Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekly Toll: Death In The American Workplace

Father killed while on the job

Dallas, TX - The investigation continues into a truck driver killed on the job this week. To date the driver responsible has not been charged. The victim's family talked with Channel 8. They say he was killed while trying to help his family recover from another crisis. November of last year was the scariest in the family's life, April Gittings gave birth prematurely. “We honestly didn't even know he would make it through the night after he was born,” said April. David Stone didn't want to leave April's side. By the time the baby was released, early three weeks later, he had missed a large amount of work, and the couple was badly behind on their bills. He tried to make it right. "There were days that he would work 24 hours straight," said April. That's one reason David agreed to go in Sunday night to provide a tow to a stranded driver on I-35 in Burleson. But soon after he arrived, another driver hit and killed him. April is filled with grief and questions.

Drowning determined as cause of death in Industrial Way accident

Longview, WA - A 29-year-old Longview man was killed in an accident early Thursday morning when his car hit a power pole and flipped on its top into a slough on Industrial Way, according to the Washington State Patrol. An autopsy Thursday evening showed Nathan J. Thomas died of asphyxia by drowning. A passerby reported the car in the slough around 5:30 a.m. The roadway was reopened by 8:10 a.m. Trooper Dave Bourland said Thomas was driving a 1994 Honda Civic westbound on Industrial Way when Thomas lost control and crossed into the eastbound lane at milepost 2.7 near Memorial Park Drive. The car struck a power pole on the driver’s side, overturned and came to rest on its top in the slough, Bourland said. Excessive speed appears to have been a factor, Bourland said. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Ex-boxer killed while working on Triborough Bridge

When Gino Gelormino made his foray into boxing, excited enthusiasts likened him to a young Willie Pep - one of greatest boxers of the 20th century. The Levittown native, who died in a construction accident Tuesday, was blindingly quick and elusive in the ring, said Showtime boxing analyst Steve Farhood. And Gelormino, who won the Golden Gloves and later was one of the top 10 junior lightweight boxers in the world, knew how to defend. Gelormino, 47, was working on the underside of a Triborough Bridge approach at about 2:30 p.m. when he lost his footing and fell 35 feet near Astoria Park, police said.

Landscaper dies after getting caught in machinery

A town of Onondaga man died this morning after he was caught and pulled into an auger while cleaning out the back of the truck, Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies said. James Delaney, 35, of 2756 Amber Road, was found by a co-worker about 7:45 a.m., Sgt. Bob Burns, speaking for the sheriff's office, said. Delaney, an employee of the town of Onondaga, also owned JD Landscaping, which he operated behind his home on Amber Road. "He was getting ready to go on a job today," Burns said. Delaney was cleaning out a truck that was used to carry and unload mulch behind a gray shed on the property, Burns said. On the back of the truck are two augers, which were in operation at the time of the accident. Delaney was using a leaf blower to clean out the bed of the truck when his shirt got caught in the upper auger, Burns said.

Pilot killed in crash had years of experience

Seattle, WA - The day after a small plane crashed into a home here, the family of the woman whose house was hit began cleaning up the wreckage and new revelations unfolded about the pilot who died in the crash. Friends said the 69-year-old pilot had many years of experience flying private planes and commercial airliners. And his neighbor told KOMO News that he was a retired Boeing employee who spent decades delivering planes around the world for the company. Federal Aviation Administration records also show that the pilot had a long list of certificates to back up his expertise. He had flown the kit aircraft that crashed for more than a decade, and was extremely familiar with it. The FAA now is looking into reports that the plane started sputtering after it took off from a nearby private airfield, and will be interviewing witnesses who saw the crash.

Luvata workers grieve employee's death, OSHA investigating

KIMBERLY — Production at Luvata plants here and in Appleton resumed Thursday after the electrocution of an employee. But the operations won't really return to normal for a while. Appleton attorney Greg Gill, spokesman for the copper-wire component manufacturer, said investigations continue into the death of Dean Effa. Effa, 43, died Wednesday after a 3 a.m. accident at the Kimberly plant, 553 Carter Court. An autopsy showed he died of electrocution, Outagamie County Coroner Ruth Wulgaert said Thursday in a press release. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Effa's death as an accident, said officials, who released no other details.

Worker killed in construction site accident

Philadelphia, PA - An employee of Thackray Crane Rental Inc. of Philadelphia died Monday morning at a construction site in Falls' Keystone Industrial Port Complex. Lonnale “Bell” Boyster, 36, of C Street, Philadelphia, was killed when an unsecured load of chiller coils on the back of a tractor-trailer truck crashed on to the roof of the cab. Boyster was sitting in the cab when the roof caved in, according to Falls police. While the investigation is still ongoing, Lt. Ron MacPherson said it appeared as though the tie-down straps that had secured the load had already been removed when Boyster attempted to reposition the truck. “The load shifted and the coil fell onto the tractor, crushing the passenger compartment,” MacPherson said.

Authorities working to ID 2 killed in plant explosion

WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Authorities are close to identifying two men who were killed in an explosion at a western Indiana coal gasification plant. Danny Turner of Marshall, Ill., and David Shoemaker of Rosedale were presumed killed in Monday's explosion, said Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel. But final identifications were not expected until autopsies are done this week, Marvel said. The two men were tightening bolts on the flanged opening, similar to a manhole cover, at SG Solutions when the blast happened Monday, said plant manager Richard Payonk. They were employees of Sterling Boiler and Mechanical Inc., an Evansville-based firm founded to help utility companies with emergency repairs and construction projects.

Garbage worker dead after being hit by car as he collected trash in Oakland

San Jose, CA - A Waste Management worker was struck and killed by a car early this morning as he collected garbage in the 9300 block of Bancroft Avenue in East Oakland. Company officials identified the woker as Jose Camarena, who was struck when a car attempted to go around a Waste Management truck. Camarena was taken from the scene to a local hospital. "He was a longtime employee," said Waste Management staffer David Tucker. "This is still under investigation."

Stateville guard shot by Illinois State Police dies

IL - The Stateville correctional officer shot last week while fighting with Illinois State Police officers died Monday. Lernard Grigsby, 48, of Crest Hill was pronounced dead at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center on Monday morning, said the Will County coroner's office. Police had responded to a domestic disturbance call in an employee dormitory at Stateville Correctional Center, north of Joliet, about 4 a.m. Thursday. When a sergeant and a trooper found the woman who had made the complaint, Grigsby allegedly attacked the officers.

Forklift crushed man's head, autopsy finds

Santa Ana, CA - report reveals that 61-year-old man died after blunt force trauma, authorities say. An autopsy performed on a 61-year-old man, who died after a forklift he had been operating ran him over, revealed he died of massive crushing head injuries, according to the Orange County Coroner's Office. The autopsy showed Daniel Mendoza Jr., of Anaheim, suffered from a heart condition and chronic pulmonary disease, said Daniel Aikin, a supervising deputy coroner. "We examined him and he has these conditions, but can't say what happened," Aikin said. An investigation by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is under way to determine the circumstances surrounding Mendoza's death.

Steel Worker Struck and Killed by Girder

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. - A steel plant employee was struck in the head by a steel girder and killed at the ArcelorMittal plant in Burns Harbor. Porter County Coroner Victoria Deppe says 60-year-old Russell Payne of Portage died at the scene Wendesday morning of blunt force trauma to the head. United Steelworkers Local 6787 President Paul Gipson says Payne was crushed by a steel girder when a crane holding heavy chains got caught on the girder and rolled it on top of Payne. Gipson noted Payne's death during a rally Wednesday for Democratic Presdiential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Truck driver killed in chain reaction crash identified

WATKINS, CO – Investigators say a truck driver was killed when he was thrown from his cab during a chain reaction crash that shut down Interstate 70. They say the person who died was not in a truck that was buried under a load of bricks, as initially reported. The series of crashes started on eastbound I-70 near Watkins on Thursday afternoon. The highway was eventually shut down in both directions because of the four separate sets of accidents. The first accident involved a truck crashing into a Colorado Department of Transportation truck and a Colorado State Patrol car. The State Patrol says 64-year-old Earl Steffen of Fairbury, Illinois was in a tractor-trailer loaded with brick when he crashed. Even though he was wearing a seat belt, he was thrown from his truck and landed underneath another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to CSP.

Garvey falls, crushes Dolfin Dock worker

SOMERS POINT, NJ - An employee of Dolfin Dock in Somers Point was crushed to death Thursday afternoon when the boat he was painting fell on top of him, police said. Friends identified the man as Jim Simmons, a lifelong resident of Somers Point. Simmons, was a longtime employee of the dock. Described by friends as one of the best fisherman in the area, Simmons appeared in many of former Press Sports Editor Mike Shephard's "Shep on Fishing" columns over the last several years. Capt. Phil Gaffney said that it was unclear whether the jack holding up the 17-foot garvey slipped out from under the vessel, whether the victim knocked it over or whether the Styrofoam that was also holding up the boat gave way. There was an outboard motor attached, Gaffney said, which added weight.

Lawn care worker dies in accident

Florence, KY - A lawn care employee was found dead at around 12:15 p.m. Thursday, May 1, pinned under an all-terrain vehicle that had apparently rolled over on her in the Darlington subdivision of Burlington. Trisha Rouse, 39 of Florence, an employee of Hemmer Lawn Care, was riding a Honda Foreman spreading grass seed on an embankment when it turned over throwing her from it and then rolling on top of her. A resident from the neighborhood out on a walk discovered the accident and immediately notified emergency responders. Rouse, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Worker falls, dies at Chino Hills construction site

CHINO HILLS - A 57-year-old Huntington Beach man died after he fell through the second floor of a church being built here Thursday morning. Young Hak Song was pronounced dead about 10 a.m. at Chino Valley Medical Center, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Web site. Song was on the second story when he fell through an opening in the floor at Crossroads Community Church and received "traumatic injuries," according to the coroner's site. The fall was roughly 19 feet. Chino Valley Independent Fire District officials responded to the call to the 2600 block of Grand Avenue Song worked for Olympic Air Conditioning in Chino Hills, Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Kate McGuire. She said there have been no previous incidents reported by the company.

Worker dies in Hart Plaza fall

DETROIT, MI- A 37-year-old construction worker died this afternoon after he had a heart attack and fell into a 30-foot hole in Hart Plaza, fire officials said. The man, who was an employee of Lanzo Lining Services in Roseville, was part of a crew that was repairing a rainwater overflow pipe in the plaza, about 30 feet south of Jefferson Ave., said Capt. Dennis Smith of the Detroit Fire Department. "A lot of the details are still sketchy, but the medics told me he had a heart attack and fell into the hole," said Smith, who went to the scene after the man fell into the hole.

Cab driver was shot and killed, St. Pete police say

ST. PETERSBURG -- A cab driver who investigators initially thought had died in a car crash last night was actually shot to death, according to St. Petersburg police. Cops responded to the Palm View Apartments, 5420 26th St South, and found 43 year old Cyril Obinku unresponsive behind the wheel of his taxi cab. A large amount of blood was found inside the cab, police said. The taxi had crashed into a building inside the complex, according to investigators. Obinku, who worked for Blue Star Cab, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where he later died. His death was initially believed to be medical, as there were no obvious signs of trauma other than the injuries he had suffered in the crash. However further investigation by homicide detectives revealed he had died from a gunshot in his upper body. There are no suspects or a motive for the shooting at this time.

Deputy killed on duty

William Howell Jr. loved helping people, but he was concerned about the dangers he faced as a deputy in rural Orangeburg County, a fellow law enforcement officer and friend said Saturday. Howell, 46, of Cross, a former deputy for Berkeley and Dorchester counties, was shot and killed at 1:30 a.m. Saturday on a front porch while responding to a domestic violence call in the Holly Hill area. The man suspected of shooting Howell, 20-year-old Derrick Buras, was hit and killed by a car allegedly driven by his wife as he tried to leave the scene, Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said.

Cabdriver dies after crashing into building

BOSTON, MA - A taxi driver from Boston died yesterday after his cab crashed into a building in Somerville, police said. Marc Filsaime, 59, of Hyde Park, was driving a Boston-licensed cab about 2 a.m. when he hit a building at 260 Beacon St., Somerville, police said in a statement. No others were in the taxi at the time of the crash. Filsaime was later pronounced dead at Somerville Hospital. Somerville police and State Police are investigating.
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Shelby man killed in accident at Phillips Manufacturing plant

SHELBY, OH - A Shelby man was killed early Wednesday evening in an accident at Shelby Welded Tube, a division of Phillips Manufacturing Co., 5578 Ohio 61. Phillip J. Hicks, 47, of 3995 Dininger Road, was pronounced dead at 5:31 p.m., according to Paul Jones of the Richland County Coroner’s Office. Hicks was working as an independent contractor. He was working on a tow motor when the accident occurred, according to the coroner’s office, but details were not immediately available. Phillips Manufacturing said in a statement that there were no witnesses to the accident, which remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and the Ohio Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Owner Ralph Phillips notified OSHA by phone on Wednesday night, the company statement said.

Worker dies at Forest building site

Roanoke, VA - A construction worker died Thursday after an accident on a site in the Farmington subdivision in Forest, Bedford County officials said. Maj. Ricky Gardner said the incident occurred just before 11 a.m. at a house under construction on Whispering Springs Court, off Perrowville Road. He said it appears the victim fell about 10 feet from the first-floor level onto a concrete basement floor and was later found lying facing down. Bedford County rescue units responded, and the worker was declared dead at the scene. Gardner said the victim has not yet been identified, and sheriff's investigators are attempting to locate family members. Officials from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry are also investigating. The victim's body was taken to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy, and Gardner said he did not know when the man's name would be available. "They'll probably fingerprint him," Gardner said. "Right now we don't have anything at all." A news release issued by the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said the victim worked for Thomas Builders of Virginia, out of Lynchburg.

Worker struck and killed by Amtrak train in Sante Fe Springs

CA - A man working on railroad tracks in Santa Fe Springs was killed when a southbound Amtrak train struck him this afternoon. The incident occurred about 1 p.m. at Valley View Avenue and Stage Road when Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner No. 774 traveling 80 mph struck the worker, Whittier police said. He has only been identified as an employee of A-Ceco Inc., said Jason Zuhlke, spokesman for the Whittier Police Department, the primary agency handling the case. Zuhlke said the man was working on track that was shut down, but as he pulled materials from the tracks he was struck by one of the approaching Amtrak train's ladders. The train dragged the worker about 30 feet. "He sustained major trauma to the body," Zuhlke said. Ivette Garcia said she was near the intersection driving back to work at a nearby photo supplies company after lunch when the incident occurred.

Counselor at Aurora youth center collapses, dies

Denver, CO - Authorities are investigating the death Tuesday night of a counselor who was trying to restrain a resident when he fell unconscious at an Aurora youth residential psychiatric treatment home. The man, in his 20s, collapsed as the staff attempted to restrain a resident at the Jefferson Hills Residential Treatment Center, 1290 South Potomac St., said Karen Yarberry, executive director of the facility. Yarberry said it is not known whether the man's death was related to the restraint. "It's all being sorted out through a police investigation. We are fully cooperating with police," she said. police spokesman Bob Friel said police are investigating it as a suspicious death, not a homicide. "It could be a pre-existing medical condition," Friel said. "It's too soon to tell." An autopsy was performed today on the child-care counselor, but before a cause of death can be determined, several other tests must be performed, according to the Arapahoe County medical examiner's office.

Man shot to death in KC

MO - Kansas City police are investigating the latest homicide which occurred overnight outside the Renaissance West addiction treatment facility at 5840 Swope Parkway. A man, who police said was an employee there, was shot to death around 12:50 a.m. this morning after he went outside to smoke a cigarette. Police identified him as Napoleon Malone, 26. No suspects are in custody. Police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Sanders said the man was confronted by three males who were wearing hooded jackets and were on foot. There was an exchange of words and then shots were fired.

County worker killed in accident

Oklahoma City, OK - An Oklahoma County employee died this morning after a truck rolled on him, authorities said. The employee's name hasn't been released pending notification of his relatives. Sheriff's department spokesman Mark Myers said the man may have been crushed by the truck's left front tire. He was spotted by a passer-by about 10:15 a.m. near NW 234 and May Avenue, The worker was replacing road barricades in the area when the accident happened, Myers said.

Worker dies at Gulf Marine

Aransas Pass, TX - A 50-year-old Gulf Marine Fabricators crane operator tragically died last Tuesday after a piece of a 1,000-ton oil drilling platform fell on the cab of the crane he was operating. A little before 8 a.m., Adrian Flores, Sr.'s crane collapsed in the south yard at Gulf Marine Fabricators in Ingleside. “Four 600-ton cranes were working together to move a large oil drilling platform when the load shifted, which caused the load to barrel down onto Flores' cab,” San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody said. Flores was stuck inside the cab for almost four hours before rescue workers were able to free him around 11 a.m., according to Moody. Aransas Pass Fire Department, Ingleside Volunteer Fire Department and Naval Station Ingleside's Fire Department were all working together to get Flores out of the cab.

Fort Worth construction worker dies from injuries

FORT WORTH, TX - A construction worker died Saturday from injuries he suffered after falling off a building in far north Fort Worth, authorities said. Juan Zarate, 21, of Fort Worth, stepped in a “covered hole” and fell Friday morning while working on a building under construction at North Tarrant Parkway and Park Vista Boulevard, said Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. Zarate was taken by helicopter ambulance to John Peter Smith hospital where he died at 3 a.m. Saturday. He died of blunt trauma to the head, according to the medical examiner. His death was ruled an accident.

Employee Shot Outside Health Clinic

DECATUR, Ga. - A health clinic employee was shot Tuesday morning as he walked inside to work, police said. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. at the North DeKalb County Health Center on Clairmont Road. Police said the shooter was in some woods near the clinic and fired several shots, hitting the worker in the neck. The victim was taken to another hospital for treatment

Agency to probe fatal plant accident

Allentown,PA - Monroe County man was killed when a metal tray hit him. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday it is investigating an accident that killed a Monroe County man Saturday at a Plainfield Township recycling plant. ''We initiated it on Saturday,'' said Jean Kulp, the director of OSHA's Allentown office. Her office has six months to complete its investigation of the accident that killed William Edwards, 60, of Jackson Township. ''The purpose is to determine what happened, what can be done to prevent it and to determine if any OSHA violations have occurred,'' she said. Edwards was fatally injured when a heavy metal tray he was manipulating into position at RPM Recycling, 701 N. Broadway, fell, hitting him in the head, according to Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek.

Worker killed in Gilbert farm accident

Mesa, AZ - A Gilbert farm worker was killed Tuesday morning after he was crushed by more than 7,000 pounds of hay, police said. The man was helping other workers load hay bales with a forklift onto a flatbed truck just before 6 a.m. at a site near Val Vista Drive and Germann Road. Somehow he got in front of the hay bale as the forklift was loading it, authorities said. The forklift then pinned him with the hay on top of him. He suffered serious head injuries and was flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn. Authorities are investigating the incident. However, police believe the death was an accident. The man’s name hasn’t been released.

Construction Worker Dies In Elevator Shaft

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Authorities have identified the Orlando-area construction worker who fell to his death down an elevator shaft. Juan B. Espinosa, 33, died Monday after the accident at a parking garage under construction. He suffered massive head injuries and was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital in Orlando.

Man Dies after Fall from Triborough Bridge Scaffold

Queens, NY - Authorities say a construction worker died after falling 30 to 40 feet from a scaffold on a bridge that connects to Queens. Authorities say the man died at Elmhurst Hospital Center on Tuesday hours after the mid-afternoon accident on the Triborough Bridge. His identity has not been released. A Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority spokeswoman says the accident occurred after an aeriel crane bucket lifted the worker to scaffolding on the bridge above Astoria Park near Hoyt Avenue. The city's Department of Buildings does not have jurisdiction over the bridge agency or the project. The bridge authority is investigating the accident. The spokeswoman says the man was a member of a crew working on a $275 million rehabilitation of the bridge.

Four remain critical after IP explosion

Vicksburg, MS - Conditions were the same for the five people who remained at a Georgia hospital this morning after being involved in Saturday's explosion at International Paper's Vicksburg Mill that killed a Bolton man, a hospital spokesman said. Four were still in critical condition and another was listed as good at Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. Reports have indicated two others were taken to Baton Rouge General Burn Center, but a hospital spokesman said he could not confirm that information. IP officials have said they will not release the names of those who were injured when one of the mill's two recovery boilers exploded because they were employed by contractors performing maintenance. IP also declined to identify the contractors. Services were today in Edwards for 28-year-old Marcus Broome of Bolton, who died at the scene. Broome had a wife, Brooke, who was the mother of his 4-year-old twin daughters.

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