Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Deputy Shot and Killed Attempting Arrest

July 14, COLUMBIA, SC - 39 year old Roger Rice, a Deputy for Laurens County Sheriff Department, was shot and killed by a man who was wanted for killing his girlfriend hours earlier, authorities said Thursday. Rice was shot in the chest just above his bullet proof vest. The suspect was shot in the leg before being arrested.

Third Injured Worker of Hoeganaes Plant Explosion Has Died

July 14, GALLATIN, TN - Fred Tuttle was injured in a flash fire of leaking hydrogen gas from a corroded pipe at the Hoeganaes Gallatin plant on May 27. Today he passed away from those injuries. The same fire also killed two other co-workers of Mr. Tuttle. Five workers have died at the Gallatin plant since January.

Logging Incident Kills Worker

July 13, FLUVANNA COUNTY, VA - 56 year old Stephen E. Moore died Wednesday while working near Scottsville for Tapscott Brothers Logging. Moore suffered fatal injuries when he was pinned between a forklift and another piece of machinery. Other details as to cause are not listed.

Worker Killed When Forklift Flips

July 13, MOKENA, IL - 35 year old Jose R. Barrera-Ruiz of Aurora died when the forklift he was driving flipped over and landed on him. Barrera-Ruiz was working for Brickman Landscaping moving equipment with a forklift. For some reason the forklift started to flip, ejected the worker and landed on him. OSHA will be handling the investigation.

Construction Worker Dies in Trench Cave In

July 13, BROOKLYN PARK, MN - 53 year old Jerome Thomas Bruce of Cambridge died after he was buried in a trench cave in and then suffered a heart attack. Bruce was doing water-proofing work on a Public Storage building foundation at the bottom of a trench. The trench was about eight feet deep, and with almost no warning, the wall of dirt above him collapsed, burying Bruce up to his shoulders. He was trapped for about 20 minutes and then went into cardiac arrest.

Man Dies From Fall

July 13, ZIMMERMAN, MN - 43 year old Jeffrey Fiereck died of injuries resulting from a fall. Fiereck was installing a DirectTV satellite dish at a residence when he apparently fell from the roof or a ladder. He was airlifted to a hospital where he later died.

Fall Into Grinder Machine Causes Death

July 13, LAWTON, OK - 26 year old Michael Raper died due to injuries he received from a fall into a meat grinder. Raper was working for the Bar S plant in Lawton where he was in charge of cleaning the machinery. "He slipped and went into the machine. He was still conscious at the time," Diane Ferris said. "So I can imagine the agony he was in, and he lost both of his legs in this accident." Raper was due to marry Ferris' niece in a few months. He turned 26 years old on Monday.

Heat Stroke Claims Life of Worker

July 13, TOWN CREEK, AL - 45 year old Cleophus Alexander Woods died Wednesday after suffering a heat stroke two days earlier. He died at a local hospital. Woods' daughter says her father and others were in a field on Monday drilling holes for fence posts. He got too hot and took a break, then went to a nearby house to do drywall work. He became sick and was taken to a hospital.

Security Guard Shot to Death Inside Vehicle

July 13, ROANOKE, VA - 46 year old Steve Edwin Orange Jr. of Vinton was found dead of a gunshot wound inside his SUV while on duty. Orange was hired by Afton Gardens Apartment complex through a private security company. Police responded to a report of shots fired at the complex and found Orange. Specific circumstances of the incident are not clear.

Two Dies in Tractor Trailer Rollover

July 13, DOTHAN, AL - 54 year old Bruce Reeder and 48 year old Donna Reeder of Youngstown, FL were killed when the tractor trailer Mr. Reeder was driving ran off the roadway and overturned. Both died at the scene. Neither were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Farmer Dies After Being Knocked Off Tractor

July 12, HARVARD, IL - 66 year old Mancel Beard was killed after the tractor he was driving was struck by a car. Beard was driving his farm tractor to another field when a car driven by a woman attempted to pass him as he was attempting to make a turn. He was knocked off the tractor. He died at a local hospital.

Driver Killed in Semi Crash

July 12, WYTHE COUNTY, VA - 41 year old Joey Langley died after his tractor trailer crashed. Police say he may have suffered a medical problem just before the truck ran off the roadway. No other details are available.

Disposal Truck Driver Killed in Fiery Wreck With Train

July 12, NORTH BERWICK, ME - 35 year old Peter Barnum of New Hampshire was killed Tuesday when a desperate attempt to stop his truck failed and he slammed into a train. Barnum, an employee for Tirumvirate Environmental, was hauling trash to a landfill when the train crossing warning lights came on and gates began to close. Barnum locked up the brakes but was unable to stop the truck, which was torn apart by the impact and a resulting explosion killed Barnum and charred the truck and parts of the train.

Worker Dies From Fall off Disposal Truck

July 12, METHUNE, MA - 28 year old Keimani Bell of Dorchester was killed after falling from the back of a trash collection truck. The truck was in the process of backing up when Bell lost his footing, slipped and fell from the back and under the wheels of the truck. Bell was an employee for F.W.Russell & Sons of Somerville.

Semi Driver Killed in Highway Crash

July 12, SACRAMENTO, CA - 44 year old Michael Mathis of Missouri was killed when he lost control of his tractor trailer. According to reports Mathis was pulling a trailer loaded with limestone with his brakes failed. He lost control of the rig, sending it into oncoming traffic, into an embankment where it flipped over and broke apart.

Ice Cream Truck Driver Shot to Death

July 12, DAYTON, OH - 60 year old Carl Banks was shot and killed in his ice cream truck. Just moments after selling ice cream to children he was shot. His truck was moving and it struck a house on Midway Avenue. At first police responded to a vehicle accident, but then discovered Banks had been shot. Homicide detectives are investigating.

Worker Dies First Day on the Job

July 11, EAST GLACIER, MT - 53 year old Scott Randell Burnett of Arlee died after he fell from the Two Medicine Bridge building project Monday. Burnett fell through a 15-inch gap on the bridge platform where an I-beam was about to be installed. There was only a piece of wood over the gap at the time. Burnett stepped on the wood, which caused it to break. It was his first day on the job and had only been there about an hour. It is unclear who Burnett worked for but the project general contractor is Wadsworth Construction Co. of Draper, UT.

Worker Collapses, Dies of Natural Causes

July 11, ROCK HILL, SC - 39 year old Jonathan White collapsed at the site of a Rock Hill operations site Monday. White was found unresponsive by co-workers at the Anderson Road facility. He was transported to Piedmont Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Cause of death is reported to be from natural causes and medical related. He was a Maintenance Superintendent I for Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Officer Shot Assisting Task Force

July 11, TERRE HAUTE, IN - Officer Brent Long was shot and killed and his K-9 was injured Monday as they were assisting a fugitive task force. The team was serving a warrant and while several people exited the house, the fugitive did not. Almost immediately upon entering the home, the suspect opened fire. Long was transported to a local hospital where he died. His K-9 was taken to a local veterinarian where he is recovering.

Woman Killed in Farming Accident

July 11, SEILING, OK - 34 year old Theadora Hill was killed when a water tank she was attempting to move fell on her. According to the sheriff’s office, Hill was attempting to pick up a 2,400-pound tank filled with water and Roundup with a tractor. The tank apparently was not on the tractor fully, so she tried to push it back on and the tank fell on her.

Worker Falls Into and Buried in Trench Collapse

July 11, TELLURIDE, CO - 48 year old Frank J. Panucci of Florence died when he fell into an open trench and then was buried by rain soak debris. Panucci was standing atop boards spanning the hole and measuring down to the bottom when the lip of the hole gave way, sending him downward along with the plywood he was standing on, according to a sheriff's spokesman. The walls of the hole soon caved in, sealing him below. Panucci was working for Evergreen Cassions of Fort Lupton, contracted to Tri State Generation & Transmission.

Contractor Falls Through Roof He Was Repairing

July 11, SUNDERLAND, MA - 54 year old Ronald Mistarka of Hatfield died when he fell through the roof of a business who was being repaired after a fire. Mistarka, owner of Mistarka Home Improvement, was working with a crew on the roof when he fell. It is unclear what caused Mistarka to fall. He died at the hospital.

Another Kentucky Coal Mine Death

July 11, INEZ, KY - 26 year old Ryan K. Thatcher of Salyersville died of crushing head injuries inside the Martin County Coal Corp. Voyager No.7 coal mine near Inez. Initial reports indicate Thatcher was operating a track locomotive pulling two car loads of supplies in the mine when the accident occurred. There were no apparent witnesses to the accident. The mine remains closed when an investigation is conducted.

Worker Killed in Construction Incident

July 11, BORDENTOWN, NJ - 51 year old Carmen DiLuzio of Wilmington, DE was killed when a several thousand pound concrete barrier fell onto him at a construction site on the New Jersey Turnpike. DiLuzio, a driver for Tipton Trucking, backed a flatbed truck next to a crane that was positioned to unload the barriers. As he unlatched the straps and binders that were holding the barriers, one of them fell from the truck and crushed DiLuzio under it.

One Officer Dies When Two Police Cruisers Collide

July 10, ALHAMBRA, CA - 26 year old Officer Ryan Stringer died of injuries he sustained in a two vehicle accident Sunday. Stringer and an officer in another cruiser were responding to a call of a possible robbery when their cruisers collided at an intersection. Both officers were transported to the hospital where Stringer later died and the other officer is in stable condition.

Double Fatality as Semi Truck Crashes

July 10, EL PASO, TX - 40 year old Renato Rodas and 48 year old Virginia Moreno were killed when the bobtail tractor truck Rodas was driving hit a fence and rolled over. For some reason Rodas lost control of the truck, which slid sideways across the right lane of traffic and the shoulder, going into a chainlink fence. Rodas and his passenger, Moreno, both died at the scene. It is unclear is Moreno was an employee.

Night Time Road Construction Results in Workers' Death

July 9, KENNEWICK, WA - 51 year old Brian Lacy of Terrebonne, OR was killed on a road construction project Saturday night. Work to replace old asphalt on Highway 395 was under way when a dump truck in the construction zone backed up and hit Lacy. Authorities say the incident appears to be an accident and that inattention was the cause. Lacy worked for a subcontractor for the general contractor, Inland Asphalt of Richland.

Youth Street Racing Cause Truck Driver's Death

July 9, HARPER WOODS, MI - 44 year old Thayalan Vinasithamby of Brampton, Ontario Canada was killed when his semi crashed into a grocery store in Harper Woods. Police say a teen with an invalid driver license was racing another driver and collided with Vinasithamby's truck. The truck traveled up an embankment and then crashed into a grocery store and burst into flames.

Texas Officer Killed by Fleeing Suspect

July 8, BEAUMONT, TX - 36 year old Officer Bryan Mitchell Hebert died Friday while trying to stop a suspect from fleeing. Hebert had stopped his patrol car Friday and was retrieving road spikes from his trunk to try to stop the fleeing SUV when the vehicle struck the patrol car head-on, pushing it into the officer.

Worker Killed in Grain Plant Explosion

July 8, GREENWOOD, MS - Kendall Jasper was severely burned in a grain explosion June 27 at Delta Oil Mill. He died of his injuries July 8. Another worker was also burned and is still in critical condition. Delta Oil Mill has been the site of two more grain fires since Jasper and Bates were injured but no one was injured in those fires. The exact circumstances of what caused the explosion are listed.

Firefighter Suffers Heart Attack While on Call

July 8, LOUISVILLE, KY - 49 year old Charles "Sparky" Sparks collapsed Thursday from a heart attack while at the scene of a house fire. He was part of the Columbia-Adair County Fire Department. Sparks was stabilized and transported to a local hospital before being flown to University Hospital where he died Friday. Sparks was also a deputy state fire marshal and a state fire rescue training instructor. He leaves behind a wife and 15-year-old son.

Police Officer Shot During Domestic Dispute Call

July 8, BISMARK, ND - 32 year old Sgt. Steve Kenner was shot and killed during a domestic dispute call Friday. He was responding to a call about a man threatening a woman with a knife. Officers found the suspect sitting in a van and as they approached the van, the suspect opened fire and shot Kenner.

Man Dies of Head Trauma From Fall Off Roof

July 8, FAYETTEVILLE, NC - 57 year old Albert Reeves died Friday after he fell from the roof of a business in a small shopping center. Authorities say he was not wearing any protective harness and fell about 15 feet to the pavement, hitting his head.

Utilities Worker Dies in Work Site Incident

July 8, BROOKINGS, SD - 45 year old Paul Jonas, a Brookings Municiple Utilities employee, died after an incident involving a saw he was using to cut a water line. Jonas was cutting the water line when the saw he was operating kicked back and he was severely inured. He was transported to a local hospital where he died.

Man Killed in Construction Site Incident

July 9, MANITOWOC, WI - 36 year old Jacob Inocencio died of injuries he suffered in a construction site incident. Inocencio died of blunt force trauma from being pinned between a truck and a dumpster when the truck backed up and pinned him against the dumpster. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Elderly Farmer Dies in Farming Accident

July 8, MIDDLETON, MO - 83 year old Samuel H. Mudd died Friday when he fell from his tractor and was hit by the piece of equipment he was towing. Troopers say it appears Mudd had a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the tractor.

Police Officer Dies During Training Exercise

July 7, SANFORD, NC - 55 year old Officer Elieser Colonroche died while rappelling during a training demonstration. Colonroche was participating in a training demonstration Tuesday at Central Carolina Community College. He was rappelling down a tower when he crashed into it. He was taken to a local hospital where he died of extensive internal bleeding.

Tree Trimmed Killed by Fallen Tree

July 7, RICHWOOD, OH - 64 year old Charles R. Ellis died when a tree he was trying to cut down fell onto him. Ellis and an employee were trimming trees in a wooded area when one tree gave them some trouble. The employee went to get other equipment when he heard the tree fall. He found his boss, Ellis, pinned underneath. Ellis died at the scene.

Road Construction Worker Killed by Equipment

July 6, ST. GEORGE, UT - 43 year old Charles "Chuck" D. Grundy was struck by the bucket of a front end loader and killed Wednesday. Grundy, who worked for Sunroc, was working on a project on I-15. The driver of the front end loader was working on uneven terrain with the bucket raised, and the driver was not able to see the victim in front of him, according to UHP. Grundy had his back to the loader and was on his cell phone when the loader struck him in the head, knocked him down and ran over him.

Farmer Killed in Equipment Accident

July 6, WAUBUM, MN - 82 year old Raynold Guenther died after becoming pinned between pieces of equipment on his farm. Guenther had fallen off his tractor and got trapped between the tractor and hay baler. His family says they're not sure whether he had a heart attack or fell asleep. He was found by his daughter Lori, who held him until he passed as he didn't want her to leave him to go get help.

Worker Killed During Robbery Attempt

July 5, CHARLOTTE, NC - 42 year old Wuilson Helvan Reyes Murilla was shot to death Tuesday at the La Acapulquena grocery store after police say he was involved in an altercation with two would-be robbers. Police said he died at the scene.

Grain Elevator Worker Electrocuted

July 5, METCALF, IL - 20 year old Tanner Michael Flach of Montrose was electrocuted Tuesday when the lift he was operating made contact with a power line near a grain elevator. Flach had been involved in cleaning the southeast elevator for painting at the Total Grain Marketing facility in Metcalf when he attempted to lower a lift to fetch additional equipment. As it descended, the lift came into contact with the lower of several power lines. Another worker shouted for help but Flach died at the scene.

Double Semi Crash Kills One

July 5, EAST HAZEL CREST, IL - 35 year old Franklin Housen was killed when his tractor trailer and that of another driver crashed Tuesday. The exact circumstances as to cause and manner of the accident are not clear.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash

July 4, JUNIUS, NY - 49 year old John Marton of Toronto, Canada, was killed when his tractor trailer crashed. According to police, his truck veered off the highway, crossed the median and both westbound lanes before coming to a stop in a field in the town of Junius in Geneva County, state troopers said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Veteran Roofer Dies From Fall

June 30, SAN ANTONIO, TX - 48 year old Pedro Vazquez died Thursday from injuries he sustained in a fall June 28 at a work site at Randolph Air Force Base. Vazquez, an employee for Herzing Roofing, who had done roofing his entire working life, slipped while trying to unfasten a rope attached to a harness. An investigation into the cause and manner of the incident is ongoing.

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