Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Death of Monster Truck Nationals promoter, announcer called 'tragic accident'

January 25, Madison, Wisconsin - "A tragic accident" is how Dane County officials describe the death of George Eisenhart Jr. at the Monster Truck Nationals show Saturday night at the Dane County Coliseum -- the second death in just over a week involving monster trucks. Eisenhart, 41, of Chardon, Ohio, was hit by one of the giant-wheeled, thundering vehicles he loved when he stepped into its path near the end of the performance. He was pronounced dead two hours later at Univeristy of Wisconsin Hospital of major, "crushing" internal injuries, Coroner John Stanley said.

Police: Pizza delivery man shot in North Las Vegas

January 25, Las Vegas, Nevada —North Las Vegas police say a pizza delivery man was shot and killed as part of a robbery. Police say the shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Authorities say when they arrived, officers found the victim suffering multiple gunshot wounds. Police have not made any arrests, and the victim has not been identified. The victim is described as a man in his 40s or 50s.

Family mourns construction engineer Darren Barnicoat, 35, man of ‘uncompromising character’

January 25, Boston, Massachusetts - The 35-year-old engineer who died on the job Friday when he was crushed by a tumbling brick at a Boston high-rise construction site is remembered as a hard worker of “uncompromising character” who enjoyed improving his home. Darren Barnicoat, who worked for A. A. Will Corp. in Stoughton, died while he was working in a 10-foot-deep pit at a construction and renovation project at Russia Wharf in the Financial District. In a statement issued yesterday, Barnicoat’s family - including his parents, two brothers and fiancee - said they would “remember a man who lived without pretension and treated others with fairness and goodwill.”

Allison Triarsi / 11 News

January 25, Houston, Texas – After one of his employees was killed during a robbery, the Wing Zone store manager had to see it for himself. “Not Miguel. I can’t see him saying anything to these guys or doing anything to them to make them want to shoot him. Especially not over a couple of dollars,” said Derrick William, Wing Zone manager. But according to Harris County sheriff’s deputies, a couple of dollars is exactly why 42-year-old Miguel Figueroa is dead. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

Worker Crushed in Accident

January 23, Guthrie, Oklahoma - A man was crushed to death as he and several others were working on a heating unit Thursday in Guthrie. Authorities say the three-thousand-pound component was propped up for service when it fell on the victim. Other workers lifted the unit off, but it was already too late for 26-year-old Leroy Coker. Federal labor officials are investigating.

Construction Safety - Worker crushed to death.

January 24, Tampa, Florida - A 28-year old construction worker was crushed and killed while attempting to change a piece of equipment on the job in Prior Lake. OSHA is inspecting. The man, whose name was not released, was trying to change the bucket on a skid loader around 2:30 p.m. when he somehow got pinned between the bucket and the cab of the machine, according to the Scott County Sheriff's Office. He was working at Applied Ecological Services Inc. in the 21000 block of Mushtown Road. There is no time-out from employing the right safety rules at the job site. Construction work is extremely unforgiving and dangerous.

Port Huron man killed in industrial accident identified

January 24, Port Huron, Michigan - The Port Huron man who was killed in an industrial accident in Chesterfield Friday has been identified as Tom Farquhar. He was identified to the Times Herald by sister Deena Lynch via e-mail. His identity was also confirmed by Detective Brian Chadwick of the Chesterfield Township Police Department Saturday morning. Farquhar died while transporting equipment for his employer, a TI Automotive plant at 50695 Chesterfield Road, Chadwick said.

Washington County Farmer Dies in Tractor Accident

January 23, Washington County, Texas - An elderly Brenham man was killed this week in a tractor accident at his Washington County farm. Authorities said Edgar Lentz, 84, was shredding his pasture off FM 2679 on Wednesday, when his tractor pulled him under and trapped him. Officials believe Lentz was standing next to the tractor when he started the ignition while the tractor was in gear. When Lentz didn't come home that afternoon, his wife found him and called paramedics, Washington County Sheriff's officials said. Lentz was dead when they arrived.

Police name worker who died

January 24, St. Cloud, Minnesota - St. Cloud police have released the name of the man who died in an accident at Phillips Recycling Systems on Thursday. Charles Aldrich Blomberg, 41, of Waite Park was killed when a piece of metal fell on him, Sgt. Lori Ellering said. She said Blomberg was cutting a large piece of metal when it fell. There was no equipment failure in the incident, and Ellering said it appears to be an accident. The emergency at 119 Sixth Ave. NE was reported at 1:02 p.m. Thursday.

Construction worker killed in job site accident

January 23, Boston, Massachusetts - A construction worker was killed this morning during an on-the-job accident at a work site at an office building in the Financial District, according to Boston EMS. The man was working on a construction project at Russia Wharf at the corner of Congress Street and Atlantic Avenue when he was killed, according to Boston police and fire officials. Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said firefighters were called to the site at 270 Congress St. at 10:08 a.m. for a report of a worker being struck by some type of equipment.George Hansen, a mason on the project, said the worker was doing excavation work on the foundation of the building when a piece of brick some 2 feet in size fell on him. “It was a good-sized chunk that came down on him, and it crushed him,” said Hansen, who did not witness the accident but spoke to another worker who saw it. Another worker, Tom Conroy, didn’t witness the accident but said it has shaken workers. He said the victim is 31 years old. “People are upset, sure. It’s a tragedy,” he said as he left the site today. “A young guy, a 31-year-old guy, going to work and dying like that. Sure it’s touching everybody.”

Illinois roof worker's falling death ruled accidental

January 23, Alton , Illinois — A coroner's jury in southwestern Illinois has found that a steel worker who fell to his death had failed to attach his safety harness to a rope that would have saved him. The Madison County jury ruled Wednesday that 27-year-old Jeffery T. Pace's death was an accident. Police say Pace was working on the roof of Alton Steel Nov. 5 when he stepped backward onto a plastic panel and fell about 60 feet to the ground.

Texas Detention Officer Dies During Training

January 22, El Paso, Texas - Martha and Cesar Arreola were inseparable. The couple always held hands as they took walks through their Central El Paso neighborhood or went shopping with their two children. Cesar Arreola often called his wife of 16 years outside if there was a beautiful moon in the sky or a particularly striking sunset. But after Cesar Arreola's death early Sunday, Martha Arreola will have to raise their two children alone. Cesar Arreola, a 37-year-old detention officer with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, died after he fell ill Saturday as he was trying out for the Sheriff's Office Special Reaction Team. The team is used to control unruly prisoners or quell potential riots at the county's detention facilities, said Deputy Jesse Tovar, a Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Guthrie worker killed under heating component

January 22, Guthrie, Oklahoma - A worker at a manufacturing plant in Guthrie died after a 3,000 pound steel heating system component fell on him. Police Chief Damon Devereaux said the accident happened Wednesday afternoon at Midco Fabricators. The component was propped and two workers were checking it for leaks when it dropped. Eight workers were able to lift the steel piece off the man and pull him free. The other worker suffered minor injuries. Devereaux said 26-year-old Leroy Coker of the Guthrie area died at a hospital after the accident.

Bodega worker shot, killed during apparent robbery in Jersey City

January, 22, Jersey City, New Jersey - A 59-year-old bodega worker was shot and killed during an apparent robbery this afternoon at the Ocean Avenue store in Jersey City, officials said. Elisha Benjamin, aka Elijah Benjamin, became Hudson County's first murder victim of 2009 when he died of a gunshot wound at the Jersey City Medical Center at about 2:40 p.m. Benjamin was shot with a rifle today during a robbery of the bodega where he worked at Ocean Avenue and Forrest Street, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

Clues sought in fatal shooting of truck driver in Barstow

January, 21, Barstow, CA - Gregory Allen Boriack left Washington state on Jan. 12, on his way to deliver a load of coiled sheet metal in Colton. He never arrived. Now homicide detectives in San Bernardino County's High Desert are seeking help finding the person who killed him. Boriack, 45, of Chula Vista, was found slain Friday in the cab of his truck parked in Barstow. The driver's-side window was broken and the long-haul driver had been shot in the head, said Barstow police Sgt. Andy Espinoza.

Rossburg Man Dies At Auglaize Co. Construction Site

January 22, Freyburg, Ohio - The Auglaize County Sheriff office announced Thursday morning that it is investigating the death of a 22-year-old construction worker. Deputies said around 10:03 a.m. Wednesday a 911 call was received at the sheriff’s office from The Glacier Hill Lakes Campgrounds in Freyburg. The caller reported that a man was injured after dirt had collapsed on him. The St. Johns Rescue Squad was dispatched and transported the man to Lima Memorial Hospital. Later, the Allen County Coroners Office called and advised that the injured man had died. The deceased is Andrew Keller, age 22 from Rossburg, Ohio. He was an employee of Tumbusch Construction that was at Glacier Hill Lakes working on a sewage line. Keller was not an employee at Glacier Hills.

Helicopter Pilots Crash In Monroe; 1 Killed, 1 Injured

January 22, Monroe, North Carolina - A helicopter pilot was killed and another injured when a helicopter crashed in an open field just outside downtown Monroe early Thursday. Monroe police said the aircraft hit a Duke Energy power line near Central Academy of Technology and Arts, not far from the intersection of Donnum and Stevens streets, shortly after 10:30 a.m. The 1967 Hughes 500 series aircraft seats four people, but only two were on board. Mark Bartlett, a part-time city of Monroe employee, was killed and Justin Travis was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union, officers said.

Update: Tractor flips; 60-year-old Muskegon native dies

January 21, Oceana County, Michigan — A 60-year-old Muskegon native died Sunday after the antique tractor he was using to free a vehicle stuck in the snow flipped over and crushed him. Oceana County Sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast identified the victim as Donald Fremd, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Fremd -- who grew up in Muskegon but now lived in Davison, just east of Flint -- worked for Ford Motor Co. for 37 years until retirement two years ago. The accident occurred around 3 p.m. in the 8300 block of South 48th Avenue in Oceana County's Claybanks Township.

Trucker killed in Rankin County crash

January 21, Jackson, Mississippi - A Mississippi trucker was killed early Tuesday when his 18-wheeler crashed on I-20 in Rankin County, spilling at least 2,000 gallons of gasoline and closing both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate for about 12 hours. Authorities say the westbound rig, belonging to Greenwood-based Mims Oil Co., swerved onto the median between the downtown and east Brandon exits and flipped just before 7 a.m. The driver, Charles White of Louise, was pronounced dead at a Jackson hospital, Brandon Police Chief Ken McBroom said. White, 39, had been a Mims employee since 2003.

Man killed at NW Harris County warehouse

January 21, Houston, Texas - A dispute over where trash should be placed led to the fatal shooting of one man at a northwest Harris County warehouse business park Tuesday night, authorities said. Witnesses told investigators that the owner of Angelique's Paint and Blast body shop and employees of Espinoza All About Gutters— both businesses located in warehouse offices in the 11900 block of Proctor— had an ongoing dispute all day over where trash was being placed, said Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Sgt. Ben Beall. Investigators learned the body shop owner, whose identity was not released, was upset because employees from the gutter installation company were placing construction debris next to the trash bin, instead of inside the trash bin, Beall said. Around 8:25 p.m, the body shop owner was backing a box van up against the building when an employee of the gutter company allegedly confronted the man and assaulted him, Beall said. The gutter company employee, whose identity also was not released, pulled out a gun and threatened the body shop owner, who then pulled out his own gun and shot the man, killing him, Beall said.

Torrance County mourns fallen officer Hit by car on I-40 Monday night

January 20, Estancia, New Mexico - It's a sad day for Torrance County following the death of a sheriff's deputy struck by a car on Interstate 40 during a traffic stop on Monday night. Deputy Dominique Smith had helped another officer pull over a vehicle on Interstate 40 in Moriarty at a about 6 p.m. The traffic stop turned into a drug investigation, and New Mexico State Police reported Smith was standing in the traffic lane when a car entering I-40 from an on-ramp struck him. A medical helicopter airlifted Smith to University of New Mexico Hospital where he later died. Smith, 30, is believed to be the first Torrance County deputy killed in the line of duty.

Worker killed in accident at Woodlands company

January 20, Houston, Texas - Authorities are investigating the death of a Woodlands worker in an apparent job-site accident on Monday. Curtis Green, 33, was working on the loading dock at Martin-Brower Co. at 800 Trade Center Parkway in The Woodlands when he was injured, said Montgomery County Sheriff’s officials. Investigators believe Green got caught between a truck backing up and the loading dock. Emergency medical crews were treating Green when deputies arrived at the company shortly after 12:30 p.m. Green was transferred to Memorial Hermann-The Woodlands, where he was pronounced dead at 2:25 p.m., officials said.

Woman shot at Albuquerque smoke shop

January 20, Albuquerque, New Mexico - Bernalillo County deputies are investigating a fatal shooting at a smoke shop next door to their substation in Albuquerque's south valley. The woman -- an employee -- was shot once in the stomach and died at University of New Mexico Hospital. Her name was not immediately released. Deputies were called to the shooting at the L & N Hoppin Hydros Smoke Shop last evening.

Clay County tow-truck worker killed in mishap

January 21, Jacksonville, Florida - An A1 Towing worker was killed this morning trying to re-position a towed semi back into place on a tow truck. The semi had slipped off at the property of A1 Towing in the 3000 block of Joe Johns Road about 5 a.m. in Middleburg. The two employees were attempting to move it back on when it slipped again and rolled onto 35-year-old Danny E. Little of Orange Park, the Sheriff's Office said.

Ohio police officer dies after being hit by truck

January 19, Boston Heights, Ohio - A northeast Ohio police officer has died after being hit by a truck while retrieving debris from a roadway. The State Highway Patrol says Boston Heights police Officer Jarod Dean died early Monday when he was hit by a small vending company truck on state Route 8 near the Ohio Turnpike overpass. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Dean, of Hudson, had been dispatched to the road to pick up debris. His cruiser was parked in a turning lane with its overhead lights on. Sheppard says the 24-year-old Dean had worked for the village of Boston Heights for about six months.

Cab Driver Alexandria's First Homicide Victim of '09

January 19, Alexandria, Virginia - A cab driver was shot to death in Alexandria, Va., Sunday, in what police said is the city's first homicide of 2009. Alexandria police found 50-year-old Khalil Siddiqi of Fairfax, Va., unresponsive in his vehicle at the intersection of Princess Street and Buchanan Street. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to investigators.

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