The loose gravel that covers Marsh Creek Road near Clayton crunches under-foot. Until road work there is finished, Marsh Creek will be closed between Morgan Territory and Deer Valley Roads overnight. Residents will be escorted along that stretch.
"I even asked him last night, are you going to take Marsh Creek? And he goes, 'I don't know?'" said Laura Tindall, a victim's wife.
At 4 a.m. Bill Tindall, of Clayton, was driving down Marsh Creek Road, headed to his plumbing job in Stockton.
"He always told me that road is no good and it really was a stress on him to go there," said Laura.
In the pre-dawn darkness Daniel Lew of Stockton had lost control of his Ford Escape.
"It's a huge problem. It's obviously dangerous. I wasn't going that fast. I fishtailed twice I think and over corrected and ended up in a ditch upside down. I hit a tree I guess," said Lew, a driver.
Tindall stopped to help, but moments later a second car lost control in the same place, hit Tindall, and killed him.
"He was a saint. I called him Saint Bill. He came in as a saint and he left as a saint," said Laura.
Last Friday, a mother of two died when her speeding car lost control in the gravel and hit a tree. That's three similar accidents within one construction project in five days.
"Well, certainly, there must be a problem out there. This is unusual," said Scott Yox, from the California Highway Patrol.
Witnesses says loose gravel and high speeds are to blame. The CHP decided every vehicle on the 14- mile-stretch of road construction, will get an escort. It'll be closed from 10 pm to 4 am.
Often times fatalities are what indicate a need for safety changes. This time one of those lives was a father who left his wife and daughter behind, during tough economic times for the family.
"He did what he had to do to keep this family afloat because he knew I wanted to stay here because the schools are good here and we wanted the best for her," said Laura.
CHP officers will be posted at the construction zone, and escorts will continue until the project is finished early next week.