3 hospitalized following crash involving suspected DUI driver

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SAN DIEGO -- A suspected drunken driver was arrested after a crash on Interstate 15 in the northern reaches of the San Diego area sent three people to a hospital, including the driver, officials said Monday.

It happened shortly after 10:50 p.m. Sunday on southbound I-15 just north of Mission Road in the unincorporated Rainbow community, California Highway Patrol Officer Tommy Doerr said.

CHP said a 24-year-old man drove over traffic cones and hit a workers' truck. According to officers the driver of the truck was hurt, as well as a pedestrian worker who was hit by debris. First responders on scene described injuries as mild to moderate.

The Toyota driver was arrested for DUI and treated at the hospital for a broken foot.

The California Department of Transportation told FOX 5 the men hit are contract workers.

“It’s a sad thing because we have more and more incidents of distracted drivers, impaired drivers and in San Diego County we have work all over the county,” Caltrans District Division Chief of Traffic Operations, Marcelo Peinado, said.

Not including contracted workers, Caltrans said 188 of its employees have been killed on the job since 1921 and one of the biggest dangers are drivers who do not exercise caution.

Caltrans officials said over the years improvements have been made to better protect construction crews.

“An enhanced CHP presence. We have vehicles that are parked and vehicles that are also roving the project. We also have reduced the speed limits in areas of work and we take an additional lane adjacent to construction. So we have a buffer lane between workers and traffic,” Peinado said. 

However, certain safety measures cannot always protect them from someone else's bad judgement.

“Words of wisdom are simple. If you’ve been drinking do not drive and pay attention when you drive. I have two young daughters. That’s my message and I beat it like a drum,” Peinado said.

Traffic officials remind drivers of the "Move Over Law". 

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