Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Man's Death Being Investigated

April 14, MIDLAND, MI - An unidentified man died after falling from a catwalk today at Dow Chemical Co's Michigan Operation's site in Midland. The man is reported to have fallen about 30 feet and suffered head injuries. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the worker David Roy, a 24 year employee of Dow. He was a steward and committeeman with Local 12075 of the Steelworkers union.

Trucker Dies After Crash

April 13, GREENWICH, PA - 58 year old Wiley Russell of Lufkin, TX overturned his tractor trailer rig on Interstate 78. He died at the scene shortly after the accident. An autopsy will be performed to see if an unknown medical condition may have contributed to the accident.

Man Shot and Killed Inside Barber Shop

April 13, ALEXANDRIA, VA - 39 year old Le Hoang was shot and killed and another employee shot and injured when an assailant walked into the Belle View Barber Shop and opened fire. Police have identified a suspect and are looking for him. They say the shooting was neither a random attack nor a robbery.

Road Construction Worker Struck and Killed by Semi Trailer

April 13, DECATUR, IN - 25 year old Ryan Zimmerman of Fort Wayne was struck and killed by a semi tractor trailer on U.S. 27. The west bound tractor trailer turned right on to U.S. 27 from Winchester Street and in the process of making the turn, the trailer entered into the construction part of U.S. 27 striking Zimmerman and fatally injuring him.

Graduate Student Killed in Lab Incident

April 13, NEW HAVEN, CT - 22 year old Michele Dufault of Scituate, MA, a Yale University Senior nearing graduation was killed inside a chemistry lab machine shop when her hair became caught in the lathe, whose rotating axis is used to hold materials like wood or metal being shaped. She died from accidental asphyxia by neck compression, according to the Connecticut medical examiner's office.

Two Tower Workers Fall to Their Deaths

April 13, BUCK CREEK, IN - 32 year old Paul Aliss of Mesquite, TX and 29 year old Ernest Garcia of Laredo, TX died after falling from a radio tower. The men worked for ERI Inc. of Chandler, IN. A crew of 5 men were working at a height of 340 feet when Aliss and Garcia fell, along with a piece of equipment being used to add another segment to the tower. The radio tower is one of many owned by Schurz Communications.

Industrial Incident Causes Man's Death

April 13, HAGERSTOWN, MD - 25 year old Aaron Ball of Mercersburg was killed Wednesday while working at the Purina feed plant off Hopewell Road in Hagerstown. Ball fell into a feeder line while cleaning a machine. The incident is being investigated.

Employee Shot to Death During Robbery

April 13, FLORENCE, SC - 33 year old Stephen Christopher Deaver was shot in the chest and another employee wounded during a robbery at a Florence pawn shop. A teen has been arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Correctional Officer Dies After Assault

April 12, PIERRE, SD - 63 year old Officer Ronald Johnson died after being assaulted by 2 inmates attempting an escape of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. He was transported by ambulance to a Sioux Falls hospital where he was pronounced dead. Another officer was injured in the assault and was transported to the hospital to be evaluated. The 2 inmates were later captured inside the prison.

Cement Truck Overturns, Driver Killed

April 12, AROMAS, CA - 63 year old Jesus Gonzales Jr. of Watsonville died in a crash on Highway 129 Tuesday. Gonzalez was driving west in a loaded cement truck with a trailer, CHP officer Grant Boles said. Gonzalez's truck entered the eastbound lane, tipped over and hit a tree, Boles said. The truck flipped on it's roof and Gonzales died at the scene.

Worker Dies Working on Raising Levee

April 12, NEW ORLEANS, LA - 32 year old William Morgan of Abita Springs was killed Tuesday in an accident at a pumping station at the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. According to the New Orleans Coroner reports that Morgan died of injuries that included a crushed chest. The accident occurred at refuge pumping station CTU-6. The work was being done by the Great Southern Dredging Co.

Man Hit by Rolling Commercial Truck

April 12, DUNDALK, MD - 46 year old James Mills Gillus died Tuesday morning at the Dundalk Marine Terminal after being run over by a commercial truck that had started rolling after he'd parked it, according to a preliminary investigation. He was an employee of Maryland Environmental Services.

Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

April 12, TRUMANN, AR - 30 year old Officer Jonathan Schmidt was shot and killed during a traffic stop Tuesday. During a traffic stop in front of the Cottonwood Manor Apartments a passenger in the back of the car opened fire, striking Schmidt in the neck. The driver of the car states that Schmidt pushed his partner to safety even after he was shot in the neck. The driver says Schmidt was then shot several more times. Schmidt was taken to the NEA Baptist Hospital and pronounced dead. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital and is in police custody at this time.

Semi Driver Dies in Crash From Bridge

April 11, YAUHANNAH, SC - 38 year old Jack Manigault Jr. of Georgetown was killed when his semi crashed through a guard rail and plunged off the Yauhannah Bridge Monday. Manigault and his semi had plunged 20 feet from the bridge to the marshland below. It is unknown why the semi left the roadway but Manigault was on the phone with a friend when the friend heard him scream, followed by a loud noise before silence.

Worker Crushed Under Falling Slab of Granite

April 11, LOUISVILLE, KY - 50 year old Sylvia Walters was killed Monday when a piece of granite that was being moved fell on her. She worked for KBR Manufacturing. Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says other employees found Walters under the stone and called for help. She died at the scene. The incident is being investigated.

Tunnel Worker Killed by Small Train

April 11, WEBSTER, NY - an unidentified man died Monday while working in an underground tunnel beneath Lake Ontario. Workers were boring a tunnel at the construction site of the Monroe County Water Authority's water treatment plant when one of them fell off a small, underground locomotive and was run over, police and fire officials said. The incident is under investigation. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the worker as 45 year old Thomas Means of Walworth.

Delivery Driver Dies in Truck Rollover

April 11, DEER ISLE, ME - 43 year old Randy Allard of Bucksport died when the delivery box truck he was driving crashed on the causeway between Deer Isle and Little Deer Isle. Allard, who was driving a box style "bread truck" that went off the causeway, was thrown from the vehicle, which rolled down an embankment and came to rest on top of him. First responders found Allard pinned beneath the delivery truck. Crews from Memorial Ambulance were unable to revive Allard, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tree Trimmer Electrocuted

April 11, CHARTIERS, PA - 46 year old Dale Delozier of Eighty Four died after he was electrocuted when he hit a power line as he was trimming trees. Delozier was owner of D&D Tree Service. He was taken to Canonsburg Hospital where he later died.

Tree Trimmer Killed by Runaway Truck

April 11, PLATTE CITY, MO - 30 year old Justin Hartman of Dearborn was killed Monday when an unoccupied utility truck rolled into him. According to the Highway Patrol, the truck that struck Hartman then knocked him into a second unoccupied vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Worker Falls From Bucket Truck

April 11, OZARK, AL - 23 year old James Lewis of Ozark died after falling about 40 feet from the bucket of a truck he was working from. Lewis was working to clear tree limbs from around power lines when he fell. Lewis was pronounced dead at Southeast Alabama Medical Center at 2:51 p.m.

Trucker Dies in Fiery Crash

April 11, NORTH EAST, PA - 50 year old William Fritchen of Grove City died after his rig pulling two trailers crashed into a bridge abutment on I-90 east of Erie and burst into flames. Fritchen was identified as the victim but because his body was so badly burned it may take days to confirm that.

Utility Worker Electrocuted Trying to Restore Power

April 10, ROCHELLE, IL - 57 year old Jeff Kissack, an employee for Rochelle Municipal Utilities, was electrocuted Sunday. He apparently came into contact with a live line while in the bucket of a utility vehicle located between the tracks on Second Avenue, near the overpass. Kissack’s coworkers began administering CPR as soon as they realized the severity of his injuries and continued until fire department personnel arrived. Kissack was working with crews to re-establish power to areas of town that were hit by a power outage earlier that morning.

Worker Dies When Forklift Overturns

April 10, SHREVEPORT, LA - 28 year old James Gillis of Mansfield died at the Pratt Industries recycling plant in Shreveport Sunday. Caddo Parish sheriff's deputies say Gillis was moving bales of paper with a forklift Sunday when the load became top heavy and caused the forklift to overturn. Deputies say Gillis jumped off the forklift but it fell on top of him.

Employee Dies in Forklift Incident

April 10, FARMINGTON, NM - 61 year old Jerry Keown, a 9 year employee for Walmart, was found hanging upside down from a forklift pallet in the store's warehouse. Keown was hanging by both feet from a pallet attached to the forklift along the top shelf of the store's warehouse shelves. It is unclear how long he was there but when discovered by another employee he was rescued and transported to a hospital where he died. "Some unknown event occurred as he was stocking from the pallet," police said. "It does not appear any safety type of equipment was used to be working at that height." An investigation continues to see what caused the incident.

Man Dies From Fall From Bridge

April 10, SEDGWICK, ME - 29 year old Ercio Gasques of Pennsylvania died after falling from the Deer Isle-Sedwick Bridge on Sunday. Gasques was working for Odyssey Contracting, a company from Houston, Pa., that had been hired to repaint the suspension bridge. “Gasques suffered massive head trauma from the fall and died from his injuries while en route to the hospital,” Lt. Tim Cote of the Sheriff’s Department wrote in the release.

Maine Lobster Fisherman Believed Drowned

April 10, ROCKLAND, ME - 38 year old David Mahonen of South Thomaston is believed to have drowned near Jeffrey Bank 45 miles south of Rockland. Mahonen was fishing from his vessel, Timothy Michael out of Newport, R.I., when he became tangled in the lead line and was pulled overboard. He was able to cut himself out of the line and rescuers threw him a life ring but for some reason he let go of it and sank under the waves. Coast Guard search crews were searching the Jeffrey Bank area Sunday but battling high seas but they would continue to search into Monday if necessary.

Experienced Driller Killed in Tragic Incident

April 10, GAINESVILLE, FL - 52 year old Johnn Clyde Smith an experienced well driller died late Saturday after a sinkhole opened beneath him and his truck fell in on top of him. "It looks like he already had some well pipe in the ground when the sinkhole opened up beneath him and he fell in," Maj. Smith said. "Then the truck fell in on top of him and caved in the sides, which covered him in about five feet of dirt." The inncident occurred on privately owned property behind Lancaster Correctional Institution sometime Saturday and was discovered by Johnn Smith's partner around 11:30 p.m.

Driver Killed in Double Semi Crash

April 9, EAU CLAIR, WI - 48 year old Jeffrey D. Moore of Mooresville, IN died Saturday in a tractor trailer accident on I-94 in Eau Claire County. The accident involved another tractor trailer rig.

Stored Fireworks Explode, Killing Five

April 8, HONOLULU, HI - An explosion occurred in Waikele about 9 a.m. Friday inside a World War II-era bunker, where confiscated fireworks had been stored. The explosion killed five men working for Donaldson Enterprises. A sixth person was also injured but the five who died are listed as 29 year old Justin Kelii, 50 year old Robert Leahey, 24 year old Kevin Freeman, 24 year old Neil Sprankle and 25 year old Bryan Cabalce. The fireworks were stored in an old munitions caves that go into the side of the mountain. The pressure from the explosion blew out the front of the cave.

Two Young Employees Gunned Down by Co-Worker

April 8, BROOKLYN PARK, MN - 21 year old Michael M. Habte and 20 year old Abigail Fedeli were shot to death inside the Festival Food store they worked for on Friday. A gunman stormed into the employee break room Friday evening, apparently fueled by jealously, shooting two fellow employees. The gunman fled the scene and was later tracked by police in Minneapolis. The man then turned the gun on himself. The police are still investigating.

Roofer Falls to His Death

April 8, LEXINGTON, KY - 56 year old David Powell died from injuries sustained in a fall at Illinois Wesleyan. The coroner says Powell was working for Union Roofing and was finishing a project at the Shirk Center April 1, 2011 when he fell approximately eight feet. The Coroner's office and OSHA are investigating.

Realtor Shot to Death Showing Home

April 8, WEST DES MOINES, IA - 27 year old Ashley Marie Okland died after being shot at a model townhouse in West Des Moines. According to a police statement, Okland of died at a hospital after sustaining two gunshot wounds around 2 p.m. at the home. Police believe it was an isolated incident however, asked other agents to shut down operations until more is known about the shooting.

Convenience Store Owner Found Dead After Fire

April 8, BLADENSBURG, MD - 69 year old Richard Changsun Nam of Mitchellville was found dead inside his convenience store that was burning. Police are investigating the incident as an arson. Nam's body did show signs of trauma and was found separate from the fire.

Restaurant Owner Killed in Robbery Attempt

April 8, OAKLAND, CA - Jesus Campos was opening his Otaez Restaurant for business Friday morning when he was shot and killed in a botched robbery attempt. Campos, known to friends as Chuey, was popular and the community is outraged and calling for action. "This is one of those crimes that cannot go unsolved otherwise it will be another merchant it will be more people," Oakland City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente said.

Tanker Explosion Causes Worker's Death

April 8, SAVANNAH, GA - 24 year old Craig Reilly died Friday at an incident at Colonial Oil Industries. Reilly was killed and at least two more injured after a tanker truck burst into flames on Savannah's west side. The tanker truck was being filled with a chemical solvent used in gas when something sparked, causing it to catch fire.

Driver Survives Semi Crash, Then Hit and Killed by Car

April 8, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - 36 year old Lucas Joseph Folino was killed when he was struck by a car after getting out of his truck cab. His truck hit the back of another tractor-trailer and jackknifed into the median, the Florida Highway Patrol said. He then tried to cross the highway on foot in the predawn darkness when he was hit by a northbound car and died at the scene, investigators said.

Senior Prison Officer Dies During Training

April 7, LEAVENWORTH, KS - 38 year old Sr. Officer Christopher Cooper suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in a training exercise at Leavenworth Prison. He was running an obstacle course with other members of the Special Operations Response Team when he collapsed. Other officers came to help Cooper but were unable to resuscitate him.

Industrial Accident Causes Worker Death

April 7, HONOLULU, HI - 73 year old Alberto Somera suffered blunt force head trauma and died Thursday. Somera was working at Moo’s Machine Works when he was apparently “hit in the head by an aerial boom,” said Jennifer Shishido, administrator of the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division. Moo's does repair and maintenance on industrial equipment.

Woman Dies in Recycling Plant Accident

April 7, RENTON, WA - 25 year old Sharon Silva was killed in an industrial accident at Smurfit-Stone Recycling Thursday. She was suffocated and trapped by plastic debris in a machine, the King County Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday. The first responders shut off the machine and the power, and extracted Silva from the equipment. She died at the scene.

Fisherman Presumed Dead After Vessel Found Empty

April 7, PHIPPSBURG, ME - A boat belonging to Richard Lemont was found empty Thursday and a search began of the Kennebec River for Lemont, believed to have fallen off his fishing boat near Georgetown Island. He was last seen about about noon Thursday. A Maine Marine Patrol aircrew spotted the empty boat and called for searchers. The search was called off just after noon on Friday.

Chicago Stunned by Death of Police Officer

April 4, CHICAGO, IL - 42 year old Kevin M. Robinson died Monday after a month long hospitalization. Early last month Robinson, 15-year Chicago police veteran, was hospitalized after they say he accidentally inhaled a cleaning substance at the Morgan Park Police District station. His lungs all but shut down, forcing doctors at Advocate Trinity Hospital to place Robinson in a medically induced coma until he died Monday, his family said. An autopsy was performed, but the cause of death won't be known for several weeks, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

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