Thursday, January 15, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

INDOT worker dies on the job

Jan. 11, West Lafayette, IN - Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley said 73-year-old David Windler of Fowler died while working on a front end loader at 5:56 p.m. Saturday. Riley said Windler slipped, fell and struck his head on the concrete. Riley said Windler was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Windler was working at a garage in the Fowler Subdistrict.

White Plains man killed in construction accident

Jan. 10, Warwick, NY - A 57-year-old White Plains man died yesterday after he was run over by a truck at a construction site on IBM Corp. property in Warwick, N.Y., police and family members said. Pietro Giorgio, of 35 Clinton Ave., was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla where he died, according to the medical examiner. An autopsy is pending. Tuxedo police Sgt. Patrick Welsh, who was among the first to respond to the scene, said the accident happened about 11:30 a.m. at the Long Meadow Road site.

Last weekend's helicopter crash shakes up offshore workers

Jan. 10, New Orleans, LA - Natalie Colon was on an oil rig deep in the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 4 when word spread that a helicopter carrying a crew of offshore workers crashed in Terrebonne Parish, killing eight people. The news chilled her. Four years working as an offshore technician has made helicopter travel about as daunting to Colon as a commute across Lake Pontchartrain by car. But the fatal accident gave her no choice but to acknowledge the unique perils of her trade.

Delays on New Haven Line After Railroad Employee Killed

Jan. 9, Westchester, CT - There were extended delays on Metro-North’s New Haven Line tonight after a railroad worker was struck and killed in Westchester County, railroad officials said. Service was suspended at about 7 p.m. because of the accident west of the Rye station. Shortly after 8:30 p.m., Metro-North said outbound service from Grand Central had been resumed with delays of about an hour.

City Worker Crushed to Death at Sewage Plant in Brooklyn

Jan. 9, Brooklyn, NY - A New York City wastewater treatment plant worker was killed early Friday when a temporary conveyor belt collapsed, crushing him under its steel supports, city officials said. As the men got the device outside the doors, it twisted or buckled in the middle and fell on Gennaro Montello, 45, a Department of Environmental Protection worker since 2001, the officials said. The conveyor belt, which had been on wheels, was too heavy for the workers to lift by hand, but a contractor with a forklift used his machinery to pick it up, freeing Mr. Montello. Emergency workers arrived moments later, officials said.

Man Trapped in Grain Bin Dies

Jan. 7, Scott County, MO - An 84-year-man died Wednesday in a grain bin accident near Oran. It happened on County Road 277 in Scott County. Authorities say Herschel Gilpin was working with his son on a farm they rent when he became trapped in the grain bin. Rescue crews arrived quickly, but it was too late for Gilpin.

Robbers shoot, kill bartender execution-style

Jan. 8, Atlanta, GA - Bartender John Henderson was quick to pick up a bar tab for a friend and just as quick to tell a mouthy customer to pipe down.“He’s just a straight person,” friend Gene Leath said. “He doesn’t beat around the bush.” With his bushy black hair, Henderson was a well-known face in the Cabbagetown and Grant Park area, having bartended for a couple years at Six Feet Under, a popular bar and restaurant on a stretch of Memorial Drive known as the “Memorial Corridor,” near Oakland Cemetery and just east of downtown Atlanta. Henderson, 27, was shot and killed execution-style during a robbery early Wednesday at a bar where he was waiting tables, Standard Food & Spirits, just down the street from Six Feet Under.

Man remembered for generosity, darn good banana bread

Jan. 7, Downers Grove, IL - A green bicycle was wheeled through the hallway of a Downers Grove funeral home Friday as friends and family of Tom Swatek cried and laughed, recalling memories of the time they spent with the avid bicyclist and runner. Swatek, 53, of Woodridge, was struck and killed by a Dumpster Jan. 7, while loading trash into a truck at Sears Hardware, 925 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove. He was an employee of Veolia Environmental Services, a waste management company in Melrose Park.

Industrial Accident in Eunice Kills One

Jan. 8, Lafayette, LA - Funeral arrangements are being made in St. Landry parish for a teenager killed in an industrial accident. It happened at Sattler Supply on South Bobcat Drive in Eunice. Police say an 800 pound engine fell from a machine and rolled over 18-year-old Ricky Miller. He was later pronounced dead at Acadian Medical Center. The incident remains under investigation.

Grant Park bar worker remembered during vigil

Jan. 7, Macon, GA - Friends and neighbors of a popular bar worker killed in a robbery at a Grant Park restaurant are remembering him during a vigil. The gathering is being held from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday at Standard Food and Spirits in memory of bartender and waiter John Henderson. The 27-year-old Henderson died at Grady Memorial Hospital just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, about three hours after he was shot during the robbery.

Worker dies two weeks after accident on the new Twin Spans construction

Jan, 7, New Orleans, LA - A worker who fell 30 feet into Lake Pontchartrain after an accident on the new Twin Spans under construction last month has died. Tilden Billiot, 65, a longtime Westwego resident, died late Tuesday, Robert S. Boh, president of Boh Bros. Construction Co., said Wednesday afternoon in a statement. Billiot was injured Dec. 23 when his small crane tipped over the side of the eastbound portion of the new elevated highway being built over Lake Pontchartrain and he fell into the water about 20 yards from the north shore.

Construction Worker Dies On Long Island

Jan. 7, New York, NY - A worker has died after a portion of a concrete foundation collapsed on him at a construction site on Long Island. The victim of Monday's accident has been identified as 33-year-old Facundo Gonzalez of Farmingville. Police say he was trapped and crushed to death at the Southampton site.

Fayette Expressway worker killed

Jan. 7, Pittsburgh, PA - A Westmoreland County man died of an apparent electrocution while working yesterday on the Mon-Fayette Expressway link in Fayette County. Ralph W. Greely, 51, of Monessen, had been working on high voltage lines along the construction project in Redstone when co-workers reported seeing a bright flash around 11 a.m., Fayette County Deputy Coroner Jessie Langer said today. Workers on the ground told authorities Mr. Greely, an employee of U.S. Utility Contracting Co., had been working from a bucket hoisted up to the power lines. Other workers did not see Mr. Greely after the flash of light, and they brought down the bucket.

8 dead, 1 hurt after chopper crashes in La. marsh

Jan. 5, Gibson, LA — Authorities searched a southern Louisiana marsh by boat Monday for clues that might determine what caused a helicopter crash that killed eight people bound for an offshore oil platform. The helicopter, operated by PHI Inc., crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after taking off, said Richard Rovinelli, a company spokesman. Two pilots and seven passengers were aboard when the helicopter went down in rural Terrebonne Parish, about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. The passengers worked for two Shell Oil Co. contractors and the company said they were on their way to its Gulf of Mexico platform.

Dallas officer killed while serving warrant

Jan. 6, Dallas, TX — A police officer was shot and killed while he and other gang-unit officers were attempting to serve a warrant. Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said Sr. Cpl. Norman Smith died in the shooting. Smith had been in the gang unit for 14 years and would have celebrated his 18th anniversary with the department Wednesday. The shooting happened about 6 p.m. in southeast Dallas. Three people were taken into custody for questioning.

Mourners remember Elizabeth firefighter killed in line of duty

Jan. 5, Veteran firefighter Gary Stephens would have been more than a little embarrassed by all the attention. Monday morning, more than 1,000 firefighters, police officers and EMTs from around the state poured into Elizabeth to honor their fallen colleague, who died Friday after being injured at the scene of house fire. Stephens, a 28-year veteran of the Elizabeth Fire Department, never sought the limelight, fire chief Edward Sisk said. In fact, Stephens hated any fanfare directed his way. Stephens, who was 57, liked to travel and looked forward to days spent out on the water, at the Shore, where he went fishing and sailing with his wife.

1 killed in Charlotte industrial accident

Jan. 6, Charlotte, NC - One person was killed in an industrial accident in north Charlotte on Tuesday. It happened at CMEX Inc., located in the 9500 block of Metromont Industrial Boulevard off Statesville Road. The Charlotte Fire Department says workers were attempting CPR on the man when paramedics arrived. He died at the scene. Investigators say the man was trapped in a machine that stacks cinder blocks.

Man dies in dump-truck accident

Jan. 6, Kalispell, MT - A 35-year-old Kalispell man was crushed to death when the hydraulics on a dump truck failed Monday afternoon as he tried to repair the truck. The accident occurred just north of Two Mile Drive adjacent to Glenwood Drive, according to a press release from the Kalispell Police Department. Kalispell police say the victim and another man were clearing snow in a construction parking lot Monday afternoon when the equipment malfunctioned. The box of the dump truck was raised while the two men were working between the box and the frame of the truck. When the hydraulic system apparently lost pressure, the box fell, trapping one of the men. The man's name has not been released until family members are notified.

Victim of work fatality from Elizabethtown

Jan. 6, Lousiville, KY - An Elizabethtown woman was killed when she was hit by a truck at the Kentucky Distribution Center at Old Henry Road near Middletown early this morning. Henri “Hank” Poulsen, 68, was pronounced dead of multiple injuries at the scene, Jefferson County deputy coroner Jo-Ann Farmer said. Poulsen was attempting to hook up a trailer to her truck cab when she was struck by another truck shortly after 5 a.m., Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said.Poulsen was a long-time driver for Indiana-based Summit Truck Lines, Farmer said.

Prosecutor: Metra Officer Killed For His Gun

Jan. 5, Chicago, IL - Metra Police officer Thomas Cook was killed for his gun, prosecutors alleged on Monday, two years after the 43-year-old father of two was shot in the head. "On that night, he was sitting in his uniform, in a marked vehicle, and he was executed by two individuals," Metra Police Chief James Sanford said. According to investigators, 20-year-old Jeremy Lloyd is one of those individuals. Lloyd was refused bail Monday by a Cook County Judge. He remains in jail, chargd with murder and armed robbery.

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