Friday, May 01, 2009

Weekly toll: Death in the American Workplace

Officials: 2 Fla. sheriff's deputies fatally shot

April 24, Crestview, Florida— Two north Florida sheriff's deputies were fatally shot at a shooting range by a suspect who was later killed by deputies after he fled across the county line, authorities said. It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a domestic violence call, sheriff's officials said. Deputies Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren "Skip" York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff's office said.

Police: Three women found dead in auto shop were shot

April 24, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - An elderly woman, her sister and her niece who were found dead yesterday at a automotive glass repair shop in Loyalhanna Township had been shot in the head, police said.

Police identified the victims as:

Edith Cora Tietge, 81, of 373 Loyalhanna Dam Road, across the street from Ferguson Glass Service on Loyalhanna Dam Road.

Doris Lee Murphy, 69, of 516 Leech Ave., Saltsburg, Indiana County.

Kris Lynn Murphy, 43, also of the Leech Avenue address.

Kris is the daughter of Doris Murphy. Tietge and Doris Murphy are sisters, said Jeanne Martin, public information officer at state police Troop A. All three women were at work at the glass company when they were shot. A family member found the bodies in the garage area late Thursday afternoon and called 911, she said.

Worker killed at Houston manhole

April 24, Houston, Texas - One worker was killed and two others injured in separate manhole accidents Friday as they prepared to test a new 54-inch waterline adjacent to Rankin Road in north Houston. The accidents occurred just hours and blocks apart. The victims were identified as contract workers for the North Harris County Regional Water Authority. District Fire Chief Richard Pattison said rescue crews were called to a Rankin Road location just east of Northborough Drive at 1:30 p.m. for a medical emergency involving two men in an “oxygen deficient atmosphere” at the bottom of a manhole. One man was declared dead at the scene; the second was transported by helicopter to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

South Alabama Police Officer Killed

April 24, Huntsville, Alabama - Two people are dead after a police standoff in South of them is a police officer. The shootings happened around 6 this evening in Headland, Alabama, which is in Henry County. Police officer Dexter Hammond was shot and killed by a gunman during the standoff. Henry County Sheriff Deputy Ted Yost, was also shot and is in surgery as of 9 pm.

Construction worker dies after fall on job

April 24, Springfield, Missouri - A construction worker died this week while working on new construction at a Springfield apartment complex. The man, whose name has not been released, was working Tuesday morning at Coryell Courts apartments, 2020 E. Kerr St. near Glenstone Avenue at Interstate 44, said Jacob Harvey, director of marketing and public relations for TLC Properties. "There was an accident where he fell and the fall was fatal," Harvey said.

UPDATE: Fatal industrial accident

April 24, Columbia City, Indiana - Cory Cochlin was killed Thursday night during an industrial accident at Steel Dynamic Corporation in Columbia City. A Columbia City Mill Service employee was driving a piece of equipment and didn't see 58-year-old Cory Cochlin. Cochlin was run over and killed. Columbia City Mill Service is a sub-contractor for SDI. It operates on SDI's property and helps with the steel making process.

Contract worker dies in fall at Marathon Oil

April 24, A contractor fell to his death in an accident at Marathon Oil in Garyville Thursday night and federal officials are on site today to investigate. The contractor's name has not been released. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA and the company, but few details have been released. A Marathon spokesman said the contractor fell around 11:45 p.m. while working on a project. The spokesman, Robert Calmus, said he didn't know how far the man fell or what he was doing at the time of the accident.

Man killed in gas well blowout identified

April 24, Bryan, Texas — Officials have revealed the identity of a worker killed in a Central Texas gas well blowout. Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak says 38-year-old Robert Jost of Rockdale worked for Teague-based Express Energy. The company was working under contract with the Canadian company EnCana, which owned the well. The blast happened just after 3 p.m. Wednesday in a field near Camp Creek Lake just off FM 1940, about 10 miles east of Franklin. Yezak says a length of pipe hit Jost in the chest. He died of chest trauma at St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan.

One Dead in Gas Well Accident Near Franklin

April 23, College Station, Texas - One person is dead after a Wednesday gas well accident in Robertson County. According to Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak, a gas well blew just after 3 p.m. on FM 1940 about ten miles east of Franklin near James Cemetery Road. Officials say an Express Energy employee, who was servicing an EnCana Oil and gas well, was hit by a pipe. Fire officials and EMS responded to the scene to treat the victim, who was then transported to St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan. He later died there. No word on the person's identity.

Worker dies on Mexican side of Anzalduas bridge site

April 23, Reynosa, Texas — A worker died at the Anzalduas International Bridge construction site Thursday afternoon, U.S. and Mexico bridge officials confirmed. Isidro Vicario, 45, of Mexico City, was near the top of a 25-foot rebar column when a gust of wind toppled it over, said Roberto Gaytan, an official with the Tamaulipas attorney general's office. Vicario was apparently strapped to the column when it fell on top of him and killed him, Gaytan said. The man was bleeding from the nose and ears when emergency responders arrived about 1:20 p.m.

Taxi driver dies after shot to head

April 23, Atlanta, Georgia - Atlanta police Wednesday were investigating the early morning shooting death of a taxi driver. The shooting happened at 1:20 a.m. near Richard Allen Boulevard and Fairburn Road in southwestern Atlanta, homicide Sgt. Bob Creasy said. A security guard at Big Bethel Village heard a crash near the gate to the retirement community, went to investigate and discovered the cab up against the fence, Creasy said. He said the 57-year-old driver, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office as Stephen Anim of Austell, had been shot once in the back of the head. Anim died at the scene.

Tifton PD officer dies in wreck

April 22, Albany, Georgia - 41-year-old Shawn McCaffity pulled his pickup truck out of a parking lot on Tift Avenue at noon yesterday and into the path of motorcycle officer Terry Adams. The 38-year-old Adams was responding to a request for assistance from another officer who was in pursuit of a suspect. McCaffity and a passenger, 57-year-old Clint Maddox, were taken to a hospital with injuries. Maddox was released, but McCaffity remains hospitalized in fair condition... Kimberly Copeland works a few feet from Potts Road where Tifton Police Officer Terry Adams was killed. 'It was very troubling. So we went out of the office and it was very bad," said Copeland.

Correctional officer dies at Nevada State Prison

April 22, Reno, Nevada - A correctional officer at the Nevada State Prison died Tuesday night after he collapsed while on duty. Gregory Farnsworth, an employee at the prison since 2004, was pronounced dead at around 10 p.m. He is survived by his wife and two children. "Officer Farnsworth was well respected and liked by fellow employees," Department of Corrections spokesperson Suzanne Pardee said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this most difficult time." All indications are that Farnsworth died of natural causes, Pardee said.

Power plant worker dies after fall

April 22, Henderson, Kentucky - A worker at a western Kentucky power plant has died after falling at least 100 feet. E.On U.S. spokesman Chip Keeling says a scaffolding contractor at a Western Kentucky Energy Corp.-managed plant near Sebree fell Tuesday morning. E.On U.S. is the parent company of Western Kentucky Energy. Keeling says the worker was disassembling scaffolding when he fell into a boiler. The Gleaner of Henderson reports that work at the plant was suspended while the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health agency, the Henderson County coroner's office and the companies investigate the accident.

FALLBROOK: Entomologist dies in ATV crash

April 22, Fallbrook, California - A 49-year-old entomologist died Wednesday after he accidentally backed his all-terrain vehicle over the edge of a cliff and fell more than 100 feet, officials said. The incident occurred about 11 a.m. at a farm north of Fallbrook at 3411 Conquistador Road, officials said. The victim was believed to be setting insect traps on a steep hillside avocado grove. "It appeared that he accidentally accelerated (while in reverse)," said Sheriff's Sgt. Amy Brown. "There was no foul play."

Worker Dies on Queensboro Bridge

April 22, New York, New York - The Manhattan-bound lanes of the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge were closed to traffic for a few hours because of the death of a worker, authorities said. Police and firefighters were called in to try rescue and revive a man who passed out while working on the bridge. The worker, a man in his 40s, died of an apparent heart attack, the Transportation Department said. The man was a painting inspector who was examining an enclosed area of the bridge prior to a paint job. He was a contractor for the city, teh DOT said. He collapsed while standing on a platform and was caught by other workers.

Truck driver dies in I-40 wreck

April 22, Kingman, Arizona - A semi-truck driver died after hitting an embankment three miles east of Kingman on Interstate 40. Blaze L. Wegele, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene around 8:45 a.m. on Sunday. The Bella Vista, Ark., man was heading westbound when he drove for unknown reasons off the north side of the road at milepost 57, an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman reported. DPS is awaiting autopsy results.

ACH employee dies in accident at plant in Champaign

April 22, Champaign, Illinois — A Champaign man died in an accident Wednesday morning at the ACH Food plant. Kurt Davis, 46, was pronounced dead at 7:12 a.m. Wednesday at the scene, according to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup. An autopsy will be conducted today, Northrup said. He said a co-worker discovered Mr. Davis inside an empty rail car in one of the buildings on the property. Fire rescue crews were called to the plant, formerly HumKo, at 710 N. Mattis Ave., C, at 5:51 a.m. Wednesday, according to Champaign fire spokeswoman Dena Schumacher. Champaign was sent to a confined space rescue, she said. Champaign rescue crews remain on the scene.

Man found dead in truck south of Wamsutter

April 21, Wamsutter, Wyoming - A man was found dead in a truck about seven miles south of Wamsutter. An autopsy was planned Tuesday on 40-year-old Don Miles, of Rock Springs, who was found dead Sunday in the cab of his company truck on Barrel Springs Road. Miles was a field safety specialist for Hemphill Trucking. The Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office says a co-worker found Miles' body.

Officer Groom fatally shot by theft suspect

April 21, East St. Louis, Missouri - A 24-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday in connection with the shooting death of a Schnucks security guard Tuesday, April 14. Rodney L. Wesley was charged with the killing. Police said he grabbed Wayne Groom's gun and shot him in the back of his head and in his right leg. Groom, 43, is the son of Don and Judy Nicely of rural Augusta. He attended schools here. He had worked at Hamilton Security & Investigations for the past five years.

Retired officer dies in rescue attempt

April 21, Melborne, Florida - Officials say a heroic effort to save a special needs teen from drowning may have cost a 65-year-old former police officer his life. On Monday, officials were trying to piece together what led to the apparent drowning death of a Orlando police veteran attempting to save a 16-year-old he thought fell into the water during an outing. The incident happened about 11 a.m. Friday near Bairs Cove at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Ottie Steve Harrelson of Longwood was participating in a Boy Scouts outing involving special needs children. "Right now, we don't know if there was a medical condition involved," said Joy Hill, spokeswoman for Florida Fish and Wildlife. "But he died trying to save a 16-year-old boy. It was a heroic act."

City worker dies after stabbing

April 20, Racine, Wisconsin — A well-liked and respected city worker died Tuesday after being stabbed Saturday, allegedly by his live-in girlfriend. Kirby McClain, 47, of 1314 Thurston Ave. was pronounced dead just after 11 a.m. at Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints hospital, 3801 Spring St. Racine police said it appears he died as a result of complications from the original injury he suffered in the weekend stabbing. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed Wednesday morning in Waukesha County, according to Racine County Medical Examiner Tom Terry.

Family sues in death of construction worker

April 20, The widow of a construction worker who died last week when a building collapsed on him filed a wrongful death suit on Monday against a subcontractor and the job placement firm that hired him. Crystal Cigala sued Townhaven Construction and Stellar Staffing Inc., claiming they sent her husband, Ramiro Cigala, to an unsafe jobsite, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which does not specificy damages, is claiming negligence and gross negligence. Randall Sorrels is representing the family. Cigala, 24, died and two other construction workers were injured when a building at a former HouTex Inn in the 6300 block of the Gulf Freeway collapsed during renovation on April 14. Officials said construction workers were replacing joists on the first floor of the building when the top floor began to shift.

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