Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Racial motive in slaying of black bowling alley worker, police say

Jan. 17, Los Angeles, CA - Three Canoga Park gang members have been charged in what police describe as the racially motivated murder of a black bowling alley worker in December in Canoga Park. James Shamp, a 48-year-old father of two, was throwing out the trash outside the Canoga Bowl when a car loaded with gang members pulled up next to him, authorities said. One of the men pulled out a gun and fatally shot Shamp in the chest, said homicide Det. David Peteque of the Los Angeles Police Department. Shamp was pronounced dead at the scene.

Madison man killed, Basking Ridge woman hospitalized in Parkway crash

Jan. 16, Newark, NJ - A livery cab crashed this afternoon on the Garden State Parkway in Clark, killing the driver and severely injuring a passenger, state police said. Ernest Wagner, 70, of Madison, died after the Mercury Grand Marquee cab he was driving veered off the southbound lane, slid down an embankment, and ran into a tree, police said.

Worker Falls to Death at PrecisionAire in Bartow

Jan. 16, Bartow, FL - worker fell from a roof to his death today at the construction site at PrecisionAire in Bartow, according to Bartow police. Samuel Paul Oakley, 41, of Bartow was working on the roof of a building at 100 N. Crown Ave. and fell about 30 feet, police said. Oakley was employed by SEMCO Construction. Bartow Fire and Rescue responded to PrecisionAire at 12:44 p.m. and took Oakley to Bartow Regional Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, Sgt. David Wyant said in a news release.

Worker fell from forklift in accident, state agency says

Jan. 15, Yuma County, AZ - An industrial accident in east Yuma County that claimed a life this week resulted when a worker fell from a pallet supported by a forklift, according to the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Carl Cook, of Bingham Equipment, said the accident happened on Dec. 24 and involved one of the company's employees. "It's a real tragedy," Cook said. "He was a valued friend and employee." Cook added, out of respect for the family, he preferred not to release the employee's name. The employee died in a Phoenix hospital Wednesday.

Worker Found Dead at CPS Energy Plant

Jan. 16, San Antonio, TX - Bexar County Deputies are investigating what is believed to be an accidental death at a CPS Energy power plant on the Southeast Side. A CPS Energy employee found the body of Horatio Sepulveda just before 7:00 a.m. Thursday at the power plant on Gardner near Calaveras Lake. Officials say Sepulveda was a construction worker for Calaveras Power Partners Construction. Employees told News 4 WOAI he likely fell from some scaffolding at the plant.

OSHA fines Somers auto shop following Vernon man’s death

Jan. 15, Somers, CT — The Hartford area office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied a $4,725 fine against an automotive shop where a Vernon man was killed last year. The man, Frank Guadagnino, 68, died Sept. 22 when a cement wall he was building fell on top of him at Leveille’s Auto Recyclers on Egypt Road.

Board cites poor weather in helicopter crashes

Jan. 15, Chicago, IL - Federal safety investigators said Thursday that flying at night in poor weather conditions contributed to three medical helicopter crashes that killed 12 people. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed a fourth crash on Dec. 30, 2007 near Cherokee, Ala., on flying too low over trees as the EMS helicopter searched for a lost hunter. The pilot, a paramedic and a flight nurse were killed. The board released the probable cause of the four crashes and information on five others. All total, 35 people were killed in nine EMS helicopter crashes since December 2007

Construction worker who fell to his death identified

Jan. 15, San Antonio, TX - A construction worker apparently fell to his death at the site of CPS Energy’s new coal plant on Calaveras Lake on Thursday morning. Horatio Sepulveda, a scaffolding builder with Calaveras Power Partners, died in what the company and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office are calling an accident. It occurred between 6:30 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. at the construction site in southeast San Antonio, said company spokesman Jeff Coyle. “Part of what they’re trying to figure out is what exactly he was doing this morning,” Coyle said. “Everybody's hearts are broken about it.”

Worker killed when tractor overturns

Jan. 15, St. Francisville, LA - A worker was killed when a tractor overturned at a construction site off La. Highway 421. West Feliciana Parish sheriff's detective Terry McKneely said the victim, 38-year-old Jeremy Slade of Greensburg, was 1 of 3 men working on a large metal building on private property. McKneely said Slade was using the large tractor and an extended boom to lift and move steel beams about 1 p.m Wednesday when the load apparently shifted and caused the machine to overturn.

Crucible employee killed in industrial accident

Jan. 19, Geddes, NY – An employee for the Crucible Steel Company was killed in an industrial accident at the plant Thursday morning. 911 received a call shortly after 9:30am to report the incident. We’re told a worker was attempting to connect a water line to a machine, when he lost his balance, and was pulled into, and dragged through the machine. The victim, identified as John Grobsmith, 58, of Elbridge, was transported to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Power plant worker killed in on site industrial accident

Jan. 15, Fruitland, New Mexico — A 56-year-old Four Corners Power Plant worker was killed Tuesday in an industrial accident, plant officials said. The victim was identified Wednesday as Kirtland resident Glen Harrison, who worked for 29 years at the facility located in Fruitland. Harrison at the time of the accident was working with environmental control equipment designed to remove pollution from gases from the facility, plant Manager David Saliba said. The root cause of death is unknown.

Trash worker killed on the job in Rockland Township

Jan. 15, Rockland Township, PA - A worker was killed Wednesday morning when he was hit by a pickup truck while collecting trash in Rockland Township, state police said. The worker, Steven D. Barrell, who is employed by Clifford Hill Sanitation Service in Kutztown, was part of a two-person trash-hauling crew when he was struck by the pickup truck about 8:30 on Fredericksville Road, troopers said. Barrell, 50, of Kutztown was pinned between the pickup truck and the garbage truck, according to police.

Macon sanitation worker dies after being hit by a car near Lake Tobesofkee

Jan. 14, Mcaon, GA - A sanitation worker died this morning after being struck by a car, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. Timothy Vest, 31, an employee of Southland Waste Systems, jumped off the back of a sanitation truck in the 6900 block of Mosely Dixon Road and stepped into the path of a westbound vehicle at 8:18 a.m., Jones said. Vest, of Culver Street in Macon, was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia where he was pronounced dead at 8:58 a.m., Jones said.

Lufkin native killed in copter crash a recent A&M grad

Jan. 13, Houston, TX - The Army lieutenant killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash on the Texas A&M University campus had just graduated from the school last month, U.S. Army officials said Tuesday. Second Lt. Zachary Cook, a Lufkin native, was killed during the training exercise, which happened in front of numerous witnesses Monday afternoon.Cook was a passenger on the Texas Army National Guard’s helicopter that plummeted to the ground just seconds after takeoff.

Auburn Logging Accident Victim Identified Falling Tree Kills Buckfield Man

Jan. 13, Auburn, ME -- A self-employed logging contractor was struck by a falling tree and died instantly in an accident at 282 Hershey Hill Road in Auburn, the Auburn Police Department said. The victim has been identified as Bernard John Hackett, of Buckfield. The incident is being investigated as a workplace fatality and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has been notified.

Boston firefighter killed in truck crash mourned

Jan. 13, Quincy, MA —Thousands of firefighters from the U.S. and Canada have gathered to pay their respects to Boston Fire Lt. Kevin Kelley. A wake was held Tuesday in Quincy for the veteran firefighter who died when the ladder truck he was on careened down a steep hill and crashed into an apartment building on Huntington Avenue. The accident on Friday prompted the fire department to order immediate inspections of the brake systems on dozens of other city fire trucks. A funeral Mass for the 52-year-old Kelley is scheduled for Wednesday at St. Ann Church.

Worker Killed In Kenosha Industrial Accident

Jan. 13, Kenosha, WI - A worker died Tuesday morning after getting pinned between two castings at Kenosha Steel Castings. Joseph E. Golec, 46, of Kenosha, had been lifting a 3,700 pound metal casting with an overhead crane. He was standing in a work area operating the crane with a control panel when it appears the casting collided with an adjacent casting, which then struck Golec and pinned him between two castings, according to Kenosha police.He was concious and talking when rescue crews extricated him. He was later pronounced dead at Kenosha Hospital and Medical Center.

Driver killed in semi crash identified

Jan. 13, Elwood, NE - A Bayard, Neb., truck driver was killed in a crash this morning in Elwood, Neb. Michael Thompson, 40, was driving a semi southbound on U.S. 283 about 6:43 a.m. when he missed a corner and overcorrected, said Deb Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol. The truck rolled onto its side and struck a light pole, Collins said. Thompson was not wearing a seat belt. Authorities closed part of the highway as the crash was investigated and cleaned up.

Robbery Reported At Store Where Employee Was Killed

Jan. 13, Greensboro, NC - Less than three months after an employee at Red Mike's Grocery was shot and killed during an armed robbery, the store has been robbed again, Greensboro police said. Police said two men armed with handguns wearing all black clothing stole cash from the business Monday evening. The men were last seen running east on Lindsay Street. No injuries were reported. Muhammad "Mike" Ali, an employee at the store, was shot and killed while working at the store last November. No arrests have been made in the case.

I am not positive that the man who died was a worker

Death Reported at Littrell Lumber

Jan. 12, Huntsville, AL - Decatur Police report the following: On 1-12-09 at about 9:32am, DecaturFire and Rescue responded to an industrial accident at Littrell Lumber on Old Moulton Rd. Upon arrival, the determination was made that a white male had been struck by a forklift on the property of the lumber mill. The male was pronounced dead at the scene. The death appears to be accidental. The victim has been identified as Roy "Leon" WInton, 6/17/64 of Somerville, AL.

Worker dies in fall from billboard

Jan. 11, New Orleans, LA - A man working on a billboard plunged to his death Friday after accidentally receiving an electrical shock, New Orleans authorities said. About noon, Guy Willmon, 30, climbed a ladder attached to a 30-foot-high billboard near the corner of Tulane Avenue and South Rendon Street, hauling a metal object over his shoulder, said officer Garry Flot, an NOPD spokesman. When Willmon reached the top, the object touched an electrical wire, and Willmon received a shock, Flot said. An autopsy later revealed that Willmon died from injuries he sustained in the fall, not from the electric current, Gagliano said.

Worker killed in crane accident near Weleetka

Jan. 12, Weleetka, OK - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Tulsa man has been killed while trying to remove a piece of heavy machinery from a county road. Troopers say 41-year-old Lucio Reyes died Monday in the accident in Okfuskee County about two miles west of Weleetka. Investigators say workers were trying to remove a boom from a crane to repair it when the boom came loose and pinned Reyes underneath.

Charlotte teen dies after mud hole collapses

Jan. 12, Charlotte Harbor, FL — A 15-year-old boy died Sunday afternoon after he ventured into a pit at a construction site and the walls collapsed, burying him alive in a slurry of water and sand, according to sheriff's officials. The boy was one of three sons helping their father install concrete culverts on a site where a parking lot is to be built, said Charlotte County Sheriff's spokesman Bob Carpenter.

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