Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Oilfield Worker Dies in Industrial Accident

October 21, Midland County - An oilfield worker is dead after an industrial accident on Wednesday morning in south Midland County. The accident happened around ten, 13 miles south of the City of Midland in a field just off Highway 349. According to Midland County officials, a crew was setting up a small rig beneath some power lines.

State investigating fall that killed Norfolk worker

October 21, Norfolk, Virginia - Virginia Occupational Safety and Health officials are investigating why a veteran employee fell to his death Tuesday morning at a Hampton Roads Sanitation District plant, a district spokeswoman said today. Randy Piche, 57, a lead operator, had worked at the Army Base Treatment Plant for 37 years, said Nancy Munnikhuysen, the spokeswoman.

Truck crashes into NY boathouse, killing worker

October 21, Milo, Nkew York - Authorities say a construction worker was killed when a truck hauling stone crashed into the Finger Lakes boathouse where he was working. The Yates County Sheriff's Office says 28-year-old Joshua Larham of Penn Yan was killed in Tuesday afternoon's accident in the town of Milo, on the northern end of Keuka (KYOO'-kuh) Lake, 48 miles southeast of Rochester. Deputies say Larham was working inside the boathouse when the truck delivering stone to the site rolled down a 25-foot-high embankment and crushed the building.

Shooting Reported At Magic Mirror Salon

October 20, Jackson, Mississippi - Jackson police said two people were killed Monday during a shooting at a beauty salon. The shooting happened at about 5:15 p.m. at Magic Mirror Beauty Salon at 3943 Hanging Moss Road, police said. Gerrick Watson, 36, an employee at the salon, was found dead outside the business, police said. Christopher Bowling, 33, died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The Hinds County coroner said he died from multiple gunshots to the chest and back.

Victim of explosion named

October 20, Columbus, Ohio – Authorities have identified the 47-year-old Columbus man who was killed following an explosion at American Packaging Corporation in Columbus on Sunday evening. Medical examiner Angela Hinze said Jeffrey A. Doxtater “died as a result of the injuries he sustained due to the explosion.” Hinze said an autopsy conducted on Monday found that Doxtater died of blunt force trauma.

Atlantic City honors casino killing victim

October 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - During his career as a supervisor at the Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Ray Kot was known as a peacemaker, a gentle, unflappable soul skilled at defusing the difficult and potentially volatile situations that can arise when money, alcohol and stress mix on the gambling floor. When he was shot to death inside the casino in May, allegedly by a man who claimed various casinos had cheated him, co-workers said the tragedy was compounded by the loss of such a soothing presence. "He had a knack for defusing difficult situations," said Leo Flasch, the Taj Mahal's night supervisor who would succeed Kot at the end of each shift. "The combination of alcohol and gamblers losing money is a volatile situation.

Service Saturday for St. Louis police officer killed in crash

October 21, St. Louis, Missouri — The funeral will be Saturday for St. Louis police Officer Julius Moore, 23, who died Oct. 15 of injuries suffered nine days earlier in a traffic crash while responding to call. The service will begin at 10 a.m. at the City of Life Christian Church, at 8333 Fullerton Avenue in University City. Burial will be in St. Peters Cemetery, at 2101 Lucas and Hunt Road in Normandy. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Austin A. Layne Mortuary's Renaissance Building, at 7302 West Florissant Avenue in Jennings.

Chargers' game-day staff worker dies after fall

October 20, Los Angeles, California - A worker who fell out of the press box at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday has died from his injuries. Walt Daniels, who worked as part of the San Diego Chargers' game-day staff for more than 20 years, died after falling 25-30 feet from the press box prior to Monday's game between the Chargers and the Denver Broncos. Witnesses said he sustained massive head injuries before being transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Daniels, 66, died at 2:30 a.m. this morning. It is unclear why he fell out of the press box.

Construction worker crushed to death at Broomfield's Anthem Ranch

October 20, Boulder, Colorado - A 50-year-old construction worker was crushed to death Monday by a 32.5-ton earth mover in an accident at the Anthem Ranch development in northern Broomfield. Roderick Seymour, of Fort Lupton, was operating the machine near the intersection of Anthem Ranch Road and Lowell Boulevard when the accident happened just after 2 p.m.. According to preliminary reports from the North Metro Fire Rescue District, Seymour exited the vehicle and was standing behind it when it rolled back over him. He was pronounced dead shortly after emergency crews arrived, North Metro spokeswoman Wendy Forbes said.

Oregon farmer killed harvesting onions

October 19, Klamath Falls, Oregon - Klamath County authorities say a Malin man died in a farm accident during the onion harvest. Sheriff Tim Evinger says 46-year-old Juan Manuel Martinez was trying to walk between a slow-moving farm tractor and trailer when he fell was run over by the left front tires of the trailer. Martinez was pronounced dead at Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls.

Train Accident in College Station Leaves Aggie Dead

October 16, Cleveland, Ohio - A Texas A&M student was killed early Friday morning after being hit by a train on Wellborn near Old Main in College Station. When officers arrived just after 2:00 a.m., they found the engine had stopped and a pedestrian was located on the tracks under the train. The man killed has been identified as Patrick Noel Jernigan, 22, from Cleveland, Texas, according to police. Jernigan is listed on A&M's website as a senior Industrial Distribution student. Texas A&M University Police and College Station Police are investigating the accident.

Construction worker fatally struck in Berwyn hit-and-run

October 19, Berwyn, Illinois - A construction worker was killed by a car in a hit-and-run accident in west suburban Berwyn on Sunday morning. Orlando Farias, 47, of the 300 block of Lawrence Ave. in Elgin was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood at 6:37 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. A Monday autopsy revealed Farias died of multiple injuries from an automobile striking a pedestrian and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner's office said.

Steamboat Briefs: Meier killed by blast of compressed air

October 17, The worker who died in a construction accident near the base of the ski area was killed by a blast of compressed air that entered his ear and caused a brain hemorrhage, Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said Friday. Hayden resident Brady Meier was working at the base of Steamboat Ski Area on Oct. 9 in a small utility vault, about 3 feet deep, 4 feet wide and 3 feet long, when the cap on a pipe burst off. Meier was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Man killed at Northborough construction site

October 17, Northborough, Massachusetts - A Worcester man was killed yesterday when he was pinned by a forklift he was trying to fix at a Rte. 9 construction site, police said. Richard DiPietro, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:03 p.m. accident at The Loop, a shopping center being built at routes 9 and 20, said Sgt. James Bruce. DiPietro, a mechanic who had been called in to fix the forklift, was pinned by the machine's arms, he said. He had been working for Beauregard Construction of Worcester, according to the police report. A listing for the company could not be found.

Young St. Louis police officer dies from crash injuries

October 16, St. Louis, Missouri - A young member of the St. Louis Police Department has died of injuries from an Oct. 6 crash in his patrol car, the department announced Friday. Officer Julius Moore, 23, died about 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Louis University Hospital. Moore was hurt when he collided with a tractor-trailer at South Broadway and Arsenal Street. Moore was in his patrol car, with the lights and sirens on, rushing to help other officers catch burglars, police say.

Wayne County sheriff's officer collapses, dies

October 16, Detroit, Michigan - A 37-year-old Wayne County sheriff's officer collapsed at roll call and later died. The Detroit News reports 13-year sheriff's veteran Cpl. Jammie B. Smith collapsed Thursday and was pronounced dead at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Sheriff Benny Napoleon says Smith was "a dedicated professional, devoted husband and father." WWJ-AM says survivors include his wife, Sharon, and two sons. Funeral arrangements are pending. A cause of death wasn't yet known.

Worker Hit By Truck In Mt. Lebanon, Dies

October 16, Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania - Mt. Lebanon police are investigating the death of a man who was struck by a contractor's vehicle while on a job Friday afternoon. Police said the man either tried to grab onto or fell beneath a truck as it was moving on Colonial Drive, where Hanula Concrete Pumping was working on a private contracting job. The victim -- identified as Jon Polcawich Jr., 34, of Beaver -- was taken to UPMC Mercy hospital and later died.

Worker Dies After Explosion, Fire At Columbus Plant

October 19, Columbus, Wisconsin - Authorities are investigating the death of a man after an explosion and fire at a Columbus plant. The building fire happened Sunday night at the American Packaging Corp. in the 800 block of West James Street. Fire officials said the maintenance employee was killed while using a hand-held grinder on some floor bolts at about 6 p.m. Fire Chief Randy Koehn said sparks ignited some vapors, causing the explosion and fire. Koehn said the explosion ripped apart the sprinkler system in the room. He said that caused water to spill from the pipes, containing fire damage to the room.

Ga. worker dies at Habitat for Humanity site

October 15, Atlanta, Georgia - A contractor was killed at a Habitat for Humanity construction site in southwest Atlanta after he was buried under at least five feet of dirt when a sewer trench where he was working collapsed. Omar Ismael, 23, died of asphyxia Thursday when the trench caved in, said Dr. Randy Hanzlick, Fulton County's chief medical examiner. He said Ismael likely died within minutes of the trench collapse, although rescue crews didn't recover the body until hours later.

Millom factory worker killed

October 15, A MAN who suffered serious head injuries while working at a factory has died. Michael Pattinson, 59, had been emptying rubbish into a skip at Tornado Wire in Devonshire Road, Millom. He was later found lying on the floor by a worker from a nearby company. Mr Pattinson, of Queen’s Park, Millom, had suffered serious head injuries.

Man killed in Elk Grove Village industrial accident

October 15, Elk Grove, Chicago - A 63-year-old industrial worker was killed Wednesday afternoon in an accident in Elk Grove Village. Dennis Woods, of West Chicago, was killed shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday after being crushed while handling a large aluminum coil at Material Sciences Corp., 2200 Pratt Blvd.. The coil reportedly weighs about 18,500 pounds and about 5,800 feet long. Woods was trying to move the coil from a storage area onto a machine to receive a paint finish when the coil fell off and trapped him underneath, Elk Grove Village Fire Battalion Chief William Sellers said.

Taxi driver killed in Highway 24 crash involving big rig

October 15, Orinda, California — A San Francisco-based taxi driver was killed early this morning on Highway 24 when his car was struck by a big rig that jackknifed trying to avoid him, authorities said. The man killed in the collision was identified as Adimas Kassie, 33, of Daly City. According to the California Highway Patrol, the taxi driver was in the westbound lanes east of Camino Pablo about 1:40 a.m. when he drifted into the right shoulder, then overcorrected left across the freeway and struck the center divider, leaving the cab facing oncoming traffic, said Officer Tom Maguire. What caused him to drift is under investigation.

Bulldozer slips; pinned worker from Fayette dies

October 15, Ossian, Iowa — Authorities say a Fayette man died after he was pinned by a small bulldozer that he was working on at a construction equipment company in Ossian. Officials say Patrick O'Shaughnessy, 60, was working on the bulldozer Monday at Reilly Construction when it apparently slipped off the jacks, pinning him. His co-workers used a crane to lift the bulldozer. O'Shaughnessy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man killed in Springfield orchard accident

October 15, Springfield, Oregon - A 59-year-old man died in a mishap while harvesting hazelnuts at a Springfield orchard. Springfield police say the man was pulled into an auger attached to a harvester when he tried to clear the device to make room for more nuts. His jacket got twisted in the machinery, causing him to suffocate. A co-worker found the man Tuesday, and he was declared dead at the scene. The Register-Guard newspaper reports an autopsy Wednesday confirmed the cause of death.

Worker Struck and Killed on Farmington Road

October 15, Peoria, Illinois - A worker is struck and killed on Farmington Road Thursday morning. Terra Engineering employee 28-year-old David Kim of Chicago was installing a traffic counter in the 2300 block of Farmington at 5:50 Thursday morning. His truck with caution lights was parked on the east bound shoulder, while Kim was working on the west bound side of the road. A man driving a Buick LaSabre heading east bound changed lanes and then struck and killed Kim. Kim was wearing a reflective vest.

Construction worker killed in trench collapse

October 15, Atlanta, Georgia - Police took down the yellow tape blocking off 7th Street in southwest Atlanta and a woman ran past police and firefighters toward the muddy trench where a construction worker disappeared into the wet earth. "Where's my brother? Where's my brother?" she screamed as she ran toward the site where he'd been buried alive. Rescue workers had just pulled the man's body from beneath five feet of dirt piled in a collapsed sewer trench being built for a Habitat for Humanity home under construction.

Medford pilot killed in crash loved flying

October 14, Medford, Oregon - Daniel Townsend loved the freedom of flying and left behind a long list of family members who wanted him to take them on a helicopter ride. The 37-year-old Medford resident made his last flight Monday after the McDonnell Douglas 369FF helicopter he piloted crashed in Central Oregon. Townsend was hanging a power line near the small town of Spray when the helicopter's rotor struck a pole. He was working for Johnny Cat/Pacific Rim Helicopters out of Jacksonville.

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