Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Two Miami Officers Killed in Line of Duty

January 20, MIAMI, FL - Two Miami-Dade Police Officers trying to serve a murder warrant in Liberty City were killed in a shoot out Thursday that also killed the suspect. Police said the first officer, 21-year veteran Roger Castillo, had been shot once and died at the scene. The second officer, 23-year veteran Amanda Haworth, was taken to a hospital and later died from several gunshot wounds.

Worker Kidnapped and Killed by Patient

January 20, REVERE, MA - 25 year old Stephanie Moulton of Peabody, a residential counselor at a group home, was killed by a mentally troubled man who kidnapped her from the home. She was allegedly attacked and taken away from the facility sometime yesterday by the man. Her body was later found in a parking lot behind St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lynn. The group home in Revere is run by the North Suffolk Mental Health Association, under contract with the state Department of Mental Health.

Driver of Logging Truck Dies in Crash

January 19, HALIFAX, VA - 60 year old Carroll W. White of Martinsville died when another truck collided with his, causing his truck to overturn. The crash caused logs from White's truck to spill along the roadway. White was a driver for Triple "S" Trucking Inc. in Ringgold.

Logger Dies When Equipment Falls in Creek

January 19, SHERIDAN, OR - 44 year old Dan Fults of Albany, an Oregon logger, was killed when the heavy equipment he was driving fell into a creek while trying to cross a small bridge. Fults was operating a logging shovel near Sheridan on Wednesday when the equipment fell into Mill Creek. Deputies are investigating the cause of the accident.

Volunteer Firefighter Dies Fighting Blaze

January 19, BALTIMORE, MD - 43 year old Mark Balkenhan, a member of the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company and worked for the U.S. Secret Service, died Wednesday evening in a four-alarm apartment fire in the Parkville area of Baltimore County, Maryland, officials said. Firefighters had rescued a woman and were searching for more possible survivors on the second and third floors when a "flashover" occurred, according to the chief. A flashover is a powerful ignition of combustible materials.

Trucker Killed in Truck Rollover

January 19, METROPOLIS, IL - 58 year old Wayne F. Monds of Williamsport, PA died after his vehicle went off a southern Illinois interstate highway early Wednesday and overturned. Monds was westbound when his 2010 Freightliner tractor-trailer went off the left side of the pavement, hit several trees and came to its rest on the driver's side.

Worker Killed in Farming Accident

January 19, CHAMBERSBURG, PA - 44 year old Rodney Hawbaker died while working at a private farm in Franklin County. Officials said an employee of the Hamilton Township farm was apparently caught in an auger at the bottom of the silo. The incident occurred at around 9 a.m. in the 1800 block of Warm Spring Road.

Truck Driver Killed When Rig Overturns

January 19, RUSKIN, FL - 49 year old Adolfo Ramirez died when he lost control of his semi and it overturned. He failed to negotiate a curve, traveled off the left shoulder and overturned, troopers said. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Ground Zero Firefighter Dies

January 18, LONG ISLAND, NY - 55 year old William Quick, a 23 year veteran of the FDNY, who was on duty when the tragedy of 9/11 happened and spent a couple of months digging through the rubble of the aftermath, has died of a lung disease associated with his work at the site. He was forced to retire in 2003 after developing multiple lung infections. In the end, he was hooked up around the clock to a machine that gave him the oxygen that his lungs no longer could take from the air. He leaves behind a wife and 17 year old twins.

Gas Explosion Kills Worker, Injures Others

January 18, PHILADELPHIA, PA - 19 year old Mark Keeley, an employee of Philadelphia Gas Works was found dead in the rubble and others seriously injured in an explosion in the Tacony Section of Philadelphia. Workers arrived after a report of a gas smell to find gas bubbling up through the street. Without warning, the explosion occurred as crews were working to patch a high-pressure gas main break. The area had just been evacuated before the explosion.

Elementary School Teacher Found Dead

January 18, OSAWATOMIE, KS - Cindy Swartz, a gifted education teacher for Trojan Elementary School, was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon at Miami County Medical Center after she was found unconscious and not breathing in the vicinity of the building's main office. According to a press release issued by the school district that afternoon, Schwartz, a native of Iowa, has worked in the Osawatomie school district for 18 years. The cause of death is not known at this time.

Restaurateur Suffers Heart Attack
January 17, LAKEVIEW, IL - 48 year old Rich Hess, owner of Sheffield's restaurant/bar, died suddenly Monday night of a heart attack while at the restaurant. Hess was also a freelance writer working on a book about the Cubs.

Worker Killed as Truck Slams Into Door

January 17, PATTERSON, NJ - 34 year old Douglas Maresca of Lake Hiawatha was killed this morning after he stepped out to open the rear loading door and was struck by another truck, police said. A sanitation rig traveling on Wait Street slammed into his metal carting truck, forcing the bay door to close on top of him, according Lt. Alex Popov. Maresca had pulled up to the rear entrance of United Scrap Iron, a scrap yard on Wait Street. He died instantly.

Teen Delivery Driver Dies From Accident

January 17, RICHMOND, TX - 19 year old Jonathan Kokel, a Pizza Hut delivery driver, who was injured when his car went off the road and into a lake on Jan. 13, has died of complications due to near drowning. He was rescued from his car by a co-worker who saw the accident. Both teens worked for Pizza Hut in Katy.

Truck Driver Crushed in Accident

January 17, JESUP, IA - 54 year old Steven Rasey from Whitewater, WI, an employee for Wisconsin Plastic Drain Tile in Jefferson, was killed Monday morning in a bizarre accident on an Iowa farm when he tried to free his stuck semi-trailer using a skid loader and got caught between the two, authorities reported.

Trucker Dies When Train Hits Rig

January 17, MIDDLESEX, NJ - 64 year old Terry Hermort of Cumru Township, PA was killed in a crash of his truck with a freight train. Hermot was crossing a Norfolk Southern track when his truck was struck by a westbound train which pushed the truck's cab into a guide pole, police said. Mermot later died at the hospital.

Employee Dies of Natural Causes at Work

January 17, ALBANY, GA - 54 year old Lloyd Reed Graham, a 30 year employee for Miller-Coors, was found unresponsive and not breathing at his computer by another employee. Officials believe he died from natural causes but still intend to investigate.

Officer Dies in Shoot Out With Suspects

January 17, SOUTHFIELD, MI - 48 year old Livonia Police Officer Larry Nehasil was shot to death Monday night in an exchange of gunfire with two burglary suspects, one of whom also died, the Livonia police chief says. The two suspects were found trying to break into a home and when police tried to take them into custody, gunfire erupted.

Construction Worker Crushed to Death

January 17, HIGHLAND HILLS, OH - 45 year old Craig Mackovjek of Broadview Heights, was killed Monday in an industrial accident. After initial reports that he fell, Fire Chief Art Timmons said Mackovjek was working on a beam when he was crushed to death between the beam and lift. Mackovjek was employed by Berkshire Construction Co.

EMT Found Dead in Squad Building Driveway

January 16, RIVER EDGE, NJ - 37 year old Matthew Pellettere, a member of the River Edge Volunteer Ambulance Corp., was found unresponsive in the driveway of the squad building by other squad members. Responding to an emergency call around 9:40 a.m., Pellettere went to the squad building so he could ride with the ambulance, but he missed the rig. The cause of death was not known Sunday, and police said the incident is still under investigation.

Young Farmer Killed in Machinery Accident

January 16, HAYES, NE - 27 year old Jesse Korell, a Hayes Center Volunteer Fireman and former all state defensive end was killed in a farm accident Sunday afternoon after getting caught in a piece of farm machinery. Korell raised and operated his own cattle herd.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Two Semi Crash

January 16, SALEM, VA - 64 year old John Henry Murphy of Columbus, GA was killed when his tractor trailer was hit by another semi who crossed two lanes of oncoming traffic and into his lane near Salem. A man in the sleeper of the semi was taken to the hospital with injuries.

Trucker Dies in Crash During Snow Storm

January 16, WISCONSIN DELLS, WI - 43 year old Peter Ramanand, a trucker from the Bronx, NY, was killed after part of his rig plunged into Mirror Lake near Wisconsin Dells. It was snowing on Monday when their westbound truck went through a bridge on Interstate 90-94 near the Dells. Witnesses said the cab got wedged between two support pillars, while the trailer and its load scattered in the lake below. Ramanand's passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Farmer Crushed Under Hay Bale

January 16, LANCASTER, KS - 58 year old Rick Scholz died when he was crushed under a large round hay bale. The sheriff said Scholz apparently had gotten off the tractor and was trying to put the bale into a cattle feeder. He said the hydraulics on the tractor appeared to have failed, dropping the large bale on the victim.

DOT Worker Killed by Falling Tree

January 16, PRESTON, WA - 66 year old Billy Rhynalds, a 12 year veteran of the Washington State Department of Transportation, has died after being hit by a falling tree during a rain storm. Rhynalds was setting up safety cones to alert motorists to power lines knocked down by the storm when the tree fell on his truck and killed him.

Firefighter Dies During Training Exercise

January 16, SANDOWN, NH - 46 year old Harold Frey of Sandown, had a heart attack during an ice rescue training class. It happened on the Exeter River just before noon. The New Hampshire state fire marshal's office will be conducting an investigation into what happened.

Firefighter Dies at Firehouse

January 15, CHICAGO, IL - 51 year old Lt. Patrick Hannon, a veteran Chicago firefighter died of apparent natural causes after being found unresponsive at his firehouse quarters on the South Side Saturday morning. Lt. Patrick Hannon was given Advanced Life Support care and was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center where he died, according to Fire Media Affairs Dir. Larry Langford.

Construction Worker Found Dead on Work Site

January 15, GALVESTON, TX - 51 year old Christopher John Demangin, an electrician, was found shot to death Friday at a Galveston construction site. His body was found near a house he was helping rebuild at 714 Beluche, Galveston police Cpt. Jeff Heyse said. Police questioned two other construction workers at the site on Friday and at that time had been unable to find a weapon or identify a suspect.

Road Worker Dies After Fall

January 15, PHIL CAMPBELL, AL - 56 year old Charlie Huggins, a senior highways maintenance technician for the Alabama Department of Transportation, has died of injuries he sustained in a fall Jan. 10. During a bad snow storm on Spruce Pine Mountain, he apparently stepped off his grader, slipped and fell. He broke his neck and severed his spinal cord. Huggins leaves behind his wife and other close family.

Accident Kills Construction Worker

January 15, LOUISBURG, NC - 34 year old Ricardo Rios Telles of Princeton died Saturday when he was crushed by an excavator while working to install sewer lines. Telles and another worker were using an excavator to move a section of concrete pipe. Capt. Jason Abbott said the clothing of the co-worker, who was operating the machinery, became entangled in the controls. As a consequence, Telles was crushed between the excavator and the concrete pipe.

Worker Dies in Industrial Accident

January 14, AFFTON, MO - 50 year old Michael Muessig was killed Friday when he was pinned between two Skyjack industrial lift vehicles at a manufacturing facility for Kerry Ingredients and Flavours, officials said. Muessig was rushed to St. John's Mercy Hospital shortly after the 9:30 a.m. incident and was later pronounced dead, officials said.

Officer Dies as Result of Injuries

January 14, DALLAS, TX - In November 1996, Dallas Police Officer Kevin Marceau was attempting to chase down a hit and run driver who was attempting to leave the scene when he was struck by a vehicle and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He remained in a wheelchair and unable to communicate until passing away from complications of the injuries on January 14, 2011. He was 47 years old.

Veteran Officer Dies on Duty

January 14, MATTAPOISETT, MA - 60 year old Officer Paul Silveira died as a result of a brain aneurysm he suffered on Jan 6. He had just returned to the station house on Route 6 when he complained of not feeling well. He collapsed a short while later at the station. He and was immediately administered medical assistance from Mattapoisett EMTs and transported by ambulance to Tobey Hospital in Wareham. Silveira, a 27-year Mattapoisett Police Department veteran, was scheduled to retire in August.

New Jersey Officer Shot to Death

January 14, LAKEWOOD, NJ - Lakewood Police Officer 27 year old Chris Matlosz, of Toms River, was shot three times and killed during a routine stop of a pedestrian for questioning. Matlosz had stopped his patrol car in a residential neighborhood and had started to question a pedestrian when the man pulled out a handgun and opened fire shortly after 4 p.m., said Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch-Ford.

Zoo Animal Handler Dies in Accident

January 14, KNOXVILLE, TN - 33 year old Stephanie James, an employee for the Knoxville Zoo and handler of elephants, was accidentally killed when the elephant she was working with crushed her up against the wall of a stall they were in. The 26-year-old elephant named Edie was not acting aggressively and followed the desperate commands of another handler to move back, zoo officials said. James was rushed to the hospital but later died of her injuries. The elephant will not to punished as it is being viewed as an unfortunate accident.

Worker Killed on Marine Construction Site

January 14, SAVANNAH, GA - 52 year old Greg Royer was killed and another injured in an accident Friday while building a tugboat dock on the Savannah River. Royer was standing on a sea wall when a pylon fell from an excavator, struck and killed him. Royer was an employee of Myrick Marine, the company building the dock off Fig Island Drive, located off the back end of the Hutchinson Island race track.

Officer Dies After Collapse During Training

January 13, CORAL SPRINGS, FL - 27 year old Davie Police Officer Rogerio Morales collapsed during training for the department's Special Response Team and later died. Officials believe Morales, who was described as being very physically fit, may have had a heart attack, Davie police Sgt. Greg Gasse said on Friday. Morales collapsed while completing a physical agility test and was given first-aid by a Davie paramedic before paramedics took him to Cleveland Clinic, Gasse said. His death is being considered an in-the-line-of-duty death.

Firefighter Dies of Heart Attack

January 13, DOWNS, KS - 59 year old Jim Niles, Captain for Downs Volunteer Fire Department, suffered a heart attack and died while fighting a garage fire on Thursday afternoon. “He was still operating on scene when he was found to be unresponsive,” Kansas State Firefighters Association President Andy Moffitt said. “He was taken over to the Osborne County Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced.”

Farmer Killed in Accident

January 13, WICHITA FALLS, TX - 59 year old Jim Avis was killed when his tractor hit a high spot in the ground and he was thrown forward out of his seat. He was crushed by the moving tractor. Paramedics were called by family members and was pronounced at the scene.

Business Owner Dies in Fall

January 11, LODI, WI - 57 year old Mark Slack, co-owner of Slack's Jelly Farm, died after he fell 15 feet through a trap door while moving antiques from a second-floor storage area at the family business, just south of Lake Wisconsin and northwest of Lodi. The antiques, once a larger part of the business, were being moved to prepare for an auction, said his mother and co-owner, Ethel Slack.

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