Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Raleigh police investigate after group home worker found dead

March 29, Raleigh, North Carolina - Investigators have identified the body of a woman found dead inside a group home Friday morning. Police consider her death suspicious but have not ruled it a homicide. Rebecca Ezeoha Thompkins, 44, was found inside the Dickens Drive Group Home at 113 Dickens Drive about 6 a.m. Friday. Homicide detectives were called to the scene "because some of the circumstances of the death appeared to be potentially suspicious," police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a written statement. Thompkins was a direct care worker who monitored residents at the home. Administrators at the home said little about Thompkins and her duties Saturday night.

Worker dies repairing Ferris wheel in Sacramento

March 28, Sacramento, California - An unidentified man died Saturday afternoon when parts of a Ferris wheel he was working on collapsed on him at a Florin area business. Another man working with him was taken to an area hospital with rib injuries, according to Sacramento Metro Fire. The two men were breaking down a Ferris wheel that had come in for repairs at a hydraulic repair facility in the 8500 block of Tioga Woods Way, said Capt. Christian Pebbles. Firefighters were called about 4 p.m. to extricate the body of the man who died from traumatic injuries, Pebbles said.

Neb. man killed in lumber yard accident

March 29, Scottsbluff, Nebraska - An employee of a Scottsbluff home improvement store is dead after merchandise in the store's lumber yard collapsed on him. Scotts Bluff County authorities identified the 24-year-old Menards worker killed shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday as Brad Soske (SOH-skee) of Scottsbluff. Customers near the accident scene said it appeared a band tying 1 of the bundles near the top of stack of garden ties came loose. Soske was standing at the base of the stack when two bundles fell on him.

Water plant employee dies in accident

March 27, Las Vegas, Nevada - A worker at the Clark County Water Reclamation District's treatment plant in the eastern Las Vegas Valley died in an accident on Friday. This is the first industrial accident resulting in the death of an employee in the district's 53-year history. The Clark County Coroner's Office identified the man as 33-year-old Mason Reyes of Henderson. The cause and manner of death have not been determined, a spokeswoman in the coroner's office said. At about 10:15 a.m. the man was performing emergency repairs on an 8-inch reclaimed water line at the main sewage treatment facility at 5857 E. Flamingo Road when an accident occurred, resulting in the employee's death, said county spokesman Erik Pappa.

Marianna man killed industrial accident

March 27, Dothan, Alabama - On Thursday, at approximately 3:00 a.m. Deputies responded to Spanish Trail Lumber in Cypress in reference to an industrial accidental death. It was learned the victim, Rufus Dudley, 48 years of age was struck by a 12 foot 2x4, after it was ejected from a planer machine. Dudley was struck in the upper torso and as a result died on the scene. The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration was also contacted due to the incident being an industrial accident. The investigation is continuing by the Sheriff’s Office.

Crown Point boy killed in Griffith industrial accident

March 27, Gary, Indiana - A Crown Point boy died Thursday in an accident at his family's business, according to a spokesman from the Lake County Coroner's Office. Nathan Lundin, 12, of the 2600 block of Autumn Drive in Crown Point, was pronounced dead at Community Hospital in Munster at 2:39 p.m. from blunt force trauma to the head and body after being pinned by a steel object that fell from a moving forklift. The accident occurred at Upright Iron Works Inc., 1036 Reder Road, Griffith.

Father, Son Shot And Killed At Brooklyn Deli

March 26, Crown Heights, New York (WPIX) -- A Utica Avenue bodega in Crown Heights was the scene of a deadly robbery Wednesday night that left the owner and his son dead of gunshot wounds. Police say 50-year-old Mohammed Monsoor Abuzaid and his 18-year-old son Abdul Kareen Monsoor Abuzaid battled with the killers after they were led to the basement of the store. The father was shot in the head and died at the scene. His son was shot in the chest and died later at the hospital, according to authorities.

Local briefs: Construction worker dies after tractor strikes him

March 26, Fresno, California- A tractor backed over a Highway 99 construction worker about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday near Atwater, the California Highway Patrol reported. The equipment rolled over the worker's upper body and legs along Highway 99 at Atwater Boulevard. They said he was taken for hospital treatment and died later. The Merced County Sheriff's Office said the man was a 50-year-old Stockton resident.

Aberdeen Proving Ground worker dies in accident

March 26, Baltimore, Maryland - A contract employee at an Army research lab suffered cardiac arrest and died after an accident Wednesday, an Aberdeen Proving Ground spokesman said. Grat Blackburn was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, said George Mercer, the spokesman. The 1 p.m. accident was work related but Mercer said the man did go into cardiac arrest before being taken to Harford Memorial Hospital. Emergency personnel gave Blackburn CPR before he was taken to the hospital.

CCU employee dies in campus accident

March 26, Columbia, South Carolina - A Coastal Carolina University employee died Thursday from injuries received in a tree-cutting accident on campus. The incident happened around 2 p.m. According to a press release, the name of the deceased has not been released pending notification of next of kin.“The university community is deeply saddened by this loss of a precious life, ” said David A. DeCenzo, university president. “We send our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of our employee.”

Officials identify man struck and killed by forklift

March 25, Los Angeles, California - Officials Wednesday identified a man who was killed this week after he was hit by a forklift outside Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Andrew Guipanay Bagsiao,86 , of Los Angeles, was walking near the base of a steep hill near Biggy Street and Zonal Avenue about 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, when he was struck by a forklift driven by a medical center employee, officials said. The employee was not arrested, but Los Angeles Police Department Det. Felix Padilla said the incident was being investigated as a homicide and that charges could be filed. Padilla said a bin the employee was carrying on the forklift obscured his view.

Construction worker crushed by tractor on Highway 99

March 25, Merced, California - A 50-year-old construction worker died after he was crushed by a two-ton dirt grader Wednesday morning. The Stockton man, whose name hasn't been released, died at a Modesto hospital, sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said. He was bending over to pick up some debris at about 9:45 a.m. when he was knocked down and run over by a tractor, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ed Banks said. The man, an employee with Bay City Construction, was with a crew rebuilding Highway 99 near Atwater.

INDOT worker hit by dump truck, dies

March 25, Evansville - An Indiana Department of Transportation worker in Evansville was struck by a dump truck and killed on Tuesday. Mark T. Shepherdson, 49, Newburgh, was declared dead at St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville. Indiana State Police said he was operating a lighted arrow board to close a lane of I-164, a highway that circles the east and south sides of Evansville. The arrow board that Shepherdson was operating was being towed by an INDOT truck.

Bishop man killed industrial accident

March 25, Corpus Christi — A 54-year-old Bishop man died Tuesday after suffering injuries to his pelvic area during a work accident in the 6600 block of Leopard Street, police said. The man was conducting a test on a pipe about 10:03 a.m. at P.W.C. Industries Inc., when the pipe struck him, police said. He was taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial, where he later died. The county medical examiner’s office reported Wednesday he died of massive abdominal pelvic blunt trauma.

Local Truck Driver Killed In Virginia Wreck

March 25, Greenville, Virginia - A truck driver from Greeneville was killed early Tuesday when the tractor-trailer he was driving struck the rear of another truck on Interstate 81 near Roanoke, Va. A Virginia State Police spokesman said Lonnie J. Owens, Sr., 60, of Fry Street, Greeneville, died at the scene of the 1:40 a.m. Tuesday accident on Interstate 81. The state police spokesman said the accident, which was investigated by Trooper J.K. Jessee, occurred just south of the Route 460 interchange.

Police ID pawn shop employee killed during robbery 10:54 AM CT

March 25, Dallas, Texas - Dallas police identified today a 48-year-old man killed during a robbery in Pleasant Grove on Monday. Eric Boden was shot in the head during a robbery at the B&B Pawn Shop in the 8700 block of Lake June Road about 5:15 p.m. Monday. Boden was taken to a nearby hospital where he died. A witness told police that three men walked into the store and demanded money from Boden. They then shot him in the head before stealing two shotguns and a 1996 Ford Escort with the Texas license plate RDX-939, according to a Dallas police report.

3rd man dies from shooting at San Diego bus depot

March 26, San Diego, California — A second transit employee wounded when a co-worker opened fire at a city bus depot has died, authorities said Wednesday. Michael Stevenson, 55, died Tuesday afternoon at University of California, San Diego Medical Center, about 11 hours after the shootings, the medical examiner's office said on its Web site. The other worker, Benjamin Mwangi, died at the scene. The gunman, Lonnie Glasco, was shot and killed by police when he started to point his gun at them, authorities said.

Farmer killed after he gets trapped in grain bin

March 24, Birmingham, IOWA - A rural Birmingham man was killed after he was trapped in a grain bin. The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office says the accident on Tuesday morning is not considered suspicious and will not investigate it further. Police say rescuers pulled 70-year-old Donald Goematt from the grain bin and took him to Van Buren County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police say they don't know how Goematt was trapped inside.

PG&E Worker From Tracy Falls To Death

March 24, Firebaugh, California -- A Pacific Gas & Electric crew member from Tracy died Tuesday when he fell about 30 feet from a utility pole near the town of Firebaugh, the Madera County Sheriff's Department said. Peter Tololi, 36, was working in a rural area along Road 6 between Avenues 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 when the accident occurred at about 9:15 a.m., said Erica Stuart, a Sheriff's Department representative. Tololi was part of a crew that was putting in new poles and resetting lines.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections officer collapses, dies

March 24, Wilburton,Oklahoma - A corrections officer died Monday after collapsing at a Department of Corrections training facility. Ralph Marley, Jr., 54, was pronounced dead about 7 p.m. Monday after being taken to a local hospital, said Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie. Marley was hired to work as a corrections officer Jan. 26. Marley had worked at Mack Alford Correctional Center briefly before attending the five-week corrections officer training at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Massie said.

Construction worker hit dies of injuries

March 23, Salt Lake City, Utah - A construction worker hit while working in Salt Lake City last week has died. 53 year old Kelly Dale Almond parked his truck next to the curb at 307 West 400 North last Tuesday. When he got out of the truck he was hit and pushed into the windshield. The driver says he looked away for just a moment and veered to the right. But witnesses say he was going too fast for that residential area. Investigators are still looking into this one and haven't decided if charges will be filed.

California Bus Mechanic Dies After Shooting 2 Co-Workers, Killing 1

March 24, San Diego, California — A mechanic shot and killed one co-worker and critically injured another before police killed the gunman at a Metropolitan Transit System bus complex in downtown San Diego, authorities said. A report came in around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday saying two people had been shot at the complex in the East Village area near Petco Park, police Sgt. Bob Dare said. The gunman was shot by police shortly after they arrived at the bus yard. The shooter was identified as a mechanic on automated bus fare boxes who had worked for MTS for about 30 years, agency spokesman Rob Schupp said. The injured man, a bus mechanic who also was a 30-year veteran, was in critical condition at a hospital. The employee who was killed had been a foreman for about four years, Schupp said. No names were released. The motive for the shooting was under investigation.

UPDATE: Man Killed in Industrial Accident

March 24, Odessa, Texas - A man was killed in an industrial accident Tuesday. It happened Tuesday afternoon around 1:00 on the westside of Odessa on Westover Street at the Hollice-Clark Company. Ector County officials have identified the man as 53-year-old Daniel D. Conn. Co-workers say Conn was cleaning a tank when he apparently fell in. The co-workers say they noticed he was no longer on the tank and the hose he was using was on the ground. Ector County authorities and DPS are investigating.

San Antonio pilot killed in FedEx crash

March 23, Japan - FedEx Corp. officials said Monday that one of the two pilots killed in the FedEx Express plane crash that took place in Japan was from San Antonio. FedEx Express Flight 80 was involved in an accident early Monday morning while it was en route from Guangzhou, China to Narita, Japan. The accident occurred upon landing in Japan, according to a statement released by Memphis-based FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX). Captain Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, of Hillsboro, Ore., and First Officer Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, of San Antonio were killed in the crash, FedEx officials say. They were the only two members on board this cargo flight. Investigators from Japan and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board are both working to determine the cause of this accident. The pilots were flying an MD-11F airplane.

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