Caltrans worker dies after fall from freeway overpass

SAN DIEGO – A Caltrans worker died Wednesday after falling 50-feet from the state Route 163 overpass in Kearny Mesa.

William Casdorph

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the death:

"Anne and I mourn the loss of Caltrans Highway Maintenance Leadworker William D. Casdorph, a dedicated public servant who worked to make our roads safer for nearly two decades," the governor wrote.

Casdorph, 57, was a resident of Chula Vista, according to the governor. He was with his landscaping crew on southbound SR-163 center median near Interstate 805 transition ramp when he fell, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Brent Lowry.

“We don’t know exactly how or why he fell yet, but he fell over the center divide wall and down the embankment,” Lowry said.

Casdorph was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition. Doctors were unable to save him.

Casdorph was based at the Kearny Mesa maintenance facility and was a 19-year veteran of Caltrans. In 2016, Casdorph and two other Caltrans workers rescued a blind, deaf and feeble Jack Russell terrier named Heidi from a ditch near Interstate 8.

“They heard some whining," owner Mike Davidson told FOX 5. "She never whines. They found her right in the area they were digging."

Casdorph leaves behind a wife, Maria, and daughters Pricilla, Wendy and Ana.

Brown ordered flags at the Capitol in Sacrament flown at half-staff in Casdorph's honor. He is the 189th Caltrans employee to lose his life on the job.