Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Store Employee Murdered by Ex Boyfriend

February 10, QUEENS, NY - 32 year old Guimmia Villia, a cashier at Crescent Chemists pharmacy and mother of two, was shot to death inside the pharmacy Thursday. A witness says the suspect entered the pharmacy, handed the victim a bouquet of flowers, and then shot her in the head. The suspect was later found dead in an apartment of a self inflicted gunshot wound.

County Supervisor Killed in Road Accident

February 10, TYLERTOWN, MS - 83 year old Travis Alford, a longtime Walthall County supervisor died Thursday after being hit by a truck while he was trying to clear a tree from a county bridge. Alford was hit about 6 a.m. when the driver of a truck tried to dodge the tree and apparently didn't see Alford in the road.

Worker Dies After Altercation at Work

February 10, CANONSBURG, PA - 34 year old Trevor Casey Compton died of a gunshot wound after being shot by one of his co-workers during an altercation at Rosenbloom Welding. Police report that there was a fight in the welding shop between two co-workers including the alleged shooter and another man. Compton died at a local hospital. The man identified as the shooter was sitting on the floor of the welding shop when police entered the building.

Worker Crushed Under Metal Racks

February 9, PORTLAND, OR - 25 year old Jeromy Judd was killed when a rack of beer kegs collapsed onto him at the Maletis Beverage beer distributing plant. The accident happened inside a cooler where kegs are stored and an investigation is under way, according to a spokeswoman from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Judd reportedly died of head injuries.

Two Killed When Tractor Trailer Overturns

February 9, CUMBERLAND CO, TN - 41 year old Walter L. Burkins Jr. of Memphis, TN and 27 year old Anthony Terrance Anderson were killed when their tractor trailer crashed. Burkins was driving the semi carrying U.S. mail when it swerved three times and ran off the right side of the interstate. It then went into a ditch, hit a tree and overturned, pinning Burkins and Anderson. Anderson was in the sleeper compartment when the crash happened.

Driver Dies in Single Semi Crash

February 9, SALEM, IL - 52 year old Daniel J. Richer of Bristow, OK died after an incident on I-64 Wednesday afternoon in Wayne County. Authorities say Richer was westbound on I-64, when for unknown reasons, his semi-truck tractor-trailer swerved off the roadway to the right and came to rest on the north side of I-64. His death remains under investigation.

Security Guard Hit and Killed by Out of Control Van

February 9, SANTA CLARITA, CA - 52 year old Julio Garcia of Reseda, a security guard, was hit and killed by a van whose driver had blacked out and lost control of the vehicle. Paramedics from the Los Angeles County Fire Department treated Garcia at the scene of the crash before he was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in critical condition where he later died. Garcia was a security guard at the Valencia Industrial Center where the CBS television drama “NCIS” was being filmed.

Gas Pipeline Explosion Kills Contract Worker

February 8, MONT BELVIEU, TX - Rick Shaw of Baytown was killed in a gas pipeline explosion and fire at a Houston-area petroleum plant, officials confirmed Wednesday. "One of the workers that was working with him said he was in the middle of the gas cloud when it happened, so I don't really think he got out," said Shaw's brother, Mark Shaw, of Baytown. "It was a big fire." Shaw was hired by Louisiana based Turner Industries working at the Enterprise Products storage plant in Mont Belvieu.

School District Employee Hit and Killed

February 8, DUBUQUE, IA - 33 year old Lawrence Steven "Junior" Brehm, an employee for the Dubuque Community School District, was killed when he was struck by one of the district’s snowplow trucks. Brehm,was working outside the district’s buildings and grounds department in a parking lot. Brehm was an electrician in the Maintenance Department at DCSD and had been employed since 2005.

Worker Hit and Killed Alongside Roadway

February 8, LOUISVILLE, KY - 53 year old Dannye R. Allen was killed when he was hit by a box truck while working on an environmental cleanup along Interstate 71. Even though it was a safe zone on the highway, police say a box truck in the fast lane came up on a slow moving pick-up and veered right into the work area hitting Allen. Two other workers were hurt. One of them told Allen's family he tried to push them out of harm's way.

Construction Worker Struck by Metal Beam Killed

February 8, GLENVIEW, IL - 43 year old Kenneth Puplava of Portage, IN, was killed Tuesday when he was struck by a metal beam at the site of a new medical office building at Glenbrook Hospital, officials said. The project was being helmed by Chicago-based Pepper Construction Group.

Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

February 8, CUMMING, GA - 20 year old Aaron Banks of Covington died Tuesday afternoon after he was buried in a trench collapse at a new home site off Trammel Road. Bystanders were able to free Banks' head from the dirt but emergency workers were not able to free him until about 40 minutes after he was pronounced dead. It is unclear who he worked for. The accident investigation has been turned over to OSHA.

US Worker Dies in Afghan Blast

February 8, KANDAHAR, AFGANISTAN - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement released late Tuesday in Washington that David Hillman, a Western New York native and retired customs officer who had worked for the U.S. government for 30 years, died in the blast at the Inland Customs Warehouse in Kandahar. Afghan police said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the city's customs house compound during a visit by NATO forces. It is not clear where Hillman's home is in the United States.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Rollover Accident

February 8, NEEDLES, CA - 55 year old Michael Goodman of the Virgin Islands was killed and his passenger injured after he lost control of the big rig and it overturned along Interstate 40 about 50 miles west of Needles, say California Highway Patrol investigators. "Mr. Goodman lost control of his vehicle and overturned onto the center median," investigators said in a written statement.

Construction Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

February 8, STUDIO CITY, CA - 33 year old Javier Bautista-Cruz died Tuesday when he became trapped up to his neck when a trench he was working in collapsed around him. No other construction workers at the site, near Mulholland Drive and Coldwater Canyon Avenue, saw the collapse happen. Rescue crews used a vacuum to remove the soil on top of him, but it was too late.

Worker Dies When Clothes Become Tangled in Equipment

February 8, ROCHESTER, WI - Kyle Wene of West Allis died Tuesday after his clothes apparently got caught in a piece of machinery at the Rochester plant of Green 46 Recycling. Wene was working on a conveyor belt used to process asphalt shingles for recycling. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Dan Klatt says that the belt apparently caught Wene's clothing and choked him. His death is being investigated.

Two Construction Workers Fall to Their Death

February 8, UPPER WEST SIDE, NY - 49 year old Brett McEnroe of Dover Plains and 51 year old Roy Powell of New Paltz, both iron workers, died Tuesday morning after they fell from a fifth floor through an open elevator shaft at a church construction site where they were installing steel, authorities said. The city's buildings commissioner, Robert LiMandri, said it appeared the workers did not have proper fall protection, including harnesses, safety netting or a support platform. McEnroe and Powell were working on a planned expansion of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Three Killed in Deadly School Bus/Semi Crash

February 8, JACKSON, MS - At least a dozen high school students were taken to hospitals and three adults were killed when a tractor-trailer sideswiped a school bus and collided head-on with another school bus from Ackerman High School Tuesday on a highway bridge in north Mississippi. Those who died were school bus driver 37 year old Steven B. Moss of Ackerman, teacher 53 year old Phyllis Andrews Graham of Eupora and the driver of the semi was 54 year old Gary T. Bailey of Mantachie, MS. The buses were carrying 57 seniors from Ackerman High School and were returning from a visit to the University of Mississippi.

Tow Truck Driver Struck and Killed

February 7, EL DORADO HILLS, CA - 27 year old Michael Robert Sanders was struck and killed while helping a motorist on westbound Highway 50 west of El Dorado Hills Boulevard during the Monday evening commute. Sanders was operating the controls on the left, traffic-facing side of the tow truck when a white box truck in the right lane drifted to the right and struck the left rear corner of the bus at or near full speed, according to police. The impact carried the box truck along the left side of the bus and into the tow truck driver, who died at the scene.

Store Owner Killed During Robbery

February 7, BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Roy DeVoe, owner of Roy T. Jewelers, was shot and killed during a robbery attempt before the suspect turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. Authorities on Monday night were not releasing any other details about the 4:45 p.m. incident at jewelery store in the Bridgewater Towne Center on Route 202, said Jack Bennett, a spokesman for the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

Worker Killed When Pulled Into Machine

February 7, CENTER, CO - 53 year old Glen Pullins of Moffat died in an industrial incident at Power Zone Equipment in Center. According to witnesses at the scene, Pullins was working on a piece of machinery outside the shop and became entangled in the power take off portion of the machine. This happened very quickly. By the time the machinery was turned off by co-workers, the man had died. Investigators believe Pullins' coat sleeve was caught by the moving parts of the machine and he was pulled into it.

Oil and Gas Worker Dies of Unknown Injuries

February 7, BIG SPRING, TX - 32 year old Anthony Bryan Mora, possibly of Abilene, died Monday at a gas and oil site in Big Spring being run by Canada based Trinidad Drilling. Company officials have declined to comment on Mora's death or any circumstances saying Occupational Safety and Health officials are investigating.

Lumber Company Employee Killed in Industrial Accident

February 7, DeWitt, NY - 35 year old Thomas O. Pelton of Camden died at a DeWitt lumber business Monday. Pelton was changing blades on a cutting machine at B&B Lumber Co. shortly before 5:30 a.m. when another employee started the device, Chief Eugene Conway said early this afternoon. The worker did not realize he had started the machine and was unable to stop it before Pelton was fatally hurt, Conway said.

Worker Dies After Fall Off Forklift

February 6, HAZELWOOD, MO - 53 year old Donald C. Mitchell of St. Louis was fatally injured as he operated a forklift at Supervalu Distribution Center on Sunday. A witness told police he heard a commotion and was hit by falling boxes of soup. He then saw Mitchell being thrown off the forklift. He saw his body hit a rail and his head and back hit the floor. Mitchell was able to sit up right after it happened. He was talking and in pain when he was loaded into an ambulance, but he died of his injuries less than three hours later, police added.

Highway Patrolman Crushed When Cruiser Hit

February 5, OLD WESTBURY, NY - 44 year old Michael Califano, an officer for Nassaw County Highway Patrol was killed when his cruiser was hit from behind during a traffic stop. Califano, with lights running, had pulled over a vehicle for having insufficient lights when he was hit from behind by a flatbed truck. The impact propelled the cruiser under the stopped truck while the flatbed truck mounted the cruiser, trapping Califano inside. Califano later died at the hospital.

OH Officer Dies Due to Work Related Injury

February 5, STOW, OH - 47 year old Jonathan V. Bastock, Stow Patrol Officer and FOP Treasurer, died unexpectedly in the hospital after a surgery for a previous work related injury. Bastock was on injury leave for knee surgery a few weeks ago. The chief said he "tore up his knee on a call" in early January.

Farmer Killed When Tractor Flips on Top of Him

February 5, MOBILE, AL - 70 year old Elmer Hultquist, a farmer, was working Saturday to clear trees from his land when his tractor flipped over pinning him underneath. He died at the scene.

City Worker Suffers Heart Attack While Clearing Snow

February 5, CHICAGO, IL - 60 year old William "Billy" King died while shoveling snow while working on Saturday. King suffered a heart attack while clearing the snow from around trash cans on his northwest side garbage route. King worked for the city for more than a decade.

Worker Dies After Fall Into Scalding Hot Pit

February 4, FOUNTAIN INN, SC - 29 year old Jared Lee Rousey of Greenwood suffered fatal burns early Friday when he fell into a superheated pit at a Laurens County plant, according to the coroner. The accident happened as Rousey was preparing a heat treatment that is used to treat metals which involved dumping salt into a pit that is heated to extreme temperatures, according to Nichols. Rousey was alive after the accident and managed to get himself out of the pit but died later as a result of burns.

Service Technician Struck and Killed by Another Driver

February 4, PALATKA, FL - 29 year old Jason D. Wisham, a service technician for AT&T, was killed Friday morning when a van hit him as he was working alongside a road in Bradford County. Wisham was on the south side of State Road 100 near Starke working at the base of a utility pole when he was struck.

Building Superintendent Stabbed to Death

February 4, BROOKLYN, NY - Shayne Sinclair, a Flatlands building superintendent, was stabbed to death by a violent thug inside the building which is between Avenues K and L. The suspect remains on the loose.

Semi Driver Drowns After Crashing Into Creek

February 3, OWNINGSVILLE, KY - 56 year old Michael Dean Hall of Stauton, VA died when his tractor-trailer crashed into an eastern Kentucky creek. Hall's body was found Thursday evening in the creek about 100 yards from where the truck went into the water. Police told WLEX-TV in Lexington that Hall was on his way to Detroit with a load of automotive parts.

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