Monday, December 01, 2008

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

NOPD reserve officer dies in crash

November, New Orleans, Louisiana - A New Orleans Police Department reserve officer died early Saturday morning after a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 10. Curtis Jones, 74, was driving east on the Interstate in a New Orleans Police Department unit when his car veered right, traveling off the road just before the Oak Harbor exit. He drove another 150 feet until the car hit a tree, according to a Louisiana State Police news release.

Landscaping Worker Killed in Job Site Accident

November, Winston-Salem, North Carolina – A landscaping worker was killed Saturday while on the job shortly before noon Saturday at 4125 North Patterson Avenue, according to police. The yet-to-be identified man reportedly fell into a commercial truck that grinds up and distributes mulch. The victim, according to police, became entangled and died.

7-Eleven worker killed in Lowell

November, Lowell, Massachusetts - Authorities say three men stabbed and killed a 7-Eleven worker in Lowell after the victim exited a Chelmsford Street store to take a break. Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone says Mazen Alwarad of Lowell was flown to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead following the early Saturday attack. Witnesses say the 37-year-old Alwarad had just exited the convenience store to take his break when he was attacked by three men in the parking lot.

Paper mill worker killed in accident

November, Mobile, Alabama - A worker was killed in an accident at a Kimberly-Clark Corp. mill in Mobile on Thursday, a company spokesman said. Richard C. Smith, 57, of Satsuma, was fatally injured while performing maintenance in the pulp preparation area of the mill, said David Dickson, spokesman for Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark.

Idaho man killed in industrial accident

November, Moscow, Idaho - An Idaho man was killed in an industrial accident at the Port of Whitman County Tuesday morning. Steven H. Woods, 46, of Culdesac, was helping to unload a 46,000-pound section of a crane from a trailer at about 10:15 a.m. when the lifting straps broke and the heavy crane fell, according to a Whitman County Sheriff’s Office release. Wood was struck and is believed to have died on impact.

Mourners united by officer's sacrifice

November, Philadelphia, Pennsilvania - "THEY ARE the decency of our city," said City Councilman Jim Kenney, watching hundreds of police officers gather yesterday at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul for the funeral of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Timothy Simpson, a 20-year veteran. Simpson, 46, was killed while responding to a robbery call in the lower Northeast's 24th District last week when his vehicle was broadsided by a car that police say was driven by fugitive William Foster, 41, of Levittown.

Construction worker dies after falling more than 30 feet in Richardson

Novovember, Dallas, Texas - A construction worker died at a Richardson hospital Wednesday after falling more than 30 feet at an apartment construction project, police said. The name of the worker was not released pending notification of family. The accident happened about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 1800 block of Greenville Avenue just south of Campbell Road in Richardson. The worker apparently was on a lift when he fell, police said.

Police: Suspect shot, killed clerk at Phillips 66 in front of another employee

November, Houston, Texas — Houston police were on the hunt for a killer after a clerk was shot dead at a Phillips 66 gas station.It happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday at Crosstimbers and Hirsch. According to police, the suspect shot the victim as another clerk watched.

Man who worked for Disney dies after accident

November, Orlando, Florida - A man working for Walt Disney World as an electrical power technician has died, weeks after sustaining injuries in an accident at a power Douglas Howell, 54, of Rockledge, died earlier this week. He had been injured Nov. 5 while working at a power substation near the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Worker killed at Kimberly-Clark mill

November, Mobile, Alabama - A worker was killed in an accident at the Kimberly Clark Corp. mill in Mobile on Thanksgiving Day, a company spokesman said today. Richard C. Smith, 57, died in an accident while performing maintenance in the pulp preparation area of the mill, said David Dickson, a Kimberly-Clark spokesman.

Man killed in combine accident had 'passion for farming'

November, Hills, Iowa - Sheri Schneider remembers her nephew, Michael Stutsman, best from a picture taken several years ago. He is standing in a bed of daisies, Schneider's daughters are beside him. The sun is shining. They were younger then, but his smile was the same. "That's just what Mikey was — a ray of sunshine." said Schneider, 62, of La Crosse, Wis. "The kindest, most gentle soul you could have ever met. "Stutsman, an organic farmer from Hills and son of Johnson County Supervisor Sally Stutsman, died Tuesday evening after a farming accident. He was 33.

Man dead after being injured by flying shrapnel

November, Irvine, California – A 26-year-old Corona man died this week after apparently being hit with flying shrapnel during an industrial accident.Edwin Moreno died just after 12:40 a.m. Tuesday at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, coroners officials said, less than three days after he was reportedly injured during an accident with machinery at Ceradyne's Irvine facility in the 17000 block of Daimler Street.

Former Alaska hospital employee shoots supervisors

November, Anchorage, Alaska — A worker returned to an Alaska hospital a day after being fired and unleashed a shooting spree that left one of his ex-supervisors dead and another critically wounded before he was fatally shot by state police. Mike Webb, 55, died two hours after the shooting, Nichols said. Margaret Stroup, 57, shot multiple times in the chest, was listed in critical condition and was to be flown to a hospital in Anchorage, she said.

New York Wal-Mart employee trampled, killed

November, New York, New York — A temporary Wal-Mart worker died after a throng of unruly shoppers broke down the doors and trampled him moments after the Long Island store opened early Friday for day-after-Thanksgiving bargain hunting, police said. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Bentonville, Ark., called the incident a "tragic situation" and said the employee came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store. The 34-year-old employee was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., Nassau County police said. The exact cause of death had not been determined, and the man's name was not released.

Monroe County deputy dies in crash with tractor-trailer

November, Conch Key, Florida - Traffic Enforcement Deputy Nick Pham was in a festive mood Wednesday, talking about holiday plans with co-workers at lunchtime before getting into his unmarked Monroe County Sheriff's Office car to patrol the Florida Keys' roads. At 12:20 p.m., Pham, 38,died in a collision with a tractor-trailer while apparently making a U-turn to chase a vehicle violating a traffic law, according to witnesses and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Sheriff Brent Lee dies while responding to emergency call

November, Trinity County, Texas - Emergency flags mark the spot where Sheriff Brent Lee's patrol car left the roadway early Thanksgiving morning. The more disturbing sight is the burned vehicle. The Crown Victoria slammed into a tree, now charred by the blaze. The veteran law man died at the very end of Farm to Market Road 3453. That road is off State Highway 19, about one mile south of the Trinity city limit sign.

Police: Customer shoots, kills fast food worker

November, LaFayette, Louisiana - Lafayette Police say a 28-year-old Burger King employee was fatally shot by a customer. Cpl. Paul Mouton says the suspect is believed to be in his late teens with short hair and a light complexion. He was reported to be wearing a multicolored, hooded jacket. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Muscatine man dies in accident in Calif.

November, Muscatine, Iowa — A Muscatine man was killed Thursday in a construction accident at a high school in Bakersfield, Calif. David Krogman, 57, was crushed by a 5,000-pound pylon when a forklift malfunctioned. Krogman was an employee of a Muscatine trucking company that was helping a Bakersfield electrical company install lights at Frontier High School’s football field.

State launches probe in worker's death

November, Ostego, Michigan - The state has launched an investigation into the death of a worker who was killed in an industrial accident that also injured two other employees at an Otsego company. Kenneth Howard Dark Jr., 57, of Otsego, and two other workers at MillAssist Services Inc., 141 N. Farmer St., were attempting to remove the end cup of a drum roller used in paper production when the accident occurred at about 10:10 a.m. Monday, according to the Otsego Police Department. Dark and the other two workers, whose names had not been released as of this morning, applied pressure when they had trouble removing the cap, and it ``unexpectedly and violently gave way,'' striking and killing Dark, a news release said.

Employee Killed In Pendleton Correctional Accident

November, Pendleton, Indiana - An employee was struck by a dump truck and died at the Pendleton Correctional Facility early Tuesday morning, correction officials said. Pendleton Superintendent Brett Mize said a dump truck that was being driven by another Department of Correction employee hit Joseph Statzer, 59, of Cicero, in a parking area.

Tragic Death at Turner County Mill

November, Ashburn, Georgia - A man was killed while working at the Golden Peanut Company in Ashburn Monday. The Turner County coroner tells us 24-year-old Keith Branch was helping move a railcar a little before 8 Monday morning. He got caught between the railcar and a tractor driven by Calvin Prater. Branch's chest was crushed. He was rushed to Tift Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mechanic in Sparta dies when car falls on him

November, Sparta, New Jersey — A 46-year-old auto shop employee died from injuries he suffered when a Honda Civic fell from a hydraulic lift onto him, police said. Herb Tremble of Franklin was extricated from the accident scene at Sparta Transmission Shop and flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital where he died from the injuries, police said.

Worker Killed By Bulldozer While on the Job

November, Albion, Indiana - A work site incident has claimed a man's life. A 46 year old construction company employee was run over by a bulldozer while working at a site in Albion. Police say the man was talking to a person on one bulldozer, then walked away and apparently did not hear or see a second bulldozer approach, then he was struck. Authorities have not yet released the victim's name.

Richmond police add fallen officer's name to memorial

November, San Jose, California - The Richmond Police Officers Association added Brad Moody's name to the granite memorial in the department's lobby Tuesday, commemorating him as the 10th city officer killed in the line of duty. Moody died after an Oct. 4 car crash a few blocks from the department. He left behind a wife and two young girls. Moody's organs were donated, saving a life in San Francisco. The department donated his canine partner, Rico, to the family.

FBI mourns agent killed on duty

November, Baltimore, Maryland — Sam Hicks was fresh out of the FBI's training academy last year when he was assigned to the bureau's Pittsburgh office. For Hicks, 33, a former Baltimore police officer and high school science teacher, it was a sweet homecoming to western Pennsylvania. He grew up in Somerset and graduated from Southmoreland High School, where Principal Wesley Nicholson boasts that his students are "the best. And we expect the best from them." Hicks — the father of a 2-year-old boy and a recent addition to the bureau's anti-terrorism unit — was on his way to fulfilling that potential when he was shot to death last Wednesday trying to serve a warrant in a drug case. He is the first FBI agent in Pittsburgh killed in the line of duty.

Cabdriver fatally shot at Shirley LIRR station

November, Long Island, New Jersey - For the second time in four days, a Long Island cabdriver has been shot and killed on the job. The driver, John Attrino, 53, of Shirley, was shot in the torso just before 3 a.m. yesterday at the Long Island Rail Road train station in Shirley, said police, who thus far have not uncovered a motive for the slaying. Police, who have made no arrests in the case, said they are investigating the killing.

Gas station clerk fatally shot in Hollywood robbery

November, Hollywood, California - Gripping a silver pistol and dressed in black from his visor to his sneakers, a brazen thief in search of cash gunned down a Hollywood store clerk who refused to give it up Tuesday morning, authorities said. After shooting the clerk, the killer then invited in two cohorts to clean out the register. Police declined to release the name of the victim, who died at Memorial Regional Hospital. Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4 identified him as Sunil Paul, 36, although neither police nor the medical examiner's office would confirm it because next of kin had not yet been notified.

Worker killed at Hoover Dam identified

November, Las Vegas, Nevada - Update: The worker killed at the Hoover Dam Bypass Project has been identified. A spokesperson for the Federal Highway Administration says 48-year-old Sherman Jones of Las Vegas was killed Monday while adjusting a cable. The coronor has yet to rule on the exact cause of death.

Ocean Park worker dies in fall

November, Manila, Philippines - A maintenance worker at the Manila Ocean Park died when he fell 12 feet from a makeshift ladder, was impaled on a jutting piece of metal and hit his head on the pavement Monday afternoon. Edmundo CaƱete, 28, of Road 1 North Daang Hari, Taguig City, died instantly after he slipped and fell while installing a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera inside the marine recreation center at the Luneta Park in Ermita, Manila.

Worker dies when furnace falls on him

November, North Manchester, Indiana - Northern Indiana police say a foundry worker died over the weekend when an industrial furnace fell on him as he was working on it. Twenty-four-year-old Ramon Hernandez died Saturday morning at the Manchester Metals foundry about 30 miles west of Fort Wayne. Hernandez was working on the furnace's hydraulic system when it fell, pinning him. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to free Hernandez, who was later pronounced dead.

Falling hangar door kills worker at airport

November, Gainsville, Florida - A University Air Center employee died Monday afternoon following an accident that morning in which a section of a hangar door fell on her, police reported. Cindy Kilgore, 41, was taken to Shands at the University of Florida following the accident, which occurred shortly before 9 a.m., according to Gainesville police and information provided by the Gainesville Regional Airport. Kilgore was later pronounced dead due to her injuries, police reported.

3 Charged In Stabbing Death Of Dollar Store Worker

November, Chicago, Illinois ― Three people, two of them teenagers, were charged Monday in the murder of a Hanover Park dollar store employee.The victim, Vatsala V. Thakkar, 56, was found outside the discount store, 5662 Arlington Drive East, at about 1:45 p.m. Nov. 20. She had been stabbed in the back multiple times, according to a release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's office. Thakkar was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Aplington farmer killed in tractor accident

November, Aplington, Iowa - Authorities say an eastern Iowa farmer has been killed after he lost control of the tractor he was driving on an icy road. Eric Dietrich died as a result of the accident Saturday morning in Butler County. Aplington Fire Chief Hal Stahl says 55-year-old Dietrich was driving a John Deere tractor and pulling two wagons loaded with corn when the accident happened. Stahl says the tractor stayed on the icy roadway, but one of the wagons tipped over and Dietrich was killed.

Bravest brothers salute lieutenant killed in S.I. blaze at his wake

November, New York, New York - FDNY Lt. Robert Ryan died as he lived - a leader who put himself in harm's way to protect his fellow firefighters, his grieving colleagues said Monday. Ryan, 46, was in front of his men from Engine 155 as they stretched a hose into a burning Staten Island building when part of a ceiling collapsed on him early Sunday. The flaming debris knocked off Ryan's mask and oxygen tank, sending him crashing to the floor with no protection from the noxious, choking black smoke. Results from an autopsy, which will determine whether it was the falling ceiling or the smoke that killed Ryan, are still pending.

Livery driver found shot to death

November, Long Island, New York - (WABC) -- A 43-year-old livery driver was found fatally shot in a vacant lot in Elmont over the weekend, the victim of an apparent robbery. Michael Xavier, of Commack, was killed while working as a night driver for Long Island Checker Cab Co. of New Hyde Park. He was found fatally shot just before 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the corner of Murray Hill Street and Holland Avenue. The cab he had been driving was found in New York City.

Cab driver killed in Newport News was native of Morocco

November, Norfolk, Virginia - Police have released the name of a taxi driver killed while working Sunday night. Officers found Mohammed "Mike" Laktami, a 32-year-old native of Morocco living legally in the United States, behind the wheel of his cab just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of 20th Street and Marshall Avenue. He had been shot once in the head, said Harold Eley, Newport News police spokesman. Police found the cab stopped in the road.

Funeral for last victim in Santa Clara killings

November Santa Clara, California - The last of three high-tech executives gunned down in their Silicon Valley office was laid to rest Friday as friends, families and co-workers struggled to make sense of what they called an incomprehensible crime.Funeral services were held in Los Altos for Brian Pugh, 47, vice president of operations at SiPort in Santa Clara before he and two co-workers were slain Nov. 14 by an engineer who had been fired from the firm earlier in the day, policeS said.The company's chief executive, Sid Agrawal, and human resources director Marilyn Lewis also were killed.

Rockford bar employee who was killed ‘was a protector’

November, Rockford, Illinois - Tyrone Thompson and Rodney Fair helped escort a man out of Chivo’s Bar on Broadway early this morning. About 10 minutes later, police say, that same man came back to Chivo’s with a handgun and shot them down. Thompson, 39, died. Fair, 44, was in stable condition Sunday night and police have yet to identify the shooter. “He was a protector,” said Chalita Thompson, Tyrone’s younger sister. “That’s what he was, always protecting people.”

Hollywood officer killed in fatal crash identified

November, Miami, Florida - Hollywood police on Sunday identified the officer killed in a fiery single-car wreck Saturday night as 31-year-old Alex Del Rio, a nine-year veteran currently assigned to traffic enforcement. On Saturday night, Del Rio's colleagues were forced to work the fatal wreck that killed one of their own after Del Rios' cruiser crashed into a tree and burst into flames, trapping him inside. At the time of the crash, Del Rio was in pursuit of a motorist believed to be speeding, according to a police press release. Hollywood police gave this account of what happened.

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