Friday, April 08, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Building Collapse Traps and Kills Two Workers

April 7, LAKE PLACID, FL - 34 year old Jon Martinez and Jason Steel, both employees of United Fire Protection in St. Petersburg, were killed when a 300,000-gallon water tank burst and caused the building the two men were inside to collapse, the Highlands County Sheriff's Office said. The men were inside the building working on a pump designed to fill the tank. The tank was adjacent to the building, said sheriff's spokeswoman Nell Hays. Investigators don't know how much water was in the tank when it burst. They also don't know what caused it to burst, Hays said.

Firefighter Dies in Crash Responding to Call

April 7, WHITE OAK, NC - 23 year old David Hunsinger Jr. was responding to a call and on his way to the fire station in his Mazda 3 when he lost control of the vehicle, went off the road to the right and then over-corrected, turning into oncoming traffic, troopers said. It wasn't clear why he lost control of the vehicle. Hunsinger was a volunteer firefighter for White Oak Fire Department and the son of the chief.

Fiery Wreck Kills Driver of Gas Tanker

April 7, SAVANNAH, GA - 29 year old David Allen McGrath, possibly from Savannah, was killed when the tanker truck he was driving slammed into the rear of a double-deck car-carrier in the lane ahead of him. The gas tanker was so far into the back of the car-carrier that it's front wheels were off the ground. The driver of the car carrier managed to navigate both vehicles to the side of the road before escaping a massive explosion and fire that engulfed both trucks. Unfortunately McGrath was trapped in his truck and died. It is unknown at this time what caused McGrath to crash into the car-carrier but there was no sign of him hitting his brakes before the crash.

Parking Enforcer Killed When Struck by Vehicle

April 7, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - 21 year old Cory James Dyer, a parking enforcement contractor riding a motorized scooter, was killed Thursday when he was struck by an SUV. Dyer worked for Central Parking System, which contracts with the city to enforce parking at the Oceanfront. Dyer was making his way along Pacific Avenue when an SUV going the opposite direction struck him when the driver tried to turn left onto 18th Street, police said. Dyer was wearing a helmet but was knocked 10 to 15 feet from the collision site. He died at a local hospital.

Man Killed in Industrial Accident

April 6, CRAVEN, NC - 47 year old William Timothy Miller, Sr. from the Bridgeton area was killed in an excavator accident Wednesday, according to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office. “Apparently he was standing behind the excavator and he got between the back of the cab and track of the excavator. When the operator swung the shovel to dump dirt, he was pinched between the cab and the track,” Sgt. Mark Weaver said. Weaver said that Miller was just hanging out and wanted to learn how to operate the equipment.

Popular Teacher Collapses at School

April 6, ST. SAVIOUR, NJ - 40 year old Jim Holland collapsed at the Grainville School in St. Saviour and died of a suspected heart attack. Mr Holland was not in a lesson when he was taken ill. The popular Maths teacher had a pre-existing heart condition.

Department of Transportation Worker Hit and Killed

April 6, GREENVILLE, SC - 60 year old Noah Lark, an employee for SCDOT, was hit and killed Wednesday by a driver who had self medicated. He died of blunt force trauma. Lark was working on Laurens Road near the Interstate 85 overpass when a vehicle exited the interstate and struck him. The female driver has been arrested for Lark's death but says she took prescription medication minutes before hitting Lark and doesn't remember the incident.

Temporary Worker Killed When Hit by Semi Trailer

April 6, FREEHOLD, NJ - 21 year old Ivan Robles-Molina was killed when he was struck by a tractor-trailer while working for Freehold Carthage today. According to authorities, the driver did not see the victim and for reasons being investigated, Robles-Molina did not notice the truck backing up. Robles-Molina was a temporary employee for Freehold, being assigned to work by a temporary placement agency.

Medical Problem Preceded Semi Crash

April 6, SPRINGVILLE, NY - 53 year old David L. Lusk of Hillsboro, IL is believed to have suffered a medical issue that preceded his tractor-trailer crashing into a pond off West Main Street in Springville on Wednesday morning. The crash occurred near Clark Street when the eastbound tractor-trailer veered across the westbound lanes, jumped the curb, went down an embankment and into a pond, Sheriff's Sgt. Joseph Belden said.

Patrol Officer Dies in Rollover Crash

April 6, SAGINAW, MI - 43 year old Jeffrey Werda, a Michigan State Patrol Trooper, was killed early this morning on his way to back up other troopers. While on patrol in Birch Run Village, Werda put on his lights and sirens and told dispatchers he was heading to assist, westbound on Birch Run Road. Within minutes a passing motorist called 911 to report finding Werda’s patrol car, rolled several times, off the side of Birch Run Road. Werda had been thrown from the patrol car. He was transported to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

Barber Shop Owner Injured in Attack, Dies

April 5, BLOOMINGDALE, NJ - 79 year old Frank Halat of Pompton Lakes, owner of Frank's Barber Shop died Tuesday as a result of injuries he sustained in an alleged assault Friday. A customer found Halat facedown and unconscious with life-threatening injuries to his face and head. Halat was transported to the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition for the past several days.

Sanitation Worker Hit and Killed by Truck

April 5, BATON ROUGE, LA - 39 year old Kerien Dennis was killed in an incident Tuesday. He was clinging to the rear of the backward moving truck while giving the driver directions. At some point he fell off the truck's rear platform and got caught under a wheel. Dennis was an employee of Recycling Foundation of Baton Rouge.

Two Workers Die as Basin Wall Collapses

April 5, GATLINBURG, TN - 53 year old John D. Eslinger and 44 year old Donald A. Storey died Tuesday at the Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment Facility. A basin wall at the facility collapsed spilling thousands of gallons of sewage that flowed into the Little Pigeon River. After 10 hours of searching, rescuers found the men under the wall that collapsed. The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Sheriff's Deputy Killed

April 4, SIGOURNEY, IA - 38 year old Deputy Eric Stein of What Cheer was killed Monday after he and two other deputies approached a rural Keokuk County home. Officials said Monday afternoon three law enforcement officers approached the suspect's home in Hayesville and came under fire. Stein was hit. The man who killed Stein was also killed by authorities when they entered his house.

Woman Sounded Alarm Before Being Killed

April 4, DENVER, CO - 71 year old Norma Stewart, an employee for Edward Jones Investments was known for getting to work early. Monday morning was no different. Police received an alarm activation at the company office and when they arrived they found her dead of a gunshot wound to her head in the office doorway. Her former husband has been arrested in connection with her murder.

Public Safety Official Dies in Airport Incident

April 4, AUSTIN, TX - 53 year old Howard Lee Lombard died in an accident while on duty at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. A Department of Public Service statement says Lombard died while working on a communications trailer at a Texas Department of Transportation flight services hangar. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services spokesman Warren Hassinger says Lombard suffered a traumatic injury. Further details were not immediately released.

Business Owner Found Dead After Store Fire

April 4, CABOT, AR - KBC Pawn Shop owner Joe Pipkin was found dead after his store was consumed by fire. As fire crews were battling the blaze, firefighters found his body. Authorities are unsure of how Pipken died or what might have started the fire but arson investigators with the state police were brought in to investigate. UPDATE: Authorities are reporting that Pipkin was killed by gunshot before his business set afire in what they believe is a robbery.

Farmer Killed by Runaway Tractor

April 4, DAYVILLE, OR - 55 year old Michael Wayne Clark died Monday in an accident involving his farm tractor. An investigation shows that Clark put the tractor in low gear and proceeded to feed cattle out of the attached trailer. As it was moving along the pasture it came to a decline heading for a fence and ditch. It appears that Clark tried to move from the trailer to the cab of the moving tractor and was run over by a rear wheel of the tractor.

Baggage Handler Dies From Fall After Missing Step

April 3, WASHINGTON, DC - 48 year old Eduardo Tlatempa, a 20 yr experienced baggage handler who toppled from a lift while unloading a plane at Dulles International Airport on Friday died of his injuries at a local hospital Sunday. He was removing bags from the rear cargo hold of a United Boeing 777 Friday afternoon when he missed his step onto a scissor lift and fell 10 to 20 feet to the concrete, an airport spokesman said. A United spokesman said the airline is conducting a review of the accident.

Beloved Pastor Dies at Church

April 2, CAROL STREAM, IL - 68 year old Rev. Thomas Schuller, a priest at St. Luke's Catholic Church, died Saturday after years of complications due to diabetes. He was found unconscious in the church's rectory and died after arrival at a local hospital.

Plane Crash Kills Four

April 2, ROSWELL, NM - A crash of a test twin-engine luxury business aircraft at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico killed four Gulfstream employees Saturday. The employees were 64 year old Kent Crenshaw and 51 year old Vivian Ragusa, both test pilots and 47 year old David McCollum and 48 year old Reese Ollenburg, both technical specialists, all residents of Savannah, GA. All were killed when the test plane crashed on take off and caught fire. The team was conducting take-off performance tests.

Police Officer Killed in Gun Battle

April 2, CHATTANOOGA, TN - 51 year old Police Sgt. James Timothy Chapin was killed and another office injured in a shoot out with a Colorado fugitive who was robbing a money lending store. The suspect fired at police from the shop, then ran out a side door with police on foot and in cars in pursuit, authorities said. The running gunbattle continued for about 200 yards before the suspect was captured.

Worker Suffers Fatal Burns in Explosion

April 1, FONTANA, CA - 56 year old Placiodo Sandoval of Riverside died in an industrial accident at a recycling facility Friday. Employees were cutting up scrap iron. Sandoval was working with a torch when it came into contact with propane and oxygen, resulting in an explosion and flash fire, the Fire Department said. He was taken to was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where he died from 3rd degree burns.

Worker Shot to Death by Another Worker

April 1, AUGUSTA, GA - 37 year old Raymond V. Lee was shot and killed following an argument at a wastewater treatment plant on Stevens Creek Road. A contracted driver who hauled waste from other plants was arrested for shooting Lee. The suspect was about to put a ripped tarp on his truck when someone told him to replace it, and an argument started, said County Commission Chairman Ron Cross. After Lee told him to stop unloading, the suspect first tried to run over him with his truck but then got a gun. After a struggle, the suspect shot Lee.

Tow Truck Driver Hit and Killed Along Highway

March 31, REFUGIO, TX - 24 year old Christian Gutierrez was killed along Highway 77 this morning as he was trying to move a wrecked vehicle off the road. Gutierrez was hit by a UPS 18-wheeler as he stood on the side of the road. The truck driver did not realize he had hit anyone but charges are pending.

Plane Crash Kills Pilot and Business CEO

March 31, PIKEVILLE, KY - 50 year old David Brent Miller of Portland, IN and 70 year old David Carlton Cowherd of Dayton, OH died Thursday in a plane crash in Pikeville. Miller was the pilot who owned an aviation company. Cowherd was CEO of CBC Engineers & Associates in Ohio. NTSB and FAA officials were on site Thursday and are still trying to determine what caused the crash. According to a family member, it was not uncommon for Cowherd to fly for business and he was on his way to meet with some clients in Pikeville when the crash happened.

Worker Killed Trying to Protect Co-Worker

March 29, MINNEAPOLIS, MN - 23 year old Maxwell David Henson suffered a traumatic brain injury when he bounced two unruly patrons from his workplace, the Uptown branch of Drink, two weeks ago when he fell and hit his head on the concrete while escorting two men from the building after they attempted to assault one of his Drink Restaurant co-workers. He died on March 29, at Hennepin County Medical Center, six days after sustaining the injury.

Window Washer Electrocuted

March 29, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - an unidentified man was electrocuted and then caught fire while washing windows at a medical office building Tuesday. The man was working for a private contractor when he maneuvered an extension pole to get to a window and instead came into contact with a power line that killed him instantly.

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1 comment:

Roger said...

This is so tragic. Things need to change. If anyone's interested, I recently came across this documentary about worker safety. Hopefully, it'll help the cause to put an end to workplace deaths.

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