Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Franklin farmer killed by tractor

March 22, Franklin, New Jersey - An 87-year-old man was killed after he was run over by the farm tractor he was using to plow a farm field at his South Blue Bell Road home, police said. Joseph Gatto Jr. died late Friday night after police found him lying unconscious in the field. Gatto was run over by the tractor, which then crashed into woods line about 100 yards from where police found him. Representatives from Forest Grove Fire Department, Franklin Emergency Medical Services, Underwood-Memorial Hospital paramedics, Gloucester County Medical Examiner's Office and county Prosecutor's Office all responded to the scene.

Fitzgerald man killed in work accident

March 22, Tifton, Georgia - A Fitzgerald man working in Tifton was killed when a truck he was working on rolled backwards. 30-year-old Jamey Kent was killed at Yale Lift Trucks of Florida and Georgia in Tifton. Kent worked there as a diesel mechanic. According to Tift County Coroner Steve Wood, Kent was working on a small single-cab truck when the accident happened Friday morning. Kent was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sanitation Worker Killed On Job In Conyers

March 22, Conyers, Georgia - Rockdale County authorities said a 34-year-old Decatur man was struck and killed when a car pinned him against the rear of a waste delivery truck as he unloaded a trash can. The accident happened Friday morning on Georgia Highway 138. Sheriff's Chief Deputy Rob Cordero said Shawn Robertson died at Rockdale Medical Center from his injuries. Cordero said Robertson worked for Curbside Waste Systems in Covington.


Oakland police shooting: The mourning after

March 22, The horror for Oakland police that began Saturday afternoon did not end at daybreak Sunday. If anything, the light of day made the killings of the police officers all the more real as friends and family struggled to cope with their losses. Five veteran officers were shot by the same suspect in two related events Saturday afternoon. Sgts. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy; Erv Romans, 43, of Danville; and Dan Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley, died at Highland Hospital minutes after they arrived. Motorcycle officer John Hege, 41, of Concord, was pronounced brain-dead at Highland Hospital on Sunday morning, said police spokesman Jeff Thomason. A fifth officer, whose name was withheld by authorities, was grazed in the head and a
bullet entered and exited his shoulder, Thomason said.

Va. resort employee sought in supervisor killings

March 22, Hot Springs, Virginia — Authorities in Virginia were searching Sunday for a resort employee suspected of shooting and killing two of his supervisors in the hotel kitchen while guests ate dinner in a nearby dining room. Two kitchen workers were shot and killed around 8 p.m. Saturday at The Homestead luxury resort in the Allegheny Mountains near the West Virginia state line, Bath County Sheriff Larry Norfleet said. No one else was injured, and hotel spokeswoman Carol Stratford said no guests were present at the scene of the shooting. She said she didn't think guests heard the shots because a band was playing during dinner. Suspect Beacher Ferrel Hackney fled the scene after the shootings, and authorities were using tracking dogs, a helicopter and road checkpoints in their hunt, the sheriff's office said. Hackney was supervised by victims Ronnie Stinnett and Dwight Kerr, and all three worked in a department responsible for washing dishes, picking up trash and cleaning the kitchen. Stinnett and Kerr were shot with a semiautomatic handgun, Norfleet said.

3 officers dead, suspect killed in Oakland, Calif.

March 21, Oakland, California - A man wanted for violating his parole killed three veteran police officers and gravely wounded another in two shootings Saturday, the first after a routine traffic stop and the second after a massive manhunt ended in gunfire, authorities said. The gunman was also killed. "It's in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate," said Mayor Ron Dellums at a somber news conference announcing the slayings. It was the first time in the history of the Oakland Police Department that three officers were killed in the line of duty in the same day. The violence began when two officers stopped a Buick sedan in east Oakland just after 1 p.m., Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The driver opened fire, killing one officer and gravely wounding another. The gunman then fled on foot, police said, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of Oakland police, California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff deputies. Streets were roped off and an entire area of east Oakland closed to traffic. Officers checking on an anonymous tip found the suspect barricaded inside an apartment building around 3:30 p.m., police said. Police said the gunman fired an assault rifle at officers who came into the building to arrest him. Two members of the SWAT team were killed and a third was grazed by a bullet, police said. Acting Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said police returned fire, killing a man they identified as 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland. The slain officers were identified as Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, who was killed at the first shooting. The officers killed at the second location were Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. Officer John Hege, 41, was in grave condition.

Bouncer killed, another hurt in NJ bar brawl

March 21, Atlantic City, New Jersey - A Newark man has been charged in connection with a brawl at an Atlantic City bar that left one bouncer dead and another seriously injured. Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said 25-year-old Luis Martinez was being held in the county jail on $250,000 bail. Martinez was facing two counts of aggravated assault, and Housel said more charges could be filed. Housel said 27-year-old Richard Rivera of Atlantic City died from the wounds he sustained in the brawl at the Irish Pub. An autopsy was to be performed on Sunday.

Sanitation worker crushed in garbage truck

March 21, Phoenix, Arizona - A sanitation worker in Phoenix was crushed to death Monday in the compactor of his garbage truck. Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Courtney Jenkins says firefighters found the man while responding to a call that someone might have been screaming in the back of the truck. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have not released his name.

Worker crushed by fork lift OSHA investigating accident

March 21, Kingston, Massachusetts - A worker at the Kelleher Cranberry Bogs in Kingston, Mass., was killed after being crushed by an overturned fork lift on Friday, police said. Russell Santheson, 53, of Plymouth, Mass., was pinned under the fork lift when police arrived at about 5:30 p.m. Police said Santheson was the one operating the lift. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on-scene to investigate the accident.

Worker dies after fall at Larkspur building site

March 19, A worker died Thursday after falling off the roof of a home under construction on a Larkspur hillside, authorities said. The worker fell about 4 p.m. at 7 Palm Court, a cul-de-sac about a quarter mile east of Magnolia Avenue on Palm Hill. The man tumbled near the rear side of the structure, and a fire spokesman estimated the drop at about 30 feet. Larkspur firefighters rushed the worker to Marin General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after 5 p.m. Family members and friends were gathering at the hospital in the evening. The man has been identified as a Richmond resident 32 or 33 years old, but the coroner's office did not release his name pending notification of immediate next-of-kin.

Woman Shot And Killed In Forest Park

March 20, Cincinnati, Ohio - Sandra Daniels is trying to understand why someone would take her only child, 30-year-old DeVona Daniels. "Get killed by someone she's trying to assist and help and motivate and encourage – it's unbelievable – unbelievable ," Sandra said. According to police, Daniels was a care provider and helping to rehabilitate 18-year-old Anthony Irby. Irby was receiving help through Focus on Independence, a subcontractor for the Hamilton County MRDD. After taking Irby to get his license Thursday afternoon, Daniels took Irby back to his Forest Park apartment. That's when police say Irby shot Daniels in the stomach.

Worker crushed, injured at Frisco concrete plant

March 20, Plano, Texas - The Frisco Fire Department responded to an injury call at the Redi-Mix Inc. concrete plant on State Highway 121, at approximately 10:27 a.m. today. The caller said a worker was screaming for help from the top of the building, saying he was trapped in equipment. The fire department sent an aerial ladder truck to the scene. When the fire crew arrived, the worker was on the ground, and no extrication was needed. The worker had sustained a crushing-type injury while working at this industrial facility. He was taken to an area hospital by CareFlite helicopter with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries, city officials reported.

Tree cutter falls to death on job Victim suffered head trauma and internal injuries

March 20, Grand Island, New York - A freak accident leaves one man dead in Grand Island. Three workers from TK Tree Service in Youngstown were taking down a tree on Amberwood Drive on Grand Island just before 10:00 Friday morning. Kris Wolf, her husband, and three sons were watching them work in her next door neighbor's backyard. Two workers were at the base. One was about 40 feet up in the tree. The Wolfs watched as the rotting tree broke off at the base. Kris Wolf said, "They had some ropes, they were holding onto it. I don't think they realized the whole tree was going to tip from the bottom. He was cutting a part of the trunk at the top and I think they expected that to go and for whatever reason the whole tree just went." Wolf's husband called 9-1-1. Wolf is a registered nurse at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She went out to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the victim until paramedics arrived. Grand Island Fire Chief Greg Butcher said, "First arriving units arrived to discover a tree trimming individual working for a company that fell from a tree." Paramedics continued CPR in the ambulance. The worker, 28-year-old John West of Lockport was pronounced dead on arrival at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

Worker found dead in vent at Steamboat restaurant

March 19, Steamboat Springs, Colorado — Authorities say an electrician died when he got stuck in a vent at a Steamboat Springs, Colorado restaurant and apparently was asphyxiated. Police say 49-year-old Micheal Goodspeed of Aurora was trying to enter the restaurant feet-first through the vent when he became wedged in a tapering section. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg says it appears Goodspeed died of "positional asphyxiation." An autopsy is planned.

Driver, road worker die in crash on I-80 overpass

March 19, San Jose, California - An elderly Suisun City man died Wednesday at a Walnut Creek trauma center just hours after police said his truck plowed through a construction zone in Fairfield and fatally injured a construction worker. The identity of the 87-year-old man was withheld pending notification of family. An autopsy to determine the cause of his death is slated for this week. The construction worker, 31 year old Friz Schulz of San Francisco, suffered severe head injuries and was transported to NorthBay Medical Center, where he died.

Parole officer killed in crash

March 20, Oswego County, New York -- A New York State parole officer was killed in a crash while on duty Thursday morning. Deputies say icy roads were a factor in the single-vehicle accident that killed Officer Jeffrey Woolson, 41, of Pulaski. They say he lost control on an icy curve, went into a ditch and hit a tree while driving on County Route 11 in West Monroe just after 7 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man Identified In Co-Op Accident

March 19, Des Moines, Iowa - A worker was killed Thursday afternoon in an accident at a Co-Op in Des Moines. The accident happened at the Heartland Co-Op at 5500 Army Post Road around 4 p.m. Officials with Heartland Co-Op said Clifford Mast had been with the company for more than 20 years. They're not sure yet exactly what happened. "It appeared that he had become trapped between what they described as a catwalk and a belt," Polk County Deputy Jana Rooker said.

Construction Worker Killed On Abernathy Road San Francisco Man Died At Hospital

March 18, Fairfield, California - A construction worker was killed after being hit along Abernathy Road, Fairfield police said Wednesday. The deceased is a 31-year-old man from San Francisco, police said. He was taken by ambulance to North Bay Medical Center where he died from his injuries. Police said a 87-year-old man from Suisun City was driving his pickup northbound on Abernathy Road when he crossed the center of the roadway and hit the worker along with several construction vehicles. The man was taken to a hospital by flight and later died at John Muir Medical Center, police said.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Employee Dies After Accident

March 18, Pocatello, Idaho - The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort employee who was invoved in a serious accident on Friday has died. Kathryn Hess fell down a corridor while assessing back country terrain just south of the resort boundary. Hess was an eight year member of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrol. Here's a statement released by the resort. "Kathryn showed an incredible love for the mountains, her fellow patrollers and our guests. She was an accomplished mountaineer, skier and outdoors person who will be greatly missed by all at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort."

Tug boat worker dies after falling in river near Edgard

March 18, New Orleans, Louisiana - A man working on a tug boat near Edgard accidentally fell into the Mississippi River Tuesday night and later died, according to a spokesman for the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office received a call shortly before 11 p.m. from St. John Fleeting of Garyville that one of its workers, identified as Robert St. Pierre, 20, of Mt. Airy, accidentally fell into the river, said Capt. Dane Clement. St. Pierre was pulled out of the water by fellow workers and CPR was started and continued while he was being transported to St. James Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Clement said.

Construction worker killed in fall from 9th floor of Manhattan building

March 18, Manhattan, New York — A construction worker has died after falling from the ninth floor of a Manhattan building. Authorities say the 28-year-old man landed on scaffolding at Park Avenue near 55th Street. The accident occurred Wednesday morning. The man's name was withheld until his family could be notified. The city Buildings Department was investigating the incident and a stop work order was issued. The contractor may only perform remedial work to secure the site.

Worker Falls to Death at Hotel Project

March 18, New York City, New York - A 28-year-old construction worker died on Wednesday after he fell from the 10th floor of a hotel under construction on Park Avenue South, the authorities said. The police said the worker, Anthony Paino, of Staten Island, fell around 11:15 a.m. from the construction site of the Gansevoort Park Hotel at 420 Park Avenue South, at 29th Street. Mr. Paino fell from a plywood mold and landed on top of a sidewalk shed, construction workers at the site said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center in cardiac arrest, the Fire Department said. The police said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Construction Worker Dies in Accident at Kanawha Mall, Name Released

March 17, Charleston, West Virginia - A construction worker was killed Monday morning at the Kanawha Mall in Charleston. It happened at about 11:45 a.m. Police say 60-year-old Richard Patrick was hit in the head by a piece of steel. Officers say he was killed immediately. Patrick was working for Agsten Construction. The company is doing a demolition project at the mall. The mall has been under construction for several months. workers are converting the shopping center into more of a strip mall.

Worker dies after falling from cell tower

March 17, Lake Worth, Florida - Palm Beach County authorities say a technician working on a cell phone tower fell about 115 feet to his death. The sheriff's office reports that 36-year-old Clinton Waters was working on a T-Mobile cell tower in Lake Worth when he fell, just after noon on Tuesday. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue responded and pronounced Waters dead at scene. It's not clear why Waters fell, but authorities are still investigating.

Port Huron man killed when tractor flips on him

March 17, Port Huron, Michigan - Port Huron authorities say a 30-year-old construction worker was killed when the tractor he was operating overturned and pinned him underneath. The accident happened about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities tell the Times Herald and WDIV-TV the man lived in Port Huron, but they didn't release his name. Police Sgt. Duane Loxton says the driver made a mistake that caused the accident.

Man Buried Underneath Pile Of Coal

March 17, Mobile, Alabama - A man working at the McDuffie Coal Terminal on the Mobile River was killed Tuesday morning when he was buried in coal. Witnesses told Mobile Fire-Rescue that 53-year-old Larry George slipped and fell head first into a pile of coal while a rail car above was dumping its load. George was buried underneath 100 feet of coal, most likely suffocating him. Co-workers uncovered before firefighters arrived. Firefighters say George was having a heart attack. They started C.P.R. and transported him to Mobile Infirmary where he was later pronounced dead.

Firms fined over worker's death in Walpole

March 17, Norwood, Massachusetts - The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined two subcontractors a combined $15,750 for work safety violations that led to the death of a man last September at a Wal-Mart in Walpole. Romulo Santos, 47, of Somerville, was electrocuted while working with a demolition crew when he came in contact with live wires. At the time of his death, Santos worked for Italo Masonry, a Medford subcontractor.

Arizona sanitation worker crushed in garbage truck

March 16, Phoenix, Arizona — Phoenix police say a sanitation worker has been crushed to death in the compactor of his garbage truck. Police identified the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene Monday, as 60-year-old Robert Amaral (AM'-uh-ral). Authorities say Amaral was trying to fix a problem with the machinery and somehow got caught in the equipment. They believe he was alone at the time. Police are treating the incident as an accidental death investigation.

Father of four killed at office

March 16, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - A 38-year-old Milwaukee man was shot and killed Monday afternoon inside his business on the city's northwest side, police said. The shooting may have occurred during a robbery, but police were investigating other motives, Lt. Alfonso Morales said. Police were seeking a known suspect Monday night, Morales said. The victim was identified by police and family members as Kenneth L. Perry. Family members said he owned Perry's Cleaning Company, which cleans homes and businesses. He was shot about 4:30 p.m. inside the company's office in a building at 5401 N. 76th St., Morales said.

Worker killed in accident at Kanawha Mall

March 16, Charleston, West Virginia - A Charleston man was killed Monday in a construction accident at the Kanawha Mall. Richard Patrick, 60, an employee of Agsten Construction, died after a steel bar joist fell on him, said Lt. Kim West of the Charleston Police Department. The joist "was being lifted by a [crane] when the securing straps broke and it fell on him," West said. "He was wearing a hard hat, but I don't think it would matter." Patrick was taken to CAMC General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Worker dies at Monroe's Victor Oolitic Quarry Monday

March 16, Bloomington, Indiana - A Bloomington man was killed Monday afternoon in an industrial accident at a local limestone quarry. Tim L. McCammon, 47, of Bloomington, was pronounced dead at Victor Oolitic Stone Co., 7850 S. Victor Pike, after a 6,000-pound piece of stone tipped on its side while being prepared by McCammon for transport. Chief Deputy Mike Pershing, with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, said McCammon was assisting in “hooking” the stone when the 14-foot-long, 6-foot-tall slab “became unstable and fell to one side,” crushing McCammon.

Bluff City man killed in industrial accident

March 16, Kingsport, Tennesee - According to a report by the Bristol Herald Courier, an employee at Line Power Manufacturing Corp. was killed Saturday in an accident that occurred while he was working on electrical equipment.Joel W. Gobble, 38, of Bluff City, Tenn., was pronounced dead at Bristol Regional Medical Center at 11 a.m., about three hours after the incident, said Randy Grimes, director of safety with Electro-Mechanical Corp., which owns Line Power. “We don’t know exactly what happened,” Grimes said. “The incident is under investigation by both us and the Virginia Department of Occupational Safety and Health. We can confirm that he was testing a piece of electrical equipment.”

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