The engineer was working along the eastbound Interstate 10 Freeway in the Thousand Palms area of Riverside County. He stepped out of the fire engine and was struck by a passing vehicle.
The engineer was hospitalized at Desert Regional Hospital. He was pronounced dead from his injuries. He was identified as Christopher Douglas, 41, of Temecula, an eight-year CAL FIRE veteran.
The fire engine reportedly pulled over on an on-ramp while responding to a report of a vehicle roll-over. The engineer was struck on the on-ramp.
The engineer was struck by a white pickup truck driven by a 60-year-old man, a disabled Army veteran. He immediately pulled over. He told investigators he didn't see the engineer as he was merging with traffic. The driver submitted to a blood test, but was not suspected of driving under the influence.
Governor Jerry Brown released a statement Friday: "Anne and I were saddened to learn of the death of Engineer Christopher Douglas. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow state firefighters."
In honor of Douglas, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
The California High Patrol Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) will be handling the investigation into the accident.