Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Man dies of injuries from industrial accident

April 6, Wilmington, Delaware - A 56-year-old man injured in an industrial accident last week died this weekend, said Cpl. Angela Garnsey, a spokeswoman with the Delaware State Police. Paul Fisher, 56, of St. George's, was injured on Tuesday when he was pinned under the frame of a truck he was trying to repair at Tyson F. Sartin Inc. Memorial and Concrete Products, Garnsey said. An employee of the business saw that Fisher was injured and called 9-1-1. Fisher was freed from the truck by first responders and rushed to Christiana Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition, Garnsey said.

Drowsy Driving Possible Cause of Squaw Bus Crash

April 6, San Francisco, California - Drowsy driving might have caused a fatal bus crash near Truckee over the weekend. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the bus driver was fatigued when the crash happened, according to the Sacramento Bee. One resort worker was killed and two dozen others were injured in the crash. The bus, operated by the Resort at Squaw Creek ,veered off the road, "struck a guardrail and rolled several times" before stopping in a ditch along Interstate 80, about 20 miles west of Reno, said California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Skeen.

Worker killed in garage collapse in South L.A.

April 4, Los Angeles, California - A 38-year-old construction worker was killed this morning in South Los Angeles when a garage collapsed on him during a remodeling project, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Firefighters arrived at about 9:40 a.m. to a single-family home along the 1500 block of East 51st Street just as other workers were pulling the man out from the debris, said Fire Spokesman Brian Humphrey. The unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene. It was unknown if he was a licensed construction worker or a day laborer, Humphrey said. Witnesses told firefighters that the man was part of a construction crew that had been replacing or repairing the footings of a heavy timber peak-roofed carport at the rear of the home when it collapsed, Humphrey said.

Worker found dead in Greene County

April 3, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - More tests are needed to determine the cause of death of a Greene County man found dead yesterday while working in Franklin Township, the coroner's office said. Harry Franks III, 33, of Monongahela Township, and a co-worker from an Ohio environmental company had been measuring water levels and he failed to meet his partner at a designated location, Deputy Coroner Mary Lewis said. The co-worker, who was not identified, returned to the last place he saw Mr. Franks and found him lying face down near the edge of Coal Lick Stream in Franklin Township.

Texas officer dies when car hit by chase suspect

April 3, Bridgeport, Texas — A motorist fleeing police during a high-speed chase slammed into a patrol car Thursday, killing a police officer, authorities said. Stephen York, 44, of Bridgeport, was charged with capital murder and was being held on $1 million bond, the Wise County Sheriff's Office said. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney. Sgt. Randy White was pulling over a pickup hauling a flatbed trailer, trying to get it off the road to prevent a potential injury, when the suspect's vehicle slammed into his patrol car from behind, city spokeswoman Amber Fogelman said. The patrol car did not catch fire but was crumpled, and White died at the scene.

Pipeline worker killed at Indiana site

April 3, St. Omer, Indina - State officials are investigating the death of a worker at a natural gas pipeline construction site. The accident happened Wednesday morning neat Saint Omer in Decatur County, about eight miles northwest of Greensburg. A spokesperson for the Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Company said the 46-year-old victim, Randy Gardner of Olive Springs, Tennessee, was working on the Rockies Express Pipeline -- which will carry natural gas from Colorado to Ohio. The company said Gardner has been working for them for two years. Gardner was killed when a backhoe lifting a large wooden construction mat fell on him.

IROX construction worker killed on I-75

April 3, Lee County, Florida - Ruben Garcia Serrano,36, an IROX construction worker was killed Friday morning after being struck by a semi-truck. The accident happened around 3:30 a.m. Friday just south of the Colonial exit on I-75. Florida Highway Patrol says the construction worker, who was part of a paving project, was crossing the highway when the semi hit him.

Mine Employee Accidentally Dies

April 2, Birmingham, Alabama - A man died after an accident at a Walker county mine on Thursday morning. His name has not yet been released. The man was operating a rock truck at the Town Creek Mine in Sipsey. Reed Minerals owns the mine. The company says that no other worker was injured in the accident. State and federal investigators are investigating the death.

Model Employee Crushed Under Truck

Monks Corner, South Carolina - A 38-year-old construction worker, described by his boss as one of his best employees, was crushed to death while trying to help get an 18-wheeler out of the mud. Berkeley County Coroner Glenn Rhoad said that Kevin Armstrong was killed on Wednesday. Armstrong was behind the tractor-trailer trying to hook it to bulldozer with a chain when the trucker accidentally backed over him. Authorities said that Armstrong was a site manager for Cooper River Construction. Company owner Eddy Southard said Armstrong was one of his best employees and was usually the first to arrive at work every morning.

Man killed in Mo. construction accident identified

March 31, WESTON, Mo. — The name of a worker killed in an accident at a power plant under construction north of Kansas City has been released. Officials with the man's employer, Team Industrial Services of Alvin, Texas, identified him as 28-year-old Vatthana Vongtheva of Emporia, Kan. Kansas City Power & Light officials said he was inside a boiler inspecting equipment on an elevated scaffold Tuesday at the utility's Iatan 2 power plant site, near Weston. He became pinned against the boiler wall and was fatally injured.

Police ID Man Killed After 40 Foot Fall in Church

March 31, Port Arthur, Texas - A 24-year-old worker from Beaumont who died Monday from injuries he received while working at an area church is set to be buried Thursday. Beaumont Police Sgt Mike Earney says shortly after 11 a.m. Walter Logan Matak of Gulf Coast Electric was working to change light bulbs in the sanctuary of Cathedral in the Pines church in Beaumont. Witnesses say he was using a “lift bucket.” At some point he lost stability and fell approximately 40 feet. Matak was taken to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth with what was described as “severe” injuries.

County employee dies behind the wheel

March 31, Wenatchee, Washington — A Chelan County Public Works Department employee died Monday morning after apparently having a heart attack while driving a county vehicle.James Andrews, 67, of Entiat, was transported to Chelan Community Hospital Monday morning, where he was pronounced dead. Washington State Patrol Trooper Rich Magnussen said two of Andrews’ Chelan County co-workers stopped to investigate when they saw the county pickup parked in a field next to an orchard off Highway 97A, 10 miles north of Entiat. After finding Andrews in the truck at 10:15 a.m., they called 911 and attempted to resuscitate him. Emergency responders took over CPR when they arrived but could not revive him, Magnussen said.

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