Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Animal Control Officer Dies In Line Of Duty

October 11, American Fork, Utah - Sunday night, a celebrated Utah high school band honored a music instructor who died trying to save a busload of students the night before. That bus, carrying the American Fork High School Band, swerved off I-15 north of the Utah-Idaho and landed on its side. Thirty-three-year-old woodwind instructor Heather Christensen died at the scene. Students and friends from two schools came together Sunday to remember the woodwind instructor. One parent described the tightly knit group of students and their families as one large family. They are accustomed to many hours together in rehearsal, in travel and now in grief.

Animal Control Officer Dies In Line Of Duty

October 12, Plainfield, Connecticut -- Calling hours are scheduled Monday night for a Plainfield animal control officer who died from injuries suffered while on the job. Police said the residents of a home on Green Hollo Road called Plainfield Animal Control before 11 p.m. to report a pit bull on the property. The residents said the dog would not let them leave their home. Animal Control Officer Theresa Foss, 48, suffered severe head trauma while responding to reports of a loose pit bull on Sept. 29. Police said the dog lunged at Foss and may have caused her to fall.

Metro officer killed, second in critical condition after car crash

October 7, Las Vegas, Nevada - Update: A Metro Police officer has died following a car accident Wednesday night. Officer Milburn "Millie" Beitel died at UMC following surgery. Officer Beitel was 30 years old and spent most of his life in Las Vegas, attending Greenspun Middle School and Silverado High School. The other officer remains at UMC in serious but stable condition.


Update: Worker dies in Philadelphia lift tip-over

October 12, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - James Wilson, 40, of Glassboro, NJ, died after falling 125 feet from a boom lift he was working from. Industry sources told ALH the piece of equipment looked like a JLG 1250AJP, a 125-foot articulated jib plus UltraBoom from Interstate Aerials. While working on a church roof around 1:30pm on October 12, the lift moved over a grate on the sidewalk, causing the grate to buckle under the lift's weight. The lift then tipped and crashed into a nearby apartment building.

Vt. Man Killed in 1-93 Crash

October 13, Hooksett, New Hampshire - New Hampshire Police are investigating a Monday afternoon crash that claimed the life of a Vermont man. Police say at around 1:30 p.m., 41-year-old Ben Bishop of Stowe was headed northbound on Interstate 93 in Hooksett in his SUV when he crossed lanes, traveling down the median and up into the southbound lanes. A tractor-trailer tried to avoid Bishop's car, but failed. The two collided and the tractor-trailer rolled over. Bishop died at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer suffered non life-threatening injuries. Police aren't sure if alcohol or drugs were a factor but say speed doesn't appear to be the cause of the crash. Southbound lanes of I-93 were closed for nearly five hours and traffic was rerouted.

Worker dies in crash on mine land

October 9, Knoxville, Tennessee - A man died today when his coal truck ran off a mountain road in the state's first fatal accident on mining property in nearly five years, authorities said. Darrell T. Seiber, 48, of Petros was driving south on Red Oak Mountain Road in Anderson County around 8:45 a.m. at a speed too fast for the road's conditions, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Seiber started to slow down his 1982 Mack truck but went into a slide, Trooper Michael Heatherly wrote in a report. The truck ran off the road, hit a tree and landed on its side, Heatherly wrote.

Worker dies after calling 911 about his own shooting at Southside office park

October 11, Jacksonville, Florida - A worker died on Saturday afternoon after he called 911 from his cell phone to report he had just been shot at an office complex on the Southside. About 12:30 p.m., the man in his 40s, who hasn’t been named, was alone cleaning up construction debris from a newly built office building at 6960 Bonneval Road, just off of Interstate 95 and Butler Boulevard. He was standing in the doorway when he was shot, said Sgt. Larry Schmitt, of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s homicide unThe man called 911 to report the shooting but lost consciousness while on the phone. He was transported to a local hospital where he died.

Worker dies in press box at Dodger Stadium

October 5, Los Angeles, California — A worker has died in the press box at Dodger Stadium. Team spokesman Josh Rawitch said the man died of apparent natural causes Tuesday, a day before the start of the NL playoff series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Rawitch said the man was not a Dodgers employee, but could not provide further details.

Oak Park Hospital Worker Collapses, Dies

October 5, Oak Park, Illinois ― A hospital employee was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon after collapsing at work in west suburban Oak Park, authorities said. Jerry Cash, 52, of 4006 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago, was pronounced dead at Rush Oak Park Hospital at 4:30 p.m. after he collapsed at work at 520 S. Maple Ave., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Rush Oak Park Hospital spokeswoman Angie Spino confirmed Cash was an employee and was involved in the environmental services of the hospital.

Worker fatally falls on tugboat in Houston Ship Channel

October 9, Houston, Texas - A worker fell to his death on a boat docked at the Houston Ship Channel on Thursday night. The Harris County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the case, said it was an accidental death. The accident occurred about 10:15 p.m. in the 6000 block of Lakeside Drive in the Channelview area. The 54-year-old man was working on the tug when he climbed ladders to an upper deck, but moments later a co-worker found him on the lower deck, where he had fallen.

Worker at plant crushed to death

October 9, Springfield, Missouri - Springfield police on Thursday were investigating an industrial accident in which an Ozark man was crushed in a molding press. Tobby Hall, 31, was apparently in the machine at Springfield's Buckhorn LLC plant, 2727 N. Partnership Blvd., shortly before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday when the machine was activated. Lt. Kirk Manlove said Thursday that Hall and another man were operating the machine, which had been malfunctioning.

Worker Killed, Bystanders Injured in Center City Crane Collapse

October 13, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A construction worker was killed and several other people were hurt at about 1:30 on Monday afternoon when a construction "boom lift" toppled over at 21st and Walnut Streets in center city Philadelphia. KYW's Pat Loeb and Tony Hanson report that police say a 40-year-old man who was operating the lift from its cherry-picker basket fell 125 feet to the ground as the crane fell over, and was seriously injured. He was declared dead a short time later. The crane and/or falling debris also struck a 70-year-old woman in a passing car, breaking her arm. She was reported in stable condition at Hahnemann Hospital.

Worker Killed in Broad Daylight on Southside

October 11, Jacksonville, Tennessee - Jacksonville Police say 56 year-old Clifford Backmann of Green Cove Springs was cleaning up at a newly constructed building on Bonneval Road, near JTB, when he was shot Saturday afternoon. Backmann called 911 after he was shot and apparently lost consciousness as he was speaking with the dispatcher. We've not learned of any arrests in this deadly shooting and police have not said what motivated the person to kill.

Construction Worker Killed In Steamboat Springs

October 10, Steamboat Springs, Colorado ― A construction worker killed in an accident near the Steamboat Ski Area likely died of head trauma. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg says that 29-year-old Brady Meier of Hayden died Friday morning. He was hit with a fitting from a pressurized water line, and initial indications are that he died of head trauma. An autopsy is planned. Meier was working on a public project to replace a sewer line and prepare for the installation of a Burgess Creek diversion structure. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating.

Man dies from injuries sustained from SUV falling on him

October 8, Lynnwood, Washington - A 31-year-old Monroe man died Thursday when a large SUV fell on him at a Lynnwood junkyard and auto parts outlet. Emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene, Best Auto & Truck Parts at 18100 Highway 99, at about 10:15 a.m. The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition, but passed away just after 6 p.m. Investigators determined that the man, a regular customer of the store, was working on a large SUV when it collapsed on top of him, said Shannon Sessions of the Lynnwood Police Department.

Farmer Killed by Lightning Strike

October 8, Lebanon, Missouri - A farmer who was checking on his cattle this morning as heavy thunderstorms moved through, was struck and killed by lightning, the Laclede County Emergency Management office confirmed today. Office director Jonathan Ayres says the death happened near Phillipsburg around 9:30 this morning. The farmer, whose name and age has not been released yet, was found by family members about 11:00 this morning.

Toppled crane killed worker on Smith Mountain Lake

October 7, Roanoke, Virginia — A construction worker was killed after a crane fell into the Smith Mountain Lake. The construction accident happened on Monday morning, October 5, 2009 around 11:30 a.m., in the Blackwater area of the lake, as reported by the Roanoke Times. Officials with Franklin County’s Department of Public Safety reported, a construction worker identified as Roger Dale Goad, 55, of Henry, was operating a crane while dismantling a private Smith Mountain Lake dock when the accident occurred. The 18,000-20,000 pound crane somehow slipped off the barge that was supporting it above the water, and fell nearly 70 feet into the lake. It took Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue Department and rescue teams nearly two hours to recover Goad’s body from the sunken crane. Unfortunately, Goad did not survive the accident.

Highway worker killed in NE Ind. hit-and-run

October 7, St. Joe, Indiana - Police say a pickup truck fatally struck a highway worker in northeastern Indiana, with the driver then fleeing the scene. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department says 22-year-old Andrew Landes of Indianapolis was killed in the crash Monday on Indiana 1 near the town of St. Joe. The employee for Indianapolis-based Butler, Fairman & Seufert Civil Engineers was measuring the roadway for painting when he was hit and killed instantly. Police say a witness described the vehicle that hit Landes as a tan pickup truck and that it will likely have right front-end damage. Officers were not immediately able to find the truck despite a search of the area about 15 miles north of Fort Wayne.

New Employee Shot, Killed on the Job

October 7, Houston, Texas - A man on his second day at a new job was fatally shot as he worked in front of a northeast Houston business. Houston Police say it was around 7 p.m. Tuesday when the worker at a machine shop on Corpus Christie at Boyles was shot in a drive-by. Witnesses told police the suspect was a Hispanic male driving a charcoal grey sedan. Investigators do not have a motive for the shooting.

Pages Creek Marine employee dies when boat falls on him

October 7, Wilmington, North Carolina - A 25-year-old Wilmington man was killed Wednesday in a workplace accident when a boat which the victim was aligning with a trailer fell on him, officials said. The accident occurred at 5:10 p.m. at Pages Creek Marine, which is located at 7000 Market St., according to a statement from Deputy Charles Smith, spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. After the boat fell, Ryan Lee Church was trapped between the vessel and a trailer. Employees tried to help him, but after EMS workers arrived Church was pronounced dead.

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