Our thoughts are with the family and friends of San Jose resident Magda Gonzalez, who was killed in a freak accident.
Magda Gonzalez, 49, was killed at San Jose City College, located at 2100 Moorpark Avenue when a large construction vehicle crushed her on a pedestrian walkway. The heavy-duty construction vehicle used for transporting dirt was backing up when it accidentally ran her over. Gonzalez was transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center but died from her injuries.
At the time of the accident, there were no classes in session. One witness pointed out that a large chain link fence blocking the pedestrian walkway had been erected up to the day before the tragic event. The construction crew was digging to gain access to an underground water valve as part of one of many construction projects currently underway on campus.
Gonzales was a former student of the college and was considering reapplying, explaining her visit to the campus. Family members noted that Gonzalez was a single parent to five children. She supported her family by cleaning houses and working cash registers but had hopes of becoming a social worker for pregnant teens and people struggling with substance abuse.
Although the coroner investigator said the death appears to be a result of a freak accident, the San Jose Police Department is involved because Gonzalez’s lack of association with the school technically makes her death a traffic fatality.
Records reveal that Preston Pipelines, the construction company hired by the college, faced two disciplinary actions in the past. The company was hit with a $560 fine imposed in 2011 for failure to properly secure loads and a $4,000 fine in 2009 for a violation concerning heat illness standards. The driver of the tractor had over 35 years of experience operating construction vehicles.
Cal-OSHA, the California government agency committed to protecting worker safety, is investigating the event.