Nearly 100 NDOT family members, friends and NDOT employees gathered at the department’s headquarters Monday to honor Ron Raiche Jr., who was struck and killed by a truck while making repairs to Interstate 80 west of Battle Mountain. He was hit by the semi’s side mirror.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said Raiche is the 24th Nevada highway worker to die in the line of duty since the agency was created in 1948. He unveiled a gold-colored star on the agency’s memorial wall and read a proclamation to be given to Raiche’s mother, Susan Arding.
“This new star is one more too many,” he said, declaring Sept. 14 as a day in remembrance of Raiche.
Sandoval and NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon used the occasion to urge all drivers to be especially cautious in highway work zones, obeying speed reduction signs and keeping an eye out for highway work crews in the medians and alongside the travel lanes. Sandoval said those workers “go out there every day, “putting yourselves on the line every day.”
“People driving, they see you out there and I’m sorry to say they probably take you for granted,” he told members of Raiche’s crew attending the memorial.
Malfabon said in 2014 alone there were four fatalities and some 450 crashes in roadway work zones across Nevada. The vast majority of injuries and fatalities, he said, involve motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, not road workers.