Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Safety Crew Worker Dies In Fire Truck Fall

August 2, Kalamazoo, Michigan - A Lawrence man has died from injuries he suffered in an accident while working as a safety crew member at the Hartford Motor Speedway. Thirty-six-year-old Harold Curtis died Saturday at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He had been seriously injured Friday night when he fell from the back of a safety crew fire truck onto the track. Curtis was taken to Watervliet Community Hospital and then transferred to Borgess. He was a lieutenant at the Lawrence Township Fire Department in Van Buren County.

Chapel Hill postal worker killed in crash

August 2, Chapel Hill, Michigan - Rudy Tempesta stood outside the Estes Drive Post Office as customers slipped mail into slots beside a wreath of flowers in the lobby. "I used to call her 'Julie, Julie, Julie.' I got that out of the movies: 'Judy, Judy, Judy,' " the 83-year-old letter carrier said. "She got a laugh out of it." No one was laughing last week, as coworkers of Julie Hatch, 31, mourned the young woman's death and learned her partner, Jonel Hoogterp, 26, was being taken off life support in a Michigan Hospital.

Marina Worker Drowns In Miami River

August 1, Miami, Florida - A Miami marina worker drowned Saturday morning after he apparently fell into the Miami River. Miami police say they have ruled out foul play. Rescuers recovered the body at Hurricane Cove Marina on the Northeast 18th Avenue entrance. Ana Guevara, a CBS4 viewer, sent in pictures of Saturday morning's dramatic rescue. Police have not revealed the man's identity.

Chinese food deliveryman dead; Lawrence police suspect foul play

August 1, Lawrence, Massachusetts — A deliveryman for a Chinese restaurant died yesterday from a skull fracture suffered during an apparent attack while trying to make a delivery, police said. Detectives said they believe Evergreen Restaurant employee Thu Nguyen, 59, of 9 Birch Hill Drive, Methuen, was lured to the housing projects by Veterans Memorial Stadium with a fake food order. Once he was out of his car, someone likely knocked him to the ground and took off with the food. He was found unconscious, his skull fractured, on an Osgood Street sidewalk late Thursday night.

Worker dies from injuries at Garfield Alloys Inc.

July 31, Cleveland, Ohio - A worker at a Garfield Heights magnesium processing plant died Thursday night after suffering severe injuries in an industrial accident, according to Cuyahoga County Coroner's spokesman Powell Caesar. Edward Dashko, 52, of Bedford, was taken from Garfield Alloys Inc. at 12205 Broadway Avenue in Garfield Heights to Marymount Hospital after the accident. He arrived at the hospital at 3:14 p.m., said Caesar. From there, he was taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. He was suffering from facial fractures, as well as second and third-degree burns. He was pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m., Caesar said.

Harvard Man Killed By Falling Forklift

July 31, Elk Grove Village, Illinois - A forklift fell on a worker at a forklift repair factory Thursday morning causing his death later that afternoon in northwest suburban Elk Grove Village. Carl Muehlfelder, 51, of 1410 Orchard Ln. in Harvard, died after a forklift accident at 651 E. Devon Ave. in Elk Grove Village, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Muehlfelder was pronounced dead at 1:06 p.m. at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, according to the medical examiner's office. Muehlfelder died of multiple injuries from a forklift falling from a jack, according to the medical examiner's office, which declared the death an accident.

2 killed in NM industrial accidents

July 30, St. Vrain, New Mexico - Authorities say a Roswell man who was operating a piece of heavy equipment as part of a highway improvement project in eastern New Mexico has died Thursday after being run over by the machine. In a separate accident, a flagwoman was struck and killed on a bridge interchange project on Interstate 40 near Prewitt, N.M. The victim wasn't immediately identified. State police say Steve Vigil was spreading gravel with a chip spreader on N.M. 224 north of St. Vrain when the first accident occurred. The 38-year-old worker was leaning forward, monitoring the spreading, when the machine shifted gears and jerked.

Funeral arrangements for two workers who were electrocuted

July 30, Lake Charles, Louisiana - The family members and loved ones of two workers electrocuted in Beauregard Parish prepare to say their final goodbyes today. Funeral arrangements for 35-year-old William Bailey and 41-year-old Michael Brister are set. Brister's (pictured to the right) visitation is today at the Hixson Funeral Home in DeRidder from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM, then again tomorrow from 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM.

Construction worker dies in 300-foot plunge

July 30, Dallas, Texas - A construction worker fell 23 stories to his death Thursday after the scaffolding on which he worked gave way. The fatal plunge happened at the Saint Ann Court high-rise office building project. Witnesses say the man was installing hardware on the facade of the 23rd floor of the 26-story, 333-foot structure when he took the fatal plunge about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Dallas fire-rescue spokesman Jason Evans tells KDFW-TV of Dallas and Fort Worth reports that the 35-year-old man was the only one on the scaffold. His identity hasn't been released.

Sun employee killed in Sunday's violence

July 30, Baltimore, Maryland - An 18-year-old, one of two men killed Sunday night in a wave of violence, was an employee of The Baltimore Sun, working out of its Sun Park production plant. Gary Martin of the 3000 block of McElderry St. was shot along with Darvin Jones, 19, about 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 200 block of N. Conkling St. He was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital.

Wassaic man killed in construction accident

July 30, Amenia, New York – A 23-year-old Wassaic man was killed in an industrial accident on Wednesday afternoon, State Police at Dover Plains reported Thursday. Preliminary investigation indicated Donald Flood, III of Wassaic was operating an asphalt roller at a construction site at 41 Benson Road in the Town of Amenia when he fall from the machine and was struck and killed. The investigating into the cause of the accident is continuing.

CalTrans worker from Modesto struck, killed in Lodi

July 30, Lodi, California -- A CalTrans employee from Modesto was struck and killed while working on Highway 99 this afternoon, authorities said. The accident happened at 2:08 p.m. on the highway south of Victor Road, the Lodi News-Sentinel reported. Southbound traffic was disrupted as the California Highway Patrol investigated. The victim was Donald Lichliter, 53. The governor's office said he was a tree maintenance leadworker assigned to special crews.

Truck driver killed on Tri-State while tending broken semi

July 30, Chicago, Illinois - A truck driver was killed after being hit by a van during a 1 a.m. accident Thursday after his semi broke down in the southbound lanes of the Tri-State Tollway near Hinsdale. Kenneth A. Brown, 41, of Crest Hill, was hit by the male van driver as he was outside of his truck on the tollway trying to reattach his semi-trailer to the cab of the vehicle, Illinois State Police officials said.

Big Rig Driver Killed After Crashing Into Two Homes

July 29, Redding, North Carolina - The driver of a big rig was killed after losing control of his truck and running into two homes near Marysville. It happened Tuesday night around 8:30 on Highway 70 near Bettencourt Lane. The CHP says the driver, 54-year-old Michael Angerer of Red Bluff, was thrown from his cab after running off Highway 70 and hitting two mobile homes.

Update: Construction worker in fatal Des Moines accident is identified

July 29, Des Moins, Iowa - A construction worker has died after an accident on the city's south side. Andrew Russell Clarke, 32, of Des Moines, died after being hit by a falling utility pole. It was knocked over by construction equipment operated by a co-worker. The driver of the Bobcat was identified by police as Paul Maple, 57, of Johnston. Maple told police Clarke was his daughter's boyfriend.

Worker Dies After Fall From Scaffolding

July 29, Tulsa, Oklahoma - A man has died after falling from a scaffolding at a construction site near 42nd and Memorial. It happened Wednesday afternoon. We're told the 43-year-old man was rushed to a Tulsa hospital, but died from his injuries a short time later. The details about what the man was doing before he fell were not immediately available.

Bank fund set up for Port St. Lucie garbage worker crushed between trucks

Port St. Lucie — A fund has been set up at Bank of America to help the family of a man who was crushed between the garbage truck he was working on and a parked pest control truck. Christopher J. Casciano, 30, of Port St. Lucie was seriously injured July 17 as he was riding on the running board of the garbage truck and it backed into an unoccupied, improperly parked pickup truck on Netherby Avenue, a street off Indian River Drive in St. Lucie County just north of Jensen Beach.

NOPD: Construction worker killed in freak accident

July 29, New Orleans, Louisiana - Investigators say a young construction worker died this afternoon when the bucket of a front-end loader crushed him against the pump he was working on while doing street repairs. Police say the a 21-year-old construction worker was killed when the bucket of a front end loader pinned him against a pump while he was working on street repairs Wednesday afternoon.

Sanitation worker killed in Adams Co.

July 28, Adams County, Ohio – A sanitation worker was struck and killed by a passing motorist after exiting a dump truck Tuesday. Larry D. Lowery, 43, of Chillicothe died at the scene of the 12:45 p.m. crash on Ohio 41 in Meigs Township. Lowery had been standing at the rear of the truck when, according to reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, he was struck by Justin Unger, 19, of Peebles. Unger had been operating a 1993 Ford Ranger.

Trumbull Co. man dies when tractor overturns

July 28, Johnston Township, Ohio — A Trumbull County farmer died July 27 in Johnston Township in a tractor accident. According to the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department, Allen D. Stewart, 28, died after the tractor he was driving overturned, pinning him and then catching fire. He was reportedly using the tractor to pull large logs from a wooded area. The tractor reportedly flipped backward when a log apparently dug into the ground.

Dairy worker shot and killed in Brooks County

July 29, Brooks County, Georgia - A Dairy worker was shot and killed in a home invasion in Brooks County. 62-year old Alberto Lemus moved from Honduras to South Georgia six years ago. Now, he'll be sent back to Honduras for burial as police try to figure out who killed him and why. Lemus was shot to death in his home at 2950 Monument Church Road northeast of Quitman Saturday night. Deputies say it was a single gunshot to his chest.

Worker in Springtown killed by falling pieces of forklift

July 29, Spingtown, Texas - A 69-year-old man was killed Monday when pieces of a forklift fell on his head as he another employee were repairing it. The death of Jesse Lewyn Thorton, an employee of David's Patio Limited, was ruled an accident by the Tarrant County medical examiner, who said Thornton died of crush injuries due to impact by a falling object. The Parker County sheriff's office investigated Thornton's death, which occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Monday at at the firm in the 4000 block of East Highway 199.

Man dies after industrial accident

July 28, Wichita, Kansas - A man in his 40s was killed in north Wichita Monday afternoon after he fell from a boom lift, authorities said. The man was in the bucket of the crane at Johnson Controls, 811 E. 33rd North, when he fell just after 4 p.m., a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he later died.

Worker killed at Samples mountaintop-removal mine

July 28, Charleston, West Virginia - A contract employee at a mountaintop-removal mine near Cabin Creek was killed Tuesday when his truck overturned into a pond, state and federal officials said. The name of the worker was not immediately released, and mine safety regulators were just getting started on their investigation into the incident. The accident occurred at the Samples Mine, operated by the Catenary Coal Co. subsidiary of Patriot Coal Corp. The worker was employed by the firm Hawkeye Construction of Robinson Creek, Ky., said Amy Louviere, spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Worker Killed In Grant County Accident

July 28, Grant County, Kentucky - A worker was killed Monday evening after an accident at a landscaping business. Deputies were called to Show Place Landscaping just after 5:30 p.m. to find Kenneth Tyler Cummins dead at the scene. Investigators said Cummins was helping other employees unload a dump bed truck that was parked under high voltage power lines with the bed fully tilted. Duke Energy said Cummins saw that the truck was moving toward the power lines and ran to try and stop the driver When the bed made contact with the power lines, the energy arced through the truck just as Cummins touched the side of it.

Chatsworth truck driver killed in crash

July 27, Dalton, Georgia - A tractor-trailer driver was killed when his rig crossed in front of oncoming traffic and crashed in a culvert in Chatsworth Monday morning, catching fire, officials said.Randall Townsend, 46, of Chatsworth, was dead at the scene, said Sgt. Josh Etheridge of the Chatsworth Police Department. He said a full report is expected to be available today. “We’re not sure exactly what happened,” said Capt. John Parker of the Chatsworth Fire Department Monday afternoon.

Californian woman killed by robotic arm in industrial bakery

July 27, Los Angeles, California - OFFICIALS from California’s workplace safety agency will investigate the death of a woman killed by a robotic box sorter at Golden State Foods industrial bakery. The state's division of Occupational Safety and Health received a complaint following the death and will investigate the incident, a spokesperson said. The woman was identified as Ana Maria Vital, 40, of the city of La Puente. According to a report filled out by the safety supervisor of Golden State Foods she was attempting to remove a jammed package when she was crushed between a conveyor belt and a robot arm.

Kenosha restaurant worker killed in hold-up

July 27, Kenosha, Wisconsin - Authorities said Monday two masked men entered Shirl’s Drive-In Restaurant, 7943 Sheridan Road, through a back door around 9:39 p.m. Sunday just as the establishment was about to close for the night. One of the suspects was armed with a gun, the other with a knife and they demanded cash from the register, said Kenosha Police Sgt. Hugh Rafferty. The two assailants then shot an 18-year-old clerk identified as Robert W. Wilde of Kenosha and his 43-year-old manager before taking an undisclosed amount of cash and fleeing the restaurant on foot in a southeasterly direction.

Taxi driver killed in 2-vehicle crash in city

July 27, Baltimore, Maryland - A taxi cab driver was killed Sunday night after his car collided with a Ford Crown Victoria in Northwest Baltimore, city fire officials said today. Authorities have not identified the man but said he was likely speeding before the accident, which happened about 11 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Woodcrest Avenue near Northern Parkway, according to fire officials.

Montrose Officer Killed in Line of Duty

July 27, Montrose, Colorado — A Montrose police officer was shot to death Saturday after responding to a domestic dispute at 16915 6450 Road at approximately 8:30 p.m. Two other officers were also shot. Officer David Kinterknecht was shot by a man who was barricaded in a garage behind the house and later died at Montrose Memorial Hospital. Also shot and taken to the hospital were Officers Larry Witte and Rodney Ragsdale According to the news release, city police officers and Montrose County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the address about domestic violence in progress.

Worker killed in accident at NW Ind. steel mill

July 27, East Chicago, Indiana - Officials say an ArcelorMittal worker died in an apparent accident over the weekend at the company's steel mill in East Chicago. The Lake County coroner's office says 37-year-old Angela Smith of Merrillville died of blunt force trauma early Sunday at the Indiana Harbor East plant. Smith was in the mill's slab yard when she was killed. United Steelworkers District 7 director Jim Robinson said the union and company were investigating and declined to immediately give details of the accident.

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