Almanac

News - August 13, 2014

Investigators probe crash that killed JobTrain worker

by Sandy Brundage

The investigation into an Aug. 5 crash that killed a 24-year-old worker when a car veered off U.S. 101 near Marsh Road continues. Mark Santos was part of a nine-person crew from the JobTrain nonprofit program in Menlo Park that was picking up litter along the right shoulder.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. A second worker, Jimmie Lee Ballard, 63, of East Palo Alto, was severely injured and is being treated at Stanford Hospital, the CHP said.

The driver, Dee Di Benedetto, 38, of San Jose, was taken to Stanford Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, CHP Officer Art Montiel said.

She was driving a black Mercedes that veered off southbound U.S. 101 south of Woodside Road for unknown reasons, according to the CHP. The crash was reported at 11:05 a.m.

JobTrain issued a statement after the accident: "We are shocked and saddened about the tragic accident that took place this morning on Highway 101. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those involved and we will be working to provide counseling and support."

The nonprofit has had a contract with San Mateo County since 2012 to deploy work crews to assist Caltrans with roadside work, according to JobTrain Executive Director Nora Sobolov. Two crews, usually consisting of eight workers and two supervisors each, go out Monday through Friday to perform weed control, litter cleanup, graffiti abatement and other tasks.

No further information was available for release due to the ongoing investigation, according to the CHP. Witnesses are asked to contact Officer H. Barker at 369-6261.

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