Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Ex- National Park, Deptford Township police officer dies participating in Collingswood holiday parade

December 1, Collingswood, New Jersey A veteran of both the National Park and Deptford police departments who was also a member of the Philadelphia-based Polish American String Band died Saturday while performing at the borough's annual holiday parade. James "Jimmy" Magee, 48, of Cherry Hill collapsed on the parade route on Haddon Avenue and was attended to by Collingswood's Rescue Squad, but would later pass.

Farmer dies in farm accident

November 23, Albany, Georgia – A Ben Hill County man was killed when he was run over by his own tractor, near Luluville Road, off Hwy 129 North of Fitzgerald. 81-year old James Casper, a big Pecan farmer in the area, apparently fell off his tractor Friday afternoon and was run over by the tires. He was airlifted to Macon Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The coroner says he died from internal injuries.

Worker killed in accident at water reclamation site

November 30, Chicago, Illinois - A 38-year-old man was killed this afternoon in an apparent construction accident on the grounds of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago facility, police said. He was identified by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Jose Meza, of the 6000 block of South Washtenaw Avenue. He was pronounced dead 2:41 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Details were sketchy, but police said the victim was killed at about 1 p.m. in an apparent construction mishap in the 400 block of East 130th Street. The accident occurred at a water reclamation district facility.

Roseburg Forest Products worker dies in mill accident

November 30, Riddle, Oregon — A Tri City man died Sunday after a mill accident in Riddle put him in the hospital early last week. Internal and external investigations are under way. Family members decided to pull John Howze, 60, off life-support equipment Sunday and were planning his memorial service this morning.

Names Released In Great Clips Killing

November 30, Hillsboro, Oregon - A 20-year-old woman working at a hair salon Sunday was shot to death by her boyfriend in the salon's break room, police said. Sheena Mendoza and her 40-year-old boyfriend, Curt Wise, were arguing in the break room of the Great Clips Hair Salon on Imbrie Drive prior to the incident, said Lt. Michael Rouches in a Hillsboro Police Department news release. Wise shot Mendoza with a revolver and killed her, Rouches said. One bullet ricocheted off the wall into the Subway restaurant next door and grazed a customer, police said.

Worker dies after excavator flips onto him

November 25, Wheatland Township, Illinois - A utility worker died after a vehicle crash pinned him under an excavator Monday. Will County Sheriff's spokesman Pat Barry said the accident happened around 4:50 p.m. on Leverenz Road just east of Book Road. "A white Isuzu box van, driven by a 67-year-old Aurora man, was westbound on Leverenz when the vehicle ran off the north edge of the road and struck a Ditch-Witch-like excavator, flipping it over and pinning the operator underneath," Barry said. Nicor employee Gary Cichy, 52, of Hinckley, was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville, but died from his injuries. Fog made it impossible for a LifeStar helicopter to transport Cichy, so an ambulance took him to Edward.

Cable worker dies from hit-and-run injuries

November 25, Taylorsville, North Carolina - The Highway Patrol is searching for a driver who hit and killed a cable television employee early Tuesday morning. Hank Pittman Jr., 61, was working on a cable television line when he was struck by a vehicle that kept going. Pittman had called his employer, Terra Design Inc., about 2 a.m. to report he had finished his assignment on Old Mountain Road, troopers said. Shortly before 3 a.m., a passing motorist called 911 to report a man lying in the road.

PotashCorp worker dies after accident

November 24, Pheonix, Arizona - A Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. employee has died after an incident at the company's Sussex, N.B., mine on Saturday. Company spokesperson Bill Johnson said at about 3 p.m. local time an employee was installing pipes underground when the accident happened. The man, who has been identified as 55-year-old Vincent Mitton, was treated at the scene but died of his injuries. "He was a longtime employee with the company and it's certainly a very, very sad time for the folks at New Brunswick and everyone in our company," Johnson said.

4 Lakewood officers slain; ex-con sought for questioning

November 29, Seattle, Washington - A 37-year-old Tacoma man, Maurice Clemmons, is being sought for questioning in the execution-style shooting of four Lakewood police officers this morning, according to law-enforcement officials. Clemmons was identified as a person of interest in the slayings, but not as a suspect. Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said Clemmons had been seen in the area of the shootings at the time they occurred. Clemmons, who was recently released from jail, has an extensive criminal record in Pierce County and Arkansas, court records show. He currently faces eight criminal charges in Washington state. The four officers were killed at about 8:15 a.m. by a scruffy-looking man who walked into a coffee shop and opened fire. The officers — three men and one woman — were found dead by deputies who arrived at Forza Coffee at 11401 Steele St. S., Troyer said. Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards were identified as the officers who were shot.

Death toll from explosion at Garner ConAgra plant climbs to four

November 23, Raleigh, North Carolina - The explosion that tore apart the ConAgra Foods manufacturing plant in Garner in June has claimed another life. Curtis Ray Poppe, who was working at the plant for a contractor at the time of the blast, died Nov. 19 at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, a hospital spokesman confirmed to the Associated Press on Monday. With Poppe’s passing, the death toll of the ConAgra explosion reached four. The June 9 blast injured dozens more and inflicted extensive damage on what was at the time the only manufacturing plant for Slim Jim beef-jerky snacks in the world.

Wyoming man's family still in shock after fatal accident

November 23, Morton, Illinois — Carl Ziemer's family and friends are still reeling from his fatal industrial accident. The 48-year-old Wyoming man died after a 30-foot-long, 2,500-pound pipe crushed his legs and pelvis during the unloading of several pipes from a truck Friday. "We're still in shock over most of it," said Ziemer's sister, Linda Legg of Tacoma, Wash. "We're just kind of waiting for the reports." A truck driver with Brubaker Transfer Inc. in Goodfield, Ziemer was delivering the pipes to G&D Integrated, 1601 N. Main St., about 3 p.m. when the accident occurred, Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said.

Fog may be to blame in Chi Ridge death

November 24, Chicago, Illinois - A 26-year-old Southwest Side man was killed late Monday when he was struck in the head by a forklift while working in an industrial park in Chicago Ridge. Dense fog may have contributed to the incident, authorities said. Shortly before midnight Jesus Hernandez-Blas was working for recycling company Resource Management when he was killed at 10111 Anderson Ave., Chicago Ridge Police Chief Tim Baldermann said. Hernandez-Blas was pronounced dead at the scene, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. An autopsy determined he died of head injuries and his death was ruled an accident.

Poquoson teen who died in wood chipper identified

November 24, Hampton Roads, Virginia - Police have identified the 14-year-old who died Sunday while working with a wood chipper as Frank Anthony Gornik. He was working as part of a three-person crew removing debris and tree limbs from a house on Wagner Road about 3 p.m. Sunday, Poquoson police Chief Cliff Bowen said. He was using a shovel to drop debris into the hopper of a large wood chipper when the shovel apparently got caught in the blades, and the boy was dragged into the machine. He died instantly, Bowen said.

Volusia deputy killed in W.Va. accident

November 27, Ormond Beach, Florida - Those who knew him best said Juan Santiago-Colon was a prince of a guy and a great public servant who did his job with pride. The 47-year-old Volusia County sheriff's deputy and father of three from Deltona died Tuesday while on a hunting trip in Ronceverte, W.Va., when one of his sons accidentally ran over him, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. "This was an incredibly tragic death that has us all in deep shock and sadness," he said Thursday. Santiago-Colon, a Navy veteran, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and worked the past 10 years for the Sheriff's Office.

Man dies at Enbridge site

November 24, Grand Forks, North Dakota - A driver for a Crookston gravel hauling company was backed over and killed by another truck driver from the company early Tuesday at a job site north of Crookston. Investigator Nathan Rasch with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the man, 54, had pulled into the Enbridge Pipeline site with a Bertils Gravel-owned Mack truck and semi-trailer filled with gravel, parked and was walking over to find out where to dump his load.

Brazoria County officer dies at 47

November 25, Houston, Texas — K-9 Officer Rick Opperud began his 20-year police career in Danbury and became nationally known as a police dog trainer, Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner said. Opperud, 47, died Tuesday morning of complications from an aneurysm that burst while he was training drug dogs in Louisiana on Nov. 4. A cerebral aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Opperud was flown to Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he underwent surgery to repair the problem.

Sanitation worker killed on the job in Clinton

November 27, Clinton, Maryland - A sanitation worker was killed Wednesday in Clinton when the driver of the trash truck he was loading backed up and accidentally hit him. Tyrone Ames, 26, of Cindy Lane in Capitol Heights died shortly after he was hit along the 7200 block of Berkshire Drive. Ames was pronounced dead on the scene around 3:15 p.m. Officer Larry Johnson, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department, said Friday it was unclear whether Ames was an employee of Prince George's County.

Nicor worker dies, pinned by excavator

November 24, Chicago, Illinois - A Nicor worker died Monday after he was pinned under a piece of excavation equipment knocked over by a passing truck near Naperville. A box truck driven by Thomas Williams, 67, of Aurora, ran off the road about 5 p.m. and struck a back-hoe working on a ditch at Leverenz Road, east of Book Road in an unincorporated area near Naperville, said Will County Sheriff's Department spokesman Pat Barry. Back-hoe operator Gary Cichy, 52, of Hinckley, became pinned underneath when the excavator rolled over, according to Barry. The front passenger side of the box truck peeled away upon impact with the excavator. Williams was the only passenger of the truck and was not injured, Barry said.

Official: Worker dies in accident at mine site

November 24, Hazard, Kentucky - State officials say a crane accident at a mining site in southeastern Kentucky has fatally wounded a worker. Energy and Environment Cabinet spokeswoman Ricki Gardenhire says 37-year-old Leslie D. Trent of Hazard was struck by a crane arm at around 6 p.m. EST Monday. Trent was working for New York-based Frontier-Kemper Constructors at a site owned by Perry County Coal Corp. Gardenhire says Trent and another worker were changing equipment on a crane when the arm fell several feet and landed on them.

Forklift kills worker in Chicago Ridge

November 24, Chicago, Illinois - A 26-year-old Chicago man was struck by a forklift and killed early this morning at the Chicago Ridge garbage processing company where he worked, authorities said. Jesus Hernandez-Blas, of the 6000 block of South Sacramento Avenue, was pronounced dead at 3:20 a.m. on the grounds of the southwest suburban company, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.The accident took place at Resource Management Cos., 10111 Anderson Ave. in Chicago Ridge, according to the spokesman.

Workers electrocuted while fixing main break

November 25, Arlington, Virgina - An Arlington County employee was killed Wednesday morning as he finished an overnight shift trying to fix a broken water main and was electrocuted by a battery of lights. James Bea, 59, had worked for the county for 24 years, officials said at an afternoon news conference. Another worker was seriously injured in the accident. Bea and his partner, who was not named by authorities, had worked through the night in a trench fixing a water main that broke on Monday at the interection of Glebe Road and Old Glebe Road.

Cable Worker Killed In Alexander Co. Hit-And-Run

November 24, Alexander County, North Carolina - A man working on a utility line early Tuesday was hit and killed along an Alexander County road. Trooper said they are still searching for the driver involved in the crash on Old Mountain Road near Smith Farms Road south of Taylorsville. Authorities said 61-year-old Hank Pittman Jr., who worked for Terra Design Inc., checked in with his employer at 2 a.m. and said that he was done with his work. About 45 minutes later, a driver called 911 and said he found a man lying in the road. Pittman, who was thrown nearly 70 feet, had the headlights of his truck on as well as yellow warning lights.

BP contractor killed at Prudhoe Bay

November 27, Prudhoe Bay, AK — A BP contractor, who was working for MISTRAS GROUP INC., was tragically killed on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 around 2:00 p.m. The worker was killed when a pickup truck crushed him against some pipe at Prudhoe Bay’s North Gas Injection Pad, as reported by Anchorage Daily News. The deceased worker, Mike Phelan, 59, of New Jersey, was working on a pipeline inspection team and marking locations on an elevated pipeline, which is on top of a gas injection pad to be inspected in future routine inspections, when the accident occurred. Phelan was reportedly working by himself when a pickup truck pinned him up against the pipeline and crushed him.

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