Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Western NY Farmer Dies in Tractor Accident

November 11, CARLTON, NY - 48 year old John Clark has been killed in a tractor accident. Clark was clearing land on his property when he fell off the tractor and then became pinned underneath it. Police are investigating whether Clark suffered some sort of medical condition that led to his fall.

PA Game Commission Officer Shot to Death

November 11, FAIRFIELD, PA - A Pennsylvania Game Commission officer, whose name has not been released, was shot and killed Thursday night in Freedom Township, southwest of Gettysburg, game commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said Friday. Feaser declined to discuss details of the shooting or release the slain officer's name. Authorities have a "person of interest" they are seeking in the officer's murder.

Worker Dies at Peanut Processing Plant

November 11, EDENTON, NC - 25 year old Steven Lamar Phelps died Thursday in an industrial accident at Seabrook Ingredients, a peanut processing plant. Phelps was wearing a safety harness that apparently became entangled in machinery, according to a separate news release from Edenton Police Chief Jay Fortenbery. The North Carolina Department of Labor was notified and is investigating, the release says.

Dump Truck Driver Dies in Rollover Crash

November 10, GRAF, IA - 43 year old Timothy Eubanks of Dubuque, an employee for Ehrlich Excavating, was killed Wednesday night in a rollover accident north of Graf. According to police, Eubanks failed to negotiate the turn from Potter Hill Road on to Graf Road, rolling the vehicle onto its side. He was thrown from the vehicle during the accident. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Orchard Worker Found Dead

November 10, BRIDGEPORT, WA - 66 year old German Jimenez-Flores failed to return home from work at Custom Orchards Wednesday night. His family called his supervisors who, with other employees, searched the orchard and found Jimenez-Flores pinned under a tractor. “It appeared he had been working on a side hill spreading chemicals when the incident occurred, and the tractor may have hit a tree, causing it to roll” a sheriff's spokesman said.

Truck Driver Killed When Cab Flips Forward

November 10, ST. AUGUSTINE, FL - 51 year old Michael Dunham was killed in a crash Wednesday morning in St. Johns County. Dunham was driving a flatbed truck when he was slowing to make a turn. As he was slowing, the cab of the truck flipped forward, ejecting Dunham through the front windshield and into the path of the truck, troopers said. The truck struck him and dragged him before stopping on an elevated curb on Center Place Way. He was not wearing his seatbelt.

Hotel Owner Murdered by Employee

November 10, CRESTVIEW, FL - 55 year old Rajiv "Roger" Parikh, owner of a Holiday Inn Express, was murdered Wednesday by one of his employees. Officers of the Crestview Police Department responded to a call of a shooting incident that occurred on the second floor of the hotel. Arriving Officers encountered a suspect, who was able to be detained peacefully. The suspect has been charged with murder but no motive for the shooting was given.

Firefighter Dies of Heart Attack

November 10, NORTH IRWIN, PA - 63 year old James Gumbert died of a heart attack while responding to a blaze early Wednesday morning. North Irwin Fire Department Chief, Thomas Harrison, said Gumbert was a dedicated firefighter.

Man Hit by Car Helping Children Cross Street

November 10, CALDWELL, NJ - 76 year old William Payne, a former West Caldwell councilman, was helping children cross Roseland Avenue about 3 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit by a car, said Caldwell police Lt. Marc Driggs. He died today of his injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Caldwell police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Driggs said.

Worker Killed in Industrial Accident

November 10, CLEVELAND, OH - 36 year old Richard Scheckel was killed Wednesday evening in an industrial accident at Cleveland State University. A spokesperson from the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office Scheckel was on a mechanical lift at the Wolstein Center when he fell off and was crushed by the machine. Scheckel worked for a local painting and decorating company contracted out by CSU, the spokesperson said.

Worker Dies a Hero Trying to Save Co-Worker

November 9, BUFFALO, NY - 27 year old Timothy G. Schwab of Delevan died Tuesday while attempting to rescue a co-worker. The co-worker, Edward Kelsch, was attempting to clear a blockage in a tank trailer at Schwab Dairy Farm on Pigeon Hill Road, Freedom, when he entered the tanker and was overcome by methane fumes, State Police said. Schwab also entered the tanker to help Kelsch and was overcome by the fumes. Both men were removed from the tanker by several workers. Schwab was pronounced dead at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville.

Fatality Occurred on Construction Site

November 9, CHATHAM, VA - 57 year old Rodney Lee Rigney died in an accident at a construction site Tuesday evening. Rigney was attempting to secure air hoses between a boom dolly trailer and a trailer hauling a crane when the dolly trailer rolled down an incline and pinned him. Virginia Dept of Labor and Industry are conducting an investigation.

Worker Suffocates in Grain Bin Accident

November 9, TAFT, TX - 50 year old Arnulfo "Ernie" Medina died Tuesday after a massive pile of sorghum he was standing on pulled him under. Because of the nature of grain it took workers more than 8 1/2 hours to get Medina out of the grain elevator. For hours, each time emergency personnel got close to Medina’s body, the grain would pull him away, Moody said. Medina had worked at Taft Grain and Elevator Co. for about five weeks when he died.

One Killed in Upstate NY Plant

November 9, TONAWANDA, NY - 57 year old Richard Folaron of South Wales was killed in an explosion at a DuPont production plant Tuesday. Folaron and a second victim who is hospitalized, were welders with a specialty contractor and were attaching a bracket onto a 10,000-gallon metal storage tank. Folaron was working on the top of the tank when the explosion occurred, sending the top flying off and killing him instantly, Mollenberg-Betz and Town of Tonawanda police officials said.

Housing Authority Worker Killed in Accident

November 9, TARENTUM, PA - 58 year old John Kotchey of Glenshaw, an Allegheny County employee, died after the power saw he was using kicked back and cut his neck. Investigators say Kotchey was cutting a broken water line when the accident happened. The housing authority's police chief said Kotchey was wearing safety gear, including eye and ear protection, a mask and steel-toed boots. Chief Mike Vogel also said the saw had a safety guard.

Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

November 9, WILLIAMSPORT, PA - 52 year old Stephen P. Beattie was killed Tuesday morning when a pile of dirt, believed to be at least 5 feet high, suddenly collapsed into the trench he was working in. Beattie had already died of "compressional asphyxiation" when rescuers got to him. When firefighters arrived on the scene, there was no evidence of any equipment in place to shore up the trench, fire officials said. Beattie was an employee for Krape Excavating of Pine Creek Township.

Road Construction Worker Crushed by Equipment

November 9, NEWARK, NJ - 51 year old Pasquale Dirienzo of Nutley was died this morning after being caught under a milling machine. Dirienzo was setting the depth on the "rolling grinder" machine when the operator of the apparatus noticed he had been trapped. The accident took place at 12:09 a.m. on the eastern spur of the Turnpike near milepost 106.4 in Newark.

Worker is Killed at Recycling Center

November 9, ST. LOUIS, MO - 52 year old Sharon Welling died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a forklift accident at the Isabella County Recycling Center Monday afternoon. According to the sheriff's department, she was struck by a forklift carrying a recycling bin driven by another employee. Welling suffered leg and pelvic injuries and was airlifted from the recycling center and later died at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

Employee Killed at Landfill

November 9, WAUKEGAN, WI - 42 year old Lemuel Gonzales was crushed to death Tuesday while working at the Veolia Environmental Services landfill on Green Bay Road in Zion, Lake County Coroner Richard Keller said. Gonzales was working between two extremely large garbage containers when a cable broke and the two containers slid together, crushing him. OSHA is investigating.

Handyman Dies After Beating

November 9, OMAHA, NE - Robert Harden, a handyman for a boarding house where he lived, was severely beaten Tuesday inside the building. Mr. Harden died later at the hospital from his injuries. Another resident of the boarding house has been arrested in Harden's death.

Employee Killed in Paper Plant Accident

November 9, WAGRAM, NC - Kenneth Oxendine was hit by a forklift in the Wagram Paper Stock Inc. plant Tuesday, Wagram police said. No other details about the accident were available.

Semi Driver Dies in Crash

November 9, PINE GROVE, PA - 42 year old Jarzab Zbigniew of Chicago, IL died when his tractor-trailer, carrying fruit, hit a guardrail and rolled onto its side. He was not wearing a seat belt, police said. Zbiginew was thrown from the vehicle and killed.

Farmer Dies From Fire Injuries

November 9, WALCOTT, IA - 61 year old Loren Arp has died from injuries he sustained in a fire October 1. He was seriously burned when a suspected dust buildup caused an explosion and fire in the combine he was operating. Arp’s neighbors gathered to finish harvesting his crops a couple of weeks after he was hurt. Arp leaves behind a wife and five grown children.

Logging Truck Accident Kills Driver

November 9, BRANCHVILLE, SC - 28 year old Johnny Sellers was killed Tuesday when another log truck apparently did not yield the right of way and pulled in front of Sellers truck. The collision sent logs from the second truck onto the cab of Sellers' truck, further pinning him in the cab, authorities said. Sellers died at the scene.

Shop Owner Found Dead in Store

November 8, PHILADELPHIA, PA - 30 year old Annie Huynh, owner of Kim's Nails, was found dead on the floor of her store when employees came to work Monday morning. Huynh was killed between 8 and 9:20 a.m., police said. It wasn’t clear exactly clear how the mother of a 6-year-old boy was murdered.

Man Dies of Crushing Injuries

November 8, MEDINA, OH - 69 year old David Hlausa, owner of an industrial business, was killed when a piece of equipment he was working on fell on him. He was working on a power cabinet that was about 3 feet off the ground on a forklift when it fell off sideways, crushing Hlausa underneath. He had been working alone and was later found by employees.

Man Killed in Gravel Truck Accident

November 8, HAMBURG, AR - 59 year old Dickey Youngblood was killed when the gravel truck he was driving overturned. Hamburg died of massive head trauma in the 11:22 a.m. accident on Monday. According to police, Youngblood had been on the job for four hours when the accident occurred at the intersection of U.S. 167-B and North West Avenue. Police say he failed to negotiate the intersection.

Market Employee Killed During Robbery

November 8, SAN BERNARDINO, CA - 39 year old Anarjit Sing of Riverside was shot and killed at a San Bernardino market Monday night. Police arrived to find Sing suffering from gunshot wounds and he died at the scene. Police suspect robbery was the motive.

Trucker Dies After Truck Crashes Into River

November 8, MATTAWA, WA - 45 year old Albert D. Gumm of Nampa, ID was killed when the semi he was driving left Highway 243, rolled down an embankment and came to rest on its top, submerged in the Columbia River. The cause of the accident still is under investigation, according to the State Patrol.

Worker Dies After Hitting Gas Line

November 8, TIOGA, ND - 30 year old Thomas Chojnacki of Posen, MI, who was installing an underground electric line northeast of here, died Monday after hitting a natural gas line which caused a rupture that led to his death. Chojnacki was installing underground electrical lines when his plow hit a high-pressure natural gas line that was charged with approximately 650 foot pounds of pressure. Chojnacki, who was behind the plow when the rupture occurred, was thrown approximately 100 feet due to the resulting release of natural gas, and died from his injuries.

Construction Worker Killed by Dump Truck

November 8, BELHAVEN, NC - 57 year old Charles Barnes of Murfreesboro died when he was run over by a dump truck at his work site. According to NC Highway Patrol the rear gate hit Barnes and knocked him down; he was then run over by the rear tires. Two vehicles with alarms activated were working close to where Barnes was walking and he possibly got the two confused. CPR was performed on the way to the hospital, where Barnes later died.

Worker Killed in Plant Accident

November 8, TROY, AL - 35 year old Rodney Williams was killed and another injured Monday in an accident at a plant in Troy. Police responded to KW Plastics, where two employees had been hit by a truck, according to information released by Chief Anthony Everage. Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified by KW Plastics and will be conducting an investigation, and the Troy Police Department is continuing to investigate.

Worker Dies in Fall

November 7, SEDALIA, MO - 53 year old Bill Chambers of Green Ridge died Sunday after falling from a lift while working last week. Chambers was working to repair a chute while standing on a pallet that was raised by a forklift. A company spokesman said his wrench slipped and he lost his balance, falling to the concrete floor about six and a half feet below. He died Sunday from head injuries suffered in the accident.

Church Employee Killed

November 7, BATON ROUGE, LA - 22 year old Jordan Gautreau of Gonzales, an employee of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge died after being hit by a car while he was hanging a sign for the church. According to police, one driver was pulling into the church's parking lot when his car sideswiped an oncoming vehicle. The oncoming car ran off the road, hitting Gautreau. An investigation is still under way.

Dump Truck Collides With Train, Driver Killed

November 7, OXFORD TWP, OH - 83 year old Peter Klaus is dead after a crash with a train. Investigators said a witness saw the dump truck enter the crossing, into the path of an oncoming train. The train engineer tried to stop and sounded his horn but Klaus seemed unaware of the train. The train hit the truck, flipping it over.

Young Store Clerk Killed During Robbery

November 6, FAYETTEVILLE, NC - 19 year old Kyle Harris was murdered by robbers who entered the pawn shop where he was working. A Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson said a man and woman walked into the Cumberland Pawn Shop at 713 Grove Street around 5:15 p.m. and murdered Harris. Police know the identities of the robbery suspects and are looking for them.

Farmer Killed in Tractor Accident

November 6, RUSSELLVILLE, KY - 85 year old James W. Southerland was killed when he was run over by his tractor. He was attempting to start the machine when it was still in gear. When it started the tractor leaped forward and ran over Southerland, according to the sheriff’s office.

Fire Captain Dies in Accident at Station

November 5, NASHVILLE, IN - 53 year old Capt.Leonard Arthur Murray, a volunteer firefighter, died of head injuries while doing maintenance on a vehicle. The vehicle rolled forward pinning him against a wall. Murray had served the department for five years.

Man Dies at Construction Site

November 5, MONMOUTH, WA - 52 year old Franklin Shepherd was found dead on the site of a home construction project. He apparently committed suicide and was found by a co-worker.

Federal Investigators Looking Into Workers Death

November 5, MENAN, ID - 25 year old David Rodriguez, an employee for Walker Produce, died after being crushed beneath a 1,000-pound loading rack at the produce business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and local authorities are trying to determine just what happened when the loading rack fell on him while he was cleaning last Wednesday. Rodriguez was found unconscious and died two days later at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Fisherman Dies at Sea

November 4, PROVINCETOWN, MA - 55 year old John "Woodsy" Woods died at sea of a heart attack while reeling in a giant tuna. A U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew responded Thursday afternoon after receiving a mayday call from Woods’ boat, the 31-foot Dixie II. Woods had collapsed while reeling in a tuna. He was taken to Falmouth Hospital by helicopter where he was pronounced dead.

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