Jake Arcara and his dog, Gunner. (Source: Facebook)

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS — For CSEA members from the Town of Yorktown Unit, Jake Arcara is never far from their minds. 

CSEA member Arcara, 28, died on the job Sept. 14, 2022, after he was struck by a vehicle in a work zone. Reports stated that Arcara, a motor equipment operator at the town, was working on a drainage project on a local roadway when he was hit by a vehicle driven by a town resident. 

Arcara was a four-year town employee who was part of a tight-knit family and was engaged to be married in 2023. 

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about Jake,” said Town of Yorktown Unit President Keith Kuttruf. “It’s affected everyone. As town employees, it’s made everyone aware that we’re all on the same team.” 

To that end, Kuttruf praised the leadership of the Yorktown Police Department for their willingness to go the extra mile to keep workers safe. 

“When Jake passed, police Chief Robert Noble brought the entire department down to the highway department and they all stood with us,” said Kuttruf, noting that CSEA reciprocated that support early this year as police mourned the death of a lieutenant from their department. 

“The chief has officers available whenever we have a work zone,” said Kuttruf. “They’ve closed down roads and rerouted traffic so that we have no traffic passing through the work zones.” 

In addition to finding ways to improve workplace safety, Kuttruf said he and his co-workers have been reminded to be grateful for what they have. 

“What we’ve seen is the guy who you worked with, who sat next to you at the lunch table every day, didn’t get to go home at the end of the workday,” said Kuttruf. “It’s so easy to get hung up on what you don’t have. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like Jake’s passing to realize how much we really do have.” 

— Jessica Ladlee 


About Author

Jessica Ladlee is the communications specialist for CSEA's Southern Region. A graduate of Boston University, Ladlee is an award-winning journalist who worked as a newspaper editor before joining the CSEA communications team in 2004. She is passionate about the opportunities unions provide for people to join the middle class, something her grandmother did as a Rockland County CSEA member over 50 years ago.

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