Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Winthrop farmer found dead inside grain bin

November 5, Winthrop, Minnesota - A rural Winthrop farmer, Jerry Wannarka, was found dead inside a grain bin at his farm Monday afternoon. He was 75-years-old. The Sibley County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the emergency in Alfsborg Township, about seven miles southwest of Gaylord, at 3:32 p.m. Wannarka was reportedly buried under corn when help arrived. The cause of death is being investigated by the Medical Examiners Office for Sibley County. The Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, Gaylord Ambulance and Gaylord Fire Department were called to the scene.


November 4, The Mid Devon Star has reported that Police and HSE are investigating the death of 20 year-old groundworker who died when the dumper truck he was operating overturned. The incident occurred at a private residence in near Tiverton, Devon and further enquiries suggest the work may have involved construction of a pond. Comment: This latest tragic accident involving a young workman confirms recent trends towards a greater proportion of construction fatalities occurring on smaller projects.

SEPTA service suspended after worker killed by train

November 5, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Train service into Philadelphia was suspended Thursday morning after a track inspector was apparently hit and killed near Melrose Park. The inspector was reportedly killed by an in-bound train. The R2, R3 and R5 lines north of Center City are suspended after the fatal accident. The person was hit about 8:42 a.m. Passengers on those trains were sent back their original destinations.

Man Killed by I-Beam Identified

November 5, Farmington, Connecticut - Farmington Police say the construction worker killed in an accident at a home under construction Wednesday morning was a 22-year-old Hartford Man. Freddy Vasquez of 24 Putnam Heights in Hartford was struck in the head by a steel I-beam while working in the basement of a new home on Birmingham Circle, said police. He was later pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital of massive head injuries. Vasquez was reportedly working for Michael McGreal Construction, police said. The incident remains under investigation, police said.

St. Joseph employee found dead in bathroom

November 2, Versailles, Kentucky - Authorities are investigating the death of a St. Joseph Hospital employee found dead at the hospital Sunday. The body of Christopher Watts, 34, of Versailles was discovered about 6 p.m. in the second-floor staff bathroom, according to the Fayette County coroner's office. The coroner pronounced him dead just before 7 p.m. An autopsy was scheduled Monday. The coroner's office was waiting for autopsy and toxicology results before determining a cause of death.

Employee shot dead in restaurant

November 3, Yonkers, New York – An employee at the Charlie Brown’s Restaurant on Central Park Avenue in the City of Yonkers was gunned down, city police said Monday. The victim, identified as Fuad Nagi, 21, of Pine Street in Yonkers, was found at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday night, suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Detective Division is investigating the homicide and asking anyone with information to call them at 914-377-7724 or 377-7725.

Farmer caught in auger dies

October 29, Grant County - The Grant County Coroner's Office is conducting a death investigation of a farm worker who died Thursday afternoon in an apparent auger accident. Investigators say Daniel Shock, 58, of Fairmount,was trapped in a large auger attached to a grain silo at the Ceres-Midland, Inc., farm plant at 10700 South 700 West. Chopper 13 flew over the scene around 5 p.m. Several agencies, including the State Police, Grant County EMS, and Parkview Samaritan Air Ambulance, assisted in an attempted rescue operation.

Man Dies In Industrial Accident

November 3, Redford Township, Michigan - A Redford Township man died after an accident at Voigt and Schweitzer Galvinizers Incorporated. Darryl Johnson was a temporary worker at the company located in the 12000 block of Arnold Street for the past three weeks. The 41-year-old was working with steel beams when one of the beams fell on top of him, according to his family.

Construction Worker Dies At Texas Roadhouse Site

November 3, Dallas, Texas - The construction worker who died from injuries sustained at the Texas Roadhouse construction site has been identified as 31-year-old Robert Gotschall of Mentor, Ohio. Gotschall worked for Roth Painting LLC of Bellaire, Ohio. Police say evidence suggests the man fell. The Duluth Fire Department responded to the call at 1101 Mall Drive at 5:41 p.m. on Saturday evening. Assistant Fire Chief Eric Simonson says when the crew arrived, they found the man at the bottom of an interior stairwell, which led to the roof. Simonson says the man was unconscious, not breathing, and had no pulse.

Worker killed in Allentown in tree-cutting mishap

November 4, Allentown, Pennsylvania - A 26-year-old man helping to cut down a tree on Allentown's east side was injured fatally this afternoon when a heavy tree limb fell on his head, authorities said. Christopher Rhudy of Topton, Berks County, was hit at 1:33 p.m. as he stood below the lift bucket at 618 E. Westminster St. while the other worker was sawing a high portion of the tree, city police Assistant Chief Ron Manescu said. "I wouldn't call it a homicide," Manescu said. "At the moment we're classifying it as a death investigation."

Falling Beam Kills Construction Worker

November 4, Farmington, Connecticut - A construction worker is dead after an I-beam struck him in the head on Wednesday morning. The man was working in the basement of a house under construction on Birmington Circle in Farmington around 9:30 when the accident happened. A steal I-beam fell, hit him in the head and fell on him. Other workers were able to remove the beam, police said. The man suffered massive head injuries and was rushed to a Hartford Hospital by helicopter, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Worker killed by falling tree limb at Monmouth Battlefield

November 4, Manalapan, New Jersey — A maintenance worker at Monmouth Battlefield State Park was killed this morning when a dead tree fell and struck him in the head, authorities said. Officials said they were not releasing the man's name, because all of his relatives had not yet been notified about his death. This morning, the man -- who is in his 30s - was working on trail maintenance with another worker around 9:20 a.m., said Dana Loschiavo, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, which has jurisdiction over all state parks. A dead tree was leaning against a tree the workers were cutting down, she said.

NY DOT worker struck, killed at upstate work site

November 3, Forestport, New York - Authorities say a state transportation department employee has been struck and killed while directing traffic at a work zone in central New York. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says 48-year-old Gary Farrell of Holland Patent was working as a flagman on Route 28 Monday when he was struck by a pickup truck in Forestport, 55 miles northeast of Syracuse. Deputies say the 63-year-old woman driving the truck hasn't been charged, but their investigation is continuing.

Tree service owner killed on job

October 31, Laurinburg, North Carolina - The owner of a Laurinburg tree company was killed Thursday in a work-related accident. Robert Milton Walters, Jr., 44, of Andrew Jackson Highway, Laurel Hill, died after a tree fell on him, according to a Robeson County sheriff's report. Walters was working at 208 Jam Drive, Parkton when a rope supporting a tree snapped, the report said. The tree fell on Walters, who was cutting the base of the tree. He was taken by EMS to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries. He was the owner of Robert's Tree Service in Laurinburg. His wife, Hilary, said Walters had been working in lumber trade since he was 16.

Construction worker falls to his death in church building

October 30, Bullard, Texas - An East Texas man falls to his death Friday morning while working on a construction project at a church. Justice of the Peace James Morris said 41-year-old Hermilo Pimentel died instantly when he fell around 7:45am at the First Baptist Church in Bullard. According to Pastor Scott Brown, Pimentel was hanging sheet rock in what will soon be a family life center at the church. However, according to Morris, Pimentel stepped back into a construction hole on the second floor and fell to the ground. Emergency officials were called immediately.

Calif. Officer Killed in Motorcycle Collision

October 31, Los Olivos, California - An on-duty California Highway Patrol officer was killed Thursday, October 29, within days of completing his first year of service. Officer Jarrod John Martinez collided on his motorcycle with a sports car and was dragged about 45 feet under the vehicle, the CHP said on Friday. The incident occurred in Los Olivos, in Santa Barbara County, near State Route 154. Martinez, 30, graduated from the CHP Academy on October 31, 2008. He is survived by his wife Trish and his daughter Julia.

UPDATE: One officer killed, one wounded in Leschi shooting

October 30, Seattle, Washington - Listen to the full Sunday afternoon briefing here from Interium Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, Mayor Greg Nickels and others: Seattle police had no clear suspects or even a specific color of a suspect vehicle after one officer was killed and his student trainee was wounded Saturday night when someone fired on their parked patrol car. The deceased officer was identified as field training officer Timothy Q. Brenton, 39, of Marysville. He joined the Seattle police department in December 2000. He is survived by his wife, an 11-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, and his father, a retired Seattle police officer.

Ind. farm worker dies after leg trapped in auger

October 30, Point Isabel, Indiana - Authorities say a central Indiana man died while emergency workers were trying to free him after his leg became trapped in a grain auger. The Grant County coroner says 58-year-old Daniel Shock of Fairmount died Thursday at a farm near the community of Point Isabel. Coroner Stephen Dorsey says Shock's co-workers found him in the grain auger's conveyor with his leg badly injured and pinned under a support bar.

Police identify DOT flagman killed while working in Forestport

November 2, Utica, New York - The driver who struck and killed a state Department of Transportation flagman on Route 28 Monday would have passed three warning signs and had 1500 feet to react after seeing the first, a DOT official said. Regional DOT spokeswoman Alice Romanych said the death of 48-year-old highway maintenance worker Gary Farrell is the DOT’s first work-related employee death in the Mohawk Valley in decades. “Highway maintenance workers are out there putting their lives on the line every day,” Romanych said after the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office identified Farrell as the victim Monday. “Most days they all go home. Unfortunately, today one of them didn’t. It is a tragedy and something I wish we never had to discuss.”

Construction worker killed in hit-and-run accident

October 26, West Valley City, Utah - Troopers are looking for a hit-and-run driver who they say killed a construction worker on Interstate 215 Sunday night. The Utah Highway Patrol says the worker was killed while walking in a construction zone on I-215 near 3300 South. UHP says the truck was traveling in a southbound lane, when it drifted into a barreled off construction area and struck the worker. The hit-and-run driver is still at large. Troopers say the truck went into that lane traveling more than 40 miles per hour when the worker was hit from behind.

Worker Falls Off Maryland Roof, Dies

October 30, New Carrollton, Maryland - New Carrollton Police say a construction worker was killed when he fell off of a roof on Friday afternoon. It happened on Chestnut Avenue in New Carrollton. Prince George's County Fire officials say someone who was working on the roof fell off and died. No other details were immediately available. Another person was being treated at the scene of the fall, but there's no word yet on who that person is or what their injuries are.

Sumter cab driver shot in the chest

October 30, Columbia, South Carolina - A cab driver was shot early Thursday on Hannah Street but managed to drive back to the cab stand on South Main Street, officials said. Jacob Wilson, 64, of 204 Royal Ave., was shot in the chest, said Sumter police Capt. Alvin Holston, and is expected to recover. A bullet entered the left side of Wilson's chest and exited the right side, Holston said. A report states that Wilson was driving a Buick with a 46-year-old female passenger about 1:09 a.m. and was turning onto Hannah Court from Hannah Street when two black males approached the car and fired into the cab. Holston said it's unclear how many shots were fired, but investigators think the weapon was of a small caliber.

Gunman Kills Office Worker, Self Near Rosedale

October 30, Rosedale, Maryland - Baltimore County Police say a man walked into an advertising company near Rosedale and shot a man several times, killing him. It happened about 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Police spokesman Bill Toohey says the gunman then walked outside Keary Advertising in the 7200 block of Rolling Mill Road and shot himself in the upper body. He was taken to Bayview Medical Center and pronounced dead about an hour later. The victim died at the scene.

Construction worker struck and killed by truck

October 31, Chicago, Illinois - A construction worker directing traffic at a southwest suburban work site was struck and killed today by a gravel truck that was heading to the same company where the victim was employed. The accident happened shortly after 9 a.m. in Chicago Ridge at 99th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, where crews were working on a road project. Joseph Bartkowiak, 56, a worker for Crowley-Shepherd Asphalt Inc., was acting as a flagger, directing traffic at the location, when the truck hit him while turning from southbound Ridgeland to westbound 99th, police said.

Man killed in Grant County grain auger accident

October 29, Grant County, Indiana - According to WISH Channel 8 News, a Fairmount farmer was killed Thursday when his legs were caught in a grain auger in Converse. Emergency crews were reportedly on the scene.

Police: Man shoots two co-workers, self in Cathedral City murder/suicide

October 29, Police said four employees of Luxury Rent-A-Car, 68-350 E. Palm Canyon Drive, were meeting at the office just before the 10:30 a.m. shooting. Police said they do not know the subject matter of the meeting. "It was just a business meeting, and I can't say any more than that," said Barry Curtis, the manager of Luxury Rent-A-Car. Curtis said the meeting involved employees from multiple offices. All the meeting's participants were middle-aged men, and at least two were from the Los Angeles area, police said. During the meeting, one man got a handgun from another room and shot one of the others once, killing him.

Man trimming tree in SC dies when hit by 2nd tree

October 30, Moncks Corner, South Carolina - A man trimming a tree in eastern South Carolina has died when he was struck by a second tree. The Post and Courier of Charleston reported that 46-year-old Donald Twiggs died Thursday when he was struck about five miles south of Moncks Corner. Berkeley County Deputy Coroner Bill Salisbury says the accident occurred shortly before noon when Twiggs was trimming a tree and a nearby tree fell and pinned him. Salisbury says Twiggs died from a blow to the head.

1 comment:

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