News

Paver hit by truck in Fry's parking lot, dies

CAL/OSHA investigating Tuesday fatality in Palo Alto

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.

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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.

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A full investigation into the incident is ongoing and could take up to 6 months to complete, she said.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Paver hit by truck in Fry's parking lot, dies

CAL/OSHA investigating Tuesday fatality in Palo Alto

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 26, 2011, 12:22 am
Updated: Wed, Oct 26, 2011, 12:45 pm

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.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Chris Zaharias
Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:29 am
Chris Zaharias, Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:29 am
Like this comment

I'll say this about the Fry's parking lot: it is very non-standard in its various curves and lack of clarity as to walking lanes.


midtown
Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:26 am
midtown, Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:26 am
Like this comment

There is a rather large construction site currently active in the Fry's parking lot. So more information is needed to make any sense of this sad event.


kongjie
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:48 am
kongjie, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:48 am
Like this comment

Chris, ditto on the parking lot design. I'd have to say it's one of the worst parking lots in the area--right up there with Costco in Mountain View.


Anon.
Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:53 am
Anon., Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:53 am
Like this comment

As cars have gotten bigger parking lots have gotten smaller, and more and more ridiculous ... not to mention that one person who has to park offcenter and cause a pain in the neck for everyone else parking in a given row or spaces sometimes for the whole day as people move in and out trying to be sure they can actually get out of their cars once they are lucky enough to be able to park.


accident?
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:54 am
accident?, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:54 am
Like this comment

I really hate when the media automatically calls a fatality an "accident" when the authorities have not yet determined how much negligence was involved.


alphonso
Los Altos Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm
alphonso, Los Altos Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Like this comment

It was an accident - a dump truck operator backed up and ran over a fellow worker.


slow, careful in parking lots
Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm
slow, careful in parking lots, Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Like this comment

I like to use the word "crash", or the word "injury", rather an "accident"; Since we don't know how it happened yet; and should describe what hit what and how.
Always be careful in large parking lots. Wish there were required parking spaces for large vehicles, since small/regular cars can't see very easily when a big van/truck is right next to you...how can you see to even try to back out!!
Saddest is when people are hurt of course.


noting
Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm
noting, Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Like this comment

I am very sad to read the news of Richie Loza. He was a great man, and will be thought of often. May he rest in peace.


wow
Barron Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm
wow, Barron Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Like this comment

It is just amazing to me how callous some posters are when commenting on this tragedy.

Parking lot design, debate about use of the term accident. Sheesh - a man died and this is the reaction posters have on a public online forum?

I understand folks have the right to be as non-compassionate as they wish in these forums but how about a moment of written respect for the victim of this tragedy, and his friends, family and co-workers. Even if you didn't know him, you can exercise your right to show some compassion in your postings.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm
Like this comment

My thoughts and prayers are with this man's family. This is a tragedy...and no one expected it.


David
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm
David, Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm
Like this comment

I was driving by after it had happend it was a freak accident. Someone has to live with what happend for the rest of there life.


Train Neighbor
Ventura
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Train Neighbor, Ventura
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Like this comment

First off- my sympathies to Mr. Loza's family.

Back up sounds are usually required on all commercial trucks, or at least have another worker standing by to give the all clear. Sounds like an OSHA violation.


John
Downtown North
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm
John, Downtown North
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm
Like this comment

How do you know the guy didn't fall? How do you know there was no back up lights or sirens. All you people wanna talk like you know the circumstances when your weren't there you sound ignorant. Bottom line someone passed away and his family's greiving should be the issue not who's fault it is. People should keep the useless comments to them selfs.


David
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm
David, Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Sammye
another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:08 am
Sammye, another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:08 am
Like this comment

I was so sad to hear about this. I have known Richie for many years and he was a great, talented man. He remodeled my house for me and my husband. He was always so full of life. I feel for his children and his entire family. He will be missed tremendously.


Chris Zaharias
Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:27 am
Chris Zaharias, Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:27 am
Like this comment

@wow - you're right, my apologies to Mr. Loza's family & friends. Please do keep in mind, though, that the first version of the article had virtually no details, nor did it say who the victim was or whether they were hurt or killed.


James Hanson
Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 27, 2011 at 9:02 am
James Hanson, Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 27, 2011 at 9:02 am
Like this comment

"Santa Clara County Coroner identified the victim as Richard Loza, 64" I think its a shame that a man lost his life due to safe violations, Were was the traffic control when this happened? How was a 64 year old man hit by a semi? Did the Semi have any back up sensors? Sounds like this paving company had many violations and I hope Cal/OSHA gets to the bottom of this. My condolences to this mans family


Frank Nelson
Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:09 am
Frank Nelson, Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:09 am
Like this comment

Such a sad story. No matter what the reason was, he was probably someones Father or Grandfather. Thoughts go out to his family.
Hope OSHA looks long and hard into this situation sounds like the construction company has some major violations going on. @ John if the man "fell" and the construction company had the proper traffic control set up than someone would have been able to alert the truck driver to stop! Right....


kongjie
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:26 am
kongjie, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:26 am
Like this comment

@wow: your outrage about callousness is misplaced. As Chris notes above, the comments you are referring to were to an earlier version of this story that lacked all these details about the identity of the victim and the nature of an accident. Yesterday's original story only noted that someone died in an industrial accident in Fry's parking lot.


wendy
Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
wendy, Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
Like this comment

My prayers/condolences go out to the family members and friends of this innocent victim.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:01 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:01 am
Like this comment

This is a sad story and my sympathies to the victim, his family and also to his coworkers and friends.

Whenever there is a serious accident it is necessary to discuss the details because it is from this discussion that changes can be made to prevent a similar accident in the future. Whether it be from carelessness, negligence, bad practice or parking lot design, it is necessary to look at all the possible reasons and learn from it.

An accident happening once is an accident. The same accident happening again is serious negligence.


Jake
another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Jake, another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Like this comment

A worker is dead, family/friends/co-workers are dealing with that pain. Another man is going to spend the rest of his life living with the fact he was operating a truck that took human life. Some people almost have the operator guilty of wrong doing already. How about waiting for investigation/report of the incident to be completed first.
I could not get over how many people posting on this article from the very start jumped right in with assumptions and who, what and why this incident took place. From a short on information, details and facts news story, some people just took what they wanted from the story and ran with it.
It's after reading the posts about this story that I see another example of how some people read something and take it at face value and or piece together their own conclusions and who is to blame.
Maybe this news agency will wait for the police report and report from OSHA to be completed and actualy do a follow up story? People who were no where near this incident should not start playing Monday morning lawyer and assigning responsibility. If nothing less hopefully the circumstances that led to this terrible death will be studied to make changes to possibly prevent this same type of thing from happening again. In the end it may have been just an example of one or several things adding up to a preventable or non preventable accident. Construction work has and will remain a work enviorment that causes deaths and injuries. People, noise, heavy machinery,tools, dust, mud, water, gas, etc etc etc are many peoples workplace. Try to reflect on this sad death of a construction worker the next time you are feeling delayed or impacted by a work project. I have been guilty of construction delays having me second guess the duration and need to wait or take another route, I hope I have learned from this.


Scudero
Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Scudero, Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Like this comment

Another death at the hands of a dumptruck driver! Question did this truck have a spotter? If so how did this happened! My thoughts go out to this mans family.


Jake
another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm
Jake, another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm
Like this comment

"Scudero"

Did you not read the story??? This incident is being investigated, ie the authorities are not finished with the investigation. We don't know what happened yet. The dump truck driver may or may not have fault in this. Maybe he had a spotter and the spotter failed to see person? maybe the man killed was the spotter? maybe the man killed walked, fell or stumbled under wheels while truck was moving? maybe multiple people were at fault? maybe nobody was to blame because it was an ACCIDENT? nobody including myself have no idea why or what exactly took place and we won't have a better idea until ALL the reports are completed. Even then they may never really know exactly what took place other than a man losing his life in a horrible way.


Scudero
Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Scudero, Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Like this comment

"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 " Guess he wasnt the spotter.... finding say he was a paver "Jake" try and read the story a little more clearer than you might get my point!

Yes, Jake there well be more investigation done and my guess is this driver/company will be at fault. I agree with "Frank" "if the man "fell" and the construction company had the proper traffic control set up than someone would have been able to alert the truck driver".

Just voicing my opinion on this tragic story but I would sure like to see Osha's report at the end of this.

Again my thoughts go out to this mans family.


joe
another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm
joe, another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Like this comment

this was my wifes uncle very sad and sudden....i know what happened..the truck was owned by the general contracter. richie was a sub. doing the asphalt12


neighbor
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm
neighbor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm
Nick
Midtown
on Oct 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm
Nick, Midtown
on Oct 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm
Like this comment

I've been a paver. I know the danger. I'm hurt and angry this guy died. He made it to 64 and was still a paver? He was working really hard for his daily bread.
Either it's an accident or it was intentional. Duh.


Jake
another community
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Jake, another community
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Like this comment

"Scudero"

Just because the story lists man as "paver" does not mean he could not have been back up spotter for truck driver. Spotter is generaly somebody who keeps an eye out for hazards while equipment is backing up and assists driver. Not too many professional "Spotter" single function job titles out there in paving industry.


Dimitri
Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Dimitri, Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Like this comment

Great to know, had a project for them but after finding this no way Thanks for the info!


Mark
Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:34 am
Mark, Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:34 am
Like this comment

It's disturbing to me that there was not an adequate safety plan in place with a company with more than 20 years of experience as a result there was a tragic accident that took life


noting
Downtown North
on May 14, 2013 at 6:34 am
noting, Downtown North
on May 14, 2013 at 6:34 am
Like this comment

sad my uncle is dead because of this company


sad
Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm
sad, Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm
Like this comment

This company is trying to hide what really happened that night to my cousin gods judgment on this man and his family. The truth will come out


G & S driver strikes again
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm
G & S driver strikes again, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Like this comment

Does this company care about the public safety?

Heard that there was another accident with G & S Paving. From what I am being told the other day the owner was driving and an flipped his trailer while getting on the By-Pass in Brentwood. I read a few comments on eastcountytoday's Facebook from drivers that where there when it happened and they stated the driver didn't even slow down when taking the turn to get on the by pass. The driver also caused 2 vehicles crash

My uncle died on G & S jobsite one day my family will have the peace we need and truly know what happened that day. The owner told us only his hand was ran over by his 10 wheeler but yet his entire body was crushed


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