Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Delivery Driver Killed in Robbery Attempt

February 17, ST. LOUIS, MO - 40 year old Truman L. Smith, a delivery driver for E & K Truck Service of St. Clair was shot and killed in a robbery attempt Thursday morning. He was about to make a delivery when he exited his truck to check the address. He was then accosted by the robbery suspect who shot him and ran off. Smith was pronounced dead at Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in East St. Louis.

Firefighter Dies Months After Being Struck by Burning Tree

February 17, FRANKFORT, KY - 58 year old Donald S. Lam, an employee for the Kentucky Division of Forestry, who was injured while fighting a fire on September 7, 2010 has died of his injuries. Lam was clearing a fire break when a burning tree truck rolled off a bluff and struck him from behind. The blow left Lam unconscious with serious injuries, including second-degree burns. He had been hospitalized in critical condition since the accident.

Semi Driver Dies in Truck Crash

February 17, LEXINGTON, KY - 56 year old David A. McHenry of Massillon, OH died when his tractor trailer, belonging to LoriMar Materials Management of Massillon, left the roadway, went over a ravine and overturned. First responders reported that McHenry was able to communicate while at the scene for a short period of time and reported that he had fell asleep at the wheel. Moments later, McHenry's condition become critical and he later died from injuries sustained in the collision.

Construction Worker Struck by Car

February 17, CLIFTON, NJ - 44 year old Albert Marques of Staten Island, NY, an employee for JM Construction Co., was killed early Thursday morning when he was hit by a car on the Garden State Parkway, police said. Marques was crossing the roadway near a construction site at the Colfax Street overpass about 1:40 a.m. when he was hit in the center lane by a car, according to a State Police press release. The left of the parkway was closed for construction.

Farm Supply Worker Killed When Pinned by Car

February 17, MOREHEAD, KY - 48 year old Billy G. Bowling, an employee for Eldridge & Son Farm Supply, was killed when the driver of a car backed into him and another man, pinning them between the car and a dump truck. Witnesses said the two men were preparing to load goods into the trunk of an automobile inside a storage building when the auto was backed into the building, pinning both of them to the front of the truck. The other employee hit is listed in critical condition.

Semi Driver Found Dead After Crash

February 17, KICKAPOO, IL - 75 year old Donald E. Steidinger of Fairbury was found dead, partially submerged in a ditch after a crash Thursday morning. His truck had crashed into the ditch after apparently exiting a parking area behind a cafe, and the cab of the vehicle blocked visibility of the area where his body was found which may explain why he wasn't found for up to six hours after the crash. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Steidinger suffered from some type of medical condition that led to the crash, or from drowning in the ditch.

Deputy US Marshall Shot Serving Warrant

February 16, CHARLESTON, WV - 24 year old Deputy Derek Hotsinpillar was killed and two others were wounded Wednesday in West Virginia when a drug suspect opened fire on them with a shotgun and then was shot dead, authorities said. "Immediately upon entry into Smith's residence, three deputy marshals were fired upon by a shotgun blast and struck," US Marshall spokesman Oney said. "Deputies returned fire on Smith and he was shot dead on the scene."

Woman Strangled When Scarf Caught in Industrial Dryer

February 16, QUEENS, NY - 32 year old Limin Min Huang, an employee for An Huan Laundry Service, was crushed yesterday when her scarf became caught in the machine, police sources said. Huany was loading towels into an industrial steamer at a Queens dry cleaner and apparently forgot she had on a scarf that was caught on the machine which pulled her in.

Offshore Worker Dies After Fall Off Platform

February 16, LAKE CHARLES, LA - Joseph Bruno of Breaux Bridge died after he was pulled from the Gulf waters after falling from a Apache Corporation platform. Bruno was on a swing rope, moving from a vessel to a platform when he fell into the Gulf waters. Apache reported he was wearing a flotation device and other workers were able to pull him from the water alive. But then he became unresponsive and soon died on the platform. Bruno was a fire watcher for H.I.S. Fire and Safety Company out of Delcambre. Apache Corporation had hired H.I.S. to do maintenance work on its platform this year.

Woman Killed in Farm Equipment Accident

February 16, HERMITAGE, VA - 53 year old Debra S. Clive died in a farm equipment accident on the family farm in Swoope. Trooper Hyden said Cline was in a barn installing a plow onto the end of a tractor operated by her father. Something caused the tractor to lurch and its tire ran over Clive. She died en route to the hospital.

Worker Killed in Accident at Steel Mill

February 16, CANTON, OH - 57 year old Arthur Smith of Lorain died from massive chest injuries sustained while working at Canton’s Republic Engineered Products Wednesday night, according to Stark County Coroner’s Office investigator Richard Walters. Smith, a contractor with Superior Environmental Solutions, was trapped when a hydraulic truck door came down on top of him.

Store Owner Shot to Death in Robbery Attempt, Saved Wife

February 15, MIAMI GARDENS, FL - 35 year old Salim Ullah, co-owner of Fast Cash and Urban Wear, was fatally shot during a robbery attempt. Two suspects entered the store, asked for money and then shot Ullah twice. They then turned their guns on Ullah's wife but before they could fire he threw himself in front of her taking two more bullets, but saving her life. Ullah had one final message for his wife, saying “I will see you in heaven” before the rescue helicopter took off.

Aspiring Young Schoolteacher Collapses in Classroom

February 15, FLINT, MI - 28 year old Angel Bauswell, died Tuesday morning after collapsing in the classroom at Neithercut Elementary School in front of 14 students. Family members said they were blindsided by her death, because she was young and had no history of medical complications. With her heart set on becoming a teacher she spent her days working with 4-year-olds as a paraprofessional in a prekindergarten class and her nights studying early childhood education at Mott Community College. An autopsy will be performed to determine actual cause of death.

Farmer Dies Under Farm Tractor

February 15, SLOCOMB, AL - 68 year old Louie Williford died in a tractor accident while he was spreading fertalizer on a cattle pasture at his farm located on Grant Road off of Alabama Highway 103. The local coroner said he found the tractor up against a tree on the property, and part of Williford’s body underneath the tractor.

Truck Driver Dead Before Crashing Into House

February 15, LANCASTER, PA - 47 year old John Brasher of Bridgeport died of natural causes prior to crashing into a house along Route 30 and not from injuries he sustained in the Tuesday crash. Brasher was hauling 24 tons of garbage when police said his truck hit at stone walkway, several signs along the road before crossing three lanes of traffic and crashing into a parked car and porch of the house.

Officer Directing Traffic Hit and Killed

February 15, UNIONTOWN, OH - 46 year old Daniel P. Stiles, Uniontown Police Captain, died Tuesday morning after being struck by an SUV as he was directing traffic for Lake Center Christian School just before 8 a.m. Stiles was wearing a fluorescent jacket while he directed traffic but the possibility of sun glare made have contributed to the driver not seeing Stiles.

Industrial Accident Kills Worker

February 15, MOORESTOWN, NJ - 52 year old Robert Durocher of Merchantville, NJ, an employee for Mayberry Rigging was killed Tuesday morning when a truck trailer he was repairing fell on top of him, police said. Durocher was working under the equipment-hauling trailer at 10:55 a.m. when the undercarriage fell and crushed him. He suffered fatal head and chest injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

U.S. ICE Agent Killed in Ambush in Mexico

February 15, MEXICO - Jaime Zapata, a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent, was killed and another wounded while driving through northern Mexico Tuesday, in a rare attack on American officials in this country which is fighting powerful drug cartels. Zapata was on assignment from the office in Laredo, Texas, where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force.

Worker Crushed Between Pieces of Equipment

February 15, NORFOLK, NE - 24 year old De'Andra Moore of Battle Creek was killed Tuesday at Norfolk Iron and Metal warehouse. Sheriff's investigator Jon Downey said a forklift accidentally hooked a large steel tray and pushed it into Moore, crushing him momentarily between the tray and a steel rack.

CHP Officer Killed in Crash

February 15, MENDOCINO, CA - 24 year old Thomas Adams, a CA Highway Patrol Officer, was killed while on patrol when another vehicle crossed the center line and hit his cruiser head-on. It is unclear at this time when the other vehicle veered into Adams' lane.

Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

February 15, CUMMING, GA - 20 year old Aaron Banks of Covington became trapped in a trench in Forsyth County Tuesday but died by the time rescuers were able to reach him. Forsyth County Fire Department Capt. Jason Shivers said the 20-year-old man was buried under dirt in the trench on Trammel Road near Buford Highway.

Worker Dies in Industrial Accident

February 14, WILLIAMSPORT, PA - 21 year old Darryl E. Richards was killed when he became trapped in an auger at Eastern Wood Products,township police Chief William C. Solomon said. At the start of his shift Richards was assigned to the auger at the east side of the building," Solomon said. "He was grinding up scrap wood and feeding it to the incinerator." "Something got stuck in the auger and when he tried to free it up, his clothing got caught in there," Solomon said. He was working alone at the time.

Forest Worker Clearing Brush Found Dead

February 14, CLEARWATER, WA - Sam Gaydeski of Beaver, WA, a member of a pioneer West End family was killed while on the job clearing brush for the Department of Natural Resources. His body was found late Monday. He apparently was killed by the blade of his brush cutter, said Jefferson County Sheriff's Chief Criminal Deputy Joe Nole. Gaydeski was clearing weeds near the side of a DNR road, he said.

Maintenance Worker Pinned by Truck Dies

February 14, FAIRVIEW, NJ - Jeffrey Daus, a longtime mechanic for the Department of Public Works as well as a volunteer fireman, was killed after the garbage truck he had been driving pinned him against the wall of a public works building on Fairview Avenue on Monday morning, authorities said. The Fairview police, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Unit and the Bergen County Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit were looking into how the accident occurred, authorities said.

Driver For Blood Center Dies of Medical Event

February 14, ROCKFORD, IL - 61 year old Thomas Washington died on his way to a blood drive event. An employee for a local blood center, Washington, was driving a truck to an event when he suffered a "cardiac event" according to the local coroner's office. Police report Washington's truck veered off the road and into a small tree.

Tribal Officer Killed by Stray Trailer

February 13, SAN CARLOS APACHE, AZ - Tribal Officer 26 year old Aaron Peru was killed Sunday was driving to a mandatory work meeting when a trailer detached from another vehicle and collided with his. The officer had only been with the department for 30 days at the time of the accident. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating before further details are released.

Volunteer Fireman Collapses and Dies After Call

February 13, SALTILLO, MS - 26 year old Joshua Wilkes collapsed and died shortly after leaving the scene of a fire. Wilkes and another firefighter stopped to fill their truck at a gas station and Wilkes collapsed inside the convenience store where he went to get a drink. An autopsy will be done to determine the exact cause of death.

Worker Falls Through Ceiling

February 12, GALESBURG, IL - 63 year old Walter Cassiday died of injuries when he fell from the ceiling area of Midstate Manufacturing Corp. According to employees working in the paint booth at the time, Cassiday had been working on lighting in the ceiling above the paint booth. A co-worker, who had been working with Cassiday, said Cassiday had stepped off the catwalk onto the mesh ceiling and had fallen through, hitting his face on a metal box in the paint room on his way down. He died at a local hospital.

County Worker Found Dead in Cubicle, a Day After She Died

February 12, DOWNEY, CA - 51 year old Rebecca Wells, an L.A. County employee, apparently died while working in her cubicle on Friday, but no one noticed for quite some time. Wells was found by a security guard on Saturday afternoon. She was slumped over on her desk in the L.A. County Department of Internal Services. The exact time or cause of death is unclear but the last time a co-worker saw her alive was Friday morning around 9:00 a.m., according to Downey police detectives.

Worker Killed When Struck by Equipment

February 12, ERIE, PA - 39 year old Paul Benes died Saturday outside a coke plant in northwestern Pennsylvania. The coroner said Benes died of blunt force trauma when he apparently walked in front of the front-end loader and the operator didn't see him.

Plant Worker Killed by Falling Beam

February 12, LOUISVILLE, KY - 54 year old Ronald "Ronnie" Cassidy, a long time employee of Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant, died Saturday of multiple blunt force trauma's when he was struck in the head and chest by an "I-beam" that fell inside the plant. Family members say Cassidy had worked as a millwright at the Kentucky Truck Plant for 16 years as a millwright at the plant and worked in maintenance. OSHA is investigation the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Worker Run Over by Giant Grader

February 12, WAUCHULA, FL - 40 year old Jose Antonio Soto was killed at a phosphate mine when a giant 15 ton grader hit and backed over him as crews were just beginning their shifts. Soto was contracted by McDonald's Construction working at CF Industries mine. A large crowd of witnesses saw the incident and alerted the driver that he'd just hit someone.

Farmer Dies Under Flipped Tractor

February 12, COLBERT HEIGHTS, AL - 73 year old James Ray Winsted died when his tractor flipped, pinning him underneath. Deputies say it appears Winsted was pulling a trailer of rocks behind the tractor when the tractor slid as it went down a small hill and flipped over.

Worker Clearing Snow Falls Through Roof Skylight

February 11, STERLING, NY - 41 year old Carmen Z. Garcia fell to his death from the roof a Sterling onion processing plant Friday. Garcia was clearing snow off the roof of the warehouse at Bland Farms in Sterling when he fell backward through a skylight, and died when he crashed to a concrete floor about 30 feet below, police said. An investigation into his death is ongoing.

No Lock Out Tag Out on Machine Causes Worker's Death

February 11, TERRA BELLA, CA - 30 year old Fernando Santiesteban was the victim of a fatal accident at the Setton Pistachio plant in Terra Bella Friday. Santiesteban was performing maintenance on a machine that separates nuts from hulls and his legs were severed by the machinery. Krisann Chasarik of Cal-OSHA said it appears the machine was not "locked out," so it could not be started, and another person turned it on while Santiesteban was working on it.

Tree Trimmer Dies in Work Site Accident

February 11, CENTREVILLE, IL - 38 year old Damon Carpenter died of a head injury when when a tree branch fell onto him. The incident occurred when a tree trimmer in a bucket several feet in the air cut a large branch, about 6 inches in diameter, that fell and struck Carpenter in the head, Deputy Coroner Haskenhoff said. Carpenter worked for Darnell Belt Tree Service.

Man Dies in Farming Accident

February 11, CALDWELL, ID - 40 year old Tadd Portenier was crushed to death Friday in a hay swather. Officials say Portenier was at a friend's place in Middleton trying to jump start the machine. As he removed the cables, his coat got caught in the swather's drive shaft.

Mine Worker Dies in Collision With Road Equipment

February 11, KAYENTA, AZ - 55 year old Roy Black died in an accident at the Kayenta coal mine when his vehicle collided with a piece of road maintenance equipment Friday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Peabody Energy Corp. couldn't immediately provide a hometown for Black, but says he worked for the mining operation for 30 years. Black's hometown is unknown at this time. The federal Mine Health and Safety Administration is investigating.

Worker Crushed Under Concrete Pipe

February 11, RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA - 58 year old Peter Lisa was killed Friday when he was crushed under a concrete cylinder pipe at a business in Rancho Cucamonga. Lisa was cutting an 84-inch concrete cylinder pipe when one half of the pipe fell over and pinned him, according to the release.

Rail Worker Dies in Accident

February 8, KANKAKEE, IL - 43 year old Stanley L. Watts, an employee for Norfolk Southern railroad, was crushed to death between two train cars. “Mr. Watts was riding on one car, as part of his job, to go down the tracks to get more cars. He was employed at the rail yard and we are still investigating to determine why he became entrapped between the two cars,” said Kankakee County Coroner Gessner.

Worker Dies When Molten Steel Rains Down on Him

February 3, LAPLACE, LA - 32 year old Samuel Moyer, an employee for Arcelor Mittal and a local pastor, died as a result of burns when a piece of material fell from the ceiling of the old Bayou Steel Plant while he was standing on a podium raining down on him. The steam explosion is underway by OSHA. Some changes have been made at the plant but his wife said, "We didn't understand why you would put somebody in that kind of situation to where they were that close to molten steel to just pour over on them".

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