Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

FPL Worker Electrocuted In Ft. Lauderdale

Fabruary 15, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - A Florida Power and Light worker was killed in an accident in Ft. Lauderdale early Sunday morning. Ft. Lauderdale police report an FPL crew was upgrading power lines and poles for the Washington Mutual Bank at 608 East Broward Boulevard when the deadly accident occurred. The crew had finished the upgrade and restored power around 5:40 a.m. when one of the workers, identified as 37-year old Junior Seaton of Pembroke Pines, raised himself in a bucket up toward the lines. Investigators said Seaton came into contact with the charged power lines and was electrocuted.

Florence cab driver shot

February 14, Florence, South Carolina - Police are looking for three men who shot a Florence taxi cab driver. It happened just after 11:00 Friday night on Waverly Avenue. Police say the 52 year old cab driver went to pick up a man, when that man and two other men ambushed him inside his car and demanded all of his money. Police say he did give up the money and that's when one of the men shot him twice. He's expected to be okay. Investigators tell us they're following all leads to track down the shooters.

Livery Cab Crash On Staten Island Leaves 2 Dead

February 14, Staten Island - Two people are dead and one is in critical condition after the livery cab they were in collided with another car on Staten Island. Police say the 50-year-old male cab driver and a 52-year-old woman in the front were killed in the early Saturday morning crash. A 54-year-old woman in the back seat was taken to a nearby hospital. She's in critical condition. Police have not identified any of the people who were in the cab. They say the cars collided at Victory Boulevard and Cebra Avenue about 1:34 a.m.

Trauma, drowning caused city worker's death

February 14, Galveston, Texas — A worker killed at the city’s wastewater treatment plant died of accidental blunt-force trauma and drowning, said John Florence, spokesman for the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office. While Hunter’s death was ruled an accident, a police investigation continues. Hunter died Jan. 4 after falling into a storage tank at the city’s main treatment plant, 5200 Harborside Drive. City Manager Steve LeBlanc asked the police department to investigate. Although officers said immediately they thought Hunter’s death was an accident, they said the case would remain open until they received results of a toxicology test. The medical examiner requested a toxicology screening to determine whether Hunter, 46, inhaled any toxic gas at the plant that could have contributed to his fall from a catwalk.

Philadelphia police officer shot, killed

February 14, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — A police official says a Philadelphia police officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says Officer John Pawlowski was responding to a fight on a highway in the Logan section of the city Friday night when he was shot. He was transported to Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.Pawlowski is the sixth active duty officer on the Philadelphia police force to be killed in the line of duty in the last two years.

A look at some of those killed in NY plane crash

February, 12, New York, New York -

Rebecca Shaw

Shaw, the flight's first officer, had a passion for aviation and decided in her senior year in high school that she wanted to fly. Shaw, 24, of Maple Valley, Wash., in the Seattle suburbs, joined the commuter airline in January 2008 and had flown 2,244 hours with the carrier. "She absolutely loved to fly," said her mother, Lyn Morris. Shaw graduated in 2002 from Tahoma High School, where she was active in volleyball, softball and student leadership, district spokesman Kevin Patterson said. She attended Big Bend Community College before transferring to Central Washington University in Ellensburg. She graduated in 2007 with a degree in flight technology, university spokeswoman Teri Olin said.

Marvin Renslow

New York - Renslow, the plane's pilot, lived in the Tampa suburb of Lutz, Fla., and grew up in southwestern Iowa. Renslow, 47, joined Colgan Air, the company operating the flight, in September 2005 and had flown 3,379 hours with the airline.Jeff Hiser, who went to school with Renslow in Shenandoah, Iowa, and is now the activities director at Shenandoah High School, said Renslow graduated from high school in 1979 and left Iowa to pursue his goal of becoming a pilot. He remembered Renslow as outgoing, involved in the fine arts and an excellent drummer.

High Winds Blamed For Construction Worker's Death

February 12, New York, New York - It didn't take long for the windstorm to turn deadly. Just after 8 a.m. Thursday morning, 59-year-old construction foreman Robert McGee was crushed when a wall fell on him as he worked on a home in Rosebank. Investigators believe the heavy wind was to blame. "This wall was built out of concrete masonry, this masonry wall was placed prior to today, we are working with our law enforcement partners to determine the actual collapse. We believe that wind did play a factor," said Buildings Commissioner Robert Limandri.

Family Mourns Trucker Killed In Tornado

February 13, Lone Grove, Oklahoma - The family of a truck driver who died in the Lone Grove tornado is remembering a dedicated worker who went back and forth to Dallas every night to pick up newspapers. Gary Vaughn was on Interstate 35 near Ardmore when the tornado hit, killing him instantly."They just told us there had been an accident and they really didn't have any details, other than he had been involved in the tornado and he didn't make it," said Vaughn's sister, Kim Boyd. "I asked if he had been taken to the hospital and they said there was no reason to. He had gone straight to the funeral home."

Taxi Driver Shot and Killed in East Orange

February 11, East Orange, New Jersey - Police say a gunman shot at a moving taxi in East Orange early this morning killing the driver and injuring a passenger. The driver, Hassan Miller, 24, was shot and killed near the intersection of Davis Place and North Oraton Parkway, police said. His cab was found in a grassy area next to the Garden State Parkway, at the intersection of Interstate 280, police said. Police say the victim's father is a councilman in Orange and that he lived with his mother in East Orange. His family members said he was a star football player at Orange High School and the he had only started working at Eagles Taxi Service last month.

Man was hurrying to finish when he fell from tower

February 12, Tuttle, Oklahoma - Police in Tuttle say a man who fell more than 130 feet from a water tower to his death was hurrying to finish his work before severe weather hit. Twenty-two-year-old Malachi Redden of Norman fell from the tower Tuesday afternoon as strong storms that produced tornadoes moved toward the area. Redden was an employee of Circle P Construction Co. which was hired by the city of Tuttle to finish work on a new water tower.

Truck With Trailer Runs Over, Kills Employee

February 12, Columbus, Ohio — A person died on his or her job site Thursday morning. NBC 4 reported with the FAST FACTS. A tipster e-mailed NBC 4 with information about a worker’s death at 5115 Fisher Rd. a little before 9 a.m. NBC 4 confirmed the information with Columbus police and fire crews. The person died at Masterfoods USA at 5115 Fisher Rd., near Hilliard Rome Road. Apparently, a person was run over by a truck with a trailer. Workers were shuttling trailers around the lot. It was not obvious immediately how the accident happened. Crews were on the scene, and CPD’s homicide squad also was called to the scene. CPD said no one will be cited because it’s on private property. The victim’s identity could not be confirmed immediately.

Andover line worker dies of injuries in fall on the job in Kentucky

February 12, Paducah, Kentucky - A line worker from the Twin Cities died in Kentucky on Thursday of injuries suffered when he fell nearly 40 feet from a utility pole two days earlier, his company said. Andy Reichwein, 35, of Andover, suffered severe head injuries after falling and being hit by a 300-pound transformer that was atop the pole in Paducah, just south of the Illinois border, said Connexus Energy in a notice on its website. Reichwein was among 13 Connexus employees who had arrived in Kentucky on Tuesday to help the local electric cooperative restore power after the ice storms in late January. Another worker fell but was not seriously injured.

Taxi Driver Killed, Passenger Injured in Morning Shooting

February 11, East Orange, New Jersey - A gunman opened fire on a taxi early Wednesday morning near the Garden State Parkway, killing one person and injuring another, authorities say. The shooting occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. at the intersection of Davis Place and North Oraton Parkway near the entrance to I-280 in East Orange. Police say the taxi driver, identified as 24-year-old Hassan Miller, was shot three times in the head and pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark.

REGION: Man crushed in 2008 collapse at construction site dies

February 11, Escondido, California - A man who sued a Carlsbad contractor and other companies after he was crushed when a walkway collapsed on him in San Diego last summer died Wednesday of complications from his injuries, authorities said. Tyrone Allen, 49, was pronounced dead at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest shortly after 2 a.m., according to the county Medical Examiner's Office. Sixteen people were hurt, three of them seriously, in the Aug. 28 midday collapse in the East Village neighborhood of downtown San Diego. The walkway was next to a three-story, low-income apartment complex under construction. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation, said Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Man electrocuted in Midtown Tucson identified as Ashton worker

February 11, Tuscon, Arizona - A man who was electrocuted while working in Midtown Tuesday has been identified as 61-year-old Ernie Russell. Russell was a senior electrical supervisor for Ashton Construction, where he worked for more than 10 years, said Dick Horton, an Ashton spokesman. He was working near East River Road and North Dodge Boulevard on the Dodge transportation enhancement project when the accident occurred, officials said. It appears that he was setting up a light post when it touched some overhead power lines, Horton said. Russell was taken to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Utilities Worker Electrocuted

February 11, Ocala, Florida - An autopsy report is scheduled Wednesday for a utilities worker who was electrocuted while working on some power lines. It happened in the 4400 block of Northeast Jacksonville Road Tuesday night. A fire rescue spokesperson said Timothy Parks, 30, was working from a bucket truck when he contacted the power lines. Crews lowered him to the ground and started CPR, but it was too late. A sheriff's official said Parks was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. Parks was doing contract work for the Ocala Electric Utility at the time.

Ceremony for fallen officer helps family

February 11, Phoenix, Arizona - As Cory Figueroa stood near the wall of brick and glass where his son's name is etched, the police officer reflected briefly on the three months since he learned his son died in the line of duty. The former Phoenix officer, who now works for Maricopa Police, said he still struggles with his emotions when he puts on his badge and has yet to return to his patrol duties. Watching his eldest son Shane's name added Tuesday to the Phoenix Employee Memorial during a ceremony in the cold outside City Hall provided some closure to the October tragedy that left the Figueroa clan without a son, father and husband. "For me, personally, it's been difficult to put the uniform back on," said Cory Figueroa, 49, who carried his son's 6-month-old daughter, Kenzlie, during the procession. "It's something Shane would want me to do, to continue on," he said. Shane Figueroa, 25, died Oct. 25 after a drunk driver collided with his patrol car in south Phoenix during an early-morning crash on 19th Avenue near Roeser Road.

Longtime supermarket worker dies in store's grease trap

February 11, Moncure, North Carolina — A Chatham County man died Wednesday morning after falling into a supermarket grease trap, Sheriff Richard Webster said. Caley Earl Gardner, 80, fell into the grease trap behind Ray's Super Market, 901 Old U.S. Highway 1 in Moncure, and couldn't get out, Webster said. Authorities didn't release details regarding the cause of Gardner's death, but his daughter said she thinks he suffered a heart attack.

Enterprise firefighter found dead

February 11, Enterprise, Alabama - An Enterprise firefighter was found dead of unknown causes Tuesday while attending routine training at the Alabama Fire College in Tucaloosa, according to an announcement from the Enterprise Fire Department. Firefighter Jeffrey Isbell, 33, was a member of the Enterprise Fire Department for just over 2 years. No other information concerning his death is available at this time. “On behalf of the city council and myself, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Isbell, the firefighter we lost recently,” said Mayor Kenneth Boswell.

Authorities: Man fatally crushed in industrial accident

February 9, Chicago, Illinois - A Melrose Park man was fatally crushed while working at a machine in a Near Northwest Side envelope factory Tuesday night. Hiep Vu, 54, of the 1900 block of North 18th Avenue in Melrose Park, was pronounced dead at 8:46 p.m. at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Police were called at 7:50 p.m. to Cenveo Inc. at 3001 N. Rockwell St. and when they arrived the Chicago Fire Department were in the process of taking Vu to the hospital in critical condition, according to police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien. Vu’s co-workers looked over to the machine where he was working and they couldn’t see him, according to O’Brien. When they walked over to take a closer look they saw Vu had gotten stuck in the rollers of the machine, the officer said.

Dekalb worker dies after falling in 55-foot well

February 8, Atlanta, Georgia - A 22-year-old man is dead after falling down a 55-foot well filled with methane gas. Search crews pulled the worker's body of out of the well around 11 p.m. Saturday, almost 10 hours after he fell in. "We have constructed a three-sided or three-pronged hook," DeKalb Co. Fire Captain Eric Jackson told WSB-TV. "Hoping that we could snag on some portion of this individual. " Rescuers said the man was with a private contractor working at the Seminole Road Landfill in Southern DeKalb County. "Given the amount of methane gas in the space, would be impossible," said Battalion Chief Doug King. The methane is produced when trash gets dumped into the landfill and starts to decompose. The victim was supposed to capture the methane so it would burn into atmosphere. Crews sent a camera down in that well Saturday afternoon, but said it was smothered with heavy fog from the gas. The well was also filled with about 10-feet of water. Rescuers said the victim was working for Quality Drilling. His name has not been released.

Trucking company worker dies after being trapped under steel in South Plainfield

February 9, South Plainfeild, New Jersey —A worker at a trucking company was injured fatally Friday, Feb. 6, when he became trapped underneath a large piece of steel, police said Monday. Borough police, fire and EMS personnel responded to Trans American Trucking at 115 Saint Nicholas Ave. after the incident was reported at about 3 p.m. They arrived and freed the 29-year-old victim from the entrapment, but he had sustained severe injuries, police said in a news release. The victim, who was not immediately identified by police, was taken by helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick before succumbing to his injuries.

Railroad worker dies when hit by locomotive

February 29, Herington, Kansas — A 26-year-old Union Pacific Railroad conductor was killed early Sunday when he was struck by a train. Saxton L. Haselwood, Burden, was killed shortly after 3 a.m. when he was run over by a train in the Herington railyard, according to a statement released by the Herington Police Department. The accident remains under investigation by the Herington and Union Pacific Railroad police. Haselwood was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was taken to Topeka for an autopsy, the statement said.

Police: Employee With Knife Shot After Stabbing Coworkers

February 10, Northridge, California - A knife-wielding man allegedly attacked his boss and a fellow employee at a security company in Northridge on Monday and was shot and critically wounded by his injured supervisor, police said. KCAL9 on Monday afternoon identified the alleged assailant as Juan Silva, a 31-year-old employee of All Action Security Inc.

Update: Police ID Victim, Gunman In Fatal Bar Shooting

February 9, Springfield Township, Ohio - Police arrested a suspect in a fatal shooting overnight at a Springfield Township bar. Investigators said Thomas Phelps, 39, shot and killed 37-year-old Corey Land, an employee of Almost Home. Phelps had been asked to leave the Hamilton Avenue bar early Monday, police said, but sneaked back inside with a firearm. Authorities said Phelps pulled out the weapon around 1:30 a.m. and fired five gunshots before fleeing the bar.

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