Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Tractor Trailer Driver and Passenger Die in Crash

August 10, JASPER COUNTY, IN - 59 year old Dennis Mattern and 57 year old Debra J. Moon, both of Manchester, TN died in a crash that involved two other semi's on I-65 in Jasper County. Mattern was driving a semi and failed to slow the rig for road construction that was reduced to one lane. He was driving at a high rate of speed when he slammed his rig into the back of another semi who was pushed into yet another semi. Mattern died at the scene as did Moon who was in the sleeper compartment of the truck. The other drivers were not seriously injured.

Man Mowing Weeds Struck by Semi

August 10, SCOTT COUNTY, VA - 46 year old Gary P. Meade of Nickelsville was killed when a tractor trailer driver hit the tractor-mower he was driving along Route 23 in Scott County. Meade was mowing the grass in the right shoulder when it was struck in the side by a northbound tractor-trailer. The impact of the crash split the tractor in half. The driver of the tractor was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Mechanic Killed as Car Falls Off Lift

August 10, WALTON, KY - 50 year old Sheldon Gebhardt of Elsmere, a mechanic for Walton Imported Motors, was killed while he was working under a car that was up on a lift. Gebhardt was working on a car that was on a mechanical lift when the front of the car slipped and pinned him underneath it, killing him. No other information is available.

Worker Trapped, Dies in Equipment

August 10, FOND DU LAC, WI - 34 year old Daniel V. Lehner died in an industrial incident Wednesday at Sadoff & Rudoy Industries. Police and firefighters arrived to find Lehner trapped inside a piece of equipment. He was extracted but died at the scene. No other details were given.

Semi Driver Dies Trapped Under Wreckage

August 10, MINNEAPOLIS, MN - 62 year old Glen Johnson of Colfax, WI was killed when his semi struck a light pole and overturned going into the Lowry Tunnel Wednesday. Johnson was trapped in the wreckage and died at the scene.

School Principle Killed in Classroom

August 10, MEMPHIS, TN - 49 year old Suzette York, Principle of Memphis Jr Academy, was found dead in a classroom Wednesday and a 17 year old boy has been arrested. An investigation is ongoing and authorities have not issued an exact cause of death except to say she was wounded. Media reports say she was stabbed but that has not been confirmed.

Store Clerk Gunned Down in Robbery

August 9, BROWARD COUNTY, FL - 25 year old Clairemathe Geffrard, a clerk for a check cashing store, was shot to death in a robbery. As police arrived the suspect fled, killing a bystander before being apprehended by police. Geffrard leaves behind a husband of one year and a young son.

Oil Rig Worker Killed by Falling Pipes

August 9, HIGH ISLAND, TX - 56 year old Ralph Hudspeth of College Station was killed while dismantling an oil rig. The sheriff's department said Hudspeth was standing next to a forklift that was holding a load of pipes. The pipe shifted and fell onto Hudspeth. He died of blunt force trauma to the chest.

UPS Driver Killed in Storm Accident

August 9, AUBURN, IN - 45 year old Todd Alber of Fort Wayne was killed when a tree uprooted during a storm and fell onto the UPS truck he was driving in Auburn, crushing him. A National Weather Service spokesman said it was a “microburst” – brief, intense, localized straight-line winds – that sent the branch onto Alber’s truck. The wind took down multiple trees on Seventh Street, he said.

Worker Died of Gunshot Meant for Another

August 9, RIVERTON, WV - Tony Stiles was shot and killed by a man who went to Hinkle Trucking to kill his girlfriend. Reports say a man went to the trucking business to shot his girlfriend when Stiles was caught in the crossfire. He was shot in the throat and died. The shooter then committed suicide. Stiles was not involved in any way with the individuals involved.

Power Lineman Dies of Electrocution

August 9, TIFTON, GA - 48 year old Steven Broadus Sellers, a lineman for Georgia Power, died while trying to restore power after a storm. He was doing storm (power) restoration when he apparently came into contact with a wire and was electrocuted. The exact cause or reason is unknown at this time.

Farm Worker Killed by Equipment

August 9, VERONA, MI - 34 year old William "Billy" Lubeski of Bad Axe died while working on a farm tiling project. He was using a backhoe that somehow backed over him. Lubeski was able to call for help and he was transported to an area hospital, however, due to the nature of his injuries he was life flighted to another hospital where he died of those injuries.

Store Manager Shot and Killed by Employee

August 9, BRATTLEBORO, VT - 59 year old Michael Martin of Dummerston was shot and killed at the Brattleboro Food Co-Op where he was store manager. He was killed shortly after opening the store Tuesday. Police have arrested another employee for the murder of Martin. No motive for the shooting has been confirmed.

Gravel Pit Worker Dies in Machinery

August 9, FAIRFAX, MN - 24 year old Aaron D. Kaufmann of Hutchinson died Tuesday in an industrial incident at a gravel pit near Fairfax. Authorities say Kaufmann became entangled in a piece of machinery and suffered an amputation. When rescue personnel arrived they found he was no longer in the machine but were not able to revive him.

Driver Killed in Logging Truck Accident

August 8, WHITEHALL, CA - 50 year old Steven John Edwards of Pollock Pines died when his logging truck crashed into the American River between Whitehall and Kyburz. The rig ended up partially in the water, spilling logs and fuel. The cab of the truck remained out of the river, but the driver was pinned inside the wreckage, said CHP officer Rich Wetzel.

Two Trucks Collide, One Driver Dies

August 8, MOUNT GILEAD, OH - 49 year old Damian M. Simon of Mount Vernon was killed when his Knox County dump truck collided with a cement truck that had overturned on a curve. The overturned cement truck slid into the on-coming lane that Simon was in, hitting head on. Simon was taken to a local hospital when he was pronounced dead.

Industrial Truck Crash Kills Driver

August 8, MOUNDSVILLE, WV - 42 year old Brian DiVittorio of Wintersville was killed when the Ecologic Environmental Services truck he was driving went off the roadway and down an embankment. DiVittorio had just left the Trans Energy Well's Whipkey Pad near Cameron and was on his way to the Wetzel County Landfill when he went around a turn, lost control, hit a guardrail and plunged over a hill about 80 to 100 feet.

Female Truck Driver Killed in Wreck

August 8, HAGERSTOWN, MD - 56 year old Corethia Areia Cross of Dundalk was killed when a tow truck slammed into her disabled semi that was on the shoulder of the roadway. Cross was a co-driver of the semi owned by Gunthers Enterprises. She and the other driver were attempting to make repairs to their truck when a tow truck slammed into the back of the trailer. The impact propelled Cross into the guardrail.

Young Worker Killed by Road Grader

August 8, BARLING, AR - 19 year old Zack Wells was killed when he was hit and run over by a road grader while working on a parking lot for the Arkansas State Highway Department. Wells apparently was measuring something and may have been kneeling and the road grader driver didn't see him.

Company Owner Crushed Under JumboTron

August 8, THOUSAND OAKS, CA - 49 year old David Mann died after a 1,500 pound TV monitor fell, crushing him underneath. As Mann, owner of Jumbo Screens, was disassembling equipment the giant monitor fell from a fork lift. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. OSHA is investigating.

Hydro Plant Worker Falls Into Turbin

August 8, BALDWINSVILLE, NY - 60 year old John Stranburg of Allegany died Monday after falling into a working turbine. Stranburg fell while doing maintenance on a turbine and was sucked underwater by the powerful current. Stranburg was co-owner of the Wave Hydro (electric) power plant in Baldwinsville, near Syracuse.

Worker Dies in Mine Incident

August 8, BEALLSVILLE, WV - Keith Baker of Jacobsburg, an employee for American Energy Corp., was killed in an unspecified incident at the Century Mine near Beallsville Monday. Baker was a 10 year employee for the company.

Firefighter Who Collapsed Last Month Dies

August 7, PERRY, OK - 53 year old Firefighter Kyle King collapsed last month while fighting a grass fire around an abandoned house. He died Sunday and the cause of death is pending. "Between the heat and the (heaviness of the) equipment, he was just overcome,” Perry Fire Chief Emmon said.

Second Officer Dies After Shoot Out

August 7, RAPID CITY, IA - Officer Nick Armstrong, who was injured August 2 in a shoot out, has died. Armstrong and two other officers stopped several individuals at a bus stop when one of them pulled a gun and began firing. One of the other officers was killed at the scene. The suspect was ultimately captured after a pursuit by other officers.

Cab Driver Shot and Killed

August 7, EAST POINT, GA - 49 year old Jack Rainey of East Point was shot and killed Sunday. Rainey called in to say he'd been shot but the radio went dead before they knew his location. Four hours later a woman called to report finding Rainey and the Day and Night Cab. The reason for the shooting is not given.

Police Officer Killed by Suicidal Gunman

August 7, SAN DIEGO, CA - 36 year old Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot and killed while sitting alone in his vehicle Sunday. A 23 year old male who robbed a restaurant came upon the officer, pulled up along side of him and opened fire. Witnesses used Henwood's radio to call for help. The suspect continued on a rampage until other officers were finally able to stop him. The gunman was killed.

Restaurant Employee Killed While Breaking up Fight

August 7, HOT SPRINGS, AR - 49 year old Ray Dautartas was killed when he was run over by a car while attempting to break up a fight at Smyly's Crab Shack where he worked. Investigators say someone in a car backed up with the door open and knocked Dautartas to the ground. As others were trying to help Dautartas, the driver pulled forward running over him. No charges have been filed as yet.

Worker Burned to Death in Substation Explosion

August 7, KISSIMMEE, FL - 48 year old Beverly Armstrong of Trenton, TN died Sunday morning from burns she received from an explosion at a Kissimmee Utility Authority substation. Witnesses who heard the explosion saw the substation on fire and one of the three fleeing workers were on fire. Armstrong, a contractor with Reinhausen Group, and two male employees were performing maintenance on a 69,000 volt transformer at a control house when the explosion occurred. OSHA will investigate.

Man Dies in Construction Incident

August 6, MUNICH, ND - 43 year old Shane Christenson of Devil's Lake died after a fall at a farm. Christenson fell about 22 feet from the rafters of a machine building under construction. He died at the scene. Authorities continue to investigate.

Construction Flagger Struck by Vehicle

August 6, PRICE, UT - 54 year old Linda Potter of Castle Dale was killed when she was struck down by a pickup truck going too fast for working conditions. Potter was directing northbound traffic through a single-lane construction zone on state Route 10 just outside of Price, when she was struck by the pickup. Potter was the second employee of Nielson Construction that died within 48 hours of another who was also hit by a vehicle.

Construction Deadly for Third Time in UT

August 6, WILLARD, UT - 52 year old Luis O. Aragon of West Jordan was killed while working road construction Saturday. Aragon was part of a "rotomilling" crew with Construction Material Recycling working on I-15. The process involves a mobile mill grinding the road surface and dumping it into a truck in front of it. Aragon somehow became trapped in between the two pieces of machinery and was run over by the dump truck.

Electrician Dies in Fall From Lift

August 5, YOUNGSVILLE, NC - 31 year old Eric Eugene Black of Wake Forest died after falling at the Trulite Glass & Aluminum's plant. Reports say Black was working on a lift when a crane moving glass collided with the lift. Black was knocked off the lift and fell about 25 feet to his death. The incident is being investigated.

Recycling Employee Struck and Killed by Equipment

August 4, WINDSOR, CT - 51 year old John Fitzpatrick of Ellington, an employee for USA Hauling & Recycling, was struck by a pay loader in the parking lot of F&G Recycling Friday. Fitzpatrick was walking in the parking lot when he was hit. Federal OSHA is investigating the incident.

Restaurant Worker Shot to Death

August 5, JONESBORO, GA - 38 year old David Harris was shot and killed while working at Berris & Norma Caribbean Restaurant Friday. Harris was working in the back with other employees when gunmen walked into the back and started shooting. No motive for the shooting is given.

Industrial Incident Claims Workers Life

August 5, WELLSVILLE, NY - Donald J. Gadley of Friendship was killed Friday in an unspecified industrial incident. Gadley was an employee for Dresser-Rand Wellsville. OSHA is investigating.

Worker Hit by Car, Second From Same Company

August 4, WELLINGTON, UT - 31 year old Aaron Simms of Price, was killed when he was hit by a vehicle while employed by Nielson Construction. Simms died when a motorist drifted over to the opposite shoulder of Ridge Road in Wellington and struck Simms who had been pulling weeds in front of the company’s offices. He died at the scene. Simms died less than 48 hours before another company employee (Potter-above).

Migrant Worker Killed in Harvesting Machine

August 4, TABOR CITY, NC - 43 year old Buenaventura Cortez-Martinez, a native of El Salvador, was killed when he was pulled into a tobacco harvesting machine. He was operating the harvester when it became clogged. He stopped the machine but did not turn it off and when he reached his hand inside to unclog it, he was pulled into the machine.

Worker Killed at Well Drilling Site

August 4, WASKOM, TX - 56 year old Roger Hampton of DeBerry was killed while on the job at a Caddo Parish natural gas drilling site near Waskom. Hampton was crushed between a backhoe and a pickup truck on the well site. Hampton worked for Select Energy Services, an oil and gas service company based in Houston.

Tree Trimmer Dies After Truck Runs Over Him

August 4, SOLVANG, CA - 53 year old Armando Medina of Nipomo died after he was hit and run over by a run-away truck. According to police, another worker was attempting to disconnect a chipper/shredder trailer from the bucket truck and truck began rolling down the hill and ran over Medina. He later died at an area hospital.

Railroad Worker Killed in Accident

August 4, TULSA, OK - 39 year old Deborah Beeler of Claremore died Thursday in an accident on the tracks of Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad. The highway patrol says Beeler was a passenger of an ATV when it collided with one of the train cars. Beeler died at the scene.

Employee Pinned Between Two Trailers Dies

August 3, SPRINGDALE, AR - 50 year old Merrill Reynolds died Wednesday at Tyson's food plant in Springdale. He died after being pinned between two trailers in a staging area adjacent to the plant. Officers say some employees administered first aid to Reynolds, however he died from his injuries.

Farmer Killed in Tractor Accident

August 3, THORN HILL, TN - 54 year old Harold G. Dalton was killed when he lost control of his farm tractor Wednesday. While driving, the tractor left the roadway and rolled down an embankment, pinning Dalton under it.

Worker Hit by Semi at Loading Dock

August 3, PAYETTE, ID - 59 year old Thomas Walker, a long time worker for Seneca Food Processing plant, was killed Wednesday. Walker was hit and pinned under a semi that was backing up in a loading dock area. He died at the scene.

Worker Dies Trying to Save Another

August 3, FENTON, MI - 41 year old Ronald Utica died Wednesday attempting to save the life of a co-worker. Utica, an employee for Bender & Pociask Construction Company, was attempting to rescue a sub-contractor who had succumbed to methane gas fumes and had fallen into a sanitary sewer hole as he was attempting to measure it. Reports say Utica passed out too from the toxic fumes and fell, head first, into the confined space possibly breaking his neck.

Worker Dies as Result of Propane Fire

August 3, WICHITA, KS - 40 year old Jeffrey S. Burnam died of injuries he sustained in an explosion and fire at Global Propane fill station. The exact cause remains unknown, however it appears as canisters were being filled there was a release of propane which caused a fire and explosion. Several others were hurt in the incident.

Gas Tanker Overturns, Driver Killed

August 3, INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 47 year old Shawn Sullivan of Delphi died as the result of a tractor-tanker roll over. For an unknown reason, the truck hit portable concrete barriers used for road construction. At the end of the barriers, the truck tires went into the ditch causing it to tip over.

Construction Worker Dies in Fall

August 3, FAIRPLAY, CO - 35 year old Silviano Barreras-Martinez of Federal Heights has died after falling July 26 from a partially collapsed scaffold. He worked for Saunders Construction building the new Re-2 school district campus in Fairplay. The incident also sent two other workers to the hospital. OSHA is investigating.

Police Officer Killed in Shoot Out

August 2, RAPID CITY, IA - 28 year old Officer James Ryan McCandless died of gunshot wounds he received after a routine stop with other officers. McCandless and two other officers approached a group of four people at a bus stop when something went wrong and one person pulled a gun and began firing. McCandless was struck several times in the chest. The suspect was eventually captured after a chase by the other officers.

Worker Struck, Killed by Large Construction Hook

August 2, KATY, TX - an unidentified 32 year old construction worker was killed when he was struck by a large tow hook. He was working on a roadway when a concrete truck became stuck on a slight hill. A second truck was used to try and free the first truck by using a large tow strap strap, but the strap broke free and struck the man, who was standing in between the trucks.

Construction Worker Hit by Car Dies

August 2, JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - 29 year old Jorge Corranza of DeSoto has died of injures he received when he was hit by a car. Corranza, a construction worker, was hit by a car while doing roadwork between Fenton and Arnold on July 12.

Dump Truck Driver Killed in Crash

August 2, MT. PLEASANT, SC - 73 year old James Cook of Summerville was killed Tuesday morning after his large dump truck collided with at least seven cars on Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant. After the collision the truck hit a tree and then caught fire.

Worker Dies After Fall at Treatment Facility

August 2, PLAYA DEL REY, CA - 30 year old Edgar Alejandro Gonzalez of Tujunga died after falling at Hyperion (sewage) Treatment Plant Tuesday. Gonzalez, who worked for a private contractor, was doing framing work when he fell from a wall, officials said. Cal OSHA is investigating the incident.

Worker Crushed by Bakery Machinery

August 2, DALLAS, TX - an unidentified man was killed Tuesday at CSM Bakery Products. Fire crews arrived to find the man crushed under a piece of machinery after somehow ending up on a conveyor belt. No other details are available.

Young Deputy Dies in Cruiser Crash

August 2, SNOW HILL, NC - 21 year old Deputy David Jennings Dawson III died in a crash while responding to a call. The Greene County Sheriff Department said Deputy Dawson was responding to a call to assist another deputy when he lost control of his cruiser, which veered off the road and struck a tree.

Man Dies in Accident on Farm

August 1, SAN ANTONIO, TX - 19 year old Austin Torres died of severe head trauma Monday while working on farm equipment in western Dyer County. Torres was working with a crew for Mid-Valley Irrigation repairing a 1,435 feet long irrigation system that had been turned over during a heavy storm in April. As the crew was attempting to upright a section of the large sprinkler system when it began to fall and Torres was hit by it.

Crane Operator Dies in Sand Pit Cave In

August 1, TALLAHASSEE, FL - Bryan Smith of Tallahassee died when a sand pit he was operating a crane caved in around him. Firefighters say it appeared the dirt wall fell on Smith. They say they had to dig the dirt from around the cab compartment of crane.

Animal Control Officer Collapses on Call

August 1, CHEROKEE COUNTY, AL - 65 year old Larry Martin, a Cherokee County Animal Control Officer, collapsed in front of a home while putting a dog in his truck. He was transported to a local hospital where he died. No cause of death is known.

Worker Dies of Injuries in Fall

July 29, ABINGTON, MA - 47 year old John Lopez of Boston died Friday of injuries he sustained in a fall July 28. Lopez was at a home preparing it for painting when the ladder he was on slipped out from under him, dropping him in to bushes below. Lopez was impaled in the nose by a branch. Lopez, who has a wife and children in his native Columbia, worked for O'Mahoney Painting.

Truck Driver Killed in Accident

July 28, EFFINGHAM, IL - 50 year old Michael J. Reese of Dumas, MS died in an accident while driving his semi near Effingham. According to reports, he was driving through road construction when he fell asleep. His rig hit a guardrail, ran off the road and struck a tree. Reese's son, a passenger in the rig, called for help after the accident.

Construction Worker Dies When Porch Collapses

July 26, SANTA FE, NM - 50 year old Raymundo Uribe died of head and torso injuries when he a porch he was helping build collapsed under him. The homeowner contracted with Cinco Hermanos Construction for the work but had not obtained the proper permits or submit plans. The initial observation was that the porch was not secured to the double-wide, or it was too heavy for the support posts," said Sisneros, a sergeant with the sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division. "It was a pretty heavy-duty construction, with 6- to 10-inch-diameter vigas."

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