Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

On-duty L.I. police officer killed in fiery car crash; DWI arrest at the scene

February 22, New York, New York - A drunken driver who had been busted for DWI just last month broadsided a veteran Long Island cop's car early Sunday, killing the 45-year-old officer in a fiery crash, cops said. Suffolk County Officer Glen Ciano was on duty and en route to help his partner when he died - leaving cops and advocates asking how the reckless motorist still had a license. Jose Borbon of Plainview plowed his 2007 Dodge Magnum into the squad car at Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and Commack Road in Commack about 4:15 a.m., police said.

Mobile Store Worker Shot Dead

February 22, Little Rock, Arkansas - Friday night a 26 yr old man working at a mobile store, in Markham's Pacific Mall, was shot dead. Around 8:45 p.m. a single gunshot was heard in the basement level of the mall. Officers responded to the Mall and found the victim, Kit Chun Cheong of Toronto, lying on the floor of a store called XSITE. He had a gunshot wound in his head. Fifteen minutes later the building was closed for the night.

LaFayette city worker killed in accident

February 21, Rome, Georgia - A LaFayette city employee was killed Friday morning after his truck overturned on U.S. 27 near Shattuck Industrial Boulevard in LaFayette. According to Georgia State Patrol Post 41: Daryl McBryar, 42, of Chickamauga, was driving a City of LaFayette F700 Ford dump truck heading southbound on U.S. 27 near Shattuck Industrial Boulevard when he lost control of the vehicle while turning a curve, struck a guardrail and overturned, causing McBryar to be ejected and then trapped under the vehicle.

Farmer dies after hours trapped in silage

February 20, Berrien Springs, Mich. - A dairy farmer has died after being rescued from the silo where frozen fodder collapsed on top of him, trapping him upside-down for about six hours. Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Fire Chief Bruce Stover says 65-year-old Keith Brohman was conscious and alert when he was removed from the 60-foot-tall silo about 4 p.m. Friday. But Police Chief Milt Agay says says Brohman died about an hour later in a medical transport helicopter before it could take off for South Bend, Ind., Memorial Hospital. The cause of death had not been determined late Friday.

UPDATE: One person dead in 3-alarm West Jordan fire

West Jordan, Utah - A worker who was missing from a 3-alarm fire that destroyed an industrial facility in West Jordan on Friday has been confirmed dead. Fire fighters made it just 8 feet inside before having to pull out. Shortly after, the entire roof collapsed. 2 workers made it out with minor injuries. There was still no word by late Friday afternoon on an official cause of the the fire, but officials say they had an idea.

Woman found shot to death in burned building in Saluda County

February 20, Saluda County, South Carolina - It happened near Leesville, at a business off Highway 391. The Saluda County Sheriff's office says 54-year-old Kay Riley was found shot to death inside a mobile home business not far from her home. They say another worker noticed the building was on fire sometime Thursday afternoon and rushed in to save Riley, but it was too late. Sheriff Jason Booth says robbery appears to be the motive and that it looks like the fire was set to cover up the crime. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has been called in to help with the investigation. Friends of Riley say she was a wonderful woman who loved God and cherished life.

Road Worker Struck and Killed on the Job

February 20, Las Vegas, Nevada - A worker getting ready to do road work was hit and killed Friday morning on Cactus Avenue near Decatur. Police say a car driven by 30-year-old Matthew Weber hit the worker just after 5 a.m. Witnesses say the worker was attempting to unload a ladder from a truck parked on the side of the road when he was struck. The 35-year-old worker's identity has not been released at this time and the accident is under investigation.

Truck driver hit, killed by train near Savannah

Port Whentworth , Georgia — A freight train crashed into a dump truck Tuesday at a crossing west of Savannah, killing the truck driver and causing minor damage to an Amtrak passenger train traveling on a parallel track. Savannah-Chatham County police said no one was injured aboard the freight train or the Amtrak train, which was traveling from New York to Miami. The train was carrying 239 passengers, said Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell.Police spokeswoman Judy Pal said the initial crash pushed the truck into the path of the passenger train, which struck it a second time. The cab was torn off the truck and rolled about 100 feet down the tracks. The crossing, at the entrance to a water treatment plant on a four-lane highway, had a stop sign and a railroad crossing sign, but no lights or guard arms. Pal said the truck driver killed in the collision, 64-year-old Solomon Mainer of Savannah, worked for a subcontractor for the city of Savannah.

Authorities identify Wis. worker killed in fall

February 19, Dexterville, Wisconsin - Authorities say the man killed after apparently falling in icy water was the lead maintenance worker for the Woods County Parks Department for 22 years. The sheriff's department said Thursday that 52-year-old Rick Zorman of Pittsville was working on the Dexter Lake Dam near Dexterville when he fell in the water. The accident happened Wednesday afternoon and remains under investigation.

Worker killed in accident at Microsoft construction site

February 19, Seattle, Washington - An ironworker was killed at a construction site on the Microsoft campus in Redmond this morning when he was crushed beneath thousands of pounds of rebar. The man suffered massive head injuries in the 9:45 a.m. accident at 4480 154th Place Northeast just off 156th Avenue Northeast, said Jim Bove, Redmond police spokesman. He had been trying to set a rebar form — which had just been released from a crane — into concrete when it toppled onto him, Bove said. The man was tied to the form and was near the top of it when "one of the supports at the bottom gave way," he said. Another ironworker who was helping guide the rebar into place was not injured.

Livery cab driver shot in the Bronx

February 17, The Bronx, New York - A livery cab driver was shot in the neck during a carjacking this morning. The victim's coworker says the 46-year-old man was turning over the cab, something they did every morning around 4 a.m. But instead of getting a knock at the door this morning he heard gunshots, something that startled neighbors too. "I was sleeping. I heard a comosion outside then I heard a shot. Then i heard the car screeching off," said one neighbor.

Worker Dies In Accident At Port

Jacksonville, Florida - Detectives were investigating after an employee at a business on Jacksonville Port Authority property was fatally injured Thursday morning. Jaxport spokeswoman Nancy Rubin said an employee of Coastal Maritime Stevedoring was killed at 11:30 a.m. during vessel cargo operations. The victim was identified as 51-year-old Gregory Daise.

Wood County worker dies after fall into icy water

February 19, Dexterville, Wisconsin - A Wood County employee died Wednesday after authorities say he fell into freezing water while working on a dam near Lake Dexter, south of Pittsville. At about 4:30 p.m., the Wood County Sheriff's Department was notified that a man, whose name and age were not released Wednesday night, fell into the water while conducting maintenance on a dam near the intersection of highways 54 and 80, said Sgt. John Hiller. The man was dead by the time emergency personnel reached the scene. The cause of death was unknown Wednesday night, but authorities conducting the initial investigation think it was accidental, Hiller said.

Man dies in fall from water tower

February 18, Tuttle, Oklahoma - Tuttle Police say a man who fell more than 130 feet from the city’s new 130-foot water tower was hurrying to finish his work before severe weather hit. Malachi Redden, 22, of Norman, fell to his death last week as strong storms which produced several tornadoes moved toward the area. He was an employee of Circle P Construction Company which was hired by the city of Tuttle to finish work on the new water tower. Tuttle Police Captain Bill Boyd said Redden was welding and stepped on scaffolding which broke.

Man dies from Banner School scaffolding fall; head of school dismissed

February 28, Frederick, Maryland - A Banner School maintenance worker died as a result of the injuries he sustained after he fell from scaffolding while working at the Banner School on Feb. 9, police said in a release. A man who was critically injured last week after falling from scaffolding while working at the Banner School died Tuesday night at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma in Baltimore, according to the Frederick Police Department. John Miller, 42, died as a result of the injuries he sustained after he fell on Feb. 9, police said in a release.

Live-In Caregiver Killed By Another Caregiver In Pompano Beach

February 19, Pompano Beach, Florida - Broward County Sheriff's office said a live-in caregiver in Pompano Beach is facing murder charges following the death of her co-worker. Deputies were called to a condominium at the 2600 block of South Course Drive shortly before 11 Monday night. When they arrived, they discovered the dead body of a 40-year-old caregiver. Her name has not been released yet.

Worker Dies When Boat Overturns Near Shands Bridge

February 19, Green Cove Springs, Florida - Officials from Clay and St. Johns counties said a commercial boat capsized in the St. Johns River Wednesday morning, prompting a rescue effort and one death. The Florida Game and Fish Commission said four people were recovered from the water and transported to area hospitals, where one man was pronounced dead. Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Goldman said two state workers and two contracted employees were conducting a routine inspection of the Shands Bridge when the incident occurred. The contractors were in a safety boat under the bridge when it filled with water and capsized. The two DOT employees on the bridge jumped in to rescue them. Goldman said one of the contractors died.

WPD officer’s death casts shadow over family, department

February 18, Wilmington, North Carolina - It should have been just another routine call. Wilmington Police Department Officer Richard Matthews, 28, was driving east on Shipyard Boulevard in a marked police car at 1:18 a.m. Wednesday on his way to help a fellow officer nab suspects tossing contraband from a vehicle in the Long Leaf Hills area. But Matthews lost control of his car, crossed the median and hit a tree, according to WPD spokeswoman Lucy Crockett. He was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Churchpoint worker dies in wreck

February 17, Houma, Louisiana — A contract worker from Churchpoint died this morning when he ran off La. 56 in Cocodrie and flipped a truck in the marsh, State Police said. Two other men, both passengers, were injured. None of the men wore their seat belts, police said. Alcohol use is suspected and suspected marijuana was found in the wrecked truck. Blood-alcohol tests, required by state law in all fatal crashes, are pending. William Thompson Jr., 33, was driving north on La. 56 just after 6 a.m. when the 2006 Dodge Ram ran off the right side of the road in a slight left curve, said Trooper Gilbert Dardar, State Police Troop C spokesman.

Death of crossing guard leaves school, community in mourning

February 23, Danville, Virginia - Brenda Eanes said her husband never met a stranger. “He loved everybody,“ she said. Bennie Thomas Eanes, who was 85, died at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center on Monday afternoon after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle in front of Draper Elementary School that morning. Eanes was working as a crossing guard, a job he started in 1990. James Stallings has been charged in the accident, and the Eanes’ family said he is in their prayers.

Welder at Boardman plant dies after explosion

February 18, Boardman, Oregon - A welder has died in an industrial accident at ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston in Boardman, authorities said Tuesday. Kevin Paul Gregerson, 21, of Hermiston, was reportedly buried in debris after an explosion inside a tank, reported The East Oregonian. Boardman fire and police departments, along with the Morrow County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at 12:47 p.m. Monday at the potato processing plant at 600 Columbia Ave. N.E. A small confined space rescue team also was called. Gregerson's body was recovered just after 8 p.m., the newspaper reported.

One Tree Trimmer Killed; Another Rescued

February 17, South Los Angeles, California - A tree trimmer crushed by a ring of palm fronds that slipped over him, pinning him to the roughly 70-foot tree, died today before Los Angeles firefighters could free him, while another tree trimmer was saved in Long Beach. Firefighters sent about 9:25 a.m. to South San Pedro Street, near 48th Street, found the 23-year-old worker unresponsive, said d'Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The worker was in a harness 50-60 feet up the tree when a heavy, ring- shaped section of fronds came loose above him, Davies said. It took more than 90 minutes to get him to the ground, where he was pronounced dead, she said. The man's name was withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin. Davies said she didn't know the name of the company for whom he worked.

Windy Day in New York City Leaves One Worker Dead

February 17, New York City, New York - Powerful winds blowing up to 50mph in the New York City region knocked down trees, toppled power lines and threw metal construction debris into the air. The gales are blamed for toppling a wall onto a 59 year-old construction worker on Staten Island, killing him. The wall, 60 feet in height and 100 feet in length, ran across a construction site at 1216 Bay Street. The wall collapsed while the construction worker took measurements. The worker was pronounced dead on the scene after being extricated from a large pile of rubble by firefighters.

Pompano Beach woman kills co-worker, police say

February 17, Pompano Beach, Florida - When deputies arrived, they found 59-year-old Consolacion Alarcon waiting for them in apartment 307, where she and another woman worked together, taking care of an elderly woman, ConcepciĆ³n said. Investigators say Alarcon struck her co-worker with an object, killing her. ConcepciĆ³n said the victim, who is in her 40s, has not been identified because her family has not yet learned of her death.

Construction Worker Killed at St. Johns County Jail

February 17, St. Johns County, Forida - A 19-year-old construction worker doing renovation work at the jail died when several metal doors collapsed on him. The accident happened around 7:30 Tuesday morning. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Joe W. Hagans. He worked for Matrix Employer Services. According to Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the man was hanging steel doors in the jail when several of them fell over onto him. It's not clear the exact number of doors that fell. Each door weighed between 250 and 300 pounds.

Waverly Farmer Killed In Tractor Accident

February 17, Waverly, Nebraska - A rural Waverly farmer was killed when the tractor he was operating flipped on top of him. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said John Lukes, 70, died sometime between 11:30 Monday night and 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators said Lukes was driving the tractor in a field about a half mile from his home when the tractor got stuck in the mud. The tractor was facing a dirt embankment and as Lukes tried to get free from the mud, the tractor flipped on top of him. Lukes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police Officer Shot, Killed in Line of Duty

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A Philadelphia police officer was shot and killed after responding to a street fight Friday night. It happened at North Broad Street and Olney Avenue. Officer John Pawlowski, 25, was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he later died. Officials say he was a five-and-a-half year veteran of the force with a wife who is five-months pregnant.

Worker killed by excavating machine in Holmdel

February 16, Holmdel, New Jersey - Police say a 58-year-old Passaic man was killed when he was run over by an excavating machine on a construction job in Holmdel. Juan Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Monday in the back yard of a house that was being rebuilt after a fire. Investigators say the victim was working with another employee of a Franklin Lakes landscaping company that was installing a septic system and grading the yard.

Truck driver killed on Interstate 85

February 16, Anderson, South Carolina — A Massachusetts man died early Monday when his tractor-trailer truck ran off Interstate 85 in Anderson County, hit a tree and burst into flames. Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said 65-year-old James Michael Stewart died about 4:30 a.m. near the 33-mile marker in the southbound lanes of I-85. Shore said it is not immediately known if fatigue, a medical condition or the fire caused Stewart’s death.

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