Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekly Toll: Sent in by Viewers

Family grieves; probe under way in plant explosion

May 7 Jackson, Mississippi - Brooke Broome watched Monday night as her 4-year-old twins Madison and Olivia shouted at the top of their lungs at the moon. The girls, coping with their father's death at the International Paper Co. mill in Redwood, were trying to talk to him, their mother explained. "I told them daddy got hurt at work and had to go be with Jesus and God. They understand the concept of heaven but not the place. They think it's on the moon because it's far away," she said. Their father,28-year-old Marcus Broome, was buried Tuesday at Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Edwards.

Cropduster pilot dies in crash near Wheatley, Ark.

May 15 WHEATLEY Ark. - A pilot killed when his cropduster crashed in St. Francis County had been spraying pesticides on a field in preparation for planting, a sheriff's deputy said Thursday. Maj. Stanley Barnes said the pilot flew an Air Tractor AT-502B Wednesday afternoon about a mile north and a mile west of the community of Wheatley and crashed there. St. Francis County Co-roner Rausch Hodges identified the pilot as Michael D. Poe, 26, of Forrest City. No one on the ground was injured in the crash.

Gardena store owner shot in taped killing

May 15 GARDENA Calif. - A videotape of a store owner pleading for her life as she is shot repeatedly by a masked gunman was released by authorities who say they have no leads in the killing. A surveillance camera recorded the murder of Hae Sook Roh, 51, of Harbor City. She was gunned down in her T-shirt store around 6:45 p.m. Monday by a man who got away with only a small amount of cash, authorities said Thursday.
The security video showed a left-handed man with a bandanna over his face running into the store, demanding money, shooting the woman and rifling the cash register, authorities said. He paused to fire twice more at the screaming woman on the floor before fleeing. She was shot three times in the torso and died at a hospital.

Kittery captain feared drowned; The lobsterman's son and another crewman are rescued from an island after their boat capsizes.

May 13 MN - The Coast Guard called off its search for a Kittery lobsterman late Monday, hours after his son and another crewman were rescued from a small island off New Hampshire. Chris Tobey, 46, presumably drowned after the three were thrown into the water at 3 p.m. Sun-day when a large wave capsized their 40-foot boat, the Sav-A-Buck, about 200 feet from Duck Isl-and. Tobey's 16-year-old son, also named Chris, and Robert Blackburn, 21, were able to swim to the island, where they burned seaweed to keep warm. The younger Tobey helped his father swim a por-tion of the distance, but the two became separated. None of the three was wearing a life jacket, but that is not unusual for working fishermen. The boat had passed a voluntary safety inspection in the past year, which would have required having all necessary safety gear, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said. The crew was reported missing at 10 a.m. Monday by the elder Tobey's daughter, Amanda To-bey. She reported that the crew had left at 10 a.m. Sunday and was due back by 5 p.m.

Montana man killed in oil rig accident

May 16 STANLEY ND - Mountrail County authorities say a Montana man died after falling 15 feet from an oil rig while changing a gasket. The victim is identified as 21-year-old Nathaniel Zinn, of Chinook, Mont. Sheriff Ken Halvorson said Zinn was killed shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, at a rig site about 11 miles south of Stanley. Halvorson said Zinn fell after removing a clamp bolt, leading to excessive gas pressure that blew apart some of the equipment. Zinn was pronounced dead at the scene. Halvorson said an autopsy is planned. He said the rig owned by Cyclone Drilling of Gillette, Wyo., is drilling a horizontal well for Houston-based Murex Petroleum. The sheriff's office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investi-gating the death. OSHA area director Bruce Beelman said Zinn's death brings to 11 the number of workers killed in North Dakota's oil patch in the past 10 years.

worker fell 20 feet Death at CityCenter ruled accidental

May 16 Las Vegas, Nevada -The April 26 death of an electrician at the CityCenter project was an accident, the Clark County Coroner's office has determined. Mark Wescoat, 47, fell about 20 feet to his death that morning at the $7 billion project on the Strip being built by MGM Mirage. A spokeswoman with Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency was still investigating the incident and wouldn't comment further.

Conveyor crushes employee

May 16 Anchorage, Alaska - An asphalt company worker was seriously injured Thursday when his head and chest were crushed in a conveyor belt, Anchorage police and firefighters said. Joseph Metzler, 28, remained in critical condition Thursday evening after the accident at Quali-ty Asphalt Paving just after 4 p.m., police Lt. Paul Honeman said. There did not appear to be any witnesses to the industrial accident that took place amid the mountains of gravel at the work site off C Street and Raspberry Road, and police were still trying to determine what happened, he said. Metzler had gotten caught between the belt and its drum when some of his co-workers discov-ered him, Honeman said. His torso had been crushed, apparently collapsing his lungs, he said.

Investigation continues into possible heat death

May 20 CA -An autopsy Monday provided no conclusive evidence that heat-related illness killed a 27-year-old oil worker last week in rural McKittrick. Kern County's supervising deputy coroner, John Van Rensselaer, said the department will now look to toxicology tests to determine why Julius A. Askew collapsed on the Cymric oil lease around 6 p.m. Friday while working for Denver-based Ensign United States Drilling. "At this point we don't know what we have, whether it's heat-related or not," Rensselaer said, adding that it could take up to 60 days before the department can determine the cause of death. Meanwhile, the company is conducting its own investigation into Askew's death, as is the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA.


May 21 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Brian Haas and Andrew ba Tran Staff Writers Staff Writers Doreen Hemlock, Macollvie Jean-Francois, Alexia Campbell and Sofia Santana and Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report. One by one, the workers descended into the hold of the Madeleine at Dock 31 at Port Ever-glades, undeterred by the possibility of an argon gas leak below. As the third and final worker went down the ladder to try and save his two co-workers, he was warned. "I told him don't go down," recalled Tarson Bodden. "You won't come back up." Bodden watched the third man descend and then scramble half-way up the ladder only to col-lapse. His body landed next to his two colleagues. "They were trying to help each other," Bodden said, gripping his hard hat. "They lost their lives trying to help one another. It's terrible." Three fathers, Hayman Sooknanan, 47, of Oakland Park; James Cason, 43, of Fort Lauderdale; and Rene Robert Dutertre Jr., 25, of Wilton Manors, died in the bowels of the cargo ship Tuesday, suffocated by argon gas, which made the air in the hold unbreathable.

49-year-old died Monday Coroner identifies construction worker

May 21 Las Vegas, Nevada - The 49-year-old construction worker who died earlier this week at the Union Park redevelop-ment site in downtown Las Vegas was identified Tuesday as Angel Orozco-Pio, according to the county coroner's office. The cause of Orozco-Pio's death is still pending. North Las Vegas resident Orozco-Pio died about 7:45 a.m. Monday at the site near Bonneville Avenue and Grand Central Parkway,. Tim Szymanski, spokesman for the Las Vegas Fire Department, said the man was working with a concrete pipe in a 4-foot-deep trench when he died.The state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is investigating.


May 20 Albany, New York - Police believe a self-employed logger who died Friday in Warren County was killed by a falling tree, authorities said Monday. Bradley C. TenEyck, 38, of Olmstedville, Essex County, died Friday in Glens Falls Hospital from wounds he suffered while cutting wood off rural Hemingway Road, Warren County Undersheriff Robert Swan said. While it's not exactly clear what happened, reports from a nearby co-worker and an autopsy in-dicate he was struck by a dead tree that fell, Swan said.

Shopkeeper Fatally Shot in Robbery

May 23 Staten Island Advance New Yor Wednesday was another slow day at Elgudzha Koyenishvili’s liquor store in a strip of shops on Lincoln Avenue in the small-town Staten Island neighborhood of Grant City. At noon, Mr. Koyenishvili locked up and went around the corner to Josef’s Barber Shop. “On the sides a little bit shorter, on the top a little bit trim, and that’s it,” said Yuriy Bababekov, who had been cutting Mr. Koyenishvili’s gray hair for five years. “Not too short.” In front of his store, Lincoln Liquors, Mr. Koyenishvili, 67, shot the breeze with Miguel Aponte, a street mechanic. He asked him to check the brakes on his Toyota. “He heard squeaks,” Mr. Aponte said.

Logger killed by tree

May 23 HILL CITY SD - A lumberjack has died in a logging accident northeast of Hill City. Authorities identify him as 55-year-old Seferino Jimenez Tovar. Tovar was killed when struck in the head by a tree that was blown down by gusty winds. A co-worker found his body.

Statements conflict in messenger's death

May 23 San Francisco - San Francisco police said Thursday they have conflicting statements as to who had the right of way when a bicycle messenger was killed Wednesday in a collision with a pickup truck near Alamo Square. Kirk Janes, 35, of San Francisco was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene from head injuries. Police hit-and-run investigator Dean Taylor said that two witnesses say Janes had the green light when the accident happened at 10:55 a.m. at Steiner and Fulton streets, but that at least one other witness said the pickup truck had the green.

Roof worker electrocuted

May 23 DAYTONA BEACH, FL - A man who died Wednesday on the roof of a building under renovation apparently was electrocuted, according to preliminary autopsy results.
Joe Fitwater, 43, of Holly Hill was welding near an air-conditioning unit on the building at In-ternational Speedway Boulevard and Nova Road just before 2 p.m. when a co-worker realized he was unresponsive, Daytona Beach police Sgt. Jimmie Flynt said. Fitwater was pronounced dead at Halifax Health Medical Center.

BQE crash kills trucker, spurs traffic nightmare

May 23 New York - A fiery collision between a cement truck and two cars on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on Thursday killed one driver and snarled rush-hour traffic for miles. Julio Mora, 65, was behind the wheel of the truck when one its tires blew, sending it careening into an Oldsmobile Cutlass before it plowed through the highway's concrete barrier just before 6 a.m. Crushing the Cutlass against the barrier, the truck clipped a Lincoln Town Car on the other side of the highway just before it burst into flames. Mora, who worked for Seament Transportation, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene, officials said.

Worker Dies In Explosion, Fire At Mead Chemical Plant

May 16 MEAD, Colo - OSHA Sends Two Investigators To Accident Scene. A Boulder Scientific employee who suffered severe burns in an explosion and fire at the chemical plant in Mead died from his injuries Friday. He was identified as Leslie Robertson, 37, of Loveland, Colo. Robertson was working near an oven where they cook the chemicals when the explosion occurred, said a spokesman with Mountain View Fire. Robertson was airlifted to University Hospital in Denver with third-degree burns to his head, face, arms, chest and back. Doctors were not able to save him and he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.

Worker killed on construction site

May 24, COOKEVILLE Tenn. - Officials say a man has died after being hit in the head with a two-by-four board at a construc-tion site in Overton County. District Attorney Tony Craighead said 48-year-old William Hodges died after suffering the blow Thursday morning. Craighead said Hodges was working with 19-year-old Dusty Curtis Phillips when the two began to argue. Phillips later walked to a nearby store but was brought back to the scene by authorities. The two men were working at a site where a water line between Livingston and Hilham is being constructed. Hodges was an employee of J&H Construction Co.

CSX Conductor Crushed By Coal

May 26 LUMBERTON, NC - A CSX Railroad employee was killed in Robeson County when he was crushed by tons of coal while unloading a train. Sheriff Kenneth Sealey told The Fayetteville Observer that the unidentified man was a conductor who was killed just after 2 p.m. Monday at Progress Energy's Weatherspoon Plant. Sealey says the man was part of a two-person crew that was unloading the 97-car train when he either fell or was pulled down into the coal. The man died on the scene. No other injuries were reported. Sealey says the incident was still under investigation. The victim's name was not released pending notification of family.

Some cabbies in suburban NY want increased protection

May 28 YONKERS, NY - Some taxi drivers in suburban New York are calling for a law that would require measures to protect them after one of their own was robbed and fatally stabbed. About 160 taxis drove from downtown Yonkers to an industrial neighborhood on Monday where Geraldo (He-RAL'-do) Gutierrez crashed his cab after being attacked. The cabbies heard a call for unity and a for a law that would put either a partition separating passenger and driver or a camera in taxis. State Federation of Taxi Drivers President Fernando Mateo said the entire state should have the same kind of measures that New York City has in place to protect its cabbies. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with stabbing Gutierrez to death.

Store manager fatally shot during robbery, truck carjacked

May 28 SILVER SPRING, MD — Montgomery County police say a Silver Spring store manager was shot to death during a robbery. It happened just after 4 p.m. Tuesday at the store called Variedades Jenny on University Boulevard East near Piney Branch Road. When officers arrived at the store, they found the body of the 53-year-old man identified by relatives as Jorge Vallatoro. Relatives say Vallatoro had moved with his family from El Salvador and his daughter bought the store for him to manage. Minutes after the shooting, two men carjacked a Comcast cable bucket truck nearby. It was found less than a mile away in a residential neighborhood in the Langley Park area of Prince George’s County. The driver of the cable truck was not hurt. Prince George’s police say they are looking for two suspects in the carjacking. They say one wore a trench coat and a baseball cap. One suspect is believed to be armed with a handgun.

Fatal crash on Green Line

May 29 NEWTON, NY - Operator dies as trolley hits another in Newton; At least 7 hospitalized for serious injuries; Rail service disrupted, replaced with shuttles. An outbound Green Line trolley crowded with rush-hour passengers slammed into the back of a second trolley along an idyllic stretch of track in Newton yesterday evening, a collision that caused the two trains to derail, threw commuters from their seats, and killed the MBTA operator who was driving the second train. The father of the operator identified her as Terrese Edmonds, 24, of Boston, who had been on the job since August. Early this morning, rescuers were still trying to extricate the body from the wreckage, where a medical examiner declared her dead. "My daughter died," her father, Terry Jones, said in an interview. "I have to go." Earlier, Jones recalled how he used to bring his daughter lunches during her break, saying: "She loves the T. She said she was having a lot of fun and meeting a lot of interesting people."

Wreck kills truck driver, causes fuel spill in Lee County

May 29 2 SMITHS STATION, Ala. - Authorities have identified the driver of a tanker truck who was killed when it overturned and caused a massive fuel spill in rural Lee County. The Lee County coroner said Thursday that 47-year-old Charles Michael Stoker of Opelika was killed in the accident around noon Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Lee Road 379. Authorities said Stoker tried to avoid a vehicle that had pulled into his path. The wreck and spill of several hundred gallons of gasoline forced state troopers and sheriff's deputies to shut down a section of the highway. The roadway was reopened last night. Stoker was airlifted to a hospital in Columbus, Ga., where he died from his injuries.

School bus driver collapses and dies

May 31 McHenry, IL - A McHenry school bus driver collapsed and died Thursday morning while on his way to pick up students, police said. No students were on the bus. Witnesses said Robert Belletynee, 66, of McHenry was driving east on Illinois Highway 120 when they saw him slump over the steering wheel. The bus crashed at Crystal Lake Road, said McHenry Deputy Police Chief Willia Brogan. Belletynee was pronounced dead at Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, authorities said.

2-year-old boy killed in southeastern Minn. farm accident

MAY 31 Fillmore, Minn.Authorities say a 2-year-old boy has died in a farm accident in southeastern Minnesota. The Fillmore County Sheriff's office says the boy's teen brother was moving a manure spreader from a barn on Friday and didn't know that the boy was in the spreader's path. The boy was pronounced dead at about 12:45 p.m. on a farm in Canton Township. His name hasn't been released. Authorities are investigating the incident.

Construction flagman killed near Chaska is ID'd

May 17 Stewartville, MN - The flagman killed by a motorist Thursday morning in Carver County was Leo Kuisle of Stewartville, Minn., authorities reported Friday. Kuisle, 47, was hit in a construction zone about 7 a.m. as he held up a stop sign to let equipment cross the highway near Mount Hope Road, said Kent Barnard, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). "He was a good husband, a good father, a good grandpa, a good guy," Kellie Kuisle, his wife, said Friday night. "He loved his job, he loved the people that he worked with."

Agency owner is charged in N.C. investigator's death

May 20 CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When the state received a complaint about an insurance agency, it was state investigator Sallie Rohrbach who got the assignment to examine its books. Now, her body is missing -- and the agency's owner is charged with killing her. Rohrbach traveled nearly 170 miles from Raleigh to Charlotte last week and had planned to spend several days auditing the Dilworth Insurance Agency. When family and co-workers didn't hear from her by late last week, they called police. A massive ground search led detectives to her car, which was discovered Sunday morning in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant less than a mile from the insurance agency. It wasn't long before authorities charged the owner of the insurance agency, Michael Arthur Howell, with first-degree murder.

Ind. firefighter's death linked to stress in battling arsons

May 26 EATON, Ind. — A firefighter's heart-attack death might have been caused by the stress of responding to more than a dozen blazes set in a central Indiana town, a fire official said. Jay Maddy, 41, was a member of the Eaton Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years before he died Saturday, the day after he fell ill, said Tim Baty, the chief of the neighboring Hamilton Township Fire Department. Maddy was one of the first firefighters to respond to 21 fires reported in the town between 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Thursday that damaged a carport and motor home, a minivan, a sport-utility vehicle, a mo-ped and several trash cans. Maddy joined a crew of police officers and firefighters that patrolled the town Thursday night and early Friday to prevent more arsons. Maddy was up for 24 hours without rest, but showed no signs of trouble other than fatigue before his heart attack, Baty said.


May 1 NEW PORT RICHEY, FL - The family of a Tampa police officer is suing Pasco County for $200,000 in damages for his death from a crash with a government pickup.
Master Patrol Officer Victor Guerrero, 47, a father and 20-year veteran, died in the collision May 1. The crash occurred when Guerrero was off-duty and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle south on U.S. 41, just north of State Road 52. A county-owned Ford F-150 pickup heading north made a left turn in front of the motorcycle. The impact hurled Guerrero across a lane, police said. Guerrero had not been wearing a helmet.

Hunt still on for killer and car in Brooklyn shop-owner slay

May 18 Brooklyn, NY - Cops released a sketch and description Saturday of the man suspected of killing a beloved Brooklyn dry cleaner inside her shop. Cops were also searching for the white Honda Accord that the victim, Kyong-Sook Woo, 63, parked near her Windsor Terrace store before she was murdered. Woo was found early Friday in the shop's rear bathroom surrounded by a pool of blood. The cause of her death has not been released. Woo's son became worried about his mother after she didn't come home Thursday. He was met by police when he arrived at Eden Dry Cleaners early Friday.

Man killed in farm accident

May 26 Raleigh, NC A local farmer was killed Saturday evening when he became trapped under his tractor. Charles Stephen Jones, 62, was president of the Agri-Business Council of Johnston County and was a certified crop adviser, according to his obituary. Sheriff’s deputies were called out to his home at 2296 Buffalo Road at 5:24 p.m. Saturday, and he had apparently been pulling a disk on his tractor.

Worker plunges to death

May 28 WHITTIER, CA - A worker fixing a motel neon sign was killed Wednesday morning after a cable on a hydraulic ladder snapped and he fell 40 feet. Mike Willis, 51, of Orange hit his head and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, said Whit-tier Police spokesman Officer Jason Zuhlke. He said Willis was wearing a safety harness but it appears one of the belt loops where it was at-tached broke loose. At about 11 a.m., Willis and his brother were replacing neon bulbs in the sign for the Budget Inn Motel at 14030 Whittier Blvd. Willis was sitting on a 55-foot hydraulic ladder. As they were lowering the ladder, Zuhlke said the cable that controls the bending and lifting snapped.

One Worker Is Dead in West Side Accident

Sept. 4 New York - A worker fell 48 stories to his death — about 500 feet — at 9:29 a.m. Thursday from a movable walkway at a construction site at West 41st Street and 11th Avenue, on the Far West Side of Manhattan, according to city officials. Officials initially looked into the possibility that the worker, identified by the authorities as Anthony Esposito, may have been involved with the operation of a construction crane at the site, but later said the crane was not involved in the accident. “There was no crane collapse here,” said Kate Lindquist, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Buildings. “The tower is structurally sound.”

At least 3 killed in Coast Guard helicopter crash, US Coast Guard helicopter crashes in water south of Honolulu; 3 killed, 1 missing

Sept. 05 HONOLULU, HI - An official says at least three U.S. Coast Guard crewmembers were killed when their helicopter crashed in waters about five miles south of Honolulu, and another crewmember is missing. Spokesman Lt. John Titchen says the search continues Friday for the remaining crewmember. He says the Coast Guard release the names or ranks of the dead crewmembers for another day.The helicopter crashed at 8:15 p.m. Thursday as the crew was conducting search and rescue drills with a 47-foot motor lifeboat.

Falling Rod Pierces Construction Worker At Tampa High-Rise

Aug 27 TAMPA, FL - A 28-year-old construction worker is in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital after a slender metal rod fell 26 floors this morning, piercing his helmet and head, officials said. Tampa Fire Rescue arrived about 7:45 a.m. at The Element, a 36-story high-rise at 808 N. Franklin St., to find Rafael Villasenor Cazares unconscious and barely breathing on the 10th floor. Police provided a different spelling for the worker's name earlier today. Cazares was listed in critical condition this afternoon, according to the hospital. Through a hospital spokeswoman, his family declined to speak to reporters.

Kiefer police officer dies in crash

May 30 OOLOGAH, OK — A Kiefer police sergeant died Thursday morning after his cruiser was involved in a two-vehicle crash in Rogers County, authorities said. Les Wilmott, 54, died at the scene. The accident happened shortly after midnight on northbound U.S. 169 at State Highway 88, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Troopers said Wilmott was driving north on U.S. 169 when he rear-ended a tractor-trailer driven by Luis A. Lara, 33, of Laredo, Texas. Lara was not hurt.

KCK bar copes with bartender's murder

May 29 Kansas City - Laura Maude would walk into the Gossip Inn bar and shout, "Hi, Lori Ann!" The bartender would smile and shout back, "Hi, Lori Ann," and then they'd both bust up laugh-ing because they had the same first names and they thought it was a hoot in a goofy girlfriend kind of way to greet each other like this. The Gossip Inn bar in Kansas City, Kan., closed for a week after a shooting last month. The owner, Laura Maude, recently tended to customers Dan Derricott (left) and Derryl Belknap. Reynolds "Hi, Lori Ann!" For Maude, the sound of bartender Lori Reynolds' voice is a fresh memory. Reynolds, 44, died last month when a man shot her multiple times after she refused to serve him without first seeing his ID. She had worked at the Gossip Inn since 2001, and had been friends with Maude, the bar's own-er, before that. A Raytown man was charged with murder four days after the shooting.

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