Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekly Toll:Death in the American Workplace

Farmer Died Doing What He Loved

August 25, NEW LIBERY, IA - 77 year old Donavon Sievers of Stockton died in an accident involving his tractor Thursday. His son said he farmed his whole life and said "This is the way he wanted to go." Sievers was hauling hay when the hitch connecting the hayrake broke. The weight and momentum of the hayrack pushed the tractor into a ditch. He was found lying next to his tractor.

Police Officer Dies of Injuries After Being Shot

August 25, ANNISTON, AL - 27 year old Justin Sollohub was shot while on patrol Wednesday. He died Thursday, after being kept on life support until his organs could be donated. Sollohub was on routine patrol and got out of his car to talk to a man, authorities said, then reported he was chasing a man on foot. He was shot after he went around a side of a house.

Electrician Dies on Construction Site

August 25, AMERICUS, GA - 21 year old Sean Scott of Leesburg, died after coming into contact with a live electrical wire at the Phoebe Sumter Hospital construction site in Americus. He then fell 12 to 15 feet from a ladder. Scott was an apprentice journeyman with Inglett and Stubbs Electrical Construction Company.

Migrant Farm Worker Dies in Tractor Rollover

August 25, BETHANY, NC - 25 year old Mario Andres Castillo Avena was killed when the farm tractor he was using to pull a trailer went off the roadway and rolled down an embankment. He died on the scene.

Tow Truck Driver Killed in Hit and Run

August 24, PASADENA, MD - 38 year old James Frederick Schrieber Jr. was killed today when he was struck by a vehicle while preparing a disabled vehicle for towing on Route 100. The driver of the red Nissan Pathfinder who struck Schrieber fled the scene and police are searching for that driver.

Two Restaurant Employees Killed by Co-Worker

August 24, DECATUR, AL - 50 year old Mark Graff of Huntsville, a night manager, and 23 year old Jesse Jose Aguilar of Decatur were shot to death inside the Krystal restaurant where they worked. A female employee reported to work at 5AM this morning to find one worker shot and the cash register open. Police were called and they found the second worker. Police say another employee who had worked at the restaurant for some time was arrested for the murders.

Farmer Dies in Machinery Accident

August 24, VILLARD, MN - 58 year old John Lanigan died in a farm accident in his wheat field Wednesday. Lanigan was found under his swather. No one knows exactly what lead to the accident, but neighbors remembered Lanigan for his hard work ethic and his passion for farming.

Cab Driver Found Stabbed to Death

August 23, HICKORY, NC - 32 year old Adam Todd Williams was found Tuesday night suffering stab wounds to the face and neck. Williams, an employee for Yellow Cab, was attacked by a known assailant. Williams went to a closed restaurant where the employees called for help. He was transported to a local hospital where he died. Police know who murdered Williams and are searching for him.

Worker Found Dead on Rooftop

August 23, MUSCATINE, IA - 42 year old Tim Baars was found dead Tuesday on the roof of the Muscatine Department of Public Works building. Baars was an employee for the department. It is unclear as to the means or cause of Baars death.

Wall Collapse at Historic Home Renovation Kills Worker

August 23, LOUISVILLE, KY - 33 year old James Laslie of Crestwood died when he was crushed under a concrete wall. Laslie was working on waterproofing the basement and was using a backhoe, then stepped into a six foot deep trench to remove dirt. According to a fire department spokesman, that work undermined three concrete walls surrounding a window which tilted away from the home. The walls crushed Laslie against the side wall of the open trench.

Livery Cab Driver Dies Months After Being Shot

August 23, BRONX, NY - 64 year old Julio Lora lost his battle for life after being shot by a passenger during a robbery March 31. Lora was shot in the head five times and has been on life support since. The gunman fled the brazen daylight robbery with Lora's wallet, which held $71, police said. He was captured after running into a nearby retirement home. He will now be charged with Lora's murder.

Maintenance Engineer Falls From Scaffold

August 23, ST. LOUIS, MO - 49 year old Mark Affsprung of Edwardsville was killed Tuesday after falling while he was working on an elevator shaft. Affsprung was a maintenance engineer at the Pinnacle owned Lumiere Place Casino complex. He was working on an elevator shaft in a parking garage when he fell from scaffolding.

Coin Dealer Robbed and Beaten to Death

August 23, BROOKLYN, NY - 61 year old Steve Halfon, owner of Liberty Coin Co., was locking up his store when he was ambushed by a group of thieves who pummeled him near his shop and dumped his battered body a mile away, police sources said. After beating him severely, the thieves dumped his body and abandoned his car a few blocks away. A passerby saw Halfon and called for help. It is unclear what the thieves got away with.

Young Rancher Trampled to Death

August 22, WHEELER, TX - 24 year old Justin Bradley died Monday after he was injured August 20 when several horses trampled him. Bradley's father says his son was knocked down and trampled when the horses turned as he was moving them toward a bucking chute Saturday. It is not clear what spooked the horses and made them run.

Tanker Driver Crashes Into Concrete Barrier

August 22, KINGSVILLE, TX - 66 year old Mike Oliver Jr. from Louisiana was killed when the tanker truck he was driving crashed into a concrete barrier Monday. Officials believe Oliver may have suffered a medical issue before losing control of the truck. When the truck hit the barrier the cab burst into flames but the tanker did not rupture of catch fire.

Transportation Worker Dies of Injuries

August 22, YORK, PA - 51 year old Michael Dillman of Littlestown has died of injuries he received on the job August 15. Dillman, an equipment operator in the York County Maintenance Office for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, died when the dump truck he was driving went off the road and overturned.

Worker Crushed on Conveyor Belt

August 22, EAST ST. LOUIS, IL - an unidentified 31 year old worker from Collinsville was killed instantly when he was crushed on a conveyor belt Monday morning. He sustained the fatal injuries after his legs got caught in a conveyor belt at Swansea Building Products, a concrete business. Officials say he was a temporary employee. UPDATE: Authorities have identified Thomas D. Wallace as the worker who was killed.

Worker Dies in Fall From Structure

August 22, OCHEYEDAN, IA - 33 year old Christopher Paulette of Spirit Lake died after he fell 60 feet while working inside a wind turbine Monday. Officials say Paulette was climbing a NextEra Energy wind turbine when he fell. No specifics are given as to cause of the fall. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

Road Worker Struck and Killed

August 22, WOODSTOCK, IL - 34 year old Ryan Nichols of Kenosha, IL was struck and killed by a car while working for the Illinois Department of Transportation in northern Illinois. Officials say Nichols was measuring the roadway when he was struck but wasn't in a construction zone.

Armored Truck Driver Shot During Robbery

August 21, MIAMI GARDENS, FL - 26 year old Alvaro Lopez Ramos was shot and killed by five armed robbers while on duty. Ramos, a US Citizen of just two months and an aspiring teacher, was a Brink's driver who was making a stop at Calder Casino and Race Course when the five suspects, who had been waiting on a bench, rushed Ramos and shots were fired. The five suspects have been apprehended and charged with Ramos' murder.

Worker Dies of Electric Shock in Attic

August 21, ORANGE, TX - 51 year old Toren Swift was electrocuted in an attic after he was hired to do work in a home the landlord was planning to rent out. The landlord reported hearing noises coming from the attic as if someone was in distress. The owner called 9-1-1 and emergency responders discovered Swift in the attic.

Wing Walker at Air Show Falls To His Death

August 21, SELFRIDGE, MI - Todd Green, an experienced "wing walker" died after falling 200 feet from the wing of a stunt plane as he was attempting to grab onto a helicopter. He was performing for a crowd at the Selfridge Air Show at Selfridge Air National Guard base. Green completed the act earlier in the day.

Grocery Store Worker Stabbed to Death

August 21, SANTA MONICA, CA - 46 year old Christina Talley died after being attacked in a check out line at an Albertson's store where she was working. The attacker came into the store, with a hood over his head, and began beating and stabbing Talley. Her estranged husband has been apprehended and will be charged with her murder.

Worker Dies at Distribution Center

August 21, OAK GROVE, KY - 64 year old Robert Tillman died Sunday morning while operating a forklift at the Walmart Distribution Center. Witnesses said they saw Tillman slump over on the forklift. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Plane Pilot Dies in Crash

August 21, MARSHALL, MI - 59 year old John Andrew Hoffman died after his tow plane crashed into a field Sunday. Hoffman's plane had just towed a glider into the sky over southern Calhoun County when it began to malfunction and the glider pilot released the cable. The plane then spiraled into a field next to the airport. Hoffman was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead of severe head injuries.

Longshoreman Dies From Fall

August 20, PORT RICHMOND, PA - 54 year old Vernon Knight of Philadelphia died Saturday when he fell from an upper deck while unloading a ship at Tioga Marine Terminal in Port Richmond. Knight, a member of Local 1291 (ILA), fell from a pontoon in the upper deck of No. 2 hatch to the lower hold while he was giving signals to a crane operator via radio.

Man Dies in Industrial Machine Incident

August 20, GARDEN GROVE, CA - 49 year old Tuan Phan, a machine operator for American Apparel, died after being crushed in a circular knitting machine. No specifics as to how Phan became trapped in the machine were released.

Farmer Trapped Under Tractor Dies

August 20, BRACEVILLE, OH - Ray Davis, a longtime member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau, died Saturday after he was pinned under a tractor on his property, off of Herr Fieldhouse Road, in Braceville township. No details as to manner are given.

Worker Killed at Fort Benning

August 20, FORT BENNING, GA - Jessie L. Allen as a result of an accident at a road construction site on Fort Benning, GA. Allen was inspecting a project that will expand Dixie Road from two lanes to four lanes when he was struck by a dump truck. He was a construction control inspector for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District.

Pilot of Spray Plane Dies in Crash

August 20, WHITEWOOD, IA - 64 year old Loren L. Ring of Rapid City died when the spray plane he was piloting crashed near Whitewood Saturday. Ring had 30 years of flying experience and while he was in excellent health, his family hasn't ruled out the possibility of a medical episode as the cause of the crash.

Flight Instructor & Student Killed in Crash

August 19, TITUSVILLE, PA - 43 year old Dale Stearns, a flight instructor, was killed along with a flight student, when their plane crashed just after midnight on Saturday. They had a flight path scheduled but the plane crashed into trees in heavy fog about a half mile from the Titusville airport. The plane caught on fire and both men were killed.

Pilot Dies in Air Show Crash

August 20, KANSAS CITY, MO - Bryan Jensen died when the aerobatics bi-plane he was flying in the Kansas City Air Show crashed. A witness video showed Jensen's plane spiraling downward and crashing in flames in the area of a runway at the Charles B. Wheeler airport.

Prison Employee Dies From Electric Shock

August 19, CHARLESTON, MO - 39 year old Michael Walker died after an apparent electric shock in the food service area of the prison in Charleston. He was a maintenance supervisor for the Department of Corrections since 2007. Authorities have declined to specify the circumstances surrounding Walker's death.

Employee Dies When Truck Crashes Into Business

August 19, GALLUP, NM - 42 year old Laura Bitsid was killed Friday when a tanker truck crashed into the side of the Sun Loans building where she worked. The truck's driver clipped a pick-up on Interstate 40, which caused him to lose control. His big rig swerved into a parking lot, up an embankment and crashed into two vehicles before crashing into the building.

Tractor Trailer Driver Killed in Collision

August 19, WEST HARTFORD, CT - John Dilliplane of Pennsylvania was killed when his semi truck collided with a wrecker hauling a trailer. Dilliplane's truck then crashed through a guard rail. He died on the scene. The driver of the wrecker suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Shipyard Worker Crushed to Death

August 19, JEFFERSONVILLE, IN - 54 year old Steve Duncan of Pekin died after being pinned against a barge by a piece of equipment at Jeffboat. Duncan was working on a machine called a buggy, which has a hydraulic lift, when it moved and pinned him against the barge. Jeffboat is the nation's largest inland shipbuilder and repair facility and is owned and operated by American Commercial Lines.

Worker Dies Weeks After Being Injured

August 19, PENSACOLA, FL - 64 year old Jerry Milam has died after suffering injuries in a mower incident on July 26. Milam, an Escambia County worker, was mowing grass on the shoulder of Olive Road when his tractor flipped about 15 feet into a ditch that was hidden by overgrowth, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. Milam was trapped for several hours before a passing pedestrian noticed and called for help.

Cemetery Maintenance Worker Dies in Incident

August 19, LANSING, IL - 40 year old Francisco Chavez of Downers Grove died when a lawnmower fell off a jack and onto his head. Chavez was a maintenance worker for Oak Ridge Cemetery and was attempting to fix a hydraulic pump on a lawnmower when it slipped off the jack. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Worker Dies in Industrial Incident

August 18, FARGO, ND - 49 year old Noren Ellingson died Thursday from injuries he received Tuesday when a steel bin fell onto him. Ellingson suffered traumatic brain injury when the metal bin–similar to a commercial Dumpster–was being loaded onto a truck when it slipped and landed on him. Ellingson was an employee of Buhler Industries, a Winnipeg-based company that manufactures and distributes agricultural equipment.

Worker Killed in Water Tower Explosion

August 16, TOMBALL, TX - an unidentified worker died from an explosion at a water tower. He was a contractor from a water well company there to perform routine maintenance and was using a welder to cut a hole in the lid when the explosion happened. The force of the explosion ripped the lid off the well. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he died.

Miner Killed in Roof Rock Fall

August 15, SHARPLES, WV - 46 year old Charles M. Hall of Williamson died after he was struck by falling rock in the Mountaineer II Mine near Sharples in Logan County. Hall was installing roof supports there Monday when struck by falling rock. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The mine is owned by Mingo Logan Coal Co., a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Arch Coal.

Longshoreman Killed in New Jersey

August 15, NEWARK, NJ - Don Delia, a longshoreman for ILA Local 1804-1, died in an incident at Port Newark. Details of the accident were not available.

Ranch Worker Dies in Bulldozer Accident

August 7, BRECKENRIDGE, TX - 63 year old Howard Larson Wampler died after being pinned under a CAT dozer on Bob Cook Ranch. Wampler was operating a D6 bulldozer, which was attempting to pull the 4-ton vehicle up a steep incline when the dozer reared up, causing the chain pulling the 4-ton dozer to snap. The seat Wampler occupied and a fuel tank were then ejected from the 6-ton dozer, which rolled down the incline and pinned Wampler man, who was killed instantly.

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