Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Industrial Incident Claims Life of Worker

April 22, CANTON, OH - 31 year old Shawn Dixon died this morning after an incident at Canton Drop Forge. Dixon was attempting to remove a pallet from a machine that uses high pressure blastings to remove imperfections from forgings when a cable snapped, causing a hopper to pivot backwards at a high rate of speed, a Coroner’s Office spokeswoman said. Dixon was thrown into a metal structure and then fell backward onto a walkway. The machine was not operating at the time of the incident.

American Photojournalist & Film Maker Killed in Libya

April 21, LIBYA/NEW YORK CITY - 41 year old Chris Hondros suffered fatal massive brain injury when he and three other journalists were hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while covering a battle between Moammar Gadhafi's government forces and NATO-backed rebels who have held the city. Hondros was working in Libya for New York-based Getty Images since early April. The explosion also killed a British photojournalist and injured two others.

Dump Truck Driver Dies After Smashing Into Building

April 21, SAVANNAH, GA - 71 year old Albert Frazier died in a crash of the dump truck he was driving. Witnesses tell WSAV the dump truck clipped another truck and the driver apparently lost control, over-corrected and drove straight into the building. It took several hours to remove Frazier from the vehicle and he was pronounced at the scene.

Underwater Surveyor Dies During Dive

April 21, ESTERO, FL - 23 year old Hugo Amaliel Soto Catalan of Bonita Springs died in the water while diving with scuba gear. His body was located about three hours after he went under water shortly after signaling that he was in distress. He was performing a scuba dive to check for erosion in a large pond in the Stoneybrook Golf Club gated community in Estero. A truck with Erosion Barrier Installations was at the scene of the golf club, however it was not immediately clear whether the diver's were employed by the company.

Construction Site Security Guard Shot and Killed

April, 20, FRESNO, TX - 26 year old Fidel Sanchez of Houston was shot and killed when he tried to stop a major construction site theft. Sanchez received an alarm on the property site of J.D. Abrams Construction and found the theft underway. It was then he was shot by the thieves who police are actively looking for.

Winery Worker Found Dead Inside Wine Tank

April 20, NAPA, CA - 43 year old Gustavo Javier Muro of Napa, an assistant winemaker, died Wednesday at a winery in east Napa when he somehow fell inside a wine tank. He was found on an adjustable lid six feet inside the tank at Ancien Wines said Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart. It is unclear when Muro was last seen alive, however Stuart stressed Muro did not drown. An autopsy will be conducted Friday to determine how he died, she said.

Welding Related Explosion Kills Worker

April 20, PUEBLO, CO - 30 year old Ignacio Rendon Cornelio, from Mexico but a contract worker from Louisiana, died of injuries sustained in an explosion Wednesday. The incident happened at Western Reynolds Recycling in Pueblo. The explosion was sparked by a welding operation where he was attempting to cut a tank. It is unknown what the tank had contained.

Firefighter Dies of Burn Injuries

April 20, CACTUS, TX - 49 year old Elias Jaquez died Wednesday of burn injuries he sustained earlier this month. Jaquez, a Cactus Volunteer firefighter, was running away from the fierce flames of the TX fires when he tripped and fell. He suffered third-degree burns, and had undergone numerous surgeries.

Worker Dies From Crushing Injuries

April 19, INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 55 year old Randy Wimmer of Lawrence died after being pinned by a semi Tuesday evening at O'Neal Steel. When a tractor trailer driver was backing in his trailer to the loading dock, somehow Wimmer became trapped between the trailer and dock suffering fatal injuries. The incident is being investigated by IOSHA.

Auto Repair Shop Owner Found Shot to Death

April 19, POINT LOMA, CA - 63 year old Jalal Abou of Rancho San Diego was found shot to death Tuesday by a customer arriving at the shop. Abou was owner of Joe's Auto Repair and was found next to a vehicle that still had the side door open. He suffered gun shots wounds to his chest. A witness saw two Hispanic males at the scene engaged in some sort of fight and is speaking with police.

Driver Killed When Pinned Under Wrecked Semi

April 19, HEGINS, ME - 45 year old Norman L. Tuttle of Presque Isle was killed when his rig transporting a load of potatoes failed to follow a curvy Route 125 between Pitman and Hegins, collided with a truck hauling hay, tore through a section of guide-rail and overturned onto its driver's side. Tuttle was thrown from the rig and pinned under the trailer.

Worker Dies of Crushing Injuries

April 19, ORRINGTON, ME - 38 year old William Jordan of Holden was found pinned between a tree and a skidder Tuesday. He was an employee for Eckhert & Sons. No other information regarding the incident is reported but is being investigated by OSHA.

Tow Truck Driver Hit and Killed

April 19, MILWAUKEE, WI - 59 year old Daniel G. Bobholz of Allentown was killed Tuesday as he tried to remove a vehicle that slid off the slippery roadway in Washington Co. According to a release, as a Washington County Sheriff's Office deputy directed traffic around Bobholz, the deputy's squad car was sideswiped by an SUV, which then struck Bobholz. The impact pushed Bobholz against his tow truck before he fell into the roadway, where he was then struck by a passing semi. Bobholz was employed by Bob's Main Street Auto & Towing.

Tree Trimmer Electrocuted

April 18, MONROVIA, CA - 48 year old Roque Valdez was electrocuted and died while trimming trees Monday. According to police, Valdez was high in a tree and cut a branch which hit a high voltage electric wire. When the branch hit the wire it bounced towards him, electrocuting him. Cal-OSHA is investigating.

Oilfield Worker Killed in Fall

April 18, CAMERON, LA - 27 year old Philip Joseph Kliebert of Covington, an Alliance Oilfield Services employee, died on Monday while working on a platform south of Cameron. Kliebert was on a crew working to plug the natural gas production rig 129 miles south of Lake Charles when he fell through the platform.

Volunteer Firefighter Collapses on Call

April 18, WINDSOR, CT - 50 year old Robert Watts collapsed and died while on a call Monday. He was charging a fire hydrant when he suddenly collapsed. No word at this time to the actual cause of death.

School Bus Driver Killed in Crash

April 18, UPPER MACUNGIE, PA - Kelly Smith was killed when the school bus she was driving crashed into a municipal building. Police say a medical condition could have affected the driver. Smith was a 10 year employee for Parkland School District. No students were on the bus at the time of the crash.

Officer Shot and Killed by Suspect

April 18, KALAMAZOO, MI - 35 year old Officer Eric Zapata, of the Kalamazoo Police Department, was shot and killed by a man brandishing a gun before that man turned the gun on himself. Police responded to a report of gunshots and encountered the man on his porch. He then advanced toward one of the officers and pulled out a handgun and exchanged gunfire. When the gunman encountered Zapata, who was trying to block the man, he shot and killed the officer. He then turned the gun on himself.

Coal Truck Driver Killed in Triple Semi Wreck

April 18, RALEIGH, IL - 49 year old Bradley Conkle from Rosiclare died at the scene of an accident involving three semi tractor-trailers early Monday. Conkle was driving a Kenworth and dump trailer loaded with coal when he lost control on the curve and overturned, a preliminary crash investigation by the Illinois State Police indicated. The drivers of the other trucks were treated and released.

Electrician Dies of Electrocution Injuries

April 18, GRAND RAPIDS, MI - 46 year old Jeffrey Summerfield died Monday of injuries when he was electrocuted Monday while working at a local grocery store. An electrician working for Wachter Contracting Services, Summerfield was working on wiring or cabling when a co-worker heard him scream. The co-worker tried to perform CPR but Summerfield was later pronounced dead. Authorities at the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration said cabling was being installed in the ceiling and they are investigating his death.

Deputy Sheriff Killed by Prisoner

April 18, TEXARKANA, TX - 54 year old Deputy Sherri Jones was shot and killed in the basement of the Bowie County Courthouse while preparing to transport a prisoner at approximately 2:30 pm. She was moving the prisoner from a courtroom to a transport van to transport him to a state facility when he attacked her. The inmate overpowered her, took her gun, and fatally shot her. He then stole the transport van and fled to Arkansas where he was taken into custody.

Contract Worker Dies of Unknown Reasons

April 18, PORT ARTHUR, TX - 52 year old Arnel Ocampo of the Philippines, a contract welder working on the Motiva plant expansion in Port Arthur who was found dead Monday. Contractors said that they saw him slumped over on a scaffold at about 5:15 p.m. and tried to yell for him, but he was not moving, Burnett said. The contractors told the judge there was welding equipment on the scaffold with Ocampo.

Student Filming School Project Dies in Fall

April 17, BOSTON, MA - 21 year old Justin Amorratanesuchad from Seattle, WA died early Sunday after falling from the roof of a building during a film project. He was working on a film off campus when he fell, according to college President Jackie Liebergott. The Boston Globe reported that Amorratanasuchad fell from the top of an apartment building in the city’s South End.

Firefighter Killed in Crash Was Responding to Fire

April 17, AMORY, MS - 18 year old Jacob Anthony Carter was killed in a car accident while responding to a Sunday morning fire call, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley. He died at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo after suffering multiple traumas when his 2002 Ford Explorer ran off the road, overturned and struck a tree, Gurley said. Carter, who was a firefighter with the Becker-Athens Volunteer Fire Department, was not wearing his seat belt.

Coal Train Crash Kills Two

April 17, RED OAK, IA - 48 year old Conductor Patricia "Trish" Hyatt and 48 year old Engineer Tom Anderson, both from Creston died when the coal train they were operating crashed into the back of another train. The incident is still under investigation but authorities say the coal train rear-ended a train carrying maintenance equipment killing Hyatt and Anderson. Those on the other train were not injured.

Farm Tractor Overturns, Crushing Driver

April 17, TAHLEQUAH, OK - 39 year old Sylvester Garcia was killed when the tractor he was driving flipped and pinned him under the wheel. He was pulling a trailer with 6 passengers but according to authorities the trailer somehow detached from the tractor and then the tractor flipped and rolled several times. Garcia was thrown from the tractor and pinned under one of its wheels.

Worker Crushed by Industrial Equipment

April 17, WYOMING, IL - 34 year old Troy Bryner died Sunday after an accident at an East Peoria Caterpillar facility. He was transported to the hospital after he was crushed by a machine he was servicing inside Cat's building KK. It wasn't immediately clear what led to the incident but an investigation continues.

Painter Falls From Height, Dies From Injuries

April 16, JACKSONVILLE, FL - 42 year old Samuel Shafer died from injuries after he fell from a ladder while painting at a Neptune Beach house Thursday. Another worker was also injured but released from the hospital. Both men fell to the concrete from where they were working on a scaffold and ladders.

Worker Dies When Equipment Falls From Crane

April 16, WESTWAGO, LA - 55 year old Johnnie Kennedy of Grant, AL was killed Saturday evening near Bayou Segnette State Park, when a piece of construction equipment fell on the crane he was operating, crushing him inside. Responding deputies, along with West Jefferson EMS and Fire Rescue, found the worker trapped inside the crane beneath the piece of equipment.

Worker Dies From Fall at Electrical Plant

April 16, ROCKPORT, IN - 54 year old Kent Todd of Evansville, an employee for Enerfab and working at the American Electric Power Plant in Rockport died from a fall Saturday night. The coroner reports that Todd died of massive internal injuries after falling 150 feet. The incident is still under investigation.

Firefighter Dies Battling Blaze

April 15, EASTLAND, TX - 51 year old Gregory Simmons, an Eastland Firefighter, died Friday after flames overcame his fire truck and he and other firefighters jumped out. Autopsy results show he died of blunt force trauma and not from the fire. Justice of the Peace James King said Friday that Simmons apparently was overcome by smoke and fell in a ditch. Authorities don't yet know if Simmons died in a crash of the fire truck, or if he was fatally injured after getting out of the vehicle.

Worker Fatally Electrocuted

April 15, FRONT ROYAL, VA - 19 year old Aaron W. Bradley was fatally electrocuted in an incident Friday. Bradley was in a raised bucket truck when he came into contact with a high voltage wire. He was employed by D & E Tree and Landscaping.

Company Executive Dies in Plane Crash

April 15, DE QUEEN, AR - 52 year old Timothy Stanley of Broussard, LA and President of Rose Resources Oil & Gas was killed in a plane crash Friday. Stanley was on his way to Oklahoma Thursday but had to stay over in De Queen because of inclement weather. As he tried to take off Friday morning there was a problem with the plane and he attempted to return to the De Queen airport but came up short of the runway. The plane was registered to Rose Resources.

Worker Crushed Under Front End Loader

April 15, OCALA, FL - 56 year old Ronnie Fort was killed when when a 33,290-pound L90E Volvo front-end loader fell on top of him while he was changing a tire. An employee said it appears Fort had taken the rear left tire off and was in the process of taking off the right rear tire. Several pieces of wood were under the rear left wheel, and it appears that when Fort was in the process of placing pieces of wood under the right rear wheel, the wood on the rear left side weakened and split, causing the loader to collapse onto him. His co-workers worked frantically with a forklift and powered jacks to lift the loader off him.

Farmer Electrocuted Setting up Sprinklers

April 15, MAYO, FL - 48 year old Timothy Blake Guyton was died from cardiac arrest, secondary to being electrocuted on his farm. Guyton and others were setting up irrigation pipes when Guyton raised a pipe vertically to shake debris from inside it. “Witness stated that in the failing light Guyton failed to notice the proximity of the pipe to an overhead power line,” police said. “Witness advised that when Guyton shook the pipe it made contact with the electrical line and caused his immediate electrocution.”

Letter Carrier Struck by Train

April 14, PAWNEE, OK - 57 year old Perry Southern was killed when he was struck by a train. Police say Southern was on foot at the double-line crossing at 11th and Harrison streets when he was hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. He died later at a Stillwater Hospital.

Surveyor Electrocuted in Bucket Truck

April 14, JACKSONVILLE, FL - 27 year old Matthew Rynish of Wisconsin was electrocuted Thursday in the bucket of his lift truck. Rynish, an employee of Wisconsin-based Ayres Associates, was taking pictures of the intersection of New Kings Road and Edgewood Avenue North shortly before 6 p.m. when a co-worker said he thinks he touched a power line, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office incident report. He was slouched over unconscious in the lift bucket.

Port Worker Dies After Being Pinned Against Container

April 14, PORT EVERGLADES, FL - 29 year old Antonio Del Hierro Perez of Hialeah was killed Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a tractor-trailer, the Broward Sheriff's Office said. He was assisting a truck driver who was picking up a container and was standing in front of the container as the driver backed up to load it onto the bed of the tractor-trailer. The truck driver struck Del Hierro, pinning him between the trailer and the container.

Industrial Incident Causes Worker's Death

April 13, SAN ANTONIO, TX - 50 year old John Nick was killed Wednesday while trying to fix a tractor in far West Bexar County. Nick was working on a loader machine attempting to stop a hydraulic fluid leak at a skeet range when the tractor's bucket shifted and he became pinned between the bucket and the machine's two arms. He was killed instantly.

Lighting Installer Electrocuted

April 12, GREENVILLE, TX - 22 year old James Leo Banks of Crowley, a subcontractor installing lighting at Greenville High School was electrocuted as he worked Tuesday night. Banks was conducting contract work and was electrocuted while working in a crawl space at the high school. Banks was employed by Lighting Technology, a sub-contractor for DMI, a company that has been conducting work at the high school for the past several weeks.

Man Collapses, Dies While Working

April 12, MILACA, MN - 55 year old Robert Scheerle collapsed while working at the Phoenix Banquet Center. He was an employee for Pool Products of Waite Park. Employees told police the collapse may have been caused by a gas pressure washer being used inside the pool area. Fire department personnel used a portable carbon monoxide detector, which indicated a presence of the gas, but not at levels high enough to trigger the alarm. Other areas of the building were checked and staff was instructed to fully ventilate the center. Official cause of death is pending.

Semi Driver Killed in Fiery Collision Identified

March 30, LINCOLN, NE - 52 year old Michael Wiechert of St. Claire Shores, MI has been identified from dental records as the truck driver who died in a fiery crash involving another semi. The NE Highway Patrol says Wiechert's semitrailer ran into the back of a tanker truck and caught fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The patrol says dental records were needed to make a positive identification.

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