Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace
Two officers confirmed dead in Woodburn bank bombing
Dec. 13, Portland, OR - Police on Saturday confirmed the death of a second officer in a bomb blast Friday evening at West Coast Bank in Woodburn -- one of the worst law enforcement tragedies in Oregon history. The city's police chief underwent five hours of surgery and remained in critical condition at OHSU Hospital. The victims were identified as Senior Trooper William Hakim, who worked as a bomb squad technician for Oregon State Police, and Capt. Tom Tennant of the Woodburn Police Department, both described by colleagues as dedicated professionals and family men.
Sanitation worker Hector Fuentes dead at 30
Dec. 13, Long Island, NY - Friends and relatives will gather today to remember a father of five from Central Islip who died after a garbage truck ran over him in Northport. Hector Fuentes, an employee of Tag Sanitation of Bohemia, had been working on the garbage truck picking up trash with another man Wednesday on James Street near Northwest Drive when the truck backed up over him, said Northport Police Det. Peter Hayes. He either fell off the back of the truck or wasn't paying attention, Hayes said. "The driver didn't see him," Hayes said. Fuentes, 30, was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he died about 11:15 p.m.
Worker dies in 50-foot fall from lift truck
Dec. 12, Kokomo, IN - A worker repairing a billboard along U.S. 31 near Kokomo died when he fell 50 feet from the bucket of a lift truck. Howard County Coroner Jay Price says an autopsy Friday in Fort Wayne showed 54-year-old Vance Collins of Walton died of blunt force trauma and multiple fractures. Authorities say Collins, who worked for Reed Signs Inc. of Kokomo, was in the bucket with another worker about 3:30 p.m. Thursday when the bucket tipped sideways and Collins fell, suffering head injuries.
Man Atop Ladder Near Utility Pole Electrocuted
Dec. 14, District Heights, MD - A contractor working on a utility line in District Heights was electrocuted yesterday, authorities said. The man had climbed an aluminum ladder propped against a utility pole in the 6600 block of Grafton Street. The metal ladder came in contact with a high-voltage utility line and the man fell when he got a shock, said Mark Brady, spokesman for the Prince George's Fire and Emergency Services Department. The man was pronounced dead at the scene after Pepco technicians were able to cut power to the line, Brady said. Prince George's police did not immediately identify the man. An investigation is continuing.
Death rolls on street in Brooklyn trash truck horror
Dec. 11, New York, NY - The driver of a runaway garbage truck was crushed to death Thursday as he tried to climb back into the vehicle as it careened down a Brooklyn street, plowing into parked cars, police and witnesses said. Thomas Guzzardo, 52, left the Chambers Papers Fibers truck idling on Lexington Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant as he collected boxes around 1:30p.m. Somehow the truck began to roll down the street smashing into at least 16 parked cars.
Man crushed under trash truck
Dec. 12, Riverside, CA - A 41-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man was the victim of a fatal industrial accident at a trash recycling yard in Perris, according to Riverside County coroner's and sheriff's officials. Efre Aceituno-Deleon died about 7 p.m. Wednesday at Menifee Valley Medical Center, 40 minutes after he was pinned beneath an axle of a trash truck on which he was working, Deputy Sheriff Herlinda Valenzuela said in a written statement.
Contract worker killed at Ky. mine
Dec. 12, Frankfort, KY - A contract worker has been killed at a western Kentucky mine in an accident involving a bucket lift. Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman Jim Carroll said 31-year-old Timothy Ross Albright of Madisonville died Thursday after the lift malfunctioned, causing him to strike his head on an overhead beam at a coal preparation plant under construction at Manitou. Carroll said in a press release that Albright was installing electrical wiring when the accident occurred.
Helicopter Was Headed Toward Oil Rig In Gulf
Dec. 12, Boston, MA - A Quincy man died when his helicopter went down in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. Joe Laugelle, who also piloted Sky 5 for WCVB-TV, was flying a helicopter to an oil rig off the coast of Texas. Two other people died in the crash and two others were reported missing.
Schaumburg employee dies in machinery accident
Dec. 12, Glenview, IL - A male worker at a Schaumburg metal distribution plant was killed Friday morning when his head was caught in a large machine, Schaumburg police reported. Brian Jensen was pronounced dead at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village at 10:41 a.m., according to a Cook County Medical Examiner's office spokesman, who said Jensen suffered trauma to the head at 1900 Mitchell Blvd in Schaumburg.
ATI Alldyne worker's death investigated
Dec. 11, Huntsville, AL - 3 others treated after possible fume exposure at plant. Gary Wiseheart, 55, died Monday at Huntsville Hospital after being found unconscious at his job. Wiseheart - who was working at ATI Alldyne in Huntsville Sunday when he passed out - could've been subject to chemical exposure involving hydrogen sulfide fumes as a byproduct of a process at the plant, according to Don Webster, chief operations officer for HEMSI.
Police Officer Timothy Abernethy
Dec. 7, Houston, TX - Officer Tim Abernethy, Age: 43, was shot and killed during a foot pursuit of a suspect who fled following a traffic stop. Officer Abernethy had lost sight of the man as he chased him around a building in an apartment complex. After going around the corner the man hid behind a gate and then shot the officer in the head as he ran by. The officer was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.
NYC Sanitation Worker Struck, Killed By Own Truck
Dec. 11, Brooklyn, New York ― A private sanitation worker was struck and killed on the job by his own truck in Brooklyn on Thursday. Police said the 52-year-old man left his truck running while he checked on a problem with the compactor. The victim left the engine running, when it began rolling down the street on Lexington Avenue between Franklin and Classon Avenue.The truck slammed into 14 parked cars, with the impact forcing one car on top of another. At the same time, the driver tried to get back inside to stop the truck. That's when he was pinned between the truck and a parked car.
Cabbie Identified in Fatal Shooting
Dec. 9, East Peoria, IL - Peoria Police are looking for the gunman who fatally shot a cab driver early Tuesday morning. The Peoria County Coroner says Peoria man Steve E. Shawver died of multiple gunshot wounds to the back. Police say the Yellow Checker cab driver was shot just before six o'clock in the 12–hundred block of West MacQueen Street. Police do not know if robbery was a motive.
Taxi driver found murdered, suspect dead
Dec. 11, Evansville, IN - Banister is a suspect in the murder of a taxi cab driver whose body was found Tuesday afternoon in his idling taxi at Moutoux Park in Vanderburgh County. Sheriff's detectives tell 14 News Garry E. Gilmore, 50, of Evansville, died from a gunshot wound to the head. Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams says they're now looking for the last person that was picked up by the cab driver at 1:00 in the afternoon at McDonald's on Fares Avenue.
Local Man Dies In One-Vehicle Wreck
Dec. 10, Big Spring, TX - A Big Spring man was killed Tuesday after the oil tanker he was driving rolled, collapsing the cab of the truck around him, on Moore School Road near County Road 17. Jacob Burcham, 31, of Big Spring was pronounced dead by Howard County Justice of the Peace Benny Green at approximately 10 a.m. at the scene of the accident. According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Matt Munsel, it's unclear what time the accident occurred.
Tractor-trailer driver dies after crashing off I-275
Dec. 1, Knoxville, TN - A tractor-trailer driver from Georgia was killed Wednesday morning when she lost control of the rig, smashed through a concrete wall and then plunged 50 feet off northbound Interstate 275 at the Oldham Avenue interchange. Daren Baird, 61, of Forest Park, Ga., was wearing her seat belt when she lost control of the rig, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk. Police were still investigating the crash, which occurred as heavy rainstorms were passing through Knoxville.
Police call laundry death a homicide
Dec. 10, YONKERS, NY - A 25-year-old woman found dead Monday by a co-worker at a city laundry was the victim of a homicide, police said yesterday. Roberta Galicia-Lagos was found face down on the floor of Yonkers Laundromat, 260 Hawthorne Ave. Police released no details of the death and would not say how Galicia-Lagos was killed or whether anyone has been questioned in the slaying.
ComEd Worker Burned In Manhole In June Dies
Dec. 10, CHICAGO, IL - On June 6 at about 2:20 a.m., Alejandro Collazo was working in a manhole in the 5100 block of West Roosevelt Road in the Austin neighborhood when he was burned while trying to repair equipment from an earlier outage. An "electrical flash" or discharge of electricity occurred, causing an explosion, fire or something "in between," ComEd spokesman Jeff Burdick said the day of the accident. Collazo, 38, was initially taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition but was later transferred to the burn center at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Collazo, of 745 Ambleside Rd. in Des Plaines, was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center at 12:23 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
CSI Worker Dies In Milford Dumpster Accident
Dec. 10, Cincinatti, OH - The victim, identified as Rodney Brown, apparently returned with an empty dumpster around 10:30 a.m. Fire officials say as the lone worker was preparing to lower the empty dumpster back into place, he was trapped in between the dumpster's gate and the truck. Residents say they heard the CSI truck arrive at the complex as they normally do, and nothing sounded unusual. Fire officials fear 52-year-old Brown may have been trapped by the dumpster for as long as 30 minutes before he was discovered by a resident.
Investigation ongoing in logging death
Dec. 10, Corbin, KY - Corbin’s Aaron “Hank” Cima, 25, died Monday morning while with a felling a tree in the Virginia portion of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. According to Dirk Wiley of the park staff, Cima was “working with a crew of tree cutters in a historic area of the park. “In the course of felling a tree, it struck a second tree and (the second tree) came down and struck Mr. Cima,” he said.
Family prepares final goodbyes for Steiner Ranch shooting victim
Dec. 9, Austin, TX - The family of a man shot and killed inside a Lake Travis-area restaurant talked Tuesday about their lost loved one. It was a difficult day for the family of Chris Martin as they planned a funeral for their son. Martin, 29, died inside the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse Monday afternoon. Martin just started his job as a manager at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse. He was set to be married in October of next year, and planned to close on a house with his fiancée on Friday. A life planned out, cut short too soon.
Hydraulic Doors Close, Kill Worker
Dec. 9, OMAHA, NE - An Iowa man died Tuesday afternoon after getting trapped in the dump mechanism of a tractor-trailer dirt hauler.According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, the victim, Timothy Comly, 46, of Hornick, Iowa, was working at a construction site along Interstate 80 near the 27th Street exit in Lincoln when the accident happened.After dumping a load of dirt, Comly exited the truck to clean out its bed. Clamshell doors open hydraulically to provide access to the bed. Investigators said an apparent drop in hydraulic pressure caused the doors to close, trapping Comly between them. Investigators said Comly did not use safety precautions designed to ensure the doors remain open.
1 dead in tractor-trailer wreck on Campellton Road
Dec. 9, Atlanta, GA - Fulton County police Tuesday were investigating a fatal wreck during the morning rush hour on Campbellton Road. The crash, which involved a tractor-trailer and a smaller vehicle, shut down Campbellton Road in both directions between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and the Chattahoochee River in south Fulton, police said. The state Department of Transportation reported at 9:30 a.m. that all lanes of Fulton Industrial Boulevard were also closed in both directions at Campbellton Road, with an estimated clearing time of 10 a.m. The identity of the person killed was not immediately available.
Local man dies in accident
Dec. 8, Martinsville, IN - A Martinsville man was killed Monday morning in an accident at a Putnam County business. According to Hendricks County Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Matthews, Chance Skaggs was declared dead at Hendricks County Hospital after being transported there from the accident site. Matthews said an employee of the company found Skaggs under the wheels of his truck. That employee moved the truck off of Skaggs and called for help. He said the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department received the first 911 call at about 9:10 a.m. Skaggs was transported to Hendricks County Hospital where he was declared dead. Matthews said Skaggs had not set the emergency brake on the truck. He said the truck rolled forward, over Skaggs.
Haywood Deputy Killed Breaking Up Bar Fight
Dec. 8, Memphis, TN - But early Sunday morning Euhommie Ollie Bond fell victim to a bad situation. Bond worked as a deputy with the Haywood County Sheriff's Department; he got off work at 2:00 a.m. and went by Spanky's Bar & Grill which he owned, to check in. Police say around 4:00 a.m., a customer, 29-year-old Michael Robinson took matters into his own hands. Bond was shot in the abdomen and died shortly after being taken to the hospital. Rick Moss, who owns a neighboring business, said Bond was a stand up guy who would regularly check in with him to see if there were any complaints or problems from his business.
Tow truck driver killed by big rig on Highway 99
Dec. 8, Merced, CA - A 46-year-old tow truck driver was killed on Highway 99 on Saturday, after being struck by a big rig, the California Highway Patrol reported. The CHP has not released the name of the man, who lived in Atwater, and the death is the second for a local tow truck company in less than two weeks. Ferriera said the CHP had requested a tow truck after arresting Alfredo Hernadez, 47, of Escalon, on suspicion of driving under the influence. The tow truck driver responded to the scene and began hooking up the wheels of Hernandez's Ford Taurus.
Houston Police Officer Shot, Killed During Traffic Stop
Dec. 7, Houston, TX - Houston Police are mourning the loss of one of their own, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Sunday morning.The officer was shot at 8:40 a.m., shortly after he pulled over a Dodge Durango at the Luxor Apartment Complex at 5801 Sunforest Drive. He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance in critical condition, and an unconfirmed report suggests the officer may have been shot in the head at least once. The officer's identity has not been released. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt says the victim's wife and adult daughter have been notified, but they have yet to reach a son who is in the service and stationed in Italy.
Dollar Bay man dies after fall into mine shaft
Dec. 8, Quincy Township, MI - A Michigan Technological University geology professor fell 225 feet to his death in a Houghton County mine shaft while attempting to install emergency steel ladders. Volunteer worker William Gregg died Saturday afternoon after falling into the Quincy Mine Hoist No. 2 Shaft. The sheriff's office told WLUC-TV that the 60-year-old Dollar Bay resident slipped and fell into the shaft in the western Upper Peninsula community of Quincy Township. Gregg fell about 225 feet before striking an object that stopped him and held his position.
Worker dies accidentally from CO fumes
Dec. 8, Chicago, IL - A Chicago man died Friday in part from carbon monoxide intoxication after he was apparently overcome by fumes while working in a boiler room in Des Plaines. Robert Waszak, 63, of 4901 W. Winnemac Ave., was pronounced dead at 12:25 p.m. Friday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, which said he died at 656 Pearson St. in Des Plaines. A Saturday autopsy determined Waszak primarily died of carbon monoxide intoxication but that heart disease was a secondary cause of his death, which was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.
Boat wreck in Larose claims a worker’s life
Dec. 6, LAROSE, LA — One man was killed and another injured Saturday when their work boat crashed into a moored barge in the Delta Farms area near the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Coast Guard officials said the wreck occurred around 3 a.m. in a canal near the waterway when the 24-foot aluminum boat, with just the two men on board, was traveling from a drill rig. The passenger, identified by the Lafourche Parish Coroner as 32-year-old Robert LeBlanc of Church Point, was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary cause of death according to the Coroner’s Office was multiple traumatic injuries to the head and chest.