SACRAMENTO, CA-- A man who was trying to clean graffiti off of a sign on Interstate 80 in Natomas was killed after he fell off the overpass Saturday morning.
The man parked his vehicle on top of the overpass at I-80 and Northgate around 5:30 a.m.; when he leaned over to get a better view of the sign, he lost his footing and fell on to the highway below.
"He fell onto the number three lane on westbound I-80 and was struck by vehicles," CHP Sgt. Benjamin Ashby said.
After the accident, the California Highway Patrol shut down all westbound lanes of the freeway, causing traffic to back up in the area.
CHP later opened at least one of the lanes.
Ashby said CHP often gets reports of graffiti vandals tagging road signs, but rarely do civilians climb out there to clean up the paint. He said it was tragic the man died doing a good deed, but highway clean up isn't safe for civilians.
"It's certainly dangerous," Ashby said. "The guardrails are only hip height, so there's a propensity for people to fall over those guardrails."
Sadly, Caltrans had already planned to clean up graffiti on that stretch of highway Sunday.