Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Sheboygan gas station worker killed identified

July 13, Sheboygan, Wisconsin - A gas station employee who died after a van backed into the side of the store has been identified. Sheboygan police say a 32-year-old Sheboygan man and his wife had just filled up, and his wife went into the store to pay 11 p.m. Saturday. As he was backing the van up to pick up his wife, the van crashed into the store's window, coming to a rest inside the store. The employee is identified as 18-year-old Emily E. Hughes of Sheboygan.

Lincoln stunt flier dies in crash

July 12, Omaha, Nebraska - A champion aerobatic pilot from Lincoln was killed in a plane crash during a practice session Friday for an air show near Tarkio, Mo. An Edge 540 aircraft piloted by Chandy Clanton crashed into a bean field about 2:30 p.m. Friday near U.S. Highway 136 and State Route O near Tarkio, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Clanton, 36, was the daughter of Harry Barr, an employee of Duncan Aviation in Lincoln. Clanton often appeared at events in Clarinda, Iowa, her father's hometown.

Heart attack precedes crash in taxicab driver death

July 12, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - A taxicab driver who crashed his Yellow Cab into a bridge abutment in the city died of natural causes, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. Michael Brown, 53, of Mt. Lebanon, died of natural causes, according to a supervisor. Mr. Brown lost control of his cab at 12:16 a.m. and it crashed into the on-ramp to the West End Bridge off of Reedsdale Street.

Cottage Hills man killed in workplace accident at Olin Brass

July 12, Belleville, Illinois - A Cottage Hills man was killed in an industrial accident at an East Alton plant Saturday morning. Michael B. Niswander, 41, died in the industrial accident, which occurred about 10:30 a.m. at Olin Brass, reported the Madison County Coroner's Office. The coroner's office reported that Niswander was struck in the chest by industrial machinery. Niswander was transported to Alton Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 50 minutes later.

1 dead, 1 hospitalized after trench collapse

July 10, Coushatta, Louisiana — An independent contractor is dead and another man is hospitalized after both were trapped underground while working on a sewer line in Coushatta. Police Chief Charlie Adams says the accident happened just after 9 a.m. Friday in an open field along U.S. Highway 71. The men, who are employed with TGS Contractors Inc. in Minden, were working for the town to replace a collapsed sewer line.

Worker Killed in Tree-Cutting Accident

July 10, Elm Grove, Wisconsin - A 31-year-old worker died when he fell about 40 feet as he and other workers were cutting down a tree in a Milwaukee suburb. The Elm Grove police department says the accident about 9:50 a.m. Friday killed Dale Simek of Trevor, who was hired to remove a large tree at a private residence.

Worker crushed at recycling center

July 10, Fort Wayne, Indiana - Police say a worker at a Fort Wayne metal recycling facility died after being run over by a front-end loader. The man was injured Thursday at the OmniSource plant east of the city's downtown and died a short time later at a hospital. Police say the worker was standing near the 30-ton loader when the driver didn't see him while turning it. Authorities did not immediately release the worker's name.

MCC employee dies after being injured by machinery

July 9, Kingman, Arizona - The Mohave County Medical Examiner's Officer is conducting an autopsy today on the body of an employee who died on the Kingman Campus of Mohave Community College. Sean McMahon, public information officer for the college, confirmed that a maintenance employee was fatally injured in an accident around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. His name is not being released at this time per the family's request.

MeadWestvaco employee dies

July 9, Silsbee, Texas - An employee from Kirbyville with the MeadWestvaco plant in Evadale who was injured last Tuesday afternoon at the mill died from his injuries Friday afternoon. Otis Deon Collier, 41, died Friday at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He had been employed with the mill for 16 years. According to information from the company’s public relations manager, Penny Sullivan, a flash fire occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.

Man dies after he's burned while inspecting tanker

July 8, Houston, Texas - A man who was burned when inspecting a tanker truck at a southeast Houston waste management company has died. The man, whose identity was not available, was cleaning a tanker that had been carrying ethanol at CES Environmental Services, 4904 Griggs near Carol. The incident occurred about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Houston City Attorney Arturo Michel said today that the man had died.

Water truck operator dies in logging operation accident

July 8, Concow, California - A John Wheeler Logging water truck driver died Wednesday morning after rolling his vehicle over while working on a logging operation about 20 miles northeast of Concow. At approximately 11:15 a.m., a fellow logger passed the overturned truck on the remote U-Line on Sierra Pacific Industries property, an area only accessible by a single-lane gravel and dirt road. Cal Fire-Butte County Fire Capt.

Police: RI worker died after hitting wrong button

July 8, North Kingston, Rhode Island — A worker who died at the Electric Boat Corp. plant in North Kingstown this month was crushed when he pushed the wrong button and closed a hangar door instead of opening it. The police report of the July 1 incident says 31-year-old Ritchie Morse was moving a section of submarine with a double-cabbed transport device that was partially inside and partially outside the hangar door. The Providence Journal reports that Morse realized he had forgotten his hardhat in the front cab of the vehicle. When he went to retrieve it, he was unable to squeeze through the small gap between the door and the transport.

Worker dies after industrial accident in West Bottoms

July 8, Kansas City, Missouri - A 56-year-old man died this morning after an industrial accident in Kansas City’s West Bottoms...The victim was trying to remove an electric motor from the scaffold and he activated the motor to place some tension on a cable. The action apparently caused the bracket on the roof to dislodge and fall. It struck the victim on the top of the head, police said. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Worker dies after fall into Hershey’s-bound chocolate

July 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A temp worker at a Camden chocolate processing plant died this morning after he fell into an eight-foot vat that was mixing and melting chocolate to be used in Hershey's candy. Vincent Smith II, 29, of Camden, was standing atop a platform and tossing blocks of solid, raw chocolate into the tank, Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, said. The tank was heated at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and paddles inside stirred the chocolate as it was thrown in.

We Energies worker dies from steam burns

July 8, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - A We Energies employee who suffered extensive burns from steam escaping from a pipe last month has died from his injuries. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office released a report Wednesday on the death of 58-year-old William Kaiserling, a steam services mechanic who was a 30-year employee of the utility. The report said he was working to release water during heavy rains June 19 in downtown Milwaukee when the accident happened, leaving him with extensive burns and inhalation of heat from the steam.

Worker dies after being pulled from muddy east side sinkhole

July 7, Detroit, Illinois - A construction worker has died after being buried up to his shoulders in a sinkhole on Detroit’s east side this afternoon. Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell said the 36-year-old Detroit man, who was not identified, was working on a residential road reconstruction project when the road collapsed and debris, mud and a slab of concrete fell on him. The man was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Business owner shot to death

July 7, Danville, Illinois — A local business owner was shot and killed outside his car washing and polishing shop Monday morning. Bennie Moten, 45, was pronounced dead at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center following the shooting. A worker at Moten’s business, JB Professional Detailing Shop, received minor injuries from a gunshot in the morning incident. City detectives and county investigators responded to an original call of shots fired at the scene. Police tape blocked off the street and entrance in front of Moten’s business at 729 Cleveland St.

Truck driver killed in fiery crash on I-75 in Hernando County

July 7, Ridge Manor West, Florida — Heading south on Interstate 75 in the predawn darkness Monday, Aubrey Pinion felt like he had the highway to himself....According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a semitrailer truck rear-ended Pinion's 1995 Dodge van just south of State Road 50, sending the van into the guardrail and causing the semi to overturn and catch fire. The southbound lanes were closed for about four hours. The truck driver, who has not been identified, was killed in the crash.

Park employee dies mowing lawn

July 7, Houston, Texas - A Harris County employee who worked outside was found dead on the job Monday afternoon. David Reynolds, 48, was a Precinct 1 Park Attendant who was assigned to mow the grass at Dow Park around 3pm. Shortly after that, he was found unconscious. With the mid-day heat bearing down on him, Reynolds started his evening shift at the park. Around 3pm, his white truck was unloaded and a co-worker had just filled him in on what to do.

Norwalk man dies from injuries in barge accident

July 7, Fairfeild, Connecticut - The crew job foreman injured on a barge replacing pilings in Pine Creek last month has died. Paul Thomas Rysz Jr., 33, a lifelong resident of Norwalk, was apparently struck in the head with a steel pin used to secure heavy steel rods at the mouth of the creek on June 26. At the time of the accident, Rysz' crew was using a crane to pull an assembly of rods, cables and pins that are pushed into the river bottom to hold the barge in place. Rysz was an employee of Norwalk Marine Contractors, which specializes in projects that involve marine pile-driving. It has been in business since 1985, according to the company's Web site.

Cab Driver Dies After Hitting Tree

July 7, Lake City, Florida - A cab driver has died after his taxi hit a tree this morning. Lake City police say it happened just after 9 this morning on Lake Desoto Circle. Police found the driver, Thomas Edkin, unconscious and not breathing. An officer started CPR and called for rescue, who took Edkin to the hospital. Edkin was pronounced dead less than two hours later. Investigators believe that possibly an unknown medical issue caused the him to crash the yellow cab taxi into the tree.

EB worker killed last week identified

July 7, North Kingstown, Rhode Island — Police have identified the Electric Boat employee who died in an accident at the company's Quonset Point manufacturing plant last week as Ritchie A. Morse. Morse was a 31-year-old North Kingstown resident, according to North Kingstown Police. He worked at Electric Boat for 10 years. North Kingstown police and fire personnel were called to the plant around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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