Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Store Owner Shot and Killed During Robbery

December 16, SUMMERFIELD, LA - 72 year old Brian "Butch" Bays was shot multiple times in the back during a robbery attempt of his store, Butch's Country Store and Bait Shop. Investigators are uncertain how much money was taken. Some money was left inside the store. A statewide alert has been issued for an older model white Oldsmobile occupied by two black males who are wanted for questioning in the deadly armed robbery.

Contractor Killed on Dam Construction Site

December 16, LANCASTER, PA - 59 year old Bruce Hardy of Bainbridge, a contractor employed by Walsh Construction, was killed Thursday morning when he was struck by a piece of construction equipment and wedged against the side of an excavation site at Holtwood Dam, according to state police in Lancaster. The contractors were working on a dam extension project, Thomas said, when a piece of equipment got stuck at the excavation site. A second piece of equipment was brought in to free the other one when a portion of the second piece of equipment swung and struck Hardy, police said.

Worker Shot and Killed by Co-Worker

December 16, MOUNT PLEASANT, TX - 35 year old Junior Lee Horton was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Vocational Opportunities Center of North East Texas by a co-worker. According to authorities, the gunman also killed his girlfriend at their home. It appears he was upset that her ex-boyfriend, Horton, had begun working at the same location. The gunman then sat in his truck and killed himself.

Trucker Killed in Crash

December 16, RICHLAND PARISH, LA - 48 year old Arliegh Myers of Dallas, TX died in an early Thursday morning crash on Interstate 20 in Richland Parish, according to Louisiana State Police. For unknown reasons, the semi went off the side of the Interstate, sideswiped another semi parked with a flat tire and then continued off the north side of the road, struck a culvert, overturned, and continued into the tree line before coming to rest.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash

December 16, REMINGTON, IN - 44 year old James Jones of Indianapolis was killed this morning in a two-semi crash on Interstate 65. Indiana State Police say another truck driver from North Carolina was traveling south and missed his exit. The driver then stopped and put the semi in reverse, and another semi driven by Jones hit the rear of the trailer. The driver and passenger of the semi who attempted to reverse on the roadway have been arrested.

Plant Employee Struck and Killed by Semi

December 16, HATTIESBURG, MS - 22 year old Justin L. Hawkins of Seminary, a maintenance worker at a Hattiesburg Marshall Durbin chicken processing plant was killed when he was hit by an 18-wheeler in the parking lot. Officials said Hawkins was standing in front of the 18-wheeler, which was moving very slowly. They said the driver didn't see Hawkins and ran over him.

Logger Killed by Falling Tree Limb

December 15, ATTICA, OH - 47 year old Steven E. Miller of Fredricksburg was killed Wednesday after being struck in the head by a limb while working in a privately owned woods near Attica. According to the Sheriff's office, it appeared a limb snapped off a tree Miller was cutting down with a gas-powered chain saw. The limb, which he estimated at 6 to 8 feet long, had been about 20 feet from the top of the poplar tree, which was estimated at more than 100 feet tall. Miller was owner of S. Miller Excavating, LLC.

Prison Officer Dies Suddenly

December 15, DEER LODGE, MT - 53 year old Kevin Stigen, Corrections Officer for Montana State Prison, died suddenly at approximately 11:30PM Wednesday evening while on duty. No cause of death has been given.

Painter Dies From Injuries Suffered in Accident

December 15, GALVESTON, TX - 35 year old Eric Sanchez of Hitchcock has died after suffering a crushing chest injury in a workplace accident Dec 1. Sanchez was operating a one-arm hydraulic lift while painting a building at the Pointe West subdivision when he became wedged between the bucket lift’s railing and a corner of the building, a fire official said. Co-workers found Sanchez, lowered him to the ground and called for help. Firefighters found him barely breathing but maintaining a pulse.

Ambulance Worker Killed While Helping Accident Victim

December 15, MONTGOMERY, AL - 29 year old Laura Elizabeth Pullam of Lowndesboro is dead after being hit by a vehicle while assisting victims of a wreck on Interstate 65 near Montgomery. Troopers say Pullam was helping victims of a crash when she was struck and fatally injured by a pickup truck Wednesday morning. Authorities say the truck was speeding and passing other vehicles that had slowed down because of icy road conditions.

Worker Dies in Explosion at Recycling Station

December 14, SOUTH BEND, IN - 45 year old Jonathan Atkinson was killed after welding materials sparked a small explosion and fire at the Green Tech Transfer & Recycling Station, according to fire investigators. Two other people suffered from burns and smoke inhalation during the explosion and subsequent fire in a machine shop at the recycling station at 2400 Green Tech Drive.

Worker Killed in Accident Involving Wood Chipper

December 14, RAINBOW, CA - 49 year old Martimiano Morales Carreon was killed Tuesday afternoon when he fell into a commercial wood chipper while clearing trees near an avocado grove in the Rainbow area of northern San Diego County, authorities said. Carreon, working with his adult son, was using his foot to push a large pile of branches through the chipper when he became entangled and was pulled into the machine. The son stopped the machine and pulled his father out, but he had suffered major trauma to his lower extremities and died at the scene, sheriff's officials said.

Border Patrol Agent Shot and Killed

December 14, NOGALES, AZ - 40 year old Brian A. Terry, Agent for the Border Patrol, was shot and killed in a gun battle Tuesday night came after agents spotted suspected bandits known for targeting illegal immigrants along a violent smuggling corridor, National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner said. The shooting occurred in the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, the busiest gateway for illegal immigrants into the United States.

Worker Killed by Falling Refrigerator

December 14, MILWAUKEE, WI - an unidentified man was killed when a refrigerator thrown from an upper floor of a building in Milwaukee hit him. Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz says a construction crew was clearing some contents of a building Tuesday when workers tossed the fridge off a balcony. She says they called out "All clear," but one worker walked out and was struck. UPDATE: Authorities have identified 33 year old Rafa Chmura as the worker who was killed.

Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

December 14, NEWBERRY, PA - 20 year old Jory Raber III of Etters was killed after being buried in a trench in the 700 block of Old Trail Road, which runs parallel to Interstate 83. He was trapped in a hole that was about 15 feet deep for more than 12 hours. Raber and another worker were in a trench to place a drainage pipe while a construction company owner, who is Raber's father, was above the trench using a track hoe.

Crash Kills Semi Driver

December 13, CEDAR FALLS, NE - 54 year old Robert Douglas Turnage died from injuries he sustained when his semi truck left the roadway and struck an embankment. Officials are not sure why the vehicle left the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Third Worker Dies as Result of Explosion

December 13, NEW CUMBERLAND, WV - 27 year old Steve Swain, an employee of AL Solutions, has died as a result of an explosion at the plant Dec 9, which also killed two brothers, Jeffery and James Fish. Swain had been in critical condition since Thursday's blast. His stepfather, Rick Holbrook, told WTOV of Steubenville, Ohio, that the family removed Swain from the ventilator. The incident is still under investigation.

Taxi Driver Found Dead

December 12, LONG ISLAND, NY - 19 year old Juan Rosario, an employee of 5 Star Taxi Service, was found dead in his taxi minivan with a gun shot wound to his head. A person who lives at the address that Rosario was sent to said no one there called for a cab.

Sheriff Deputy Hit and Killed by Motorist

December 12, WINTER HAVEN, FL - 60 year old Sgt. Wesley Whitmore, of the Polk County Sheriff Department, was fatally struck by an elderly motorist who authorities say had blacked out behind the wheel seconds before the crash occurred, Sheriff Grady Judd said Monday. Whitmore had pulled over a car and was exiting his vehicle when the other driver turned into the parking lot, veered out of control, struck the corner of an adjacent business and the business' owner before hitting Whitmore's patrol car, which hit the deputy.

Pawn Shop Owner Murdered

December 11, TOLEDO, OH - William Carswell was shot and killed Saturday afternoon. Authorities say an employee stepped out of the shop to buy some batteries, and left Carswell alone with two unknown men. When the employee returned several minutes later, he found the victim in the back room with a gun shot wound to his back.

Farmer Dies in Tractor Accident

December 11, GOODRICH, WI - 57 year old Rodney Bergmann died Tuesday following a tractor accident on Dec. 12. Taylor County Sheriff Bruce Daniels said officers responded at 8:27 a.m. Saturday to a report that Bergmann was pinned between the tractor and a tree limb while plowing snow.

Ski Patroller Dies of Heart Attack

December 11, JEFFERSON COUNTY, ID - 52 year old Steven Edward Yount died of a massive heart attack as he was on a ski lift doing maintenance, preparing for the opening of the Kelly Canyon Ski Hill. They were riding the chair lift when the incident occurred. His companion ski patrollers heard a noise and looked back to see him on the ground. Within minutes, they arrived on scene and started CPR. An autopsy concluded that the victim died of a massive heart attack.

Road Construction Worker Dies in Bulldozer Rollover

December 10, BAXTER, TN - 37 year old Jerry Ray Mathis died when the bulldozer he was operating on a steep embankment hit a small ledge, tilted back, and rolled end-over-end down the hill, says a report by Deputy Roy Phipps. When the machine began to roll over Mathis was thrown against the steel top cage and suffered a head injury and then was thrown out onto the ground, where other workers rushed to his aid, the report says. The accident happened off Highway 62 in the eastern part of the county near the Fentress County line on Friday.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Crash

December 10, ELK CITY, OK - 53 year old Steven Mitchell Campbell died a crash on State Highway 152 about 2.2 miles east of Sweetwater. Campbell was driving a tractor-trailer east when his rig hit an embankment and the trailer went over the top of the cab, the patrol reports.

Injured Worker Later Found Dead

December 10, DECATUR, AL - 48 year old Beverly Brown, an employee for Wayne Farms, was found on the locker room floor late Friday evening. A family member said Brown fell down several steps and attempted to get checked out by medical personal but was never seen. She was found later on the floor and was taken to Parkway Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Stable Owner Killed When Roof Collapses Under Heavy Snow

December 9, RIVER FALLS, WI - 58 year old Kenneth Swanson, owner of Planview Stables, was killed when the roof of a metal livestock structure collapsed under heavy snow, pinning him in the debris. Swanson's wife became concerned when he did not return from working outside. She discovered the building had collapsed but could not find her husband, said St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead.

Construction Worker Knocked Off Beam, Dies

December 9, SOUTH BRYAN, GA - an unidentified construction worker died when he was knocked off a beam while working on a new middle school in South Bryan. The man was standing on a concrete beam with a metal truss between his legs. A boom of a crane moved and a cable pulled the truss, which caught the man under his left thigh which caused him to be flipped off the wall and he landed head first on the concrete floor.

Worker Hit by Truck at Ship Channel

December 9, HOUSTON, TX - an unidentified female employee of Gulf Stream Marine was killed when the driver of a tractor trailer struck her after checking into the company's terminal near the Houston Ship Channel, officials said. The employee approached the rear of the tractor trailer and was marking the cargo to be delivered at the terminal, officials said. The driver proceeded forward and struck the woman, who was standing in between the rear tandems of the trailer. She died at the scene.

Man Found Crushed Inside Compactor

December 9, WHITHARRAL, TX - Timothy Duane Hanna of Littlefield died after he got trapped inside the truck's garbage compacting compartment. Hanna was the owner/operator of "Country Dumpsters" and had been contracted to remove garbage for the Whitharral School District. His truck was found parked behind the high school, where Hanna had been working.

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