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

Original post made on Oct 26, 2011

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:22 AM

Comments (34)

Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

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.

Posted by midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:26 am

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.

Posted by kongjie, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

kongjie is a registered user.

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.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

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.

Posted by accident?, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

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

Posted by alphonso, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

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

Posted by slow, careful in parking lots, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

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 can you see to even try to back out!!
Saddest is when people are hurt of course.

Posted by noting, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm

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.

Posted by wow, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm

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.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

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

Posted by David, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

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.

Posted by Train Neighbor, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

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.

Posted by John, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm

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.

Posted by David, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by Sammye, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:08 am

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.

Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:27 am

@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.

Posted by James Hanson, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 27, 2011 at 9:02 am

"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

Posted by Frank Nelson, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

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....

Posted by kongjie, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

kongjie is a registered user.

@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.

Posted by wendy, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

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

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

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.

Posted by Jake, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

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.

Posted by Scudero, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

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.

Posted by Jake, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm


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.

Posted by Scudero, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

"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.

Posted by joe, a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm

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

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Web Link

Posted by Nick, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

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.

Posted by Jake, a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm


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.

Posted by Dimitri, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

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

Posted by Mark, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:34 am

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

Posted by noting, a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2013 at 6:34 am

sad my uncle is dead because of this company

Posted by sad, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm

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

Posted by G & S driver strikes again, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

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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