Friday, December 31, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Grocery Store Owner Shot and killed in Robbery

December 30, ELAINE, AR - 76 year old Edmund Fong was murdered and his wife was shot and injured during a robbery Thursday. They were owners of Fong's Grocery Store. Police say Fong was sitting in his usual chair and possibly even sleeping when a female robber shot him in the head at his store in Elaine. His wife, 70 year old Mary, was also shot but survived and told police who committed the robbery/murder.

Worker Crushed As Load Shifts and Falls on Him

December 30, CHICAGO, IL - 23 year old Emilio Gallardo was crushed to death beneath 6,000 pounds of marble slabs at a Romeoville stone supplier this morning. Gallardo was inside a shipping container helping a forklift operator unload a bundle of marble slabs weighing 700 to 1,000 pounds each at around 9 a.m., when the load somehow landed on him, officials at Primus Natural Stone said.

Sanitation Worker Struck and Killed

December 30, COLUMBIA, NY - 61 year old Gilbert "Skeet" Welsh of Waterville died after being pinned under a garbage truck Thursday. Welch was picking up garbage on for his employer, Spohn’s Disposal Service out of Mohawk when a southbound tractor-trailer slammed into the back of his parked garbage truck, Herkimer County Coroner Dan Enea said. The impact caused the garbage truck to strike Welch, who was standing on the side of the road, the coroner said.

Gas Leak Leads to Explosion, Two are Dead

December 29, WAYNE, MI - 64 year old James Zell and 54 year old Leslie Machniak, both of Westland, were killed in an explosion at the William C. Franks furniture store leaving the store's owner in critical condition. A gas leak is being blamed for the explosion. Consumers Energy spokeswoman Debra Dodd said a two-inch pipe that was ruptured has been fixed, with a more permanent repair forthcoming.

Service Worker Hit and Killed by Trash Truck

December 29, LAWRENCE, KS - 24 year old Timothy E. Schonhoff died Wednesday when he fell and was run over by a trash collection truck near a rural Lawrence home. The driver of the Honey Creek Disposal truck was backing into a driveway to pick up trash and did not realize that Schonoff had fallen. Schonoff died at the scene.

Car Wash Employee Struck and Killed

December 29, ROCKVILLE, MD - 48 year old Gavino Euseda of NW Washington DC was fatally struck at work Wednesday and a co-worker was critically injured when a third employee apparently lost control of an SUV as he tried to drive it across a parking lot, Montgomery County police said. The vehicle dragged both men across a two-lane road, Friz said. The SUV then slammed the men into a telephone pole support wire and crashed into a curb, pinning the men under it. An investigation continues.

Worker Dies After Fall Into Quarry

December 29, DAUPHIN COUNTY, PA - 61 year old Robert Fishel of Dillsburg was killed after he fell into a quarry on the 2200 block of Paxton Street, police said. He was an employee of the quarry. Police said Fishel was unloading a waste management truck and it's possible the door or debris knocked him into the water. Police said they're not sure if Fishel died from the violent fall or if he drowned.

Delivery Driver Dies After Being Pinned by Truck

December 29, STAR LAKE, WI - 60 year old Donald J. Mietus of Eagle River died after he was pinned between a propane delivery truck and a wall of a building. The truck he was driving was an Amerigas LP Company of Eagle River and police say they believe he was making a bulk fuel delivery. He was an employee for Amerigas LP of Eagle River.

Teen Farmer Dies In Accident Involving Machinery

December 29, ARCANUM, OH - 16 year old John Warner was killed in a farm machinery accident on Wednesday. A preliminary investigation suggests that Warner’s outer clothing became entangled in the power take-off shaft of a manure spreader being used on a frozen corn field.

Social Service Agency Worker Killed in Crash

December 28, PRESQUE ISLE, ME - 61 year old Harold Walker of Caribou died and four other people suffered injuries when a van and pickup truck collided head-on in an accident Tuesday night, police said Wednesday. Walker and another Central Aroostook ARC employee were traveling with clients from Caribou to Presque Isle for an outing when the accident occurred. According to police, another driver apparently had lost control of her vehicle, crossed the center line and hit the van.

Store Clerk Shot, Left for Dead

December 28, KANSAS CITY, MO - a 24 year old college student from Sri Lanka was murdered while working at his job for Inner City Oil today. After an armed robber shot the young man after stealing merchandise and left him to die, a customer ignored him and stole money from the register. Another customer saw the student and called police. Police are using surveillance to try to identify both the robber and the customer who stole money.

Construction Worker Killed on Job Site

December 28, PELLSTON, MI - 61 year old Lee David Syckle of Prudenville died while constructing a new maintenance and emergency services building for the Pellston airport. Authorities believe workers were about to construct a wall at the site when scaffolding collapsed at about 3:30 p.m. Syckle worked as a mason for Grand Traverse Construction.

Trench Collapse Kills Worker

December 28, JACKSON TWP, OH - 50 year old Scott Beatty Sr., died after he was buried in a trench collapse of sand and soil while working in a hole on Cheryl Lane NW. His son was also buried up to his shoulders but he survived. Crews have been installing sewer lines for several months and both men were working for Bontrager Excavating out of Uniontown, OH.

Officer Killed Responding to Domestic Dispute Call

December 28, ARLINGTON, TX - 24 year old Officer Jillian Michelle Smith, of the Arlington Police Department, was responding to a call about domestic violence and was shot to death by a man who then shot and killed his ex-girlfriend before killing himself. An Arlington police spokeswoman says that it appears Officer Jillian Michelle Smith was shot as she was moving in the direction of the woman's 11-year-old daughter in an effort to protect her.

State Trooper Shot to Death During Traffic Stop

December 27, ATLANTA, GA - 38 year old Georgia State Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy died Monday night after being gunned down following a traffic stop in northwest Atlanta. After a brief chase, LeCroy got out of his vehicle and approached the car, and the suspect fired shots at him. GBI Director Vernon Keenan said three rounds were fired at TFC LeCroy, and one of them hit the trooper in the neck. He died on the way to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Security Guard Shot to Death Protecting Woman

December 27, PHOENIX, AZ - 34 year old Troy Cooley was shot and killed Monday after a gunman came into the Great Alaskan Bush Co. and started shooting. Cooley was a security officer and stood between one of the dancers and the gunman who had just threatened her. A witness said the gunman told the dancer "you're next" when the doorman stood in front of the dancer, and was shot and killed.

Nail Salon Owners Found Dead in Shop

December 27, BIRMINGHAM, AL - 60 year old Jacky Nguyen and his common law wife 50 year old Nhut Phan were found dead of gunshot wounds inside their Top Perfect Nails salon. Birmingham Police say a customer and an employee found the bodies Monday morning. Police say they are not sure if robbery was a motive or not at this time.

Pastor Electrocuted During Baptism

December 26, WACO, TX - 33 year old Rev. Kyle Lake who was performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after adjusting a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said. The woman being baptized apparently had not stepped into the water and was not seriously injured. Lake had been at the church for nine years, the last seven as pastor. He had a wife, Jennifer, a 5-year-old daughter and two 3-year-old sons.

Police Officer Shot in the Line of Duty

December 26, WOBURN, MA - 60 year old John "Jack" Maguire was shot and killed when he gave chase and tried to stop three men after they robbed jewelery from the Kohl's Department Store in Woburn. Maguire, a 34-year veteran of the Woburn Police Department, leaves behind his wife, Desiree, and two children. Officials said Maguire was shot at least four times. One suspect Maguire was trying to arrest also died and two other men have been arrested and charged with murder in Maguire's death.

Snow Plow Driver Killed in Crash

December 26, MT.OLIVE, NJ - 57 year old Richard Kise died Sunday when his truck ran off the road and hit a utility pole. Police said there is no evidence that weather played a role in the accident. “We suspect it may have been a medical issue, but we have no confirmation,” police said. His death is still under investigation.

Plow Driver Found Dead in Truck

December 26, BOXFORD, MA - Joseph Ferrick, believed to be in his 50's, was found slumped over in his plow truck on the Interstate 95 overpass on Endicott Street in Boxford just before 6 p.m. Police reported no accident in the wake of the heart attack, as it appears the truck was not moving at the time. It was unclear as of press time where Ferrick lived or for which plow company he worked.

Gas Station Clerk Shot and Killed During Robbery

December 25, PASADENA, TX - 22 year old Jaya Chanbra Elaprolu, an employee for Handi Stop Conoco Gas Station, was shot and killed by a masked gunman who came in to rob the store. Pasadena police said Elaprolu tried to run away from the gunman. He ran into an office at the back of the gas station. Investigators said the gunman shot at the office door, killing Elaprolu. The victim was a foreign student from Vijayawada attending the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Contract Employee Killed in Afghanistan

December 25, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - 40 year old Kevin Davis of Missouri City, TX died from injuries sustained during a rocket attack in Kandahar on Christmas Day. Davis, an employee for DynCorp International was hired to support the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP)contract. “Kevin lived and worked in a warzone to help support our troops – that kind of selfless courage is remarkable but too often goes unrecognized until the unthinkable happens. Kevin’s service to our military was heroic and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this difficult time.”

Texas Officer Suffers Heart Attack

December 25, UVALDE, TX - 55 year old Michael Ray Schaefer, a deputy for the Uvalde County Sheriff's Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while struggling with a 16-year-old female who was possibly under the influence of narcotics and alcohol. He and another deputy had responded to a domestic disturbance involving a fight between the girl and another family member. When they arrived at the scene they attempted to place the girl into custody but became involved in a struggle and struck Deputy Schaefer. As they placed the girl into a patrol car Deputy Schaefer collapsed.

Truck Driver Fatally Injured in Parking Lot

December 24, BATAVIA, IL - 53 year old Raymond VanPelt of Aurora, an employee for Black Horse Carriers trucking company, was killed in the parking lot of Aldi’s headquarters on Kirk Road. A preliminary investigation by Batavia police showed that a semi-tractor driver was backing up to a semi-trailer to move it elsewhere in the parking lot and did not see VanPelt walking behind the semi-tractor and accidentally backed over him. Black Horse is a contractor to Aldi and they share a parking lot.

Cab Driver Dies in Vehicle Collision

December 24, SAVANNAH, GA - 61 year old John Maynor, an employee for Executive Cab Co., died in a collision between his cab and an SUV Friday night. Metro Police investigators say Maynor was going west on Seiler Avenue and did not stop at the intersection. The SUV was heading north on East Broad Street and hit the cab. A passenger in the cab and the driver of the SUV were taken to a hospital for treatment and later released.

Texas University Police Officer Dies in Crash

December 24, HOUSTON, TX - 24 year old Ann O'Donnell of Galveston, a University of Houston Police Officer, was killed Friday when her cruiser struck a tree as she responded to a service call. O'Donnell was responding to a possible assault or kidnapping at the Wendy's restaurant on Scott Street Friday when her patrol car crashed into a tree. O'Donnell was the first UH officer to die in the line of duty.

Custom Car Shop Owner Found Dead

December 24, TORRANCE, CA - Joseph Gosinski, owner of Chicane Sport Tuning, was found murdered early Friday morning at his Torrance custom car shop and police say robbery was not the motive. Torrance police and the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office did not immediately report the cause of Gosinski's death, which was being investigated as a homicide, Hart said.

Worker Inspecting Blast at Mine Believed Dead

December 23, WEBSTER, FL - 35 year old Kenneth James Stephens Jr. is believed by officials to be dead inside the collapsed Mazak Mine, near state roads 50 and 471, in the area of Webster. According to officials, workers performed a routine blast to the lime pit just after noon Thursday. When Stephens approached the area to inspect, about 30 feet from the blast area, the ground gave in causing him to fall into the pit. There was no visible sign of Stephens when emergency crews arrived at 12:20 p.m.

Logging Accident Kills Worker

December 23, PILLAGER, MN - 35 year old Daren Rathcke of Sebeka was killed Thursday morning in the Pillsbury State Forest accident. Chief Deputy Tom Burch tells the Star Tribune that Rathcke was killed when he was struck by a tree he had been cutting down.

Officer Shot and Killed Making Arrest

December 23, ALBANY, GA - 39 year old Lt. Cliff Rouse of Camilla, was killed by gunshots fired from a 9mm Glock handgun at about 10 p.m. as he attempted to arrest a man for robbing the Pitt Stop convenience store, county police Chief Don Cheek said. When Rouse arrived, he saw a man running with a gun. Rouse an 18-year, seasoned veteran officer of the Dougherty County P.D., did not hesitate to follow the gunman into the nearby Nob Hill mobile home park. Shots were exchanged, and Rouse suffered a wound to the leg and a probably fatal shot to his abdomen just below his protective vest.

Construction Worker Crushed in Accident

December 23, SONOMA, CA - 28 year old Juan Carlos Villalobos of Glen Ellen was killed when he was struck by a dump truck at a Sonoma Valley construction company yard. Villalobos was fueling a small tractor at 7 a.m. when the driver of a dump truck began backing up and crushed him, CHP officials said. Both men were employed by John Benward Co., a Sonoma construction company.

School Bus Driver Suffers Heart Attack

December 22, PORT RICHEY, FL - 63 year old John Hayes, a Pasco County school bus driver, died after he had a heart attack while driving his bus route Wednesday. About 25 students were on their way to Dayspring Academy Wednesday morning when the school bus veered onto the sidewalk, over to some grass, then back onto the neighborhood street. Quick thinking older students were able to get the bus door open and a passer-by jumped on and was able to stop the bus. Hayes and his wife, Janet, have been foster parents and adoptive parents over the years. Two of their adopted children were on the bus.

Doctor Killed in Plane Crash

December 22, MAHWAH, NJ - 56 year old Dr. Michael S. Lippe of Mahwah, was killed in a plane crash near Barrington as he flew to Upstate New York to cover shifts at a hospital so that other staffers could spend Christmas with their families. He had been en route to Finger Lakes Health and Geneva General Hospital, where he worked for the past several months, family members said. Lippe's plane crashed amidst freezing rain and sleet, not far from his destination.

Worker Dies After Fall

December 16, UBLY, MI - 26 year old Matthew Johnson of Greenleaf Township who fell some 50 feet from a platform at the Rooster Ranch Hunt Club, died as a result of injuries he sustained in the fall. Johnson, who was working at the hunt club, was injured when he fell through a trap door on the platform where he was clearing snow. Police report he fell approximately 50 feet to the ground below.

Construction Worker Dies of Asphyxiation

December 12, CARROLL, IA - 55 year old Steve Weeks was found dead on a construction site in a building located near Highway 71 and Ely Drive after he went there to refuel a gas powered generator. It is suspected that Weeks died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Weeks was working for Rotert Construction who was using the generator to heat the concrete floor.

Following are other workers killed that were recently found:

September 26, MELVILLE, NY - Pedro Martir was crushed between a gold cart and trailer. He was employed with Thomas School of Horsemanship.

September 28, REDFIELD, NY - 35 year old David J. Taylor of Natural Bridge was pinned between two trees he had cut down. He was employed by Bryan Zehr Logging.

October 1, NEWLAND, NC - 53 year old Kenneth Wayne Benfield, an employee for Crescent Resources, was found in the water near his boat. He was not wearing a life jacket.

October 1, COLLETTSVILLE, NC - 51 year old Terry Douglas Key, an employee for Crescent Resources, was found in the water near his boat. He was not wearing a life jacket.

October 6, ELLENVILLE, NY - 60 year old Leland Wood, security guard for Renaissance Project rehabilitation center, was stabbed to death by a patient of the in-patient center.

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