Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Veteran Firefighter, Family Patriarch Dies in Accident

September 11, WRIGHTSTOWN, PA - 67 year old Fran Gorski was killed Saturday afternoon while repairing one of the trucks from his trash collection business on Cedar Lane in the Penns Park area of Wrightstown. He and an employee had been repairing the vehicle when Gorski was pinned beneath it. Mr. Gorski was also a volunteer for 51 years and deputy chief of Lingohocken Fire Co.

Rayville Officer Shot, Killed During Burglary Call

September 11, RAYVILLE, LA - 57 year old Sgt Thomas M. Alexander was shot and killed while responding to a burglary-in-progress call at a home on U.S. Highway 80, east of Rayville,Saturday night. Richland Parish Sheriff Charles McDonald tells The News-Star that Alexander was shot when he confronted the suspects inside the home. McDonald said Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man Dies in Farm Tractor Rollover

September 10, ALBANY, MN - 28 year old Christopher Louis Sabrowsky died Friday afternoon in an accident involving a farm tractor that rolled over near Mapleview Rd. south of Albany. Sabrowsky had been attempting to pull two other tractors free from a muddy field when the tractor he was on tipped over, pinning him. Rescue personell were able to remove him from beneath the tractor, but were unable to revive him. He was declared dead at the scene.

Tragic Accident Kills Longtime Employee

September 9, CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - 61 year old Glen Sinclair, a 33 year employee with Teen Challenge was killed in a terrible accident involving a mower. Sinclair was using a tractor and a brush hog out behind a home on the Teen Challenge property where he somehow fell off the tractor, and was found by a person in the home. He was partially under the mower. He died at the scene.

Firefighter Dies of Work Related Injury

September 9, AUGUSTA, GA - 56 year old Terry Nielsen attended a training event on June 22, 2010 where he suffered a minor injury to his left arm. Later, he began experiencing severe pain in that arm, nausea and a fever. He had contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis, commonly known as the “flesh-eating” disease, and died September 9 at Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta. Doctors were able to halt the spread of the virus, but not before its effects caused the loss of skin and muscle tissue to a large portion of his upper body. Nielson was a seven-year veteran of the fire service and former State of Georgia Rookie Firefighter of the Year.

Ranch Accident Kills Farmer

September 9, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX - 77 year old Frank Joseph Mock was killed Thursday in an accident involving his farm tractor. According to Precinct One Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty Mr. Mock had been shredding the pasture. For an unknown reason the Massey Ferguson tractor died. Using his pickup he attempted to jump the tractor. The key had been left on and when the battery cable came in contact with the battery the tractor and shredder ran over him. He went into cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived.

Bridge Worker Crushed in Equipment Accident

September 9, BROOKLYN, NY - 50 year old Jerry Burgess of New Haven, CT died Thursday when he was crushed on the Williamsburg Bridge. Burgess was on a mechanical lift under the Brooklyn side of the span preparing the bridge for a paint job when the platform got stuck officials said. Burgess' partner stepped off the lift and onto the steel supports of the bridge as the two men tried to reactivate the mechanical platform, officials said. It was unclear what happened next - but officials said the platform suddenly moved, pinning Burgess between the metal lift and the steel supports of the bridge.

Two Employees of Kraft Foods Killed by Co-Worker

September 9, PHILADELPHIA, PA - 47 year old Tanya Renee Wilson and 36 year old Latonya Sharon Brown were shot to death in the break room of the Kraft Foods plant Thursday. A worker who had been suspended and escorted off the property just prior to the shooting returned minutes later with a gun and shot Wilson and Brown and another person who is in critical condition at a local hospital. The suspect turned herself in and has been charged with the crime.

Man Dies From Injuries From Combustible Sawdust

September 9, HUTCHINSON, KS - 46 year old Kevin Lewis of Burrton died and a co-worker was injured in a fire Wednesday at Woodwork Manufacturing in Hutchinson. Hutchinson fire official Wes Stewart says Lewis was standing on a platform about 12 feet above ground near a sawdust collector when the sawdust suddenly burst into flame. Stewart says Lewis either fell for jumped from the platform. Highly combustible sawdust burst into flame when the collector was opened, allowing oxygen in.

Electrician Killed at Yakima Sawmill

September 9, WHITE SWAN, WA - 62 year old James Espinoza was working on a planer when its heavy canopy door collapsed on him Thursday morning, said Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins. "He was caught between the (door) and the frame of the planer," Hawkins said. It appears that a hydraulic cylinder holding the door up may have failed he said.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies When Rig Overturns

September 9, CABOOL, MI - 70 year old Eugene E. Hale of Cabool died when he was ejected from his tractor-trailer, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Hale's vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 17 at Eunice when it ran off the left side of the roadway and overturned, ejecting Hale. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Texas Worker Slips and Falls From Water Tower

September 9, KOKOMO, IN - 30 year old Rodolfo Torrez Vasquez of Dallas, TX died in Kokomo Thursday night as a result of slipping and then falling off the water tower. He didn’t fall to the ground, but reports say he was dangling 50 feet off the ground when deputies arrived. Howard County Coroner Jay Price said, “The safety line caught the victim… However he became entangled in some cables. It appears he may have suffered a broken neck during the fall.

Flagger Killed by Truck in Construction Zone

September 8, ROBINSON, IL - 34 year old Wayne Petersen of Orland Park, a flagman at a Crawford County construction zone, was struck and killed by a grain truck as he was running to avoid it. The flagman was headed for a ditch on the western side of the road as the grain truck bore down on the construction zone, but was hit by the truck in the ditch after its driver swerved to avoid stopped traffic at the last minute, police said.

Farmer Dies After Being Caught Between Equipment

September 8, TOMAH, WI - 45 year old Richard J. Conner was killed Wednesday in a farm accident. When Monroe County Sheriff's deputies arrived they found that Conner had been caught in a piece of farm equipment.

Farmer Struck by Car Trying to Save Calf

September 8, SPENCER, OH - 54 year old Keith Wetmore was struck and killed by a car on a dark road while trying to rescue a stray calf. He had stopped his tractor just after 11 p.m. Wednesday, got off and was trying to rescue the calf when he was struck by the car driven by an 18-year-old. There were no tractor or street lights.

SoCal Race Car Driver Found Dead Inside Auto Shop

September 8, EL MONTE, CA - 48 year old Hector Urias was found shot to death inside his El Monte auto shop on Wednesday. Detectives said there were signs of struggle inside the business. Urias specialized in drag racing Volkswagon Beetles and was active in the Pro Racing Association.

Farmer Dies in Tractor Accident

September 8, ROCKLAND, WI - 92 year old Kenneth Beron died when he was accidentally ran over by a tractor. Beron and his 82 year old brother were attempting to disconnect a mower from the back of the tractor around 2:15pm. The brother's foot slipped, releasing the clutch, and the tractor reversed over the victim.

Man Electrocuted Trimming Trees Has Died

September 8, PILOT MOUNTAIN, NC - 28 year old Alan D. Daley, an employee of Crump Tree Service, was shocked while trimming trees last month and has died of his injuries. Daley was trimming trees in a bucket truck on State Street on Aug. 28 when he came into contact with a primary electrical line. He went into cardiac arrest after being shocked, but was revived at the scene. He died this week at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.

Ambulance Driver Dies in Crash

September 8, AVONDALE, WV - 35 year old James Bailey died when the ambulance he was driving hit a guardrail and rolled down an embankment. The vehicle rolled more than 20 feet down the embankment before coming to a rest with Bailey pinned underneath it. Witnesses to the accident say Bailey was still alive, but died later on scene.

Man Dies After Being Pinned in Truck

September 8, WISTER, OK - 52 year old Alonzo Evans died after being pinned in a dump truck for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon. According the report, Evans lost control of his northbound 1995 International dump truck on a curve, and the truck went off the left side of the roadway. According to the report, the road was wet at the time. The truck flipped once, and Evans was pinned in the wreckage for about an hour and 20 minutes before being freed by Wilburton firefighters, according to the report.

Worker Dies When Lawnmower Rolls Into Canal

September 7, LAUDERHILL, FL - Police are investigating the death of a maintenance worker after he crashed his lawnmower into a canal behind an apartment complex. Police said the victim was pinned under the mower under water. Divers were called out to the scene to rescue the victim. Once they freed him, rescue crews transported him to the hospital in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.

Man Killed in Industrial Accident

September 7, FRESNO, CA - 58 year old Tom Lee Chan was killed Tuesday morning after the forklift he was driving overturned and trapped him, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said. No further information is available.

Police Officer Dies Assisting Motorist

September 7, TAYLOR, MI - 54 year old Lt. Dan Kromer of Newport, a 20-year veteran of the Taylor Auxiliary Police Department, died Tuesday night after being struck on the shoulder of westbound I-94 near Monroe Street while assisting a stalled motorist, Taylor police said. Police are searching for the vehicle that hit Kromer.

Worker Dies in Lineman Accident

September 7, AUSTIN, TX - 48 year old Barry Hoke of Fentress was killed and a co-worker injured in an incident Tuesday while power was being restored to lines in Caldwell County, according to Bluebonnet spokesman Will Holford. According to Holford, the two men were in a bucket truck and somehow made contact with electricity. The company does not know what caused the incident.

Man Dies as Result of Fall at Work

September 7, KENNETT, MI - two unidentified workers have died from a work related accident. According to Pemiscot County officials, deputies there were called to the Oakley Incorporated site at the Pemiscot County Port Authority regarding two male employees who had reportedly fallen from a cat walk inside the plant. Lieutenant Ryan Holder said that once authorities arrived on the scene, it was determined that one of the victims, a Kennett man who's name has yet to be released, died as a result of the accident. The second victim died of his injuries after being flown to a hospital.

Tractor Trailer Crash Claims One

September 7, ORION, IL - 70 year old Kenneth R. Hamerlink died when his truck crashed after drifting off to the right, going into a ditch and striking the tree line on Interstate I-280.

Semi Driver Dies in Three Vehicle Crash

September 7, CORYDON, IA - 59 year old Thomas Ryan of Osceola, FL, was killed when the tractor trailer truck he was driving crossed the center median and hit 2 other vehicles. The semi went into a ditch, overturned and caught on fire. The drivers of the other 2 vehicles also died as a result of the crash.

Worker Dies in Rainbow Dam Accident

September 7, GREAT FALLS, MT - 44 year old Taun Kultgen who grew up in Whitlash, MT was killed Tuesday in an accident at the Rainbow Dam construction project just outside of Great Falls. He died when he was crushed between two trucks that were driving by each other. According to Taun's younger brother, he just got engaged the Saturday before he died and planned to move to Havre, where his fiancee lives.

Firefighter, Village Worker Killed in Tragic Accident in Tarrytown

September 6, TARRYTOWN, NY - 48 year old Anthony Riggiero, a public works employee and 51 year old John Kelly, a volunteer firefighter died after apparently becoming overcome by fumes in a manhole. Public works was investigating a call about backed up sewage early Monday afternoon, said Blau. Officers were called to the scene and found the two men unconscious. The DPW worker had gone into a manhole to find the cause of the backup. Blau said the DPW worker apparently passed out and fell. Firefighter John Kelly went in after him and also apparently passed out. "The fire volunteers are not trained in close quarters rescue," Blau added, explaining why Kelly wasn't wearing protection. "I think he just wanted to save his friend," he sighed.

Three DynCorp Employees Killed in Afghanistan

September 6, Afghanistan - 51 year old William Allen of Munhall, PA, an electrician and 48 year old Alan Herzel of Milton, FL, a plumber foreman, and a third unidentified person were killed in an attack on a forward operating base in Howz-e-Madad, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan September 6. All were subcontractors working on the LOGCAP IV program. DynCorp International will defer to the third victim's employer to release any personal details.

Farmer Dies When Tractor Overturns

September 6, BATH, NY - 48 year old Mark E. Quinby died Monday after the tractor he was operating struck a round hay bale and rolled the tractor, pinning the man, according to the Steuben County Sheriff's Office. Quinby appeared to have sustained a head trauma but the cause of death will await autopsy results.

Murdered Security Guard Identified

September 5, CUMMING, GA - As reported in last week's Weekly Toll, a security guard for the Ingles Grocery Store, was killed during a robbery of the store. Authorities have identified 37 year old David Casto as the guard who was murdered. One of the suspects in the robbery has been identified as a store employee who was there when the robbery occurred.

Teen Dies in Tractor Accident

September 4, MINDEN, IA - 18 year old John Martin Dea died in an accident involving a farm tractor. Dea was driving a model 1466 International tractor and was having trouble getting the machine started. When he tried to roll start it by going down a hill, the tractor began to bounce, went out of control and rolled over on a terrace. Dea was thrown from the tractor during the incident.

Utility Worker's Death Being Investigated

September 3, SCHROEDER, MN - 47 year old Kyle Damberg, a longtime Minnesota Power worker, was found unresponsive Friday at a maintenance building under construction in Schroeder. The company says Damberg was checking on the structure being built near the Taconite Harbor Energy Center. His death is under investigation.

Border Patrol Agent Dies in Wreck

September 2, CASA GRANDE, AZ - 32 year old Michael V. Gallagher "died far too young". Gallagher died last week in a wreck while patrolling on the Tohono O'odham Nation. The driver of the vehicle that struck Gallagher has been charged with negligent homicide, criminal damage and driving under the influence, Tohono O'odham officials have said.

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