Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Gilster-Mary Lee employee dies in fall

June 5, Steeleville, Illinois - Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials and Gilster-Mary Lee officers are investigating the death of Gilster-Mary Lee employee Jim Braun, 69, of Chester who fell a single story in a Gilster-Mary Lee food manufacturing plant on Tuesday and died Thursday in St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. “We don’t know the results of his cause of death,” said Gilster-Mary Lee vice-president Tom Welge. An autopsy has been ordered, Welge said.

DuPage County murder: Trucking company employee shot co-worker because he 'went over his head,' prosecutors say

June 5, Chicago, Illinois - The murder of an Indiana man in the offices of a trucking company near Burr Ridge this year happened "because the defendant, the victim's boss, was stressed out at work and was angry because the victim went over his head," prosecutors said Thursday.Jason Dragos, 38, of Highland, Ind., was found in a closet on Feb. 9, in the offices of Saia Inc., in the 15 W 400 block of Frontage Road, with a fatal gunshot wound in the back of the head. His immediate boss, John Gilbert, 45, of the 4400 block of North Parkside Avenue, Chicago, has been charged with murder.

Construction worker dies in fall at Fort Dix

Fort Dix, New Jersey - A construction worker was killed yesterday after falling off a ladder at the military base, authorities said. Kevin Megill, 53, suffered severe head trauma when he lost his balance and fell off a ladder while working on a solar panel installation project yesterday afternoon. He was employed by J.A. Wig Construction and Electric LLC of New Egypt.

Road Worker Killed By Car In Construction Zone

June 5, Fayetteville, Arkansas - A Washington County road department employee was killed Friday when he was struck by a car while directing traffic in a construction zone on East Black Oak Road in southern Washington County. Hancil Hartbarger, 60, was directing traffic when he was hit and killed by a car driven by Rusty Warford, 51. Warford and witnesses at the scene told officials that sun glare was a possible factor in the accident. Neighbor Leslee Shadrick said this is a common problem on Black Oak Road, among other things. "We've had several people wreck in the yard just coming around these curves too fast", Shadrick said.

UPDATE: County highway worker killed in crash on Hwy 151 near Sun Prairie

June 4, Dane County, Wisconsin - Dane County officials have identified the victim of the fatal crash in the Town of Burke Thursday afternoon as 61-year-old James Porter of Monona. He was working on Highway 151 just south of Sun Prairie this afternoon when he was hit by a pick up truck. It happened between the Reiner road and Main streets exits. Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney tells 27 news that the driver of a silver pick up truck heading north on highway 151 hit a Dane County Highway vehicle then ricocheted and ran into the concrete divider.

Man Shot Dead At Auto Body Shop

June 3, Indianapolis, Indiana - A 23 year old Indianapolis man was shot to death Wednesday afternoon at Roman's Auto Body Shop at 965 North Sherman Drive. A witness told police that a black male in his late teens or early 20's walked into the garage area of the body shop and fired several shots at Jordan Matthews, striking him multiple times. Matthews was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect drove away.

New Bedford man dies after industrial accident

June 4, Fall River, Massachusetts – A 20-year-old New Bedford man has died from injuries he sustained when a container fell on him at a Fall River food plant. Justin Cordeiro, an employee at Blount Fine Foods’ production facility on Currant Road, was struck on the head by a container full of clams and ice Wednesday at about 7:30 a.m., according to Fall River police. Another employee who was operating a forklift had removed the top two containers from a stack and was backing out, when the top container fell and hit Cordeiro, police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Mauretti said.

After Conducting Fire Suppression Duties at a Structure Fire, Captain Collapses in Incident Scene Rehabilitation – Kansas

On August 13, Kansas - a 44-year-old Captain reported for duty at 0700 hours. At 1819 hours his crew was dispatched to a multiunit apartment fire. At this time the air temperature was 97 degrees Fahrenheit (ºF) with a relative humidity (RH) of 35%. Initial size-up reported heavy smoke from the two-story wood frame apartment building...... The death certificate and autopsy listed "Coronary Atherosclerosis" as the immediate cause of death and high heat conditions as a contributory cause. NIOSH investigators concluded that engaging in firefighting activities on a hot day probably triggered a heart attack and the Captain’s subsequent sudden cardiac death.

Fire Fighter Suffers Sudden Cardiac Death During Live Fire Training

On June 6, Columbia, South Carolina - a 50-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (FF) taught a morning class that consisted of fire suppression topics and personal protective equipment use at the fire training center of a local community college.... The training ended at approximately 1530 hours. Shortly after refilling the engine’s water tank, the FF collapsed. Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced life support delivered on scene, in the ambulance, and in the hospital’s emergency department, the FF died.

CCU plans to pay fine after worker's death

June 3, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Coastal Carolina University officials say they plan to pay a state labor fine and have implemented corrective measures to address safety violations that resulted in the March death of an employee who was cutting trees on campus. CCU will accept the citations and pay a $1,950 fine filed against the school by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in connection with the March 26 death of 53-year-old Ricky Roloff, who died after a tree fell on him, according to university officials.

5 killed when van with aid workers crashes in S. Arizona

June 3, Tucson, Arizona - The Arizona Department of Public Safety says five people are dead and several others were airlifted to hospitals after a van carrying international visitors crashed about 50 miles east of Tucson. The large van was traveling westbound when it lost control and rolled over the left side guardrail and down the raised median onto the left eastbound lane of Interstate 10. A state highway patrol spokesman said there were 17 people in the van. Twelve were flown by helicopter to local trauma centers.

Police: Two people shot, killed at Houston gas station

June 3, Houston, Texas – The shooting deaths of two men at a convenience store has devastated what is widely known as a close-knit community in Southeast Houston. Houston police detectives said the owner of the store in the 3700 block of Harrisburg Boulevard, and a clerk, were the likely victims. Throughout the day, relatives, friends and long-time customers gathered around yellow crime scene tape and remembered the man they knew as “Mike”.

Worker killed in North Royalton plant accident

June 3, Independence, Ohio - A 38-year-old worker at the Kurtz Bros. Compost Facility in North Royalton was killed Monday in an industrial accident. According to North Royalton Fire Lt. Robert Chegan, the department received a call at 7:42 a.m. Monday from someone at the facility, located at 10789 Royalton Road. The victim, who was pinned between heavy machinery, suffered abdominal and chest trauma, Chegan said. The department transported the victim to the city's York Road baseball complex. A Life Flight helicopter then took him to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Centreville officer shot and killed

June 2, Centreville, Illinois - A veteran police officer has been shot and killed early today outside the Ernest Smith Senior Apartments in Centreville. The officer is identified as Lt. Gregory Jonas, 58. He had been with the Centreville force for nearly 15 years and was an officer in Alorton before that.Police say he was on-duty at about 2:30 a.m. today when someone fatally shot him at the complex in the 4700 block of Tudor Avenue.

Guard killed in robbery at Lakewood Wal-Mart

June 2, Lakewood, Washington — A single bullet killed an armored-car guard and wounded a bystander during a robbery this afternoon at a Wal-Mart store in this south Tacoma suburb, authorities said. Police were looking for two men thought to be in their 20s who grabbed a money bag from the guard and drove off after the shooting at about 1:30 p.m. Killed was Kurt Husted, 39, a 16-year veteran of Houston-based Loomis armored cars, company spokesman Pat Flaherty said.

Bartender killed in St. Louis robbery

June 2, St. Louis, Missouri — A bartender at a popular downtown St. Louis tavern was fatally shot during a robbery. Meanwhile, police were trying to determine whether another man shot to death a short time later was one of the suspected robbers. The robbery happened about 11:45 p.m. yesterday at Maggie O’Brien’s. Police said a male employee in his early 30s was shot. He died a few hours later at a hospital.

West Palm Beach man identified as worker killed in fall from PBIA tower

June 1, Palm Beach, Florida - Authorities have identified a man who was killed Friday when he fell from a tower at Palm Beach International Airport as Ismael Octtaviani-Mercado, 59, of West Palm Beach. Our partners at the Palm Beach Post report: The Federal Aviation Administration employee fell about 11 a.m. Friday from the tower's third level and was dead at the scene, Palm Beach County Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said this afternoon. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death, a spokesman said from Atlanta.

Chicago cop killed: Police officer clung to life for 14 hours after shooting

June 2, Chicago, Illinois - Police work wasn't just a job for Officer Alejandro "Alex" Valadez. It was a family calling. Valadez was one of three siblings to join the Chicago Police Department, and in just three short years, he had established himself as a go-to police officer in the tough Englewood District, unafraid of challenging assignments or long hours. But early Monday, Valadez, 27, was fatally shot, the first Chicago police officer killed in 2009 in the line of duty. Police sources said detectives were questioning at least one suspect Monday evening, but no charges had been filed. Supt. Jody Weis said there was progress in the case but declined to be more specific.

Chicago police officer dies after South Side shooting

June 1, Chicago, Illinois - A Chicago police officer who was shot while answering a call early Monday morning has died, department officials said. Supt. Jody Weis made the announcement this afternoon, soon after police officers who had gathered at the 27-year-old’s bedside spilled out of Stroger Hospital, many of them crying and embracing each other.....Weis identified the officer as Alejandro Valadez, a three-year officer assigned to the tactical unit in the Englewood District, one of the toughest in the city.

Grain elevator worker dies after burial in bin

June 1, Haswell, Colorado - A 17-year-old worker at a Kiowa County grain elevator was killed Friday after being buried alive in a grain bin. According to a police report released Sunday, Cody Clayton Rigsby of Wiley was buried under several feet of grain inside a bin at the Tempel Grain elevator in Haswell, 20 miles west of Eads. Chris Sorensen, director of Kiowa County Division of Emergency Management, said Sunday that foul play is not suspected.

Man dies after accident at NY garbage hauler

June 1, Chenango Bridge, New York - Authorities are investigating an industrial accident that claimed the life of a 35-year-old employee of an upstate New York garbage hauling business. State police say Shawn Brown of Chenango died on Saturday after being injured while working on a recycling truck at Bert Adams Disposal in Chenango Bridge, just north of Binghamton. Troopers say the truck bed released and pinned him against the vehicle's frame. He was found by a co-worker who called 911.

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