on Thursday, a tragedy that has devastated their employer, one of California's oldest and largest construction companies.
The CHP investigation into the death of 54-year-old Robert Gill and the serious injury to 33-year-old Stephen Whitmire is also focusing on whether the truck had working backup warning alarms at the time, according to CHP officer Trista Drake.
Drake said Friday that the CHP inspected the truck in the hours after the incident and has interviewed witnesses, including the unidentified truck driver, but did not plan on releasing its investigative results any time soon.
Gill and Whitmire were doing contract work for Caltrans, helping to remove a mudslide from the highway around noon on Thursday so the agency could reopen the road to drivers.
Investigators believe the truck was backing up toward a hill when the workers were hit, Drake said. Gill was pronounced dead at the scene.