Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

04-30-10, Montcoal, WV - Tuesday afternoon, the state Medical Examiner identified the first seven victims of the disaster: Steven J. Harrah, 40; William R. Lynch, 59; Jason Atkins, 25; Benny Ray Willingham, 61; Carl Accord, 52; Deward Allan Scott, 58; and Robert E. Clark, 41

Abilene police officer killed in traffic crash

April 30, Abilene, Texas — Funeral is scheduled for Monday for an Abilene police officer who died when his motorcycle slammed into a car. According to police reports, Officer Rodney Holder was pursuing a speeder on his police motorcycle near the McMurry University campus about noon Thursday when a car turned in front of him. The motorcycle slammed into the car, then tumbled for about 30 yards before hitting a tree. The 50-year-old police officer landed under a parked van.

Lexington Police Officer Injured in Hit and Run

April 29, Lexington, Kentucky - A Lexington police officer was hit by a vehicle Thursday night. It happened near the intersection of Limestone and Alabama, sometime around 10 p.m. Lexington police tell ABC 36 the officer was taken to UK Hospital. Lexington Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts tells ABC 36 News, Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin will hold a news conference early Friday morning. So far, the officer's name, and the circumstances surrounding the crash, are unknown. It's also not clear if any arrests have been made.

2 Workers Are Killed in Kentucky Mine Collapse

April 29, Providence, Kentucky — Two miners were killed when a roof collapsed in a coal mine with a long history of safety problems. Gov. Steven L. Beshear identified the miners as Justin Travis, 27, and Michael Carter, 28. The collapse happened late Wednesday at the Dotiki Mine near Providence, in western Kentucky. Carl Boone, district supervisor for the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration, said the investigation into the collapse would begin as soon as the mine was deemed safe to enter.

Worker dies in house renovation project

April 29, Charlotte, North Carolina - Federal officials are investigating the death earlier this week of a man working on a house renovation project in Charlotte's Eastover neighborhood. Police say Christopher Brent Belk, 39, of Charlotte, was killed when he fell from the roof of a two-story house in the 600 block of Cherokee Place. The incident happened about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. The house was under renovation, and authorities say investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the incident. Such investigations are customary in workplace fatalities.

Man found dead after fire at Phoenix business

April 26, Phoenix, Arizona - Firefighters found the body of a slain man while fighting a blaze in a Phoenix industrial business Thursday morning, officials said. The victim, 64-year-old employee Angel Morales, was responsible for opening up the building-materials business in the morning, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department. The fire alarm went off about 5 a.m., and crews arrived at the building near 35th Avenue and Buckeye Road to find water coming out of it and signs of forced entry, Thompson said.

Man killed in trench collapse identified

April 29, Salem Township, Pennsylvania - The scene at a trench collapse that killed one man and injured a second on Thursday morning. The man who died today in a trench collapse in Salem Township has been identified as James Berry, 35, of Berwick. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning, Luzerne County Coroner John Corcoran said. Berry was trapped when the seven-feet deep trench collapsed around 8:45 a.m. off Route 11. His body was finally extricated around 2:30 p.m., Corcoran said.

Subway worker dies in third rail accident

April 26, New York City, New York - A subway worker from East Rockaway working on rain-slicked tracks died Monday when he touched the high-voltage third rail, according to MTA officials. James Knell, a veteran MTA New York City Transit supervisor, was on elevated tracks at the Beach 90th Street Station in Rockaway at about 4:30 a.m. when he was electrocuted, according to MTA officials. "There is speculation that he slipped...

Family mourns railroad conductor killed in yard accident

April 24, Chicago, Illinois - Melinda Carter lit up her mother's eyes recently when she talked about plans to buy a home in the southwest suburbs. But the bigger surprise was that Carter wanted her parents to sell their home in a rough Far South Side neighborhood and come live with her. "She said, ‘You're going to come move with me, you and daddy.' And that's what she always wanted ... to take care of her family," said her mother, Delois Carter. But on Saturday, family and friends gathered to mourn Melinda Carter's death. The 36-year-old train yard conductor for CSX Corp. was killed Friday night when she was tossed from a locomotive and struck by it. Carter was conducting routine switching operations while cars were being moved to prepare them for delivery, officials said. The accident occurred on the company's grounds near 134th Street and Ashland Avenue in Riverdale and an investigation is ongoing, a CSX spokesman said.

Explosion in Montcalm County leaves worker dead

April 23, Crystal Township, Michigan - A worker died in an explosion at a sewage treatment facility in Michigan's central Lower Peninsula. The Montcalm County Sheriff's Department says the 10 a.m. Friday explosion happened while Dan Eller was using a cutting torch on an oil barrel. Investigators say a spark may have set off the blast, which could be heard from a quarter-mile away. Authorities tell The Grand Rapids Press and Grand Rapids television station WOOD that Eller suffered first- and second-degree burns over 60 percent of his body. He died after being airlifted to Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Road worker from Ellwood City killed in slip from grader

April 23, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania - PennDOT worker was killed yesterday when he slipped from a road grader and fell underneath its tires at a job site in Lawrence County. The death of Richard Bentel, 42, of Ellwood City, has been ruled an accident, Lawrence County Deputy Coroner Richard Johnson said. Bentel was on a crew doing shoulder work along Route 551, about 10 miles northwest of New Castle, when the accident occurred shortly before 1 p.m., Pulaski Township police said.

Wrecker worker dies in Eastland

April 21, A Ranger wrecker employee was killed Wednesday in an Eastland County accident. Adam Diaz Lopez, Jr., 46 was picking up a rental truck that had previously crashed when the driver of a 2008 Ford F-250 traveled off the road to the left and struck the rental truck. The Ford then struck Lopez. The crash occurred at about 12:20 a.m. on Interstate 20, about 10 miles east of Ranger. According to Senior Trooper Sparky Dean, Lopez was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and was pronounced dead at 5:01 a.m. His body was taken to Edward’s Funeral Home in Ranger.

Douglas County construction worker crushed to death

April 21, A Douglas County construction worker was killed Wednesday afternoon when equipment malfunctioned at a baseball stadium, authorities said. The incident happened around 3:30 p.m., near North Douglas Elementary School and the intersection of Cedar Mountain Road and South Flat Rock Road, Douglas County officials said. A worker operating a skid steer loader (a small tractor commonly known as a "Bobcat") apparently climbed out the front of the caged driver's seat to make some adjustment to the machine or remove some debris and caused the raised shovel arm to drop, pinning his head to the steel cage, Douglas County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. James Harrell told the AJC.

Construction worker killed in work site acccident

April 21, Rocky Mount, Colorado - A construction worker was killed Tuesday after falling to his death during an on-site accident, Rocky Mount police said. Authorities reported that the victim, Dereick Hartsoe, 28, was operating a boom crane at a work site at the intersection of Canopy Drive and Fenner Road. The crane broke, causing Hartsoe to fall at least 15 feet to the ground. Hartsoe was found dead around 9:45 a.m. Police said he suffered internal injuries and severe lacerations. The Crumpler resident was employed by Pike Electric in Mount Airy.

NH Farmer Dies Beneath Overturned Tractor

April 19, Monroe, New Hampshire ― New Hampshire State Police say a 62-year-old farmer was killed when he was accidentally pinned under a tractor on his property in Monroe. According to police, Howard Ward and another person had been trying to cut down a large pine tree Monday afternoon. Ward was using the tractor to push on the tree and guide it down. Police say that as the tree started to fall, the front of the tractor became entwined with the tree. The tractor rolled over and Ward was pinned beneath it. Rescuers pronounced him dead at the scene.

Man identified in fatal Westmont Midas explosion

April 19, Westmont, Illinois — Westmont police and fire officials said an employee of a Westmont car repair shop was welding some barrels outside the property when a fatal explosion occurred Monday, April 19. Police said William R. Zuponeck, 28, of Glendale Heights, an employee at Midas Auto Service, 401 W. Ogden Ave., was killed in the explosion. The accident happened in the back of the property when the man was working, police said.

Worker killed in Port Arthur refinery accident

April 19, Port Arthur, Texas — An industrial accident at the Motiva (moh-TEE'-vuh) Enterprises LLC refinery in Port Arthur has claimed one life. Justice of the Peace Tom Gillam told KFDM-TV that a contract worker died in the accident Monday morning. The plant is the site of a $7 billion expansion project to double capacity to nearly 600,000 barrels a day.

Civilian worker killed in crash at Camp Pendleton

April 20, San Diego, California - Friends and family of a 48-year-old civilian fatally injured in a wreck at Camp Pendleton were mourning his death Monday. Jose Gaspar Ajca of Fallbrook was injured in a crash in the 400 block of Ammunition Road about 7:30 a.m. Sunday and died at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido about an hour later, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Ajca worked at the Marine base.

Cab Driver Fatally Shot, Abandoned by Passengers in Crossfire

April 19, Dallas, Texas - A 30-year-old taxi driver was fatally shot and dumped on the ground after an altercation between his passengers and another driver. Police say Bashir R. Abraham picked up two passengers who had been in disturbance at the XTC Cabaret off Interstate 35E in northwest Dallas. Officers say an unknown gunman pulled up to the taxi at Regal Row and Stemmons Freeway around 5 a.m. and fired into the cab. Abraham and both passengers were shot.

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