A paver working in the parking lot of Fry's Electronics at 340 Portage Ave. in Palo Alto Tuesday evening was struck and killed by a semi truck that was backing up, a spokesperson for CAL/OSHA said Wednesday.
The Santa Clara County Coroner identified the victim as Richard Loza, 64, of Pittsburg.
Palo Alto police received a 911 call at 6:46 p.m. about a traffic collision in the parking lot, according to a department press release.
When police and fire personnel arrived they found Loza, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
"A representative of CAL/OSHA was contacted due to the industrial nature of the accident, and they took over the investigation into the incident," the police stated in the release.
Initial findings indicate that Loza, a paver for G&S Paving based out of Oakley, Calif., was hit by the truck as crews were cleaning and preparing to leave the site, according to CAL/OSHA Public Information Officer Patricia Ortiz.
The driver was backing up when "he heard an odd noise," Ortiz said. Upon exiting the truck, the driver discovered Loza beneath the wheels of the truck, she said.
A Palo Alto excavation permit was issued to American Integrated Services on Sept. 30 for excavation of an underground tank at the site, according to Mike Nafziger, City of Palo Alto Public Works engineer. Storage-tank excavation is common around the city when old septic, gas or oil tanks that have long been retired and forgotten are found, he said.
G&S Paving is a sub-contractor to general contractor American Integrated Services, Ortiz said. The involvement of a sub-contractor makes this a "multi-employer investigation," she said. Ortiz said CAL/OSHA has issued an order prohibiting further use of the vehicle until the investigation is completed.
CAL/OSHA will investigate whether there was a functioning back-up alarm on the truck and whether there was proper traffic control in place at the time of the fatality, among other factors, Ortiz said.
A full investigation into the incident is ongoing and could take up to 6 months to complete, she said.