Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Two TN Postal Workers Killed During Robbery

October 18, HENNING, TN - 58 year old Judy Spray, rural carrier associate, and 33 year old Paula Robinson, retail clerk, were both shot and killed this morning at the rural West Tennessee post office where they worked. It appears they died in an attempted robbery. An investigation continues into this crime.

Taxi Driver Murdered in Possibly Robbery

October 18, SACRAMENTO, CA - a 53 year old driver for Yellow Cab was shot to death this morning near North Highlands. The victim was found slumped over the wheel of his cab at Hillsdale Village Apartments. Residents heard multiple gunshots and called the police around 3:20 a.m. He was shot at least once in his toros and was pronounced dead on the scene. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the victim as 54 year old James Walker of Sacramento.

Four U.S. Aid Workers Die in Plane Crash

October 17, LOS ANGELES, CA - Four U.S. medical aid workers from central California were killed in a small plane crash in northwestern Mexico, state officials said on Sunday. James Thornton, plastic surgeon; Graciela Sarmiento, doctor; Andrew Theil, non medical support staffer and Roger Lyon, pilot died in the crash. They were from Los Angeles going to Mexico to work on a Samaritanos del Aire project. The Flying Samaritans is an all-volunteer organization that transports medical and support personnel to at least 17 clinics in Baja California where they provide free medical services and supplies to those who lack medical care.

Beloved Store Owner Murdered, Friends Mourn

October 16, CHICAGO, IL - 59 year old Bassam "Ollie" Naoum was shot multiple times in the back about 9 p.m. Saturday inside the Munchies convenience store at 950 N. Orleans St. which he owned, officials said. Naoum was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died, officials said. The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled Naoum's death a homicide. Police said that the motive did not appear to be a robbery because his Rolex watch wasn't stolen, money remained in the cash register and no other items appeared to have been taken.

Man Dies In Accident at Quarry

October 16, TOPEKA, KS - 52 year old William Oaks died Saturday morning after he was injured while working at Hamm's Quarry in Jefferson County, authorities said. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Oaks was injured when the conveyor system he was working on started up. Emergency crews responded to the quarry. Oaks was pronounced dead at the scene.

Road Construction Worker Killed by Dump Truck

October 16, ROLAND, OK - 48 year old Anthony Avery of Edmond, who was working at a construction site on Interstate 40 was killed when he was run over by a dump truck. Troopers say Avery was working at a construction site on I-40 westbound when the driver of the dump truck backed into the construction zone and ran over him.

Nursery Employee Killed When Truck Hit by Train

October 16, BERLIN TWP, OH - 50 year old Raul Hernandez of Mexico, an employee of Willoway Nursery died when his truck was hit by a train. Police said Hernandez was alone in his Ford F-150 heading south on a private road on Willoway property when it was was struck by a westbound Norfolk Southern train. Hernandez died upon impact due to blunt trauma after his truck was hit.

Highway Patrol Officer Dies in Helicopter Crash

October 15, WELDON SPRING, MO - 47 year old Sgt. Joseph G. Schuengel, a 17 year veteran with the MO Highway Patrol, died when the helicopter he was piloting crashed a few minutes after he dropped off two other troopers and was headed back to The Spirit of St.Louis Airport. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing a rotor blade separate from the aircraft, before it plunged to the ground near a residential street on Horseshoe Ridge Road in Clarkson Valley, avoiding nearby houses and people.

Restaurant Owner Dies After Being Attacked

October 15, WHEELING, VA - 37 year old Travis Hocutt, owner of Hocutt's Carolina Barbecue restaurant, has died after injuries he suffered in an attack outside his restaurant on October 9. Hocutt was reportedly beaten severely in the face and head and also suffered a cracked rib. Police are continuing their investigation.

Bakery Owner Shot and Killed

October 15, COLLEGE PARK, GA - College Park police are investigating a robbery and the shooting death of the owner of Sunset Thrifty Bakery and Meat. Police say a man entered the bakery and demanded money from a female employee. The employee gave the man the money. The owner was in the back of the store and when he came to the front, the owner was shot in the chest and died. Police have not released any names in connection with the shooting.

Man Dies in Combine Fire

October 15, ANITA, IA - 59 year old Mark Brown was discovered dead when an off-duty fireman called to report a fire. Investigators found Brown had died when his combine caught on fire. No other details are available and his death is still under investigation.

Truck Driver Dies in Crash

October 15, SHREVEPORT, LA - 46 year old Donald Gardner of Shreveport was killed in the early morning hours when his eastbound 18-wheeler ran off Interstate 20 and struck a guardrail in Ouachita Parish. Gardner was pronounced dead after he was taken to the St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe.

Construction Worker Dies in Roof Collapse

October 14, GAMBRILLS, MD - 46 year old David Kevin Gragan of LaPlata was killed in an industrial accident on a construction site at Waugh Chapel Elementary School located at 840 Sunflower Drive in Gambrills. He was an employee of Classic Iron Works of Mechancsville. Gragan was working in the new wing, which is still under construction, when the roof collapsed trapping him. Gragan was freed by fire personnel, however, succumbed to his injuries during transport to the hospital.

School Electrician Dies in Accident

October 14, MINDEN, LA - Ricky Hennigan, an electrician in the maintenance department for Webster Jr High School in Minden, was killed on the job Wednesday. Details of what caused Hennigan's death have not yet been released.

Deadly Trench Collapse in MN

October 14, BEMIDJI, MN - 59 year old Leon Jenakuski died when the trench he was in on the property of Bemidji Iron & Recycling collapsed on him. The trench was being dug by a private contractor who had been hired to excavate and repair a water line that was very deep in the ground. In the process of the excavation, the trench collapsed and Jenkauski, a friend of the contractor, was helping with the project and was pinned in the collapse, according to the press release.

Man Dies in Logging Accident

October 14, AUBURN, WA - 55 year old Byron Clevenger, a worker for Wyss Logging, died in a work-related logging accident in the Hancock forest near Buckley on Thursday morning. The death occurred in a section of the Hancock Forest owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Specifics to what caused Clevenger's death are not listed.

Three Charged in Murder of McDonald's Employee

October 13, BATESBURG, SC - 57 year old Willie Jennings was shot and killed Wednesday as he took the trash out at his job at McDonald's. Officers responding to a call about shots fired found Jennings in the parking lot of the restaurant. They said he had taken out the trash. Police have not released a motive for Jennings' murder.

Investigators Looking Into Divers Death

October 13, RICHMOND, TX - A contract worker died Wednesday while cleaning the inside of a municipal water storage tank in Richmond. The man, whose name has not been released, worked for a contractor who was performing routine maintenance on the tank by using scuba equipment and vacuuming the bottom of it. His partner who on the top of the tank noticed the diver's tether line became slack. He then put on scuba gear and went into the tank and found the man unresponsive with his mask off.

Man Installing Equipment Electrocuted

October 13, DES MOINES, IA - 35 year old Denver Smith died Wednesday after being electrocuted at Burrus Seed Farms near Arenzville, according to Morgan County Coroner Jeff Lair. Smith worked for the Baker Group of Des Moines and was installing equipment at Burrus when he came into contact with a live electrical line. Smith, who was on a ladder, was found on the ground and taken to Passavant Area Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 10:30 a.m.

Longtime DC Sanitation Worker Shot for Unknown Reasons

October 13, WASHINGTON, DC - 51 year old Larry Hutchins of Suitland, MD and a longtime employee for the Dept of Public Works in DC was was killed Wednesday morning and a fellow employee was wounded when a man fired shots outside a Department of Public Works facility as trash collectors were preparing to start their rounds, police said. For reasons unknown the assailant walked into the lot about 6:15 a.m. and fired almost two dozen shots, officers said.

TX Police Officer Dies in Crash

October 13, EL PASO, TX - 41 year old Office Karl McDonough was killed and another officer was injured early Wednesday after an alleged drunken driver struck the patrol car they were in. The driver of the other vehicle ran a red light and struck the officers who were in the intersection. The other driver has been arrested and faces multiple charges.

Farmer Dies Pinned Under Tractor

October 13, CAMILLUS, NY - 58 year old Andrew G. Malar was killed after a tractor overturned on him while pulling down a tree on his property, police and a witness said. Malar and another man were clearing a path through the woods when they tried to remove a large, fallen tree by pulling it with a chain attached to the tractor. The tractor flipped over backwards on top of Malar, troopers said.

Man Dies at Chemical Plant in IA

October 13, CHANNAHON, IA - 46 year old Timothy Shields of Cedar Falls was killed Wednesday in a construction accident in Illinois. Shields was finishing demolition work at the Oiltanking plant in Channahon when he and another employee of Wood and Sons Construction were breaking down sections of an old truck weigh scale when a 10-foot section 1-inch rebar broke loose and hit him in the forehead, underneath his hard hat.

Worker Crushed at Nabisco Plant

October 13, OAK LAWN, IL - 62 year old Patrick Lynch was crushed to death in an accident at a Nabisco factory on Chicago's southwest side. Police and federal authorities still were trying to determine exactly what caused his death but the medical examiner's office ruled Lynch's death was due to compressional asphyxia resulting from an industrial accident.

Sanitation Worker Dies in Fall Under Collection Truck

October 12, SALISBURY, NC - 20 year old Caleb S. Shepard died early Tuesday after being run over by a garbage truck, according to the Highway Patrol. Shepard was hanging onto the back of the collection truck being driven by a co-worker and when the truck started to back up it appears Shepard fell off the back of the truck and was run over.

Electrical Accident Kills Worker

October 12, SNYDER, OK - 42 year old Mike Solomon of Marlow died Tuesday after suffering third-degree burns to 55 percent of his body in an accident Sunday. Two other workers who were also shocked are recovering from the accident. The men were electricians with Hertzler Electric of Duncan and were working at Martin Marietta Materials near Snyder when they were shocked.

Two Killed When Farm Equipment Hits Power Lines

October 12, PITTSGROVE TWP, NJ - 69 year old Grant Hitchner of Upper Pittsgrove and Ben Coleman of Elmer were killed when a combine came in contact with power lines. Coleman and Hitchner were using the combine to harvest wheat when it struck high tension wires, became energized, and caught fire, said Sgt. Julian Castellanos. According to police reports, Hitchner was trying to put out the fire and was electrocuted. Coleman, who was driving the combine, exited the vehicle to help Hitchner and was also electrocuted.

Cabbie Killed by Truck Trying to Cross Street

October 12, BRONX, NY - 62 year old Chan Park was killed when he was struck by a truck while trying to cross a street in Midtown. Park was taking a break and was attempting to cross the street but as he began to cross the street, the victim saw the pedestrian crosswalk light had changed and realized he did not have enough time to safely arrive to the other side of the street. But when he turned around to go back to the corner, just steps away from his vehicle, he slipped on the wet road and fell on his back.

Educator Dies Hiking With School Class

October 12, FAIRFIELD, ME - 66 year old Jeanne Lynch, an educational technician chaperoning a sixth-grade field trip on the Appalachian Trail has died after falling down an embankment on the trail near the town of Monson. School officials told the paper that about 75 sixth-graders were hiking on the trip and a few of them witnessed Lynch's fall. Lynch had been employed by the district for 11 years, and worked with special education students.

Electrical Worker Dies in Florida

October 11, DAYTONA BEACH, FL - 59 years old Wade Leonard Madole was killed Monday doing electrical work at a Port Orange business. Tonya Gilardi, spokeswoman for the Port Orange Fire Department, said Madole was with another worker when he touched a bare wire. Both workers thought the power to the wire had been turned off, she said.

Dupont Contract Worker Killed at Work

October 11, ORANGE, TX - 23 year old Matthew Etheredge died of blunt force trauma after apparently being struck by a rail car inside the Dupont plant in Orange. Etheredge was working on a railroad with several other workers, moving railroad cars on the tracks inside the plant. Etheredge apparently was struck by one of the rail cars and when workers weren't able to reach him via radio, they began searching for him. Co-workers found him unconscious near the edge of the railroad track. Emergency workers were called and began CPR but were unable to resuscitate him. Besides his full time work with Trans-Global Solutions, contracted to Dupont, Fire Captain Matthew Etheridge took pride in supporting his community as a volunteer firefighter in West Orange.

Worker Dies in Industrial Accident Blast

October 11, GARDEN CITY, KS - 48 year old Curtis Nicholson has died from injuries he sustained in an incident at a Kansas industrial plant October 7. Nicholson and another employee were injured when a plasma torch ignited vapors from barrels that had held hydraulic fluid. Finney County Undersheriff Andrews says that triggered a blast, which set Nicholson's clothes on fire.

Another West Virginia Coal Miner Dies on the Job

October 11, OAK HILL, WV - 56 year old William Dooley was killed at the company’s Kingston No. 1 Mine in Fayette County, W.Va. According to preliminary reports, Dooley had finished bolting a section of the mine roof at approximately 10:30 a.m. when a piece of rock fell without warning, striking Mr. Dooley. He was evacuated from the mine and transported by ambulance to Raleigh General Hospital where he was declared dead.

Worker Killed Making Repairs to Elevator

October 11, SOUTH BEACH, FL - 29 year old Edeleberto Fernandez was killed while trying to repair an elevator at an Ocean Drive building tower. Police said the man apparently lost his footing and fell behind the elevator. It's unclear how the man died.

Worker Electrocuted While Setting up Ride at Fair

October 11, COLUMBIA, SC - 43 year old Roger Thompson of Brooksville, FL was electrocuted while setting up a ride at the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia. Thompson was performing electronics work on The Rainbow ride when he was electrocuted about 3:30 p.m. Monday. He had been with North American Midway Entertainment for more than 20 years.

Man Killed on Central Illinois Construction Project

October 11, WASHBURN, IL - Authorities are waiting for autopsy results on a man who died while unloading a truck trailer at a central Illinois road construction site. Authorities said the man was having trouble unloading the trailer when its load shifted and fell on top of the cab where he was sitting. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the victim as 62 year old John Glidewell of Metamora.

Painter Dies in Fall From High Tension Pole

October 10, NEWARK, NJ - 38 year old Alontercilio Rodrigues of Newark fell about 75 feet to his death Sunday while painting a high-tension pole in Upper Macungie Township, authorities said Monday. Rodrigues was on a ladder painting the pole, which is in a cornfield, when he fell, Grim said. Rodrigues worked for Tower Maintenance of New York, which had been subcontracted by PPL, authorities said.

Man Killed in Industrial Accident

October 9, DENVILLE, NJ - 67 year old Charles Loeffler was killed Saturday afternoon when a piece of machinery he was operating crushed him, according to Denville police. Loeffler was moving a track-mounted probe - a piece of equipment used to bore samples from the earth's crust — into a garage when he was caught between the door frame of the garage and the machine, said Lt. Paul Nigro. His death has been ruled accidental.

Man Killed When Trapped in Cotton Farming Machine

October 9, BLAIR, OK - 42 year old Samuel Brown died Saturday on the land of a farmer for whom Brown was working. Officials say Brown was standing on top of a cotton compressing machine while operating it with a remote control. Somehow he became pinned inside the machinery. A couple of other workers found him trapped in the equipment, but they didn't know how long he had been there.

Farm Worker Dies In Tractor Rollover

October 9, SALINAS, CA - 26 year old Zenaido Perez-Lopez was killed when his tractor got struck in an irrigation ditch in a field north of Cooper Road, west of Highway 183. The tractor overturned and pinned Perez-Lopez underneath, deputies said. Investigators said they are trying to figure out what caused the tractor to get stuck.

Semi Driver Dies in Crash

October 9, VICTORIA, TX - 51 year old Barry Dean Phillips, an employee for Coffman Tank Services, was fatally injured Saturday morning after his tractor-trailer rolled on FM 407 and was struck by a pickup truck. He apparently ran off the road and then over corrected according to the Dept of Public Safety. The semi then rolled into a ditch.

Dentist Found Dead in Office, Likely Heart Attack

October 8, GALLATIN, TN - 40 year old Dr. Thomas Knapp, a beloved and quirky Hendersonville dentist, was found dead at his office Friday. Family members said he likely died as a result of a heart problem. Hendersonville police have not determined the cause of death and are waiting for a medical examiner’s report, Interim Chief Jim Jones said.

PA Man Killed on SD Construction Site

October 8, KIMBALL, SD - 40 year old Stephen C. McAdams of Wrightsville, PA was killed in a work-related accident at a wind turbine construction site Friday, according to authorities. McAdams was standing next to a pickup truck and talking to an occupant inside when he was trapped by a tractor-trailer trying to maneuver around the truck, Lt. Alan Welsh said. The driver of the tractor-trailer turned too sharply and its flatbed trailer loaded with rebar trapped McAdams against the truck and then ran him over, according to Welsh.

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