Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Lunch Truck Owner Hit by Car

November 18, NEWARK, NJ - Jose Goncalves, owner of Joe's Cafe, a lunch truck, was standing with his wife outside of his lunch truck near Park and 7th St. when a speeding BMW slammed into him Thursday morning. He was taken to University Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead just before 9 a.m., said Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Missouri Man Hit and Killed on CA Job Site

November 17, MADERA, CA - an unidentified Missouri man, who was part of an excavating crew, was killed Wednesday in Madera when he was accidentally run over by a tractor, police said. The worker was standing near a large front-loading tractor about 12:45 p.m. when the operator put the tractor in reverse and ran over the man. He died of his injuries a short time later, police said.

Roofer Setting up Equipment Falls From Roof

November 17, SOUTH HADLEY, MA - 42 year old Brian LaBonte, a roofer setting up a chute to remove waste shingles, was killed when he lost his balance and fell from the roof of a commercial building at Village Commons on College Street, an official said. LaBonte was working for a company called J.D. Rivet Roofing of Springfield. OSHA and other officials are investigating.

Semi Driver Killed in Accident With Wrong Way Driver

November 17, CLINTON COUNTY, IL - 29 year old Jessica M. Williams of Old Town, FL was killed early Wednesday in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 64 at the Clinton County/Washington County line, Illinois State Police said. Another driver, going the wrong way on the interstate, crashed head on with the semi sending it over an embankment where it caught on fire. Williams husband, who was riding in the truck, was taken to an area hospital with serious burns.

Flight Instructor and Student Dies in Plane Crash

November 17, PAYSON, UT - 34 year old Jamie Bennee, a certified flight instructor for the Utah Valley University aviation training program, died when the plane he and a student pilot were in appeared to stall just before it plunged towards the ground. They said the engine restarted about 75 yards above the ground and the pilot appeared to be trying to pull the plane out of the plunge, but it was too late. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Truck Driver Looses Control and is Killed in Crash

November 16, LA GRANGE, KY - 46 year old Mark Miller died at University Hospital Tuesday morning after he was ejected from his work truck during an accident in Pleasureville, Jefferson County deputy coroner Larry Carroll said. He said some tires on Miller’s truck dropped off the road, and Miller over-corrected trying to get his truck back on the road. Kentucky State Police in Campbellsburg are investigating.

Construction Worker Crushed Under Equipment

November 16, KEARNEYSVILLE, WV - 42 year old Doug J. Lippincott of Pittsburg, PA was killed in a drilling rig accident Tuesday at the IRS Enterprise Computing Center in Kearneysville when an industrial-sized drill came loose and toppled onto him, officials said. Officials don't yet know why the drilling rig broke free from the main support beams of the truck and toppled over. Lippincott was working in the area at the time and sustained fatal injuries when he became pinned between the drilling rig and the ground.

Hospital Employee Crushed Under Materials

November 16, LIBERTYVILLE, IL - 26 year old Raymond Zalewa of Prospect Heights, an employee in the environmental services department of the Advocate Condell Medical Center, was killed when several sheets of heavier than normal lead-lined drywall fell on top of him in a hospital storage area, authorities said Wednesday. The lead-lined drywall sheets were used during renovation of an X-ray room. The incident is being investigated by OSHA.

Houston Tow Driver Killed

November 16, HOUSTON, TX - 38 year old George Soriano was killed Tuesday afternoon while towing a FedEx truck back to its distribution center, according to a news report. Soriano was killed at the building while towing the FedEx truck, although the details of what exactly happened are still being investigated. Officials say it appears to be a tragic accident, the report states. Soriano had just changed employment to another towing company because he was concerned about towing cars on busy highways, according to the report.

Road Worker Hit and Killed

November 16, BUFFALO, NY - 27 year old David Baldy of Hamburg was struck and killed by a truck along that stretch of highway just after 5 AM. Baldy was standing on the right side of the roadway when the accident happened. The work crew was using two arrow board to close the right lane, when a tanker hauling propane struck the paint truck.

Store Clerk Killed by Young Robber

November 15, ALGONA, MN - 47 year old Vicky Bowman-Hall, an employee of Crossroads Gas Station and Convenience Store and mother of 11, was murdered during a robbery by a 17 year old boy. After Bowman-Hall surrendered cash to the robber, he shot her, authorities allege. She later died at Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. She leaves behind a husband and children who range in age from 4 to 27. The young gunman is in custody.

Another Store Clerk Killed by Same Young Robber

November 15, HUMBOLT, MN - 61 year old Sheila Myers, an employee of the Kum and Go Convenience Store was murdered during a robbery by the same youth who killed another store clerk only hours earlier in Algona, MN. Myers also handed over money to the robber who shot and killed her. Myers died at the store where customers often stopped by to chat with the upbeat clerk.

Fish and Game Manager Found Dead at Lake

November 15, CASSCOE, AR - 63 year old Don McSwain, manager of the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, was found dead in Cook's Lake near Casscoe in Arkansas County, according to Arkansas County Sheriff Allen Cheek. Cheek said McSwain was found in the water near his boat with his truck parked and running nearby. A cause of death has not been determined at this time. Cheek said McSwain went to the area to load a boat.

Icy Road Causes Semi Crash

November 15, SHAKOPEE, MN - 32 year old Dana Ryther of Elk River died after he lost control on an icy highway ramp Monday near the Shakopee-Savage border, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. After hitting the side of the ramp, the tractor and trailer separated, leaving the trailer to block one lane of traffic while the cab rolled into the ditch, Savage Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Von Bank said. Ryther was crushed in the tractor and pronounced dead at the scene.

TX DPS Officer Killed in Wreck

November 15, AUSTIN, TX - Officer Jonathan McDonald was killed in a car wreck near Post late Monday night. McDonald was responding to a wreck in Garza County around 10:30 p.m. when he crashed his vehicle into a culvert about 2.5 miles south of Post. He is survived by his wife and a 6-month-old daughter.

Injured Corrections Officer Has Died

November 15, MEADVILLE, PA - 49 year old Gary M. Chapin of Conneaut Lake, a corrections officer at the Crawford County jail, who allegedly was assaulted at the jail last month, has died. Chapin was assaulted by an inmate on October 13. An autopsy is scheduled this afternoon in Erie to determine the cause and manner of death, Crawford County Coroner McHenry said. The inmate has been charged in Chapin's assault.

Tree Trimmer Dies in Chipper Accident

November 15, WALNUT CREEK, CA - 33 year old Antonio Barajas died Monday when he was loading tree debris into a wood chipper and a piece of rope also entered the machine, entangling the man and dragging him into the mouth of the chipper, Concord police Lt. Andrew Gartner said. "He wasn't actually sent through the chipper, he was in the opening of it," Gartner said. The Contra Costa Times reported that the accident happened while Barajas was working in a team of about eight workers.

Caltrans Worker Hit and Killed Along Highway

November 14, CHICO, CA - 57 year old Gary Wayne Smith, a veteran Caltrans employee who was due to retire next month, was hit and killed along Highway 99. Smith was rerouting traffic away from a fatal accident site that occurred earlier Sunday morning when he was hit and killed by a driver who did not heed the detour. The driver of the car who hit Smith was later arrested and booked into jail.

Truck Driver Dies After Losing Control of Rig

November 14, LUCILE, ID - 61 year old Harvey Atagi of Boise died when he lost control of the semi he was driving early Sunday morning on U.S. 95 near Lucile. Atagi was driving southbound at mile post 207 around 6:30 a.m. when he swerved for unknown reasons and over-corrected. He crossed the highway and crashed into the rocks on the northbound side of the road.

Construction Worker Dies From Fall

November 13, WEST CALDWELL, NJ - 43 year old Richard Peter DeMary of Rockaway was working on the roof of an office building Saturday in West Caldwell when he fell 35-feet through a skylight, the township’s police chief said. Responding officers found DeMary in a boiler room and helped others perform CPR until the West Essex First Aid Squad arrived. OSHA is investigating the incident.

Young Firefighter Killed in South Carolina

November 13, COLUMBIA, SC - 23 year old Chance Zobel was killed in the line of duty Saturday afternoon after being hit by a car on Interstate 20. Zobel and another firefighter were putting out a grass fire in the median of the interstate when they were hit by a Chevy Impala that had been rear-ended by a van. Both firefighters were rushed to the hospital where Zobel died. He was set to be married to his fiancee in April.

Construction Accident Kills Worker

November 13, SALEM, MA - 39 year old Juan Alvarado of Lynn died from crushing injuries Saturday when a 60 pound bag of gravel broke free, fell three stories and hit him on the head. The bag was being hoisted up when it somehow broke free and fell. Alvarado was part of a crew of construction workers repairing the building's roof. The incident remains under the investigation of Salem PD and OSHA.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Crash

November 13, MIDDLE PAXTON, PA - 37 year old Jose Lopez-Vazquez of Wilmington, DE died when the tractor-trailer he was driving went off the highway near Mountain Road and rolled about 100 yards hitting trees and telephone poles, troopers said. Lopez-Vazquez was a driver for Chester County-based Manfredi Mushroom Inc.

Store Clerk Shot & Killed for $11.

November 12, SPENCER, NC - 20 year old Dee Rios managed to hit the store's panic button and tell police the suspect was a black male before she was taken to the hospital where she later died of a gunshot wound to the neck. The man reportedly only got away with about $11. Rios was shot and killed early Friday morning at the convenience store Latin Mix (formerly Real's Varieties) on North Salisbury Avenue.

Worker Dies After Being Knocked Into River

November 12, MEMPHIS, TN - 36 year old Rene Mendez died Friday after falling near the Thomas Street bridge over the Wolf River. Memphis police spokesman Vince Higgins said a crane malfunctioned and knocked Mendez into water behind a coffer dam built as part of construction work being done at the river bridge.

Worker Dies After Falling From Height

November 12, PITTSFIELD, IL - 41 year old Paul E. Ruble, of rural Nebo, died after a fall from a cat walk early Friday at Pike Feeds in Pittsfield. Authorities said Ruble fell while loading a tandem truck with feed. The accident remained under investigation by the Pike County Sheriff’s Department.

Worker Dies in Golf Maintenance Accident

November 12, BELFAIR, SC - 24 year old Joseph Belesky of Bluffton died Friday morning when he drove a utility vehicle under a parked semitrailer used to haul pine straw, authorities said. "He was operating a John Deere Gator and ran up underneath a parked, 40-foot box trailer," Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said. "The vehicle was pinned under the trailer.

School Bus Driver Dies at the Wheel

November 12, AUSTINTOWN, OH - 62 year old John "Jack" Cabot of Canfield, died at the wheel Friday morning as he was taking 51 high school students to the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center. The bus steered off the road, running over a sign and into a tree outside of 5938 Kirk Road, before it stopped. The nine students aboard "an unbelievable job organizing themselves and getting off the bus" said the school superintendent. They were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.

Game Officer Shot Trying to Stop Poacher

November 11, GETTYSBURG, PA - 31 year old David L. Grove, a Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation officer, was killed Thursday in a shootout with a poacher. Grove was patrolling late Thursday when he heard shots and noticed a pickup truck on the side of a two-lane road that had a spotlight focused on a field just south of Gettysburg. Grove ordered the driver from the truck and tried to handcuff him, authorities said but the driver, a convicted felon, pulled a gun and opened fire. The officer shot back but was killed. The suspect has been arrested and charged with murder.

Man Hit by Airport Tram Identified

October, HOUSTON, TX - in our blog for Oct 26 we reported an unidentified individual that was hit and killed by an airport tram in Houston. 57 year old Travis Turner was the person who was killed in this accident. We regret not seeing an alert with an update at the time this happened.

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