Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekly Toll:Death in the American Workplace

Construction Truck Backs Into, Kills Man

August 18, SEARSPORT, ME - 58 year old Weston "Wes" B. Haskell III of Frankfort was killed on a construction site when a dump truck backed into him. Haskell was working on a water utility project when the truck driven by an employee of RF Jordan Construction of Ellsworth backed into him, killing him instantly. Haskell worked for the engineering firm, AE Hodson based in Waterville.

Commercial Vehicle Driver Killed in Rollover

August 18, NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA - 49 year old La Phan of Plymouth was killed when the refrigerated van he was driving crashed off the I-95. He was driving a van for Humarock Fish Co. of Hanover.

Gas Worker Found Dead

August 18, JAMES CITY, NC - Frank Birdsong, an employee for Jenkins Gas, was found laying over an open manhole. He was servicing a gas line because of a possible leak. Officials will determine whether he died from the gas leak or a possible medical condition. Another gas leak at the same location an hour later caused evacuations due to about 500 gallons of propane leaking and shooting approximately 30 feet in the air.

Fish and Wildlife Worker Dies Conducting Survey

August 18, CARSON, WA - 47 year old Mark Snepp of White Salmon was found dead in the upper Wind River. Snepp and another employee were conducting a fish survey for U.S. Fish & Wildlife when he became briefly separated from his partner. Snepp was found in about two feet of water. He had been wearing a life jacket, scuba mask and snorkel for the work.

Tractor Trailer Driver Hit Own Rig Dies

August 17, SALEM, OR - 54 year old Dean Leslie Pollard of Portland died Wednesday when he was struck by his semi. Pollard pulled into a small shopping mall to ask for directions and while inside a store, noticed his rig rolling forward. Pollard raced outside and in an attempt to stop the vehicle he was run over. Pollard had been a long-time driver for Christenson Oil of Portland.

Road Worker Killed by Driver Trying to Pass

August 17, JASPER, TX - 23 year old Michael Allen Lorie died after a motorist went around others stopped for road construction and struck him while he worked on Highway 105 near Evadale. TxDOT spokesman Marc Shepherd says Lorrie was working for a company called EaglePro, which is a Beaumont based engineering firm hired out by APAC to make base repairs to the highway's foundation.

Dozer Operator Dies When Ground Under Collapses

August 17, ANCHORAGE, AK - Jack Button of Big Lake died Wednesday when the ground collapsed under his dozer, sending him into the water at the Port of Anchorage. He was able to jump from the machine but was trapped in the debris. Button worked many years for West Construction who had been hired to assess the damage done under another contractor on the port expansion. Button was moving earth so steel sheets could be inspected when the ground gave way under him.

Worker Crushed Under Car

August 17, PLYMOUTH, IN - 46 year old Brian K. Lehiy of Plymouth when the car he was working under fell and crushed him. Lehiy was an employee for Hundt's Auto Salvage.

Tree Service Worker Killed

August 17, DANIELSVILLE, GA - 26 year old Christopher Welch of Watkinsville died while working to cut down a tree in Madison County. Welch was in the tree in a private yard along Nowhere Road when he became pinned by part of the tree while he was cutting it down. A fellow worker in a crane tried to free Welch but he died at the scene.

Fire Chief Dies After Fighting House Fire

August 16, LANCASTER, SC - 54 year old Dennis J. Cauthen, Fire Chief for Elgin Volunteer Fire Department, died at a local hospital after returning from fighting a house fire. Cauthen complained of feeling "heart burn" pains while at the fire. The pains got worse after returning to the station and he was taken to a local hospital where he died. A specific cause of death is not given.

Young Amish Farmer Dies in Tragic Accident

August 16, CADIZ, KY - 19 year old Benuel Stoltzfus of the Linton area of Cadiz died in an accident involving a piece of farm equipment Tuesday. Stoltzfus was using a chipper to make silage when he lost his balance and fell onto the conveyor belt and into the machine, police said. He died at the scene.

Passenger in Tractor Trailer Dies

August 16, WILMINGTON, MA - 32 year old Cristian F. Hernandez-Giron of Central Falls, RI was killed when he was trapped inside a wrecked semi. For an unexplained reason a van owned by a painting company swerved across all lanes of traffic on I-93 and into the semi, sending it out of control and rolling into the median.

Officer Dies When Car Rammed by Suspect

August 16, CARUTHERSVILLE, MO - 28 year old Officer Evans Burns was killed when his cruiser was rammed by a suspect attempting to flee officers. Burns and another officer were setting up spike strips to stop a man in a stolen vehicle when the suspect rammed the vehicle into one officer, who was injured, before ramming into Burns' cruiser. Burns died on impact. The suspect is in custody and faces murder charges.

Man Killed When Riding Lawn Mower Flips

August 16, SHAWNEE, PA - 69 year old Wayne D. Mitchell of East Stroudsburg was killed when a riding lawn mower he was operating flipped at the Shawnee Inn. He was mowing the grass on the Blue Course when he made a turn at the edge of an embankment. The mower rolled over sideways down the embankment with him still in the seat. The mower rolled over Mitchell, who was discovered by a co-worker minutes later.

Offshore Worker Killed in Crane Collapse

August 16, GALVESTON AREA, TX - 20 year old Brandon Noland of Katy, TX died while working on an offshore production platform. Noland was working on Energy Resource Technology's High Island (HI) Block A557 Platform A when a crane failed, and collapsed onto Noland. The crane was being used to offload a large piece of equipment when a boom hoist cable failed and a series of events caused the crane to collapse.

Farming Accident Kills Woman Helping Husband

August 16, MERRILL, WI - 38 year old Tonya L. Schug died Tuesday after falling from a hay trailer being towed by her husband. A preliminary investigation showed Schug was riding on a hay wagon, fell off and was run over, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Road Worker Killed by Asleep-at-the-Wheel Driver

August 15, TAHLEQUAH, OK - 43 year old Ruben Quezada Garcia was killed when a driver who had fallen asleep behind the wheel rammed into the back of a Glover Construction truck pulling a trailer with a flashing arrow board on the back, warning drivers to move to the other lane. The impact caused the truck to be propelled forward into Garcia. Garcia's co-worker was sitting in the construction truck that was hit and was injured in the crash.

Workers Electrocuted, One Dies

August 15, MIDDLEPORT, OH - 35 year old Christian (Chris) Styler of Pomeroy died and his cousin was injured when a gutter they were attempting to install came into contact with an electrical power line. Styler, owner of the business, and his cousin were installing a gutter at Manley's Recycling Center in Middleport. Reports say they were on the roof when they came upon a yellow jacket's nest and most likely due to being startled by the encounter, they touched the power line.

Billboard Worker Falls to His Death

August 15, ARLINGTON, TX - 40 year old John Burnette of Boyd has died after falling about 30 feet from a sign near Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Burnette apparently lost his footing and fell. It was not clear if he was wearing a safety harness. UPDATE: New reports are confirming that Burnette was wearing a safety harness when he fell from the billboard. It is still unclear how he lost his footing.

Miner Killed in Roof Collapse

August 15, LOGAN COUNTY, WV - 46 year old Charles M. Hall of Williamson died as the result of a roof collapse at Mingo Logan Coal Company's Mountaineer #2 mine. Hall was assisting in a longwall equipment move, installing roof supports when he was struck by falling rock. Federal and state mine safety officials are investigating.

Worker Killed in Incident at Construction Company

August 15, CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - 31 year old Michael Bustoz died after being hit and trapped under a beam that fell onto him. A close family friend of Bustoz says he had just walked out of a building onto the property when he was suddenly hit by a beam and trapped underneath. Co-workers rushed to his side, actually lifting the beam up just enough to pull him out but he died after being rushed to a local hospital.

Siding Contractor Electrocuted

August 15, FRIDLEY, MN - 51 year old Rich Hennen of Inver Grover Heights was electrocuted while working in an aerial lift at an apartment complex in Fridley. According to police, Hennen, owner of Hennen Siding, was on and controlling an aerial lift replacing flashing when his neck came in contact with an Xcel Energy power line. He died instantly.

Corporation Employee Dies of Injuries

August 15, MURRAY, KY - 47 year old Bobby Robinson died of unspecified injures he received at Wickliffe's NewPage Corporation facility. Robinson was in the Power and Recovery area of the facility when he was injured. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, TN for treatment. He died at the hospital.

Worker Dies in Industrial Incident

August 15, SEADRIFT, TX - 54 year old Arthur Gahagan of Victoria died in an on-site accident at Dow Chemical Seadrift Operations. Gahagan was working to unplug a line stoppage when some kind of blow-out occurred. Someone heard a loud bang and found Gahagan, who was working alone, dead when they went to check on him.

County Worker Dies When Mower Overturns

August 15, TERRE HAUTE, IN - Earl Slavens, a 33 year veteran employee for Vigo County Parks & Recreation, died after being pinned down by a lawn mower in Prairie Creek Park. Officials say Slavens lost control of the mower and it tipped over into a pond. He was trapped under the mower, in the pond, for about 30 minutes before they were able to recover his body.

Teen Dies Working on Construction Site

August 15, OSGOOD, OH - 16 year old Damon Springer of Celina was killed when he was struck by a bobcat front end loader while working on a site in Osgood. Springer was working for his family's company, Springer Sons Tree Service LLC, who was sub-contracted to remove trees from the construction site. Springer's father did not see his son and accidentally back into him with the equipment.

Man Crushed to Death at Bakery

August 15, EL SERENO, CA - 57 year old Rigoberto Yanez of Los Angeles was killed when he was crushed under a metal gate at Chimentis Bakery Co. in El Sereno. Yanez was opening a gate at the bakery when it somehow came off its track and fell on Yanez. Cal-OSHA is investigating.

City Worker Dies in Lawnmower Incident

August 15, WINGATE, NC - Felinda Thompson has been identified by her son as having died in an incident involving a large lawnmower that flipped over, trapping her underneath. She was an employee for Town of Wingate Public Works Department. It appears the landscaping equipment flipped over into a pile of brush not far from the pavement.

Firefighter Dies as Roof Collapses

August 14, DALLAS, TX - 41 year old Lt. Todd Krodle died on Sunday night while battling an apartment complex fire in the Oak Cliff neighborhood. Witnesses said Krodle was working on the roof when it collapsed under him, sending Krodle into the burning building. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Cab Driver Shot and Killed

August 14, NEW FRANKLIN, OH - 61 year old Jerry Laury of Canton was shot and killed Sunday afternoon. Few details are known but police say Laury was shot in a parking lot and that one person has been arrested for his murder.

Train Inspector Dies After Touching Rail

August 14, BABYLON, NY - Russell E. DeCeck, a 28 year employee for The Long Island Rail Road, died after apparently touching the electrified third rail in the railroad's Babylon yard. He died after being taken to a local hospital. Officials are not clear as to the exact manner of DeCeck's death.

Worker Dies of Burns From Explosion

August 13, SOMERSET, PA - 50 year old George Rockwell Rininger of Hootersville died Saturday of burns he received in an explosion Friday at Kantner Iron & Steel. Rininger was cutting the lock off a large steel box which was not marked with any warnings of explosives. It turned out to contain between 50 and 100 pounds of black powder and exploded. It came from a farm near Meyersdale on Friday.

Worker Dies of Heat Related Illness

August 13, BRONSON, FL - 46 year old James Cobb died Saturday after collapsing while working on August 4. Cobb, an employee for Bronson Public Works Department had been working outdoors when he collapsed. He was rushed to a local hospital with an extremely high temperature.

One Killed as Street Sweeper Flips

August 13, ABERDEEN, MS - 63 year old Dianne Tapley of Verona died when the street sweeper she was driving went off the road and flipped several times. She was ejected from the machine and died at the scene.

Stagehand Dies in Collapse at Indiana State Fair

August 13, INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 51 year old Nathan Byrd died, along with four other people, when the giant stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed in a sudden violent storm. "He liked being high and looking down at the concert and dimming the lights. He was the best light man they had," said Byrd's sister.

Security Guard Among Dead at Indiana State Fair

August 13, INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 51 year old Glenn Goodrich died when the massive Indiana State Fair concert stage collapsed during a sudden storm. A neighbor of Goodrich's, who was at the fair, heard Goodrich saved a mother and her young daughter before he was killed. That account has not been confirmed but it wouldn't surprise the neighbor.

Aircraft Worker Dies Following Incident

August 13, WICHITA, KS - Jerry Milligan, an employee of Spirit Aerosystems, died Saturday of unspecified injuries he suffered August 11. No details of the incident were given but Milligan died when he and other workers were moving a fuselage panel.

Tragedy at Marine Terminal

August 12, PHILADELPHIA, PA - 54 year old Charles DiRago of Wenonah, NJ died of unspecified injuries at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia. DiRago was a longshoreman at the marine terminal. According to reports, a container ship had just come in and unloading had just begun. OSHA is investigating.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Crash

August 12, DUCHESNE, UT - 44 year old Paul Ray Gallegos of Spanish Fork died after losing control of his semi in Indian Canyon. Gallegos' truck crossed the center line, left the roadway and partially rolled down an embankment. He died at the scene.

Worker Inside Manhole Dies

August 12, ASTON, PA - Larry Fisher died and another employee overcome at a wet well at Southwest Delaware County Municipal Authority’s Team Road pumping station. According to a press release, Fisher was with another worker in the wet well to clean a valve when the accident occurred. Fisher and the other man fell unconscious while in the well. Fisher died on the scene and the other employee was taken to an area hospital.

Firefighter Dies While at Station

August 12, DEL RIO, TX - 61 year old Lt. Larry G. Nelson died Friday when he fell from a small step ladder while at the Val Verde County Fire Station. The cause of his death is still undetermined.

Amish Man Dies in Farming Accident

August 12, NOTTAWA, MI - 38 year old Daniel Yoder was killed when he was crushed under a wagon that had broken away from a horse drawn carriage. According to authorities, the yoke between the two horses broke allowing the tongue of the trailer. The wagon was loaded with hay and went out of control and off the enbankment on the north side of the road. Yoder fell off or tried to jump and was run over by the wagon.

EMT Suffers Heart Attack While on Call

August 11, HIGHLAND, IL - Charles Black of Chicago died of heart failure while on a call in Highland Thursday. Black and his partner were assisting another unit carrying a heavy patient into his home when Black collapsed. He was treated at the scene and transported to an area hospital where doctors continued to work on him without success.

Construction Worker Electrocuted

August 11, CAMARILLO, CA - 32 year old Hiram Canales of Oxnard was electrocuted after he touched a high voltage wires while working on the roof of a home in Camarillo. Canales was taking apart a chimney when he touched the wires with a piece of metal and was shocked. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Horse Trained Killed When Kicked by Horse

August 11, PORTLAND MEADOWS, OR - 62 year old Charlynn Taketa, a horse trainer, died after being kicked by a loose horse at Portland Meadows race track Thursday. Taketa was leading her own horse when she was kicked in the head by the loose horse. Taketa's husband, who was also a horse trainer, was on site when his wife died.

Gas Station Owner Shot to Death

August 11, MIAMI GARDENS, FL - 58 year old Rabia Mahmood, owner of Amerika Gas Station and Food Mart, was gunned down while sitting in his car outside the store. Police believe it was a robbery gone wrong although it appears nothing was stolen. He was transported to an area hospital where he was died.

OSHA to Investigate Fatal Drilling Incident

August 11, ASPEN, CO - 39 year old Greg Watson of Minnesota died after his safety cord became tangled around the pole of a rock-drilling machine at a construction site. Watson was attempting to fix the horizontal rock-drill which was not working at the time. When it turned on the man's fall-prevention cord became caught in the drill's poll, twisting him around and mangling his body.

Officer Killed During Domestic Dispute Call

August 11, FREEMANSBURG, PA - 31 year old Robert Lasso was shot in the head Thursday as he responded to a call for domestic dispute. According to police, the homeowner shot Lasso when he pointed a stun gun on the man's dogs. The suspect is is being held without bail.

State Forest Firefighter Killed

August 11, EDGEMONT, SD - 23 year old Trampus Haskvitz of Hot Springs died while fighting the Coal Canyon fire on U.S. Forest service land. Haskvitz died as a result of injuries he suffered, when the type six fire engine he was working on was burned over by the blaze. Two other firefighters were injured and taken to a regional hospital.

Tanker Tips, Crushes Worker in Truck

August 11, ROGERS, AR - Lathen Cox died Thursday when a tanker truck owned by Anderson Gas, somehow tipped over and crushed the Cox Communication Cable truck Mr. Cox was driving. Authorities say it appears the tanker driver hit a car and went into a swerve motion when the truck tipped onto Cox's truck.

Tower Worker Falls to His Death

August 11, TOPEKA, KS - 21 year old Jacob Von Kopfman died from injuries he received in a fall from a communications structure. Kopfman was a tower tech working for Hayden Tower Services at the time of his death.

Land Trust Steward Found Shot to Death

August 11, WESTPORT, CA - 45 year old Matthew Coleman of the Albion and Little River area was found shot to death while working on a remote Mendocino Coast ranch owned by Save the Redwoods League. Coleman worked for Mendocino Land Trust who was contracted to maintain the ranch and property. It is unknown at this time who took Coleman's life or why.

Logging Accident Kills Logger

August 11, MANCHESTER, MI - 40 year old Stanley Grubaugh of St Johns died while cutting trees in a wooded area near Manchester. A tree Grubaugh cut fell into another tree, and a limb from that one fell and struck him, a family member said. Grubaugh was co-owner of S&J Logging.

Stray Bullet Kills Market Worker

August 11, CHICAGO, IL - 41 year old Alfredo Cuellar Chavez died after a bullet meant for someone else hit him in the chest while working at his uncle's Margarita's Meat Market. According to reports, two young men were fleeing someone chasing them in an SUV and ducked into the market, after being chased out of the uncle's pizzeria two doors down. Cuellar was carrying ice into the market when a bullet struck him in the chest. He died in the ambulance on the way to a local hospital.

Truck Driver Dies in Crash

August 11, LEBANON, IN - 23 year old Cesar Rodriguez of Chicago, IL died when he drove his semi into the back of another tractor trailer rig. Traffic had stopped in a construction zone but Rodriguez did not slow down. Authorities do not know why he didn't stop.

Man Dies in Tree Trimming Incident

August 11, GLEN BURNIE, MD - 24 year old Elmer Andreas Galdamez died while trimming trees in Forest Hills. Police say he was trapped 30 feet in the air between a fallen limb and the truck of the tree.

Man Crushed Under Tractor That Flipped Over

August 10, BEAUMONT, TX - 65 year old Spencer Lee Wilson died when a tractor he was driving flipped and landed on top of him. He was driving a tractor over a large mound when it flipped over backward and trapped Wilson, according to police. Wilson was employed for Beaumont Independent School District.

Man Hit and Killed While Cutting Grass

August 10, LINCOLNTON, NC - Clarence Herman Stroup died after being struck by a hit and run driver Wednesday. Stroup was working using a weed trimmer in a grassy area of the Lincolnton Plaza Shopping Center when a pickup truck left the roadway and struck Stroup. Police are in contact with the driver.

Tractor Trailer Crash Fatal For Driver

August 10, MYRTLE POINT, OR - 39 year old Allen Hoogerhyde of Myrtle Creek died when he lost control of his rig in a curve and crashed off the highway. Hoogerhyde was pulling two loaded chip hauler trailers when he failed to negotiate a curve. He crossed the center line, went through a guardrail, crashing into a bridge railing before going over embankment and hitting a utility pole. He died on scene.

Tow Truck Worker Dies of Heat Stress

August 10, AUSTIN, TX - 60 year old Melvin Wayne Moore died of hyperthermia Wednesday, a day after telling his family that Tuesday (9th) would be the last day he would work with no air conditioning and a hole in the floor of the truck. He was seen collapsing next to his tow truck later that day. He had been working under those conditions for several days. He was taken to an area hospital but it was determined that he suffered brain damage and died Wednesday morning.

Worker Dies in Fall

August 9, GUTTENBERG, NJ - 47 year old Juan Cantana Barrera of Jersey City died after falling doing repairs on an apartment in Guttenberg. Barrera and others were working to replace guard rails and a staircase for which the landlord did not have any permits.

School Custodian Dies From Fall Injuries

August 8, WATERVLIET, MI - 53 year old Phil Dillenbeck has died after suffering injuries due to a fall. Dillenbeck, a 31 year custodian for Watervliet School District, had slipped and fallen earlier in the day at the school, and later died at a local hospital.

Construction Worker Dies of Fall

August 8, QUANITCO, VA - 19 year old Kyle Ashton Sullivan of Spotsylvania died after falling 40 feet Monday at a construction site on Quantico Marine Corps base. Sullivan was a civilian worker for Harkin Builders.

Firefighter Dies After Collapse

August 5, CEDAR LAKE, IN - Firefighter Tim White died Friday after he collapsed from unspecified medical issues. White was hospitalized after falling ill July 17 during technical rescue training and seemed to be improving but died suddenly Friday.

Tower Technician Falls From Structure

August 3, HOLLISTER, NC - 18 year old Keith Joshua Caleb Stull of Pinnacle died after a fall from a United States Cellular Corporation self supporting tower. He fell approximately 50 feet. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was employed by Sink Tower Erection Company.

Experienced Tree Trimmer Dies in Fall

August 3, OCEAN CITY, MD - Jeremy Bostick, possibly from Bishopville, died when he fell 75 feet while trimming a tree. Bostick was working on a pine tree and was rappelling 20 feet down the side of the trunk from a high spot, readying the next section of tree for removal. As he leaned back, the rope securing him slipped out of its three-inch-deep notch. Bostick fell 75 feet to his death. Bostick loved his work and trees so much that he was studying to be an arborist.

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