Monday, March 01, 2010

Weekly toll: Death in the American Workplace

Man killed when truck rolls over at Phoenix construction site

March 4, Phoenix, Arizona - A man was killed after his semitruck rolled over and slammed into another truck at a construction site in Phoenix on Thursday morning, officials said. The driver of the semitruck was headed east on the construction site near Loop 303 and Lake Pleasant Road in an area that was being graded, Phoenix Sgt. Trent Crump said. The driver of the truck tried to get around a grader on the road, Crump said. The driver of the semitruck lost control of the truck and trailer. He flipped the vehicle and it slid sideways on the grated surface, hitting a water truck head-on, Crump said. The water truck wasn't occupied but was loaded with water.

Man dies in Waseca grain bin accident

March 4, Austin, Minnesota - A popular father of four died after becoming trapped in a grain bin on his farm in Waseca Thursday morning. James Eaton, 49, was trying to dislodge frozen corn inside the grain bin when the corn shifted and buried him, according to the Waseca County Sheriff's Office. Rescuers worked for two hours, using pails, shoves and a shop vac to move the corn, in an attempt to try to free him. But by the time they reached him, he had suffocated. Eaton's friend Odean Johnson said he was, "A good farmer well-respected person."

Dump Truck Rolls, Kills Worker

March 4, Phoenix, Arizona - A construction worker is dead after the dump truck he was driving rolled off the road and pinned him, a representative of the Peoria Fire Department said. The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the vicinity of the new Loop 303 under construction and 75th Avenue. Helicopter footage showed the truck on its side and at least one fire engine at the scene.

Pueblo County man killed in tractor accident

March 4, Pueblo, Colorado - A 64-year-old driving a farm tractor in southern Colorado was killed when his tractor was hit from behind by a minivan. Sixty-4-year-old Paul Bregar died Wednesday afternoon on a highway east of Pueblo. The Colorado State Patrol says that the farmer was hit by a minivan, flipping the tractor. Bregar was pinned under his John Deere tractor and pronounced dead on the scene. The van driver has not been named.

Man Dies After Fight With Co-Worker

March 4, Laurens County, South Carolina - A man is dead after a fist fight with a co-worker over a parked car at Classic Cars of South Carolina in Gray Court, the sheriff said. A 50-year-old man is dead after a fist fight with a co-worker at Classic Cars of South Carolina. Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said 50-year-old Randy Lynn Fuller worked at the car restoration and sales business. He lived in a trailer on the business property at 2424 South Frontage Road just off Interstate 385. Witnesses said that Fuller was unhappy about a parked car that was blocking another vehicle and he got into a fight with another employee about it.

Family of fatal-accident victim thanks bystander

March 4, Chicago, Illinois - The family of a utility worker who was killed in an industrial accident Wednesday thanked a bystander who stepped in to help. It comes as the family members mourn their loss. "With heavy hearts and tons of happy memories, we can't even put into words the depth of our loss," said Ron Gryga, victim's brother. Ron Gryga praised his late brother, Michael Gryga, 39, in a statement Thursday.

One Peoples Gas worker killed in Chicago mishap

March 3, Chicago, Illinois - One Peoples Gas company worker was killed and another injured on Wednesday in a mishap involving a pipe they were pressure-testing, Chicago authorities said. The workers were pressure-testing a 20-inch main pipeline with compressed air inside a reinforced hole near the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago when the incident occurred, a Peoples Gas spokeswoman said. It was not immediately clear what happened, but no gas was involved and service was not interrupted, the spokeswoman said. A passerby told local radio he heard a "boom and then a whoosh" followed by a cloud of dust emerging from the hole. Another passerby climbed in to help before firefighters arrived to remove the workers.

Publix cashier killed in shooting

March 3, Orlando, Florida - A Publix supermarket cashier died Wednesday morning after she was shot by her estranged husband. After Andreau Yankton, 62, shot Anicia Yankton, 34, he left the store and turned the gun on himself in the parking lot, authorities said. The shooting occurred around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Terrified shoppers dropped their groceries and ran when they heard the gunfire.

Navajo Oil Refinery Tank Fire Kills Two Workers (Update2)

March 3, Artesia, New Mexico - A fire late yesterday at an asphalt tank at Holly Corp.’s Navajo oil refinery killed two workers, a local police spokesman said by telephone. Two contractors working at the tank died and two were transported to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas for treatment, said Sergeant Lindell Smith of the Artesia, New Mexico police department, where the Navajo plant is located. Holly, the owner of refineries and pipelines in the U.S. Southwest, earlier said the fire at an asphalt storage tank under construction “likely” killed a worker, in a statement on PRNewswire. The blaze occurred at about 12:40 p.m. local time and was extinguished in about 90 minutes by the refinery’s fire fighting units.

Construction worker killed in Hanford accident

March 2, Tri-Cities, Washington - A backhoe operator was fatally injured in a construction accident at a Bonneville Power Administration substation on the Hanford nuclear reservation. BPA spokesman Doug Johnson says Kelly Loyd of Castle Rock was doing some excavation work Monday at the White Bluffs substation when he was injured. He was taken to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland where he died. Loyd was employed by Christenson Electric Inc.

Cops: Dunkin Donuts employee dies after fall into sewage pit while dumping garbage

March 1, Smithtown, New York — A snow plow might have jarred loose the cover of a sewage pit where a teenager doughnut shop worker fell and died while taking out the trash, investigators said Monday. Amiri Zeqiri, 17, slipped into an open cesspool behind a Dunkin' Donuts Sunday night in Smithtown, about 40 miles east of New York City, police said. There usually was a manhole cover over the cesspool, a hole in the ground that collects waste from toilets and sinks, they said.

Taxi driver dies following collision with man accused of driving drunk

March 1, Orange, Texas - A taxi driver was surrounded by his family Monday night when doctors removed him from life support after his vehicle was struck by a man charged with driving drunk. 64-year-old Patrick Pratt died one day after the collision at Phelan and 23rd in Beaumont. Beaumont police say James Robert White, 44, of Buna, was speeding, ran a red light and crashed into the taxi at about 7 a.m. Sunday. Police arrested him for intoxication assault. That charge is likely to be upgraded to intoxicated manslaughter now that Pratt has died.

2 men trimming trees killed in power line electrocution

March 1, Spartanburg, South Carolina - Authorities say two Spartanburg men died by electrocution Sunday when an extension ladder they were using to trim a tree at their Canaan Road home made contact with a power line. Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger did not release the names of the victims Sunday, and he said positive identification would take until this afternoon because of the extent of the victims' injuries. The horrific scene rattled veteran firefighters who had to stand by for more than 20 minutes until the power line could be disconnected. Clevenger said the victims were removing limbs on a tree at 375 Canaan Road in the Arkwright community when the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m.

Clerk killed in fight with robber at truck stop

March 1, Rock Hill, South Carolina - Police say a robber shot and killed a clerk at a South Carolina truck stop after the employee tried to fight back with a knife. Authorities tell The Herald of Rock Hill that 22-year-old Malek Salem died from a gunshot wound to the chest after the shooting around 11:50 p.m. Sunday at a gas station near Interstate 77. Police say surveillance video shows the robber pulling a gun and then Salem pick up a knife and put it behind his back. The two struggle for several seconds before a shot is fired. Salem managed to call 911, but died in the emergency room at the hospital.

Reedley Officer Dies From Injuries Sustained In Minkler Shooting

March 1, Fresno, California - Reedley Police have announced the loss of one of their own. Officer Javier Bejar passed away Monday morning, after he was taken off life-support at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Bejar was in the hospital for injuries suffered in last week's officer involved shooting in the Eastern Fresno County community of Minkler. Bejar, along with two other officers, were shot in the incident. One of those officers, Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier, also died from injuries sustained in the shooting. Bejar worked as a Reedley Police Officer since 2005, earning Officer of the Year in 2007.

Jacksonville McDonald's Worker Killed in an Armed Robbery

March 1, Jacksonville, Florida - The four sons of the immigrant killed in an armed robbery last week are on their way to the First Coast to say goodbye to their father. Last Monday, Raynold Orelus was escorting a McDonald's manager with a bag of money from the store to a car in the parking lot of the Baymeadows Road restaurant. The money was for a deposit. Police said Nesta K. Walker was waiting for them with a gun. Orelus intervened and was shot. Walker was arrested a short time later across town.

Construction worker was not murdered

March 1, Albany, Georgia – Albany Police no longer think the 50-year-old man found dead Sunday morning in South Albany was murdered. An autopsy does not determine what killed Vincent Grant. Grant, a Florida native, was in Albany for construction work. He was found dead Sunday morning lying behind a dilapidated house in the 500 block of Cotton Avenue. Grant had a bump on his head, but medical examiners say it did not kill him.

Security Officer Killed in Southland Mall Shooting Identified

February 27, Memphis, Tennessee – Memphis police have identified the security officer, who was fatally shot in a Whitehaven mall. Marques Rainey, 28, was shot and killed by an unknown suspect inside Southland Mall, just before 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. Rainey and a group of men were involved in an altercation inside the mall before the shooting happened. Then, witnesses say one of the men pulled a gun and shot Rainey in the chest. He was taken to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died.

Teacher shot, killed in Tacoma; suspect slain

February 26, Tacoma, Seattle - A teacher was shot and killed at Birney Elementary School early Friday by a man who police said was "infatuated with her," and the suspect was later killed in a shootout with police. The suspect was arrested a week ago for violating an order to keep away from the teacher. He made bail Monday. Witnesses said the teacher was shot during a confrontation in the school parking lot at 1202 S. 76th Street about 7:30 a.m., which was before students arrived for the day. The victim's father, who arrived at the school after the shooting, identified her as 30-year-old Jennifer Paulson.

CT worker killed in accident with garbage truck

February 26, Wolcott, Connecticut – A worker was picking up garbage with two other crew members in Wolcott, when he became trapped between a garbage truck and a retaining wall Wednesday morning, February 24, 2010, according to Hartford Courant. Police and medical crews arrived at the scene of the tragic accident. Eric Hassan was rushed in an ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital where doctors and nurses attempted to save his life, but tragically, his injuries proved fatal. The 24-year-old man’s co-workers said that his last words before passed away were about his kids and his family, reported the Wolcott police chief.

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