Monday, January 07, 2008

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Just catching up.

Police Officer Dies in Wreck on Route 37

DIX, Ill. - A Christopher man has died after a wreck near Dix Monday night. Shaun Oldani, 30, died in a two vehicle wreck on Illinois Route 37 at Rileyville Road. Oldani was a part-time police officer with the Christopher Police Department. Heartland News is told Oldani was also a well-known local athlete and avid hunter. He was a passenger in a car driven by 30-year-old Charles England of Mt. Vernon. England was taken to a hospital in Indiana. The driver of the other vehicle, 38-year-old Tracy Hooten of Kell, was taken to St. Louis University Hospital.

Worker killed in W.Va. construction accident ID'd

FAIRMONT, W.Va. - Fairmont police have identified a worker who died after touching an electrically charged ladder. Forty-two-year-old Timothy O'Keefe died Tuesday after the aluminum ladder he and another man were placing against a home struck an electrically charged source. Police said the two men were installing a roof on the home. The other worker was taken to Fairmont General Hospital for an evaluation. He was not identified. The accident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among other agencies.

Road Project Suspended After Recent Deaths, Worker Killed Monday While Laying Sod

LEIPERS FORK, Tenn. - In little more than a year, four deaths have occurred during road project construction in Williamson County. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is extending State Route 840 in Williamson County from Highway 100 to Highway 46 in Leipers Fork. On Monday, a man laying sod was hit and killed by a co-worker driving a Bobcat. The first death occurred on Oct. 2, 2007, when an employee's head was crushed by a pile-driving hammer on a crane. On July 24, 2008, a man was killed when a log flipped over on him, and on Aug. 4, 2008, a crane collapsed on top of a worker, resulting in his death. "When the contractor brings information to us that satisfies us that safety is on the top of his list, and that we have his attention, then we'll be able to consider putting them back to work," said Degges. The project is being run by a company called Highways, Inc., of Brentwood. Channel 4 called the company for a comment, but they said there was no one who could talk about the situation.

St. Louis sees fifth emergency worker gunned down this year

ST. LOUIS, MO — For the fifth time this year, the St. Louis area is mourning the death of an emergency responder gunned down while doing his job. On Wednesday, 52-year-old Leonard Riggins, dressed in his St. Louis firefighter's uniform and driving a department car, stopped to help at a crash scene in north St. Louis County. Inside the crashed car was 19-year-old Christopher Brandon of St. Louis, who police say had carjacked the vehicle before wrecking it. Riggins was shot and left bleeding in the street as Brandon then stole the firefighter's car, police said. County police spotted the suspect minutes later in yet another car — allegedly the fourth he had stolen that night. Police said Brandon took off on foot and pointed a handgun at officers, who fired back, killing the suspect.

Worker dies after 10-story fall at Lansing construction site

Lancing, MI - A demolition worker fell to his death at the Accident Fund construction site early this morning. According to Lansing Fire Department officials, the accident happened at around 7:30 a.m. Lansing Fire Public Information Officer Steve Mazurek said the worker, described as a 24-year-old Lansing man, fell down an open vertical shaft from the 10th floor of the former Board of Water & Light Ottawa Power Station on Grand Avenue in Lansing. The building is being renovated to be the new headquarters of the Accident Fund insurance company. The work site is shut down until the investigation is complete. Lansing Fire Department Station No. 1 responded immediately, said Battalion Chief Patrick Goff. The worker, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene. The man is described as an employee for Homrich, which is one of the contractors on the site. The accident is under investigation by the Lansing Police Department and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Goff said.

W.Pa. police officer, truck driver killed in crash

BENTLEYVILLE, Pa. - State police are identifying a western Pennsylvania police officer and a truck driver who died in a two-vehicle crash. Police say the crash happened in Washington County on Interstate 70 around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Forty-four-year-old Ronald Kennedy of Connellsville and 27-year-old South Strabane police Officer Nathaniel Burnfield were killed. State police say the accident happened when Burnfield tried to retrieve a tire that was lying on the highway. Kennedy swerved his truck to avoid the officer's car but instead struck Burnfield as the officer tried to get out of the road. Kennedy's truck then hit another truck that was on the side of the road. Both men died at the scene.

Paso Robles man who died in industrial accident identified

San Luis Obispo,CA - An industrial accident Tuesday in Paso Robles killed a man who was working at a powder coating business.Marco Antonio Bautista, 30, of Paso Robles died from the explosion, according to sheriff’s officials. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Paso Robles Police said Bautista was using a torch to cut a 55-gallon barrel possibly empty but covered with residue from some type of varnish when an explosion happened inside a warehouse at Advanced Powder Coating at 3230 Riverside Avenue, said an employee and Paso Robles Police Lt. Ty Lewis.

Collision kills two truck drivers, Two tractor-trailer rigs smash head-on Monday morning on U.S. 281 south of Mineral Wells.

PALO PINTO COUNTY, AZ – A horrific head-on crash of tractor-trailer rigs left two truck drivers dead Monday morning on U.S. Highway 281 South. The collision took place at the Union-Pacific railway overhead crossing about 10 miles south of Mineral Wells, north of the Brazos River bridge. The 10 a.m. wreck left the highway closed in both directions as crews from Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department worked to remove the two mortally injured drivers from the cabs of their mangled trucks. There were no other occupants. Palo Pinto County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Bobby Hart pronounced both drivers dead at the scene and ordered routine toxicology tests on both. The drivers were identified as Werner (Vern) Henry Vanzuydam, 25, of Stafford, Kan., and Douglas Joseph Voss, 43, of Mesquite, Texas.

Worker killed in accident at Mississippi Power plant

Mobile,AL - One worker was killed and six others were injured when scaffolding collapsed and fell 170 feet at Mississippi Power's Plant Daniel near Escatawpa on Tuesday. The body of a worker was found buried beneath the scaffolding hours after the accident occurred at 5:50 a.m., according to Cindy Du vall, a Mississippi Power spokeswoman. Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus pronounced the worker dead at the scene. The accident occurred in the 226-foot-tall boiler house on Unit 2 at the generating plant. Steel and wood planks from the scaffolding fell on the workers, said Cindy Webb, a Mississippi Power spokesperson. The identities of the workers had not been made public Tuesday evening. Duvall said the six injured work ers were taken to Singing River Hospital. Four were later released and two were being held for observation and treatment of broken bones, a company news release stated.

Alton steelworker killed in plant accident

ALTON, IL — A worker at the Alton Steel plant in the 2800 block of East Broadway in Alton died this morning after apparently falling through a thin roof at the plant, authorities said. The Madison County coroner's office identified the victim as Jeffrey Pace, 27. Authorities said the accident happened about 8:30 a.m. They said Pace might have stepped through a thin fiberglass roof panel and fell more than 50 feet to the ground. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. The incident remained under investigation.

Chief says officer killed on I-70 followed procedure

Pittsburgh,PA - Officer Nathaniel M. BurnfieldSouth Strabane Township Police Chief Donald Zofchak said the officers who had stopped to remove a wheel blocking traffic in Interstate 7in Fallowfield Township, Washington County, were following procedure that turned tragic when an out-of-control dump truck struck and killed one of the officers yesterday. Today, South Strabane police and the Canton Township Volunteer Fire Department are mourning the death of Officer Nathaniel M. Burnfield, 27, of Canton, who died when struck about 3 p.m. by a tri-axle dump truck driven by Ronald Kennedy, 44, of Connellsville, Fayette County. Mr. Kennedy also was killed when he swung his the truck off the highway to avoid stopped traffic, struck Mr. Burnfield then struck a UPS tractor-trailer that was parked on the berm after it had struck the wheel on the road.

Truck driver killed in fiery Denton

Oct 20 Fort Worth,TX A truck driver died late Thursday in the fiery wreck of a tanker truck northwest of Ponder in western Denton County, according to reports. The driver, Sean Eanes, 36, of Rhome, was identified by Trooper Lonny Haschel, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. The accident was reported at about 10 p.m. near the intersection of U.S. 380 and Ripy Road, Haschel said. Eanes, who was hauling water in the tanker rig, was eastbound on the highway, Haschel said. But, he said, "for undetermined reasons, he crossed the center line and struck a trailer being pulled by a westbound Chevrolet pickup." The tanker, Haschel said, slid down an embankment, and struck several trees in a wooded area. "The cab of the semi caught fire," Haschel said.

Con Ed worker struck and killed

Oct 24 MANHATTAN, NY - A Con Ed worker was struck and killed while getting into his vehicle. The accident happened at Hester and Grand Streets in Manhattan around 1:40 Friday afternoon. Police said the 60-year-old worker was struck by a truck that kept going. The worker suffered head trauma and died at the scene. Police stopped the truck on Grand Street near the BQE. It appears the driver did not know he had hit someone, investigators said.

Identity Of Man Killed In Industrial Accident Released

Oct 22 Duluth,MN Authorities have released the identity of a 43 year old Cromwell man who was killed in an industrial accident Wednesday. Rescue crews were called in to Eagle Township Wednesday for an industrial accident. Upon arrival they discovered that 43 year old Eugene Richards had died. Richards had been working with a wood harvesting machine when he was accidentally caught in the moving parts of the machine.

Hart farmer dies after being run over by tractor

Nov 03 OCEANA COUNTY, MI - An elderly Hart-area farmer died late Saturday afternoon from injuries received the day before when he was run over by his tractor. Cecil Dennert, 85, of Jackson Road in Weare Township, was in a field on his property operating the tractor with a spreader on the back when the accident occurred about 5:25 p.m. Friday. Oceana County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Priese said Dennert was getting off the tractor while it was still running, "and somehow the tractor got in gear." The tractor ran over Dennert's upper torso.

Work resumes on new twin spans following fatal accident

Oct 23 New Orleans,LA - Construction resumed on a limited basis on the $800 million twin spans project Monday morning, four days after a concrete girder toppled into Lake Pontchartrain and took 10 workers with it, leaving one man dead. Thursday's fatal accident prompted the state to suspend all work on the project pending an investigation into the cause. But the state Department of Transportation and Development said Monday it has given Boh Bros. Construction Co., the lead contractor on the project, approval to continue working on aspects of the project that aren't involved in the accident investigation. The approval came after a review of safety procedures for those tasks, highway department spokesman Mark Lambert said. "They want to get back to work; we want them to get back to work, " Lambert said. "But we don't want to compromise the safety of any of the workers. This is, I believe, a mutual agreement. They will continue to work on those parts of the job that are not part of the investigation." Eric Blackmon of Slidell, a foreman on the crew, was killed and three others received minor injuries such as broken bones.

Penn Hills Native, Maryland Police Officer Dies During Chase

Oct 24 FREDERICK, Md. -- A driver involved in a high-speed chase that led to the death of a Frederick police officer said he's sorry it happened, but he doesn't know why the police car crashed. "I never intended that. I don't know why he turned left," James F. Sweeney Jr., 51, told The Frederick-News Post Thursday after he was charged with 11 traffic violations, four drug offenses and theft under $100. "I feel real bad about it. I'd like to tell the family I'm really sorry it happened," Sweeney said. Sweeney was held overnight in the Frederick County Detention Center with bail set at $550,000. A bond review hearing was scheduled for Friday afternoon in Frederick County District Court. Officer Richard M. Bremer, 39, died after the fiery midnight crash. He had been pursuing Sweeney's pickup truck through the city late Wednesday at speeds of up to 85 mph, police say.

Rhode Island Fire Police Officer Dies

BRISTOL, RI - A longtime volunteer with the Bristol Fire Department collapsed and died early Monday as he was preparing to respond to a vehicle fire. Wayne Brown, a fire police officer, was dressed in his yellow response gear when rescuers found him at his home, said Chief Robert Martin. Not feeling well, Brown called for an ambulance, the chief said. "I've been here for 30 years, and he was here before me," Martin said Monday afternoon. "He was one of our senior members who still supported us by being a member of the Fire Police."

Worker dies after being trapped in machine

Oct 16 Simi Valley, CA Jose Ayala, 47, of Simi Valley died of severe head trauma when he became trapped in an industrial die casting machine at 9 a.m. Oct. 16 at Vista Lighting Company in Simi Valley. According to police reports, the Ventura County Fire Department performed heavy rescue to extricate the victim from the machinery. Ayala was in full cardiac arrest when he was removed. Fire department personnel performed CPR, but Ayala was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation is being conducted.

Casino worker dies after driving car into lake

Oct 24 KENNER, La. -- Kenner police say a casino custodian died Friday after driving into Lake Pontchartrain near the Treasure Chest casino. Lt. Wayne McInnis says investigators don't know whether the accident occurred because of a mechanical or medical problem. He says an autopsy is being performed on the man, whose name was withheld because his family has not yet been notified. McInnis says the man apparently had gone out to pick up trash around the boat launch. The truck was moving slowly when it hit a parked car, crossed a grassy area and went into the lake and under water.

Employee Found Dead in Restaurant Basement

Oct 15 Chicago, IL - Chicago Police are conducting a death investigation after the body of a restaurant employee was discovered Wednesday afternoon in the North Side Lakeview neighborhood. The body of a 47-year-old man was discovered when an exterminator and maintenance man arrived to do work at Lucca’s Restaurant at 2834 N. Southport Ave. and found the front door unlocked, according to a Belmont District police lieutenant. The workers figured the person they usually met was already inside, so they went in to start working and found the employee dead in the basement, the lieutenant said. The body was discovered about 2:10 p.m., according to police News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti. A spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said the office has been notified of the death but had no additional information as of 6:30 p.m.


Nov 1 Sonoma, CA - The Sonoma County coroner's office has identified 43-year-old Guillermo Carrillo Hernandez of Petaluma as the dairy worker who was crushed by a tractor while working at the Joe Tresch Dairy Sunday. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza said the accident happened around 9:40 a.m. at the dairy at 1054 Walker Road in Petaluma. Hernandez was fatally wounded while backing up a small farm tractor-trailer hauling hay, Monterroza said. Hernandez did not respond to another employee's directions while backing up on a 14-foot-wide dirt road. The tractor-trailer went off an earthen dam and rolled to the left, crushing Hernandez's upper body, Monterroza said. The Sonoma County coroner's office said results of an autopsy are pending toxicology tests. Hernandez was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m. Monterroza said Cal-OSHA's investigations usually take two to three months.

1 dead after Horn Lake trench collapse

Oct 28 HORN LAKE, Miss. — One worker has died and another was rescued after a sewer trench being dug in Horn Lake collapsed on them. Police Chief Darryl Whaley says the men were working on a sewer line when the earthen walls surrounding the line collapsed on top of them about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Police say the body of one of the men was recovered about 11 p.m. He has not been identified pending notification of relatives. Police say 50-year-old Bertram Hill was pulled from the trench shortly before 1:00 a.m. Wednesday. He was transported by helicopter to Regional Medical Center in Memphis. His condition was not immediately known.

Name of Kennecott contractor killed by pipe released

Oct 26 FL- A contracted worker died Wednesday morning in an industrial accident near Kennecott Utah Copper's tailings facility. Around 8 a.m., William Kay, of Panguitch, had driven a truck out to 10800 West south of Interstate 80 near the tailings facility and was waiting for loading equipment to arrive, said Kennecott spokeswoman Jana Kettering. That's when a 3,000-pound pipe that had been sitting on the truck suddenly broke loose and fell on him. Kay was working on routine pipe installation to aid in water transportation. Lt. Paul Jaroscak, spokesman with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, said deputies were called to an area of Kennecott's property south of Interstate 80 at about 8:15 a.m. Jaroscak said the Sheriff's Office was involved only in determining if another person was involved in the death. He said it appears the death was an accident.

OSHA to investigate fatal warehouse fall

October 17, LEBANON, PA - The death of a Richland man following a fall Oct. 17 at the Triple M Farms warehouse on North Fifth Avenue is being investigated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Leon Moser, 49, a maintenance foreman at the warehouse, was injured when he fell from a platform, according to Bryan Seal, OSHA's area director. Moser was taken to Reading Hospital with his injuries, where he died Wednesday.

Wyodak miner dies on the job

Oct 29 Casper,WY - A miner was killed in a haul truck accident Tuesday at the Wyodak surface coal mine just east of Gillette. Killed was William George Kempf, 48, who began working at the mine in August, according to a sheriff's report and Wyodak Resources Development Corp. The accident happened about 5:15 p.m. when a haul truck in the pit backed into the victim's haul truck, which was stationary a the time. Kempf was outside the operator's cab, and was pinned between the cab and the truck's air tank. He was extracted and transported to Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Officials said a Life-Flight was called to transport him to Casper but he died before he could be air-lifted.

2 charged in death of Virgin Islands law clerk

Oct 29 CHARLOTTE AMALIE U.S. Virgin Islands - A missing lawyer who had recently moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands from Wisconsin and become a judge's clerk was found slain Wednesday along a dirt path in St. Thomas following an apparent robbery. Two people were charged in his death. Authorities recovered the body of Gabriel Lerner, a clerk for a Superior Court judge in the U.S. island territory, in the rural western part of the island, a day after he was reported missing and four days after he was last seen, Police Commissioner James McCall said. "We accomplished a lot in a short period of time," McCall told reporters. "Unfortunately, it didn't end the way we wanted it to." The police spotted Lerner's car Tuesday afternoon and started a chase that ended when the car crashed into a police cruiser. The suspects fled into the nearby forest but were captured two hours later by Superior Court marshals, police said.

Paulding County Officer Dies

ATLANTA, GA - A corporal with the Paulding County sheriff's office was killed in a car accident. Mick Davis died during surgery from injuries he received in a crash near Dallas, Ga. around 5 p.m. Wednesday. The 49-year-old was off duty at the time of the accident. Davis joined the Paulding County sheriff's office in 2002 when he retired from the Marines after 20-years of service. He was promoted to corporal earlier this year.

Worker Shocked in Harrison County Dies From His Injuries

October 30 PITTSBURGH, PA - The accident happened last month in Wilsonburg. A Pocahontas County man has died after being shocked while working on a Harrison County power line last month. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Randy Mock died Tuesday night at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. Mock was connecting a cable line in Wilsonburg last month, when the un-insulated bucket he was in touched a power line, shocking him. Former fellow employees will hold a benefit dinner in his honor to help his family pay for his medical expenses. The dinner will be next Saturday, November 8th, from 4:00 to 7:00p.m. at the Moose on Main Avenue in Weston.

Man killed while fumigating Coto de Caza house, Authorities said 33-year-old man died after falling from roof.

COTO DE CAZA, CA – A 33-year-old employee of a fumigation company died this morning after falling from the roof of a home, authorities said. The man, whose identity has not been released because his family has not yet been notified, fell shortly before 8:30 a.m. while he and other employees were fumigating a home in the 100 block of Vela Court, said Lt. Hal Brotheim of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The man was on the roof of the home when he fell for an unknown reason. He suffered severe trauma to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene, Brotheim said. Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also responded to the scene to investigate the fall, he said.

Identities of Deceased In Oil Well Explosion Released

Oc 29 WHITE CO., IL - NEWS 25 has learned the names of the two men that died in that deadly oil well explosion. The White County Illinois Sheriff's Department tells us, 49-year-old Samuel L. Fieber of Grayville and 52-year-old Ronald J. Aldredge of West Salem were killed in Wednesday's blast. Four others remain in various hospitals tonight, three in critical condition. Investigators say the well exploded when workers tried to cap it and it ignited.

Surveillance photos released

Oct 30 BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (WLS) -- Authorities say a female employee of a suburban Chicago financial firm was fatally shot during a weekend robbery. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the woman Sunday as 34-year-old Rana Ismail of Worth. She died of multiple of gunshot wounds and her death was ruled a homicide. The medical examiner said she was pronounced dead on the scene. Bridgeview police say a female employee of Middle Eastern Financial Services in Bridgeview was shot Saturday during a robbery.

Police officer shot, killed

Oct 31 UNIVERSITY CITY, MO — Sgt. Michael R. King was about an hour and a half into his Friday night shift when he pulled into a parking spot on Leland Avenue, directly in front of the University Square apartments and only a few feet away from the bustling Delmar Loop. King, a 25-year University City police veteran, was sitting in his marked police car about 10:20 p.m. when police say a convicted drug dealer walked up to the car and fired several shots from a handgun, killing the sergeant. Police said the gunman, whom they identified as Todd L. Shepard, 41, jumped into a car and sped off west on Delmar, eluding a high-speed police pursuit. He remained at large late Saturday night.

Roadside flower vendor is struck, killed

Nov 2 EAST COUNTY, CA – A Lakeside woman selling flowers was struck and killed when a pickup truck crashed into a taxi that had stopped in front of her Saturday evening, officials said. Gwendolyn Wheeler, 49, was selling flowers on Lake Jennings Park Road under Interstate 8 just before 7 p.m. when she was fatally struck, authorities said. She was talking to a taxi driver who had pulled over on the shoulder of the road when a pickup truck struck the rear of the cab which then struck her.

Converse man dies in drilling rig accident

Oct 30 SHONGALOO, LA — A Sabine Parish man died early Thursday morning in a drilling rig accident in Webster Parish, Sheriff Gary Sexton said. Nathan Coburn, 23, of Converse, died at the scene when his clothing got caught in a piece of machinery. Coburn worked for Fran Oil Inc., of Many, which was drilling for Jag Operators, Sexton said. The accident happened around 1 a.m. at the drilling site at the intersection of Rodney Martin Road and Firetower Road in Shongaloo. The rig was not drilling into the Haynesville Shale. Sexton speculates the workers were drilling for oil since the well was planned for only 6,100 feet. Coburn's clothing was caught in the draw-works, which is a piece of machinery on the rig. Coburn died instantly, Sexton said.

Taxi driver is killed by SUV in Center City crash

Oct 18 Philadelphia,PA - A taxi driver was killed after an SUV crashed into his cab at a Center City intersection early yesterday, police said. The driver of the taxi, identified as Alex Kotov, 55, of Northeast Philadelphia, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11th and Chestnut Streets around 2:30 a.m. A woman inside the cab was taken to the hospital. Her condition was unknown. The driver of the SUV, whose name was not released, was expected to be charged, police said.

Workplace accident kills worker at power plant

Oct 31 MARION, IL - Federal workplace safety officials are investigating the death of a contract worker at a southern Illinois power plant. Scheck Industrial Corp. President Randy Peach says Mike Morgan died Friday at a Southern Illinois Power Cooperative job site in Marion. Peach says Morgan slipped and became pinned between a rotating, 80-ton heater and stationary equipment. Peach says plant emergency response teams responded within minutes and tried to revive Morgan, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead on the scene by the coroner. Peach says Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating, along with Scheck representatives. Company President and CEO Richard Scheck says Morgan's death is a "terrible tragedy."

Driver dies in tractor-trailer crash on I-10

Nov 1 Pensacol,FL - The driver of a rig hauling potatoes died in a crash on Interstate 10 about 2:30 p.m. Friday. The driver, Donald Ruth, 57, of Lakeland, was wearing his seat belt. He was the only person involved in the accident. Emergency responders at the scene — just east of the Pine Forest Road exit off Interstate 10 — worked for more than an hour and a half cutting away pine trees that crushed the truck's cab. "The victim was thrown out of the vehicle," said Lt. Daniel Akerman of Escambia County Fire Rescue. The driver was trapped under a tree and part of the vehicle, Akerman said. Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol were at the scene for several hours trying to figure out what caused the accident.

Detroit-area trucker killed in western Mich. crash

October 31, 2008 PAW PAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A truck driver has died in a crash involving another semitrailer in Van Buren County's Paw Paw Township. Michigan State Police say 34-year-old Omar Simmons of the Detroit area was ejected from the cab of his truck and pronounced dead at the scene Friday morning. Simmons' semitrailer crashed into a ditch off eastbound Interstate 94 about 60 miles south of Grand Rapids. It had spilled fuel and lost its load of steel. The other driver, Danny Pack of Ypsilanti, was unhurt. The accident is under investigation.

Officer dies after being shot in St. Louis suburb

Nov 1 UNIVERSITY CITY, MO — A police officer in a suburb of St. Louis, Mo., has died after being shot in the town's popular University City Loop area. The shooting happened late Friday in suburban University City's Loop area, known for trendy shops, restaurants and offices. The University City police department said in a statement Saturday that officers were searching for a man who was seen in a gray car. One witness told KTVI-TV that the officer was sitting in his car when a man walked up and shot him. Investigators hadn't determined the motive for the shooting. The dead officer's name was not immediately released.

Police officer dies after chasing suspect

Nov 1 SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - Authorities say a veteran suburban Chicago police officer is dead after he collapsed while apprehending a suspect. The Cook County medical examiner says 47-year-old Schaumburg police officer Frank Russo died Saturday. Schaumburg police say Russo was working on his night off and was called into a security disturbance. Police say two suspects fled on foot. They were apprehended by Russo and another officer. While police were making the arrest, one of the suspects broke free. Russo collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove. Funeral arrangements are pending. Russo was a 19-year veteran of the Schaumburg Police Department.

Officials begin inquiry into trench collapse, Dept. of Labor has six months to finish report

Oct 31 Memphis,TN - Federal officials have begun the fact-finding portion of their investigation into a deadly collapse of a trench in Horn Lake Tuesday afternoon. David Wayne Mooneyhan, 46, of Coldwater was killed when the east wall of a 17-foot trench collapsed on top of him. Bertram Hill, 50, of Hernando was recovered after rescue crews struggled for more than eight hours to dig him out. Hill was listed in serious condition at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis Wednesday, but was later upgraded to fair condition and released

Twin Span construction worker dies, Girder collapses, 10 Boh Bros. workers fall in Lake Pontchartrain

Oct. 30 New Orleans - A beautiful autumn day was marred by tragedy Thursday when a construction accident at the site of the new Interstate 10 Twin Span bridge sent 10 workers plunging into Lake Pontchartrain. It happened just after noon when a steel girder snapped, flinging men, concrete and equipment into the water 35 feet below. The Special Operations division of the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office responded immediately, and nine of the men were quickly rescued with nothing more than broken limbs, although one was airlifted to Lakeview Regional Medical Center and another was transported to Slidell Memorial Hospital. Personnel from Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the search for the 10th man. With the help of rescue divers, officials are believed to have located him by about 2 p.m., trapped beneath a large amount of debris and presumed dead. “We have to try and remove the debris before we can take him out,” said Sheriff Jack Strain, whose team was waiting on a large crane to be brought in to remove several large pieces of concrete at presstime Thursday. “The position it’s in can make it much more dangerous, and that will determine how we raise it.”

Until the End, Lieutenant Was Devoted to Duty

Oct. 21 Fresno,CA - Fairfax Officer Who Drowned in Training Exercise Just Began New Assignment: Helping Youths. His colleagues said it was no surprise that Fairfax County police Lt. Frank J. Stecco volunteered to climb into the cold waters of Pohick Bay last week to help the police helicopter unit practice rescuing people. "That's what he did," said Officer Mark Yawornicky, who worked with Stecco at the Mount Vernon station. "He would help out whenever he could. He would take care of his people." And when Stecco began spending time with kids, in addition to his three children, in an anti-gang program at his station, it provided him with another avenue to help others. So he successfully requested a transfer to the Youth Services Division just last month. Stecco's vision of service to others was cut short when he drowned during the training exercise in Pohick Bay, in southeastern Fairfax. Police are still investigating the accident. Yesterday, after a procession past the Mount Vernon station and a memorial service in Woodbridge, Stecco was buried at Quantico National Cemetery.

Family mourns man killed in work accident

Oct. 26 Fort Wayne, IN - Friends and family of Roy R. Kelley wept quietly Monday at the funeral service for the Fort Wayne resident killed in an industrial accident. “Grieve, but have hope because you believe in Jesus,” Pastor Daniel Linbach told about 60 people in attendance at D.O. McComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home. Kelley, a 41-year-old laborer and father of two, was killed Oct. 21 when a piece of machinery struck him on the head as he worked on a foundation at Don R. Fruchey Co. in New Haven, according to David Fruchey, a company vice president. Dr. E. Jon Brandenberger, Allen County coroner, ruled that Kelley died from accidental head trauma.

Worker Killed in Arlington Trench Collapse

Oct 28 ARLINGTON, Va. - A worker was killed Tuesday afternoon when a trench he was in gave way, authorities said. The man was working in the four-foot deep trench in front of a house that is under construction in the 800 block of North Greenbriar Street in Arlington. The unsecured trench collapsed, trapping the man, officials said. Arlington County firefighters are working to recover the body.

Fatal tractor accident in Valley Ford

Oct 26 Santa Rosa,CA - A man was killed Sunday morning when the tractor he was driving overturned at a Valley Ford ranch, officials said. Emergency crews were called to the ranch near Walker Road about 10:30 a.m. The tractor apparently overturned as the driver worked on a slope and rolled onto him, said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Miller. The victim’s name wasn’t being released Sunday as family was being located. He was believed to be about 40 years old and was working at the ranch, Miller said. Because it was work-related, the case is being investigated by Cal-OSHA, the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Miller said.

Con Edison worker killed on job in NYC

Oct 24 Long Island, NEW YORK - A Consolidated Edison worker has been killed after he was struck by a tractor-trailer in New York City. Police say 60-year-old James Dong, of Queens, was pronounced dead at the scene in lower Manhattan on Friday afternoon. They say the Con Ed worker was entering his vehicle when he was struck by a tractor-trailer that drove away. The truck was stopped a short time later and police say the driver was not aware that he had struck anyone. A Con Edison spokesman said Dong had been working at the utility since 1974 and was married.

Tanker driver killed in crash

Oct 24 Denton, TX - A tanker truck driver died at the scene of a crash on West U.S. Highway 380 on Thursday night. Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel said the 36-year-old Rhome man was driving a water tanker truck east on U.S. 380 near Ripy Road about 10 p.m. when the truck crossed the center line into oncoming traffic. It is not clear what caused the truck to cross the yellow line, Haschel said. Positive identification of the victim is pending. Haschel said the truck struck a trailer being pulled by a westbound Chevrolet pickup. The tanker veered off the north side of the highway, plunged down an embankment and rolled into a wooded area, where it struck several trees.

2 shot dead at restaurant, Homicide-suicide suspected

Oct 24 SPRINGDALE, OH - It was a morbid scene on a crisp October afternoon outside of Wok & Roll, where an apparent homicide-suicide took place around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. In a grassy area next to the parking lot, a body lay covered by a sheet, shielded from the view of drivers by a black partition. Witnesses in nearby businesses reported hearing gunshots fired about 2:30 p.m. They said two men got into an argument. One shot the other and then walked outside the restaurant and killed himself. Dead were Cheng Zhang, 34, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Mercy Fairfield Hospital, and Kou-Hwa Li, 86, who apparently shot himself and died at the scene, officials said. Police did not offer details on the relationship between the two men or any suspected motives. The restaurant is in a small shopping center just off Interstate 275 along Springfield Pike.

Employee Killed At Check-Cashing Store

Oct. 25 HOUSTON, TX - An employee at a check-cashing business was shot and killed during a robbery Saturday, KPRC Local 2 reported. Relatives said Irena Ashford was not even scheduled to work Saturday morning, but she was filling in at EZ Loans Money Services when moments after arriving for work, she became the victim of an armed robber, police said. Ashford, 38, was shot and killed inside the business on the North Freeway and West Parker at about 9 a.m.

Phoenix officer dies after truck collision, Man driving truck is jailed; police say he was drinking

Oct 26 PHOENIX, AZ — A Phoenix police officer died Saturday after his patrol car collided with a pickup driven by a man who police believe was drinking shortly before the crash. Authorities said Officer Shane Figueroa, 25, was responding to a series of shots fired calls about 1:22 a.m. when a white truck turned in front of his patrol car on 19th Avenue near Roeser Road. The impact spun Figueroa's vehicle and sent it crashing into a block wall. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. A 28-year-old male passenger inside the truck was hospitalized with serious injuries. The truck's driver, 50-year-old Jose Rivas Gonzalez, was treated for minor injuries and booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on suspicion of manslaughter and aggravated assault. Police said Gonzalez was also booked on four outstanding warrants but details were not available.

Employee fatally shot during robbery

Oct 26 Chicago, IL - A man was fatally shot during a robbery while working at a grocery Sunday night in the Northwest Side’s Avondale neighborhood. The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. at 3035 W. George St., police said. Elrey Foods is listed at that location. Juan Rivera, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:05 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Rivera was an employee at the store and was shot in the head during a robbery, authorities said. An autopsy for Rivera is scheduled for Monday. Grand Central Area detectives are investigating and remained at the scene at 10 p.m.

Worker Killed Trying To Stop Car Thief

Oct 27 Columbus, OH - Columbus Police have made an arrest. Columbus Police say a Tim Horton's employee was shot to death Monday morning. The shooting happened in the parking lot of a National City Bank, located at the corner of West Broad Street and Central Avenue, 610 WTVN's Christy Chatman reported. Homicide detective Sgt. Dana Norman says the victim was working at a nearby Tim Horton's restaurant when he noticed someone breaking into his car. He rushed out, got into his car to stop the suspect, and was shot, Norman said. Christopher Henderson died at the scene. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Investigators made an arrest Monday.

Con Edison worker killed on job in NYC

Oct 24 NEW YORK - A Consolidated Edison worker has been killed after he was struck by a tractor-trailer in New York City. Police say 60-year-old James Dong, of Queens, was pronounced dead at the scene in lower Manhattan on Friday afternoon. They say the Con Ed worker was entering his vehicle when he was struck by a tractor-trailer that drove away. The truck was stopped a short time later and police say the driver was not aware that he had struck anyone. A Con Edison spokesman said Dong had been working at the utility since 1974 and was married.

Police officer killed in head-on collision

Oct. 24 - A veteran Atlanta police sergeant was killed early Friday when his car was struck head-on by a suspected drunken driver being chased by a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy. The suspected drunken driver also was killed in the crash, which occurred on a two-lane road in south Fulton County. Fulton County police spokeswoman Kay Lester said a Ford Focus headed eastbound on Campbellton Road about 12:20 a.m. crossed the center line east of Stonewall Tell Road and hit an oncoming Ford Crown Victoria, killing both drivers. Atlanta police Sgt. Darrell D. Johnson, 42, of Atlanta, was driving the Crown Victoria, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office. The Focus driver was identified as Brent E. Jacobs, 21, of Douglasville.

Three arraigned in prison worker's death

Oct. 22 STOCKTON, CA - In an emotional hearing Friday, three people appeared in court for arraignment on charges they robbed and murdered a Stockton man as he was getting into his pickup Wednesday headed for work at a federal prison in Dublin. The combination of charges make Joel Landon Lewis, 19; Gerell Lee Whatley, 19; and Delisa Rochelle Bryant, 40, all of Stockton, eligible for a death sentence. A trail of credit card receipts led investigators to make the arrests the same day Mike Rutledge, 35, was killed. The three are accused of killing Rutledge, whom trash haulers found early Wednesday in front of his home on Montana Street in north Stockton. He was bloody and appeared to have been shot, but investigators have said they are waiting for autopsy reports.

Fishing disaster that killed 5 from Northwest highlights industry's risks

Oct. 22 Portland, OR - Best friends Cedric Smith and Glenn Harper signed up in June to work together on the crew of the Katmai, a fishing boat plying cod from the icy waters off Alaska. For the Portland men, it would turn out to be the last adventure of their lives. Smith, 38, and Harper, 35, were among five men killed -- four of whom hailed from Oregon and southwestern Washington -- after their fishing boat sank in the stormy Bering Sea off Alaska's Aleutian Islands early Wednesday. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four others and continues to search for two more. The disaster highlights the intense risks that come with working in one of the country's deadliest industries. Alaska waters are home to the nation's richest fishing grounds, where boats haul in billions of pounds of salmon, pollock, crab and other seafood each year. But punishing weather and rough seas -- both of which marked this week's accident -- have helped give the industry a fatality rate 26 times the national average, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The victims, in addition to Smith and Harper, were Fuli Lemusu, 44, of Salem; Jake Gilman, 22, of Camas, Wash.; and Joshua Leonguerrero, 19, of Spanaway, Wash.

Another death at BP Texas City
OCT 9, TEXAS CITY, TX -- A contractor was killed this morning while working at the Texas City land farm, which is located one mile south of the BP Texas City refinery. Authorities say he died from injuries sustained after he was pinned by a backhoe against a fence. An employee of Gai Environmental, he was the 4th to die in accidents at the facility since the tragic 2005 explosion that killed 15.

Worker dies trapped in manhole
OCT 9, BROOKLYN, NY --An employee off Consolidated Edison was splicing cable this afternoon in Brooklyn's East New York section when heat and smoke began pouring out of the manhoole. George Dillman, 26, was trapped inside the manhole. His partner, Craig Penney, 28, tried to lower a ladder into the manhole to help Mr. Dillman, but the ladder burned. Said an observer who was trying to get Mr. Penney away from the whole when an explosion occurred, “He fell to his knees crying.” Mr. Dillman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mall shooting claims worker
OCT 8, KNOXVILLE, TN -- A customer in Knoxville Center Mall opened fire Wednesday afternoon, causing mass panic among shoppers. The gunman fired multiple shots at a clothing store employee who had confronted him. That employee died at the scene. Not long after, the suspect exchanged gunfire with two ununiformed police officers, and was wounded and apprehended.

Worker killed in bulldozer rollover

OCT 8, BENSON, NC -- A construction worker making repairs to railroad tracks died this afternoon when the bulldozer he was riding slipped over an embankment and overturned, pinning him beneath. Chris Smith, 33, an employee of Mideast Railroad Services, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Construction worker crushed

OCT 7, WESTERVILLE, OH -- A construction worker on Polaris Highway was killed today when he became trapped under a large metal beam that had fallen from a crane. His name has not yet been released, pending notification of his family.

Road commission employee killed

OCT 7, JACKSON COUNTY, MI -- Jackson County Road Commission worker Charles "Chuck" Gibson, 45, was part of a crew working to cut down a dead tree this morning that may have become a traffic hazard. The tree fell and struck him in the head. It is the second time a tree accident has claimed the life of a Road Commission worker in less than three years. Mr. Gibson, described as a family man who loved being outdoors, was looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild.

Quarry worker killed

OCT 7, PERRY COUNTY, PA -- Friends and family are mourning the death of Larry "Ric" Trimmer, 56, a welder who had been working at Pennsy Supply since 1990. Mr. Trimmer was working on a conveyer belt this morning when a collapse occurred and he was pinned under rocks. Despite efforts of his coworkers to save him, Mr. Trimmer did not survive. His wife of 25 years, Tracy Trimmer, remembered kissing him goodbye that morning and telling him that she loved him. "We did that every day," she said. "We got along so well that people called us Ken and Barbie. He was my sweetheart, an awesome husband. We always worked so good together. Our honeymoon never ended."

Construction worker falls 20 stories

OCT 7, PITTSBURGH, PA -- Brian Obermeier, 33, of Etna, was last seen this morning taking the stairs leading to the roof of the Commonwealth Trust Co. building, from which he had planned to access a construction site at an adjacent building being converted to luxury condominiums. He apparently fell 20 stories and landed in the construction site below. Foul play is not suspected.

Construction worker dies at ExxonMobil refinery
OCT 7, CHANNON TWP, IL -- Ralph W. Lowdermilk, 63, was inspecting stacks at the ExxonMobil refinery when he fell about 44 feet. Investigators say Mr. Lowdermilk's utility belt had safety lines and that it was unclear what had gone wrong. "That part is still under investigation," said a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

Tree branch blamed in worker's death
SUMMIT COUNTY - A worker for a tree service company died Monday after he a branch he was lowering to the ground split and a portion of the limb hit him. The Summit County Medical Examiner and the New Franklin Police Department are investigating the worker's death. The worker, 33-year-old Joe Beckman, was working to cut limbs from a tree in the 2100 block of West Nimisila Road when he was struck by the falling branch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Farmer Found Dead In Barn

Jessamine County, KY - A death investigation began in Jessamine County after a farmer's body was found inside a barn. He was discovered around 10:00 Thursday morning in a barn off Brannon Road. He's believed to have been dead for a couple of weeks. His body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

Police Show Item Found Near Where York Employee Fatally Wounded

YORK, SC - A week after a York city employee was found shot to death, police are revealing something they hope is a key to solving the case. York police want residents to take a look at a flip flop found its matching behind the Laundromat on Blackburn Street, where 63-year-old Ernest Tolbert was killed. Tolbert worked for the city of York, but also cleaned up at that Laundromat at night. Police said they aren't sure if the shoes belong to the shooter or a possible witness, but Detective Billy Mumaw said someone saw something last Sunday night. "I think that if you know something about this, and you don't tell it, that makes you just as guilty as the murderer himself,” he said.

Arizona prison guard dies on wildfire duty

PHOENIX, AZ - The Arizona Department of Corrections says a prison guard who was working with an inmate firefighting crew has died while fighting a blaze near Lake Havasu City. Douglas Falconer was working on a fire on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge when he collapsed shortly after beginning to work the fire line on Wednesday. Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux says he died of apparent natural causes despite lifesaving efforts by fellow crewmembers. Falconer was assigned to an inmate firefighting team based in Globe. Crews generally have a corrections sergeant and two officers working alongside more than a dozen inmates. The 46-year-old Globe resident first joined the corrections department in 2004 and is survived by his wife.

Pizza Worker Dies After Shooting, Businesses Expected To Raise Funds For Family

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Green Hills pizza worker who was shot in the head last week during a robbery died over the weekend. Karim Khakimov was working at the Roma Pizza & Pasta restaurant on Wednesday night when someone came into the business, pulled a gun and demanded money. Police said Khakimov complied with the order, but the robber shot him. Khakimov died on Saturday at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Employees from Roma Pizza & Pasta and other Green Hills businesses were expected to gather at the Green Hills Starbucks around 1 p.m. on Monday to raise money for Khakimov's family.

Muncie man killed in accident at salvage yard

MUNCIE, IN — A 30-year-old man was killed today in an accident at Northwest Auto and Truck Parts, 3100 N. Buckles Ave. Delaware County Coroner James Clevenger said Michael L. Bodenhafer, a Northwest employee, was killed when a sport-utility vehicle he was removing parts from fell on his chest. Clevenger said Bodenhafer, who was pronounced dead at the scene, likely died instantly. The accident was reported about 10 a.m.

Man dies after tractor flips over on him, Crawford County mandies in tractor accident

MEADVILLE, PA - A 60-year-old Meadville man died Sunday after the tractor he was operating flipped over and landed on top of him, according to state police. Terry Lee Williams, of 17567 Matt Road, was operating a John Deere tractor and towing three cut trees through a field near Springboro Road at 3 p.m. when the accident happened.

Chattanooga Update: Victim identified in fiery crash Sunday night
Chattanooga, TN - A traffic accident at 1000 Interstate 75 involving two tractor trailers claimed the life of one of the drivers Sunday night. The incident occurred after 11 p.m. when two freightliners traveling south collided, said Chattanooga Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary. One truck was rear-ended by the other and the driver of the second vehicle was killed after the cab of the truck caught fire. Police have identified the victim as 37-year-old Horace Cook of Atlanta. The driver of the first vehicle told police he was slowing down to compensate for the change in speed limit when he was struck from behind. The impact of the collision caused the second truck to become engulfed in flames, and Mr. Cook wasn’t able to escape.

Roma Employee Dies After Robbery
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The gunman who opened fire at a local pizza shop will likely face murder charges. Roma Pizza employee Karim Khakimov died at Vanderbilt Medical Center Friday night. Police said Khakimov and two other employees were inside the pizza shop Wednesday when a masked gunman came in and demanded money. Investigators say Khakimov tried to do what he was told but the gunman shot him.Police are still searching for that shooter.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great site. Question - most of these deaths seems to have taken place in October and November 2008. The posting date, however, is 1/7/2008.

Did Blogger just assign the wrong date?

Tammy said...

To be honest they are posted as we get them. Some may even be as much as 4 months late but we try to add the loss and fix it on the memorials for the site at USMWF. Which by the way will be getting a great rework.

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