Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Fiery Wreck

March 16, HATTIESBURG, MS - 46 year old William Packett of Foxworth was killed in a three vehicle crash on Wednesday in Hattiesburg. Packett was transporting utility poles on his tractor-trailer when the accident occurred. Hattiesburg police spokesman Sgt. Allen Murray said the accident also involved a Ford Ranger and a milk transport tanker. Packett’s vehicle caught on fire following the collision.

Taxi Driver and Passenger Killed in Crash

March 16, CINCINNATI, OH - 33 year old Mohamed Ould Mohamed Sidi, along with a passenger, were killed in a "spectacular" crash with an SUV on Wednesday. Surveillance video of the crash showed the sport utility vehicle clipping a car, then going airborne into the taxi, resulting in a flash of light upon impact. The SUV had sped off from a traffic stop, fleeing from officers at speeds estimated at least 60 mph, police said. Police followed proper procedures during the pursuit, observing traffic signals and stop signs, Chief Streicher said.

Cab Driver Shot, Killed While Working

March 16, PETERSBURG, VA - 36 year old Raphael Cudjoe, a taxi driver, was shot and killed Wednesday night. The company owner and a co-worker said Cudjoe had just returned to work after two taxi cab drivers in the city had been robbed. He took some time off to cool down, and had just returned to work. Police are still searching for a suspect.

Man Dies When Floor Collapses Under Forklift

March 16, INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 50 year old Alan Beaty of Hendricks County, was killed in an accident involving a forklift on Wednesday. As Beaty was operating an 8,000 lb lift that was carrying containers of vegetable oil when the concrete floor collapsed beneath the machine sending it 14 feet to the basement below. Debris and large drums followed Beaty through the 28-foot-diameter crevice and tumbled on top of him, said Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Burris.

Man Killed in Accident With Equipment

March 16, SACRAMENTO, CA - 40 year old Zeke Odom was killed in an accident involving an articulated boom and basket today. Odom, an employee of Century Lighting & Electric, raised his articulated boom and basket to work on lights near an overhang at the front of the store. He was moving the basket, with his back to the overhang of the store front, to position himself better and his upper body was crushed when he was pinched between the overhang and a bar in the basket. Cal-OSHA is doing an investigation.

Energy Plant Explosion Kills Worker

March 15, WILMINGTON, NC - 24 year old Cory Rogers, a technician at Progress Energy’s Sutton Plant near Wilmington, N.C., was killed shortly before 9 a.m. following an explosion which occurred at the site. The employee was performing maintenance on one of the plant’s three coal-fired units. The unit was offline at the time. There was no fire associated with the explosion.

Police Officer Killed by Wrong-Way Driver

March 15, SAN ANTONIO, TX - 27 year old Stephanie Brown, an Officer for the San Antonio Police Department, died from a fatal crash on I-35 near McCullough Avenue early Tuesday morning. The officer had just finished a call for a fight and was en route to another assignment when a wrong-way driver collided with her patrol car head-on, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said. She was rushed to University Hospital, where efforts to save the three-year veteran were unsuccessful.

Man Dies in Logging Accident

March 15, DESOTO PARISH, LA - 22 year old Brent Welsh of Natchitoches was killed in an incident on the property of International Paper. Police say Welch was driving behind a log truck on the property. When the truck came to a stop, Welch ran into a log hanging off the back of the truck. Police say the log went through the windshield of his truck, killing him.

Worker Dies a Week After Being Injured

March 15, COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - 28 year old Cody Campbell of Starbuck, MN, who was injured while working at the Bunge North America soybean processing plant in Council Bluffs on March 8 has died at the Mayo Clinic in MN. Campbell, who worked for RailWorks Track Systems, was standing near where other crew members were cutting rail when an errant piece of metal struck him, said Kathy Simpson, a RailWorks spokeswoman. “It was like a bullet,” Jay Campbell, Cody's father, said. “It caused him to lose oxygen to the brain. He suffered irreparable brain damage.”

Store Owner Killed in Robbery

March 15, DEARBORN, MI - Jay Shin, owner of Sunrise Beauty Supply, was shot and killed in an armed robbery. A customer who had come to the store notified police about Shin. Approximately 80 hair extensions were stolen from the store. Police said witnesses described two men and a woman involved in the crime. Police have a store video of at least one of the suspects.

Worker Killed in Rigging Accident

March 15, NORTH KINGSTON, RI - 26 year old Andrew Pelletier of Glocester, working for Composite Rigging,was killed in an industrial accident Tuesday. Authorities say Pelletier was working with a cable under tension when the fastener at one end gave way and the cable struck Pelletier in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another man suffered minor injuries.

Armored Car Driver Shot and Killed

March 15, ATLANTA, GA - 32 year old Garry Castillo of Lawrenceville was shot and killed Tuesday outside of a local grocery store. Castillo, who had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan, was rushed to the hospital where he later died. Castillo worked for Garda Cash Logistics and leaves behind a 9 year old son. The FBI is investigating and has released surveillance photos in hopes that someone will come forward with information on the men responsible for Castillo's death.

Truck Driver Dies in Accident

March 15, SOUTH CAROLINA - 54 year old Kenneth Dwuane Smith of Waynesville, GA died when his semi overturned on the Back River Bridge. Smith was driving a cement pump truck that struck a curb on the bridge while traveling south on U.S. 17. According to a Highway Patrol spokesman the vehicle overturned and partially burst through a length of concrete guard rails. The collision is being investigated.

City Streets Division Worker Struck and Killed

March 14, GILROY, CA - 40 year old David Vogel was struck and killed by a vehicle as he performed routine street inspections Monday morning. His body was reported about 11 a.m. As of 2 p.m., no information regarding the driver had been made available by the city or the Gilroy Police Department. The accident is being investigated by the GPD's Major Accident Investigation Team.

Bus Driver Killed After Being Ejected

March 14, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - 50 year old Wei Wang of Forest Hills, Queens, a bus driver for Super Luxury Tours, was killed when his bus crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike. It is believed the bus had a tire blow out and caused Wang to lose control of the bus. The bus was on its way back from New York's China Town to Washington DC when the crash occurred. Wang was ejected through the windshield and died at the scene. Another passenger also died.

Engineer Dies From Fall At Shuttle Launch Site

March 14, CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - 53 year old James D. Vanover of Titusville, a United Space Alliance Engineer, fell from a launch pad today. Vanover fell from an unspecified height at launch pad 39A, where Endeavour was being prepared for a targeted April 19 launch on its final flight. Vanover's work supported the operation of several swing arms attached to the pad's fixed tower, each more than 100 feet above the pad surface.

Man Dies in Forklift Accident

March 14, MELROSE PARK, IL - 34 year old Osvaldo Bautista died Monday at the JKS Ventures Recycling facility. A Tuesday autopsy found that he died of compression asphyxia and ruled the death an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office. According to sources, Bautista became pinned between a forklift and semi tractor trailer.

Officer Killed in Struggle With Suspect

March 13, STATEN ISLAND, NY - 42 year old Alain Sharbarger, a Staten Island police officer, who was thrown down a stairwell by a convicted burglar early this morning in Brooklyn has died from his injuries. Sharbarger was responding to a domestic dispute and after an investigation he was arresting the suspect. When Officer Sharbarger started to handcuff the suspect, he resisted and started scuffling with Sharbarger and threw him over a railing down a cement stairwell. Sharbarger fell about 9 feet, landing on his head. His neck was broken in the fall.

Two Deputies Shot and Killed by Suspect

March 13, GRUNDY, VA - 41 year old Cameron Neil Justus of Hurley and 46 year old William "Billy" Ezra Stiltner of Maxie, both Deputies for Buchanan County Sheriff's Department, died in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect on Sunday. Both deputies, along with other officers were trying to arrest a man who was reported to be stealing from a salvage garage. Deputies Justus and Stiltner were shot and killed during the exchange of gunfire with the suspect, who also died at the scene. Stiltner was an eight-year veteran of the force while Justus had served for 10 years.

Maintenance Worker Dies of Head Injuries

March 13, ORLANDO, FL - 52 year old Russell Sherry Roscoe died after suffering a head injury on a ride undergoing maintenance at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Bo Jones, the assistant chief of Reedy Creek Emergency Services, says the cause of the accident was not clear. The ride, which Disney describes as a mild rollercoaster, is closed while undergoing maintenance so no guests were in the area when the accident happened.

Police Officer Killed by Friendly Fire

March 12, MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY - Geoff Breitkopf of Long Island, a 12 year police veteran of the Nassau County Police Department and member of the elite Bureau of Special Operations was accidentally killed Saturday night. Two officers responded to reports of a known satanist who was holed up in his parents house after terrorizing a neighborhood. An MTA officer who had arrived on scene to provide back up was standing outside the home when Breitkopf arrived at the scene in an unmarked car and approached the residence carrying a shotgun. It's unclear if either officer identified himself, nor is it clear what prompted the MTA officer to shoot, but he fired one round at Breitkopf, fatally wounding him in his right side. The suspect, holed up in his parents house, burst out wielding a knife and was shot dead.

Officer Dies of Work Related Illness

March 12, ORANGE COUNTY, FL - 40 year old Deputy Sebastian Diana, who served 11 years with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, died this weekend from an illness he contracted while working. Several years ago Deputy Diana responded to a 9-1-1 call and tried to save a 3 month old baby's life by giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The child didn't make it and the sheriff's office said Diana contracted a bacterial infection. Fellow deputies said his heart failed. A cardiologist, not familiar with the case, said a bacterial infection could set up and harm heart valves.

Responding Firefighter Collapses and Dies

March 12, LEE, FL - 49 year old Capt. James Von Roden, a firefighter with the Lee Community Volunteer Fire Department died Saturday while responding to the fire station. He collapsed and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He had more than 15 years of fire service.

Two Shop Employees Attacked, One Killed

March 11, BETHESDA, MD - 30 year old Jayna T. Murray of Rosslyn was killed after she and another employee had closed down their Bethesda Row store Lululemon Friday night. Police say they were attacked by two men wearing masks and gloves around 10:00 p.m., after closing the store for the night. The second employee is recovering from injuries she sustained. Police are continuing their investigation into this crime.

Worker Dies After Being Pinned Between Semi's

March 11, ROANOKE, VA - 26 year old Bobby Cooper of Walland, TN was killed when he became pinned between two tractor trailers at a Kroger warehouse in Roanoke County. Cooper died Friday morning when he ran behind a tractor trailer that was backing into a parking space to alert the driver that the space was taken. He was transported to a hospital where he died.

EMT Collapses Giving CPR

March 11, ST. LOUIS, MO - 37 year old Scherese Bishop, a Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District employee, collapsed while trying to resuscitate a man and died Friday afternoon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a hospital spokesperson said. As Bishop was administering CPR on the man, she herself collapsed. The cause of Bishop's collapse is still unknown. She did not have any known medical conditions.

Farmer Dies in Tractor Accident

March 11, LONGVIEW, TX - 77 year old Charles Elms was died when he was run over by his tractor while he was trying to repair it. According to one witness, the tractor had jumped out of gear and traveled forward, pinning Elms under the tires.

Young Worker Dies in Oilfield Accident

March 11, MARTIN, TX - 18 year old Daniel Scott Nagel of Big Spring died Friday in an accident at Mabee Ranch. Police report that Nagel was operating a forklift and unloading a doghouse on top of a semi-trailer. Somehow Nagel got between the forklift and semi and was crushed between the two. He died at the scene of internal bleeding.

Store Clerk Shot to Death in Robbery

March 11, WEST PALM BEACH, FL - 53 year old Hanna Bahbah, a night clerk at City Place Food Mart, was shot to death in a robbery Friday night.

Worker Dies in Fall From Tower

March 11, BIRMINGHAM, AL - 44 year old Cirino Alvarez Cortieras of Mexico, fell to his death at the Birmingham Water Works plant Friday. Authorities said he fell about 30 feet from a concrete tank being constructed. The plant and OSHA will be investigating Cortieras' death. He lived in the Birmingham area for about a year to work.

Worker Crushed Under Mechanical Equipment

March 11, TAMPA, FL - An unidentified worker died and another worker was injured inside the Pepsi Bottling Group warehouse on Friday. According to officials, a robotic lift system used to move whole loaded palettes collapsed onto the workers from 20 feet in the air. Police are withholding the identities of the victims, but they did reveal they were employed by an outside contractor and are from Pennsylvania.

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