Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

New Mexico Sergeant Killed in Stakeout

July 17, Santa Fe, New Mexico - "I'm going to catch that guy." That was the last thing Sgt. Joe Harris told a secretary at the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office before setting out to bust a burglar known as the "Cookie Bandit," who had eluded police in the Jemez Mountains for close to a decade. The man was wanted for a string of burglaries of cabins and trailers in the Jemez Springs area in which he would allegedly steal food, water, clothes, boots and other items to help him survive in the mountains. Harris was fatally wounded, becoming the first Sandoval County sheriff's officer killed in the line of duty. Harris was shot in the groin, and the bullet struck a large artery, Sheriff John Paul Trujillo said.

WATCH: Construction worker dies of heat-related issues

July 16, Austin and Travis County E.M.S. Paramedics tell KVUE that a man who died from heat-related issues on Wednesday was a construction worker in his forties. The construction worker is believed to have worked several days in a row in the heat. Paramedics responded to a South Austin business where a co-worker of the victim called 911 after the construction worker passed out in his car in a parking lot. "He was demonstrating signs of altered level of consciousness which is always one of the late stages in a severe heat injury," said Mike Benavides with Austin/Travis County.

Massport worker killed at Black Falcon Terminal

July 17, Boston, Massachusetts - A Massport worker was killed this afternoon at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on the waterfront in South Boston after being hit or pinned under a Jersey barrier. State police say the 50-year-old East Boston man was fatally injured at 3:03 p.m. today at the massive terminal at the end of Summer Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Truck driver from Cedartown killed in tractor-trailer wreck

July 18, West Point, Georgia — A Cedartown man died in a tractor-trailer wreck that scorched the ground near Interstate 85 about 11 a.m. Thursday. Georgia State Patrol Sgt. first class D.M. Blevins said the driver, John Lloyd Parris, 37, lost control of the vehicle on southbound I-85 near the two bridges above Ga. 18. The truck traveled between the two overpass bridges, crashed into a concrete support below them, then burst into flames. Smoke billowed from the truck’s cab, the office furniture in the holding compartment burning as well.

Longtime Monarch employee found dead inside work vehicle

July 17, Salida, Colorado - Mark Weeks, 47 of Salida and employee at Monarch Mountain, died Thursday while working at the ski area west of Salida. Emergency responders were called to the mountain about 4 p.m. when employees found Weeks slumped over the steering wheel in a company vehicle, Greg Ralph, Monarch marketing director, told The Mountain Mail. Weeks was a building maintenance and water quality employee who was recently promoted, Ralph said. He was found between the base lodge and ski patrol building after he failed to answer radio calls, Ralph said.

Baldwin Shop Owner Shot, Killed

July 16, Macon, Georgia - A Baldwin County shop owner was shot and killed by a robber Wednesday night, according to Sheriff Bill Massee. He said the victim was 51-year-old Danny Patel, owner of Lina Food Store at 2693 Irwinton Road. Massee said Patel died at the scene.

Miramar hospital employee shot dead at work

July 16, Miami, Florida - A Miramar hospital employee was shot dead at work before dawn Thursday morning. The 55-year-old man died inside his Toyota after he was shot in the parking lot of Memorial Hospital Miramar, 1901 SW 172nd Ave., police said. Police identified the victim Thursday as Antonio Noisette, a Pembroke Pines resident and father of four who works at the hospital as a cook.

Pastor dies at his church office in Thousand Oaks

July 14, Camarillo, California - Parishioners at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church of Thousand Oaks are in shock after the sudden death of their pastor, the Rev. Patrick O’Dwyer. He was 61. O’Dwyer collapsed in his office at the church about 7 p.m. Monday, church officials said. An autopsy Tuesday indicated the cause of death was heart disease, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.

Worker dies in crane accident at Ohio paper plant

July 15, West Carrollton, Ohio — Authorities say a contract worker died after a boom from a crane fell on him at Appleton Papers in western Ohio. The accident happened Wednesday at the West Carrollton plant, which is temporarily shut down this week so that equipment can be serviced. The crane is used for moving large rolls of paper. The identity of the victim was not immediately released. West Carrollton is about 8 miles south of Dayton.

Field worker dies in farming accident

July 15, Patterson, California - A man died following what police described as an industrial accident in an orchard near the corner of Zacharias and Rogers roads Tuesday. The man had been struck by a piece of farming equipment, Stanislaus County Sheriff spokeswoman Gina Leguria said. Representatives with Patterson Police Services and the Patterson Fire Department had few details about the accident. The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office said they had tentatively identified the man Wednesday, but would not release his name because his family had not yet been notified.

Construction worker killed by Amtrak train

July 15, Bay Point, California - A man who was killed Tuesday when his pickup truck was hit by an Amtrak train in Bay Point has been identified as 45-year-old Antioch resident Juan Tejada, according to the Contra Costa County coroner's office. Tejada, an employee of the construction company ARB in Pittsburg, had been laying pipe in the area, according to Sgt. Bryan Reynolds at the coroner's office.

Two Blue Earth County Employees Killed In Train Accident

July 14, Mankato, Minnesota - Two occupants of a dump truck struck by a train near Lake Crystal yesterday have died.The State Patrol says forty two year old Jack Baker of Le Center was driving the truck.Forty three year old Todd Ziegler of Mankato was a passenger.Both men died in the collision.And both were Blue Earth County employees.

Sheriff: Explosives at home of deputy's killer

July 14, Houston, Texas - More than a hundred incendiary devices — including homemade pipe bombs, explosive boxes with booby traps and altered tear gas devices — were found in the Baytown area home of the former police officer authorities said fatally shot a Chambers County deputy and then killed himself...Shane Thomas Detwiler, who had worked for the sheriff's office for two months, was killed while investigating a shooting at Ortez's home.

Worker Crushed by Scissor Lift at Oklahoma Linen Service Company

July 14, Tulsa, Oklahoma — An employee of Superior Linen Service was fatally crushed
June 12 when the hydraulic scissor lift he was working under fell on him, according to Officer Leland Ashley of the Tulsa Police Department. Douglas Ray Ramey, 33, was working on a lift used to load trucks at the plant when the accident occurred. Ramey disconnected an improperly working hydraulic hose, Ashley says in quoting from the police report, and the lift fell. Ramey was trapped underneath the equipment and was pronounced dead at the scene.

McIntyre man dies in Gordon train accident

July 14, Macon, Georgia - An employee for Rescar Industries died Friday evening after sustaining injuries while working on a train in Gordon. Damien Whipple, 24, of McIntyre, died when he fell off one train car and under another while the train was being switched, said Wilkinson County Coroner Billy Matthews. Matthews and Gordon police said it was an accident. Officials from OSHA are investigating the scene, something that is standard procedure when a death is involved, said G.T. Breezley, the area director of OSHA’s Atlanta office.

Man Killed in Shredder Accident at Recycling Plant

July 13, Los Angeles, California - A man was killed Monday morning in a freak accident at the recycling plant in Lincoln Heights. The adult man was working on a cardboard shredder at the center on North Mission Road when he got stuck inside the machine, according to Los Angeles City Fire spokesman Devin Gales. It's unclear if he fell in or how he otherwise became entangled inside the shredder, Gales said. It happened at the recycling facility shortly after 8:00 a.m.

Man killed in Ludlow when tractor-trailer overturned identified

July 13, San Bernadino, California - A Missouri man who died Friday when the tractor-trailer he was riding in overturned has been identified as 62-year-old John Steven Hovenga. Hovenga, from St. Joseph, Mo., was asleep in the sleeper cab of a 2007 Yellow Freight tractor-trailer that was heading west on the 40 Freeway in Ludlow when the driver lost control about 4:50 a.m. The driver drifted onto the dirt median and over-corrected as he tried to edge the tractor-trailer back onto the roadway, causing it to overturn, California Highway Patrol officers said.

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