Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Construction Worker Falls From Scaffold

March 24, MARRIOTT-SLATERVILLE, UT - 34 year old Jeremiah Millner of Herriman died in an industrial accident Thursday morning when he fell from a scaffolding system, officials say. Millner was working as a mason for AK Masonry at a construction site at the Central Weber Sewer Facility. It is unknown what caused Millner to fall 50 to 60 feet from the scaffolding. He died after being transported to McKay-Dee Hospital.

Worker Killed in Explosion and Fire

March 23, W. SPRINGFIELD, MA - 33 year old Daniel Martinez was killed and another worker injured in an explosion at a local car dealership. The explosion reportedly occurred as Martinez used a lighter to look inside a drum of flammable solvent. Martinez worked for Real Clean Automotive Detailing, a subcontractor that performs reconditioning work at Balise Honda.

Worker Dies After Being Electrocuted

March 23, COLERAIN TWP, OH - 30 year old David McCarthy of Fairfield was killed and a co-worker injured when they were accidentally electrocuted while working to replace siding on a home. Macarthy was attempting to erect metal scaffolding at a home on Regal Lane when high winds blew a metal pole into a 7200-volt power line. The men worked for A.E. Vinyl Siding of Cincinnati.

Worker Drowns in Bay St. Louis

March 23, BAY ST. LOUIS, MS - 25 year old Jeremy M. Boyd died Wednesday after falling into a canal behind a home he was working on. MS Marine Patrol officers recovered his body in the water about 20 feet from where he was completing electrical work on a private pier. He’d been sitting in a skiff alongside the pier, a fire spokesman said. Other causes of death besides drowning could not be ruled out as his co-workers say he was diabetic. They said they left him for about 5 minutes and when they returned he was gone.

Tragic Accident Claims Life of Business Owner

March 22, OLD LYME, CT - 58 year old Thomas Lomas, owner of Lomas Tree Service, was tragically killed when he was hit by a wood chipped being towed by a truck driven by his son. The men were doing tree trimming work on private property when the truck was backed up and hit Mr. Lomas. Connecticut State Police are investigating the accident with the help of OSHA.

Officer Gunned Down by Suspect

March 22, ATHENS, GA - Athens-Clarke County Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian was shot and killed and another officer injured while trying to stop a carjacking suspect. Police know who their shooter is and a massive manhunt is underway.

Construction Accident Kills Worker

March 22, MARIETTA, GA - D.R. Abernathy was killed at a construction site Tuesday afternoon. Family friends said Abernathy was trapped between a backhoe and another piece of equipment. Police said the accident happened at an area under construction at Kennestone Hospital on Tower Road in Marietta. No other information has been released.

DOT Worker on Backhoe Falls Into Swollen River, Drowns

March 22, ST. PETER, MN - 39 year old Michael Struck of Cleveland drowned while working with a backhoe along Seven Mile Creek. Struck had been operating a backhoe in an attempt to clear out flood debris when the machine tipped and he and the machine fell into the creek before noon Tuesday. Struck had worked for the Mankato MnDOT district office for nine years.

Waste Management Worker Dies in Accident With Vehicle

March 21, CARLSBAD, CA - Pablo Virgen, a garbage truck driver for Waste Management died in an accident Monday. He reportedly fell out of his truck and was run over by it. Virgen suffered upper torso injuries and died at the scene.

Worker Killed as Result of Explosion

March 21, LOUISVILLE, KY - 59 year old Steven Nichols of Charlestown, IN was killed and two other injured from an explosion at Carbide Industries in Rubbertown. Nichols died as a result of 3rd degree burns to 90 percent of his body. The explosion occurred where calcium carbide is refined, and when an enormous 3800 degree furnace exploded, it threw a lot of this very hot material out over a long, broad area. Family & friends talk about the victims.

Second Worker Dies as Result of Explosion

March 22, LOUISVILLE, KY - 56 year old Jorge Medina was the second victim to die as the result of an explosion at Carbide Industries in Rubbertown. He died as a result of 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body. A huge furnace exploded which threw out calcium carbide over a large area burning the two victims. Two other employees were treated and released from the hospital. An investigation into the cause of the explosion is being handled by OSHA. Family & friends talk about the victims.

Man Killed Working at Airport

March 21, LAUREL, MS - 22 year old Zachary Taylor of Quitman was electrocuted Monday afternoon while working on runway lights at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (formally Pine Belt Regional Airport). Taylor worked for a private contractor hired to work on the lights.

Police Officer Shot and Killed by Suspect

March 20, FOND DU LAC, WI - 28 year old Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed by a suspect Sunday. According to authorities, Fond du Lac police were investigating a report of sexual assault at a home when an armed man opened fire on them, shooting Officer Birkholz in the chest and killing him. A K-9 Officer and his partner were also wounded but expected to survive. The suspect committed suicide after holding other officers off for 6 hours.

Hospital Worker Found Dead, Anesthetic Suspected

March 20, PITTSBURG, PA - 29 year old Samuel William Parks of McDonald, a night shift worker for Washington County Hospital, died after apparently inhaling an anesthetic drug, officials said yesterday. He was found in a maintenance closet after family reported that he did not come home from work. Police found a bottle of inhalant anesthesia on the floor by the body, police said. Parks did security and housekeeping work at the hospital.

Cab Driver Found Shot Dead Behind Wheel

March 20, LEXINGTON, KY - 28 year old Amine Lemghaili, an employee for Yellow Cab, was found dead behind the wheel of his cab Sunday. A witness reports hearing shots in the night and the next morning she and a friend found Lemghaili. He was still in the driver's seat of his cab, which had been driven over a curb in a parking lot.

Worker Injured on Construction Site Dies

March 19, SANTA FE, TX - 21 year old Richard Steinecke of New Caney, one of three workers injured Friday by steel beams that collapsed at a school auditorium under construction has died, police said. Steinecke was tied to one beam that was tied to another, which broke loose, causing him to fall about 50 feet. Firefighters found Steinecke on a concrete surface with a 12-foot-long steel column on top of him. Police used a crane at the construction site to lift the beam a few inches to free Steinecke. The crew worked for P&C Construction Erectors.

Man Dies in Industrial Accident at Gas Well Site

March 19, BEAUMONT, TX - 40 year old Scottie Burnett of Dodson, LA was killed after being pinned between two pieces of industrial equipment, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Upon arrival, officials found Burns pinned between two pieces of equipment that workers were attempting to erect at the gas well site.

Private Club Worker Shot When Fight Breaks Out

March 19, AUGUSTA, GA - 19 year old James S. Gillette, an employee for a private Columbia County facility, was shot and killed after a fight broke out during a birthday party being held at the club. Patrons had been asked to leave because of the fighting but were being allowed back inside when shots were fired, police said. One of them hit Gillette, who collapsed just outside the building's front door, he said. Gillette had worked for the facility for about two months.

Officer Dies in Shoot Out

March 19, SANDUSKY, OH - Officer Andrew Dunn was killed in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect early today. Dunn approached a man on a bicycle as he rode down the street. For as yet unknown reasons, an exchange of gun shots broke out in which Dunn suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Dunn is married and has two young children, including a 5-month-old.

Truck Driver Killed When Truck Flips

March 18, COLUMBIA, KY - 49 year old Randall Caudill died when his truck flipped after blowing a tire. The truck flipped several times before coming to a rest on the driver's side. Police said Caudill was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the truck, landing underneath the cab. Caudill's truck had just loaded up with milk in Somerset. He was delivering for Flav-O-Rich.

Highway Flagman Hit and Killed by Truck

March 18, DEVILLE, LA - 60 year old Calvin L. Towle of Alexandria was killed Friday when he was hit by a dump truck. The truck was backing eastbound on the westbound shoulder, unloading shoulder material. Towle, a flagman, was behind the International and failed to notice the vehicle backing, and he was hit by the truck, police said.

Restaurant Worker Shot During Robbery

March 18, FREDERICK, MD - 32 year old Jacinta Ayala was shot and killed this morning in what appears to be a robbery attempt. Ayala was in the process of opening the store when the shooting occurred and was found by fellow employees arriving for work, Pennington said. Fellow employees performed CPR on the woman until emergency personnel arrived, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cab Driver Dies of Shooting Injuries

March 18, WILMINGTON, DE - 51 year old Nahum Dalmace of New Castle was shot and injured on March 5 in an attempted robbery. Dalmace lingered in critical condition in the intensive care unit for three weeks prior to his death today. Police were able to arrest two suspects who have been charged in Dalmace's death.

Worker Killed by Hydraulic Truck Bed

March 18, TOMS RIVER, NJ - 53 year old Joseph Cisco, a public works employee, died Friday when the hydraulic bed of a box truck he was unloading fell on him, police said. He suffered a head injury and died at the scene. The circumstances of the incident were unclear. Cisco, who was working the truck alone, was found near the hydraulic lift, and the vehicle he was operating was still running, police said.

Officer Killed While Pursuing Suspects

March 18, CATHEDRAL CITY, CA - 29 year old Officer Jermaine Gibson of Beaumont was killed late Friday night when he lost control of his patrol car and crashed while chasing two men in a stolen vehicle, authorities said Saturday. His car burst into flames after striking a palm tree and two fellow officers pulled him from the wreckage. Before his death, Gibson was chasing a stolen Ford Mustang that also crashed and caught fire. Gibson was the father of a 4 week old son, had served two tours of duty in the Iraq War and was awarded the Purple Heart.

Truck Driver Dies in Crash

March 18, SAN LEANDRO, CA - 54 year old John Jurevich of Turlock died Friday morning when the big-rig he was driving struck a tree and overturned on a freeway connector ramp. The cause of the crash is the subject of an "extensive investigation," the results of which are not expected for a couple of days, according to the California Highway Patrol.

City Worker Dies in Fall From Building

March 17, COSTA MESA, CA - 29 year old Huy Pham of Fountain Valley died Thursday from a fall. Pham, who had been on medical leave, was called to the City Hall building to get his lay off notification. About an hour later he jumped off the building to his death. Pham worked for the city for 4 1/2 years. Two of Pham's co-workers told the OC Register that Pham was not married and did not have children, although he had an extended family he helped support.

Construction Worker Killed in Accident

March 17, FORT KNOX, KY - 37 year old Christopher Bedwell of Cadiz was killed Thursday in an unspecified construction accident. Bedwell worked for Drywall Systems Plus out of Murray, Kentucky. Bedwell was an outside worker who was helping at the Warrior Transition Battalion construction site.

Worker Killed on Construction Site

March 16, WASHINGTON, DC - an unidentified 36 year old female construction worker was killed at the Georgetown University's new science center site. She was operating a forklift-like piece of equipment known as a lift platform when she became pinned on an elevated surface between scaffolding and an overhead railing. She worked for Cleveland Construction Company, a subcontractor of Whiting-Turner Construction.

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