Rock Slides To Blame For Death Of California Workers

Officials say rock slides are to blame for the deaths of two California Department of Transportation workers who were removing loose rocks above a highway in far Northern California.

Caltrans spokeswoman Denise Yergenson says the area 40-year-old Joseph Jones and 50-year-old Shawn Baker were working on above Highway 96 in Siskiyou County on Wednesday experienced two rock slides. She did not have details about how the men died, but said they were hooked to ropes and harnesses and were rappelling.

They were in a rugged and remote area in the Klamath National Forest just south of the Oregon-California border.

Yergenson said state workplace safety officials are investigating. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol were conducting their own joint probe.

A third worker, 50-year-old Kevin Skillen, was injured. He was listed in stable condition.