Friday, September 09, 2011

Weekly Toll:Death in the American Workplace

Train Engineer Killed on Job

September 8, BOTKINS, OH - 59 year old Dennis Hemme of Cincinnati was killed Thursday morning when he became trapped between an engine and train car at the Taylor Road crossing near Botkins. Hemme was a CSX Train engineer.

Man Dies From Bee Attack Working on House

September 8, WILHOIT, AZ - 65 year old Walter Coughran and two other men were doing work on a home Thursday when for an unknown reason a swarm of bees from a nearby hive attacked the men. Coughran ran to a neighbor's home and collapsed on the front porch. He died before help could arrive. The other workers were treated and released.

Man Dies in Industrial Incident

September 8, MILWAUKEE, WI - 30 year old Jeffrey B. Smith of Kenosha died of injuries he received at the Caterpillar plant in South Milwaukee. Reports say Smith was working in the weld shop area Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a welded structure as it was being moved. An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident.

Worker Dies of Head Injuries

September 8, WILSON, OK - 64 year old Harold Charles of Dillard died of head trauma while working on a pump jack. Charles was working on the pump at a lease operated by Jolen Operating Co. Investigators say when Charles turned the pump on, the weight hit him in the head.

Employee Electrocuted at Food Plant

September 8, CANTON, OH - 20 year old Marcos Perez-Velasquez died Thursday when he was electrocuted at the Fresh Mark manufacturing plant he was working at. Perez-Velasquez was attempting to plug a 220-volt fan into a 480-volt plug while standing in water when he fell to the floor unresponsive according to Canton police.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash

September 7, MILLS SHOALS, IL - 71 year old Ronald E. Gillis of Mt. Pleasant, IA died when the semi he was driving left the roadway and struck a large group of trees. It is unclear why Gillis lost control of the vehicle.

Worker Dies in Fall From Grain Silo

September 7, WACO, TX - 38 year old Micky Lynn Thompson died of injuries due to a fall from a grain silo. Thompson was contracted to strip metal from the structure before removing them from the property. The circumstances are not given but an investigation is being conducted.

Miner Dies in Underground Incident

September 7, JUNEAU, AK - 30 year old Joe Tagaban suffered unspecified fatal injuries in an underground gold mine Wednesday. He was performing his regular duties in the Kennington mine. An investigation is underway to determine the cause. The mine is owned by Coeur d'Alene Mines.

Tree Trimmer Electrocuted

September 6, MERCER ISLAND, WA - 48 year old Terry Melbrad of Edmonds died after coming into contact with a high-voltage power line on Mercer Island. Melbrad was in a tree using a pole saw when he was electrocuted. Melbrad worked for American Landscaping of Bothell.

Steel Worker Suffers Fatal Injuries

September 6, MAGNOLIA, AR - 55 year old Gene Drake of Waldo died late Tuesday at CMC Steel Arkansas. Drake was the leader of a maintenance crew that was changing the cable of an overhead crane. An autopsy will be performed to determine exact cause of death. An investigation is being done to determine the manner of the incident.

Farmer Killed by Tractor

September 6, REED CITY, MI - Dennis Bruske died after becoming pinned under his farm tractor Tuesday. Police say Bruske was pinned beneath the front tire of the tractor, the tractor eventually rolled back onto him. When Bruske did not return home that evening, she called 9-1-1.

Farmer Dies in Trench Collapse

September 6, FORBES, ND - 43 year old Kurt Olson died when a trench he was digging collapsed, trapping him. Olson was digging the trench to add a water line for cattle when it gave way. It is unclear if he was inside the trench or at the top of it when it gave way.

Crash Kills Semi Driver

September 6, Wythe County, VA - 44 year old Clifton Sebastian of Hickory, NC died when the tractor trailer he was driving went off Interstate 77 and down an embankment. Sebastian was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the truck.

Construction Worker Dies in Fall

September 6, TIBURON, CA - 53 year old Gabriel Vasquez died Tuesday when he fell from the roof of a structure he was working on. Another worker found Vasquez unconscious on the ground. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The contractor of the job site is Weiss Builders Inc.

Store Clerk Dies During Robbery

September 6, JACKSON, MS - 49 year old Dilip Patel of Madison, a convenience store clerk, was shot in the head Monday over $3 in unpaid fuel. A 16-year old has been arrested in Patel's murder.

Man Dies Engulfed in Grain Bin

September 6, DICKENS, IA - 51 year old Jeffrey Balk of Spencer died in a grain bin incident at MaxYield Cooperative in Dickens. A company spokesman said Balk went inside the grain bin while grain was being removed and was engulfed in the flowing corn. It is not clear why he entered the space.

Ranch Worker Drowns in Irrigation Canal

September 5, PATTERSON, CA - 19 year old Ernesto Ordonez drowned Monday after a tractor he was driving plunged into the Delta-Mendota Canal just north of Patterson for unknown reasons. Ordonez, working for local rancher Jeff Arambel, was driving a piece of equipment when it overturned down an embankment and into the canal.

Taxi Driver Dies in Crash

September 5, REYNOLDSBURG, OH - 47 year old Said Legasse died when his taxi crashed into an SUV Monday. According to police, Said's taxi veered left of center, hitting the SUV head-on. Legasse and the other driver were transported to an area hospital where Legasse died.

Refuse Truck Driver Dies of Injuries

September 5, DENVER, CO - 40 year old Brian Rojas died of injuries he received September 1 when he was run over by a garbage truck. According to the sheriff's department, Rojas was standing while driving and as he reached out of the cab to move a wheeled trash container that was blocking the truck, he fell out of the cab and under the wheels of the truck.

American Civil Engineer Murdered in Kabul

September 5, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - 59 year old James W. "Will" Coker of Mount Pleasant, SC was murdered while working in Kabul, Afganistan. Coker was a civilian working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Reports say he was kidnapped from a power plant near Kabul and strangled. According to an official in Afghanistan, Coker's body was found in a cave in nearby hills.

Young Worker Dies On Labor Day

September 5, PARKER CITY, IN - 17 year old Stephen N. Tiller of Greenville, OH was killed Monday when he was crushed under a moving garbage truck. Tiller, working for a family owned business, Tiller Sanitation, were riding on the front of a front loading garbage truck. The truck hit a rough patch which sent Tiller and the other employee were thrown from the truck. Tiller was subsequently run over by the truck.

Truck Strikes, Kills Driver

September 4, LITCHFIELD, IL - 66 year old John Yarian of Apache Junction, AZ was killed Sunday when his semi truck rolled back and over him near Litchfield. Yarian pulled his truck over to check a mechanical problem. He apparently did not have the parking brake set and the truck rolled into and over him. Yarian died at the scene.

Farmer Dies in Accident

September 3, LAWRENCE, MO - 66 year old Allen Fender died in an ATV accident while spraying a field near Lawrence on Saturday. Authorities say the vehicle overturned on top of him.

Man Dies Crushed Under Farm Tractor

September 3, CAMERON, MO - 65 year old Jesus G. Carreno died Saturday from injuries he received when his farm tractor flipped. Carreno was driving the farm tractor downhill on a gravel road when he lost control. The tractor swerved and threw him off, then landed on top of Carreno.

Day Worker Dies From Electrocution

September 3, TAKOMA PARK, MD - 48 year old Orlando Hernandez of Hyattsville died Saturday while working for a Takoma Park homeowner to trim trees. After trimming the trees and removing several pieces of wood, Hernandez tried to take down the ladder he used. While doing this, police say a portion of the ladder made contact with a power line charged with 7620 volts. Hernandez was electrocuted and engulfed in flames.

Scientist Killed in Chemical Explosion

September 3, MENLO PARK, CA - 56 year old Adrian Martin of San Jose died in an explosion at Membrane Technology & Research Inc. Saturday. Martin was transferring a mixture of several gases, including methane, from one cylinder to another Friday afternoon. Fire inspectors said it was possible that the cylinder with the gases exploded because it had become over-pressurized. The explosion also caused a female scientist to be blown out of the laboratory and suffers hearing loss.

Firefighter Dies Responding to EMS Call

September 3, JONESBORO, LA - 22 year old Christopher Peterson, a volunteer firefighter for Jackson Parish Ward Four Fire Protection District, died when his truck crashed en route to a call Saturday. Reports say Peterson lost control of the department's utility truck, failing to negotiate a curve striking an embankment and into a tree. Peterson later died at a local hospital.

Firefighter Dies Battling Blaze

September 3, CAIRO, MO - 32 year old Henry "Jay" Branscum died of an unknown medical issue while battling a house fire. The Northeast R-4 Rural Fire Association says Branscum was working at the scene of multiple structure fires Saturday.

Missing Migrant Worker Found Dead

September 3, FRANKFORT, KY - 31 year old David Aquilar is believed to have died Saturday while working on a tobacco farm in Franklin County. Aquilar complained to co-workers that he was not feeling well Saturday and walked away. He was found days later along a fence line. Officials say an autopsy will be done to find out exactly what caused Aquilar to collapse along the road. Police say tobacco poisoning is common among migrant workers and several were treated last week for it.

Worker Dies of Gunshot Wounds

September 2, HELENA, AR - 19 year old Jerry Henry had just started working for Haynes Construction Co. and was cutting grass for the company on August 24. For some unknown reason, a 24 year old man shot Henry with an assault rifle. Henry died Friday of the injuries he received in the shooting. The gunman is in custody and will be charged with murder.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Crash

September 2, MATTHEWS, MO - 41 year old Bradley P. Mickle of New Madrid died in a semi crash and fire near Matthews Friday. Authorities say he lost control of the truck, going from one side of the roadway before striking a bridge and into a ditch. The truck then caught fire.

Crash Into Canal Claims Life of Truck Driver

September 2, AUGUSTA, GA - 54 year old Benjamin Cunningham died when he lost control of his tractor trailer and drove off a bridge and into the Augusta Canal. Cunningham was trapped inside his cab which was completely submerged in the water. His family said he was a truck driver for 30 years and never had an accident, before Friday.

Man Dies on Roofing Job

September 1, TOPEKA, KS - 37 year old Shawn Moore died from electrocution while roofing an outbuilding in northeastern Shawnee County. Moore was doing roofing work for a private company when his ladder came in contact with a high-voltage power line behind a home. Moore died at the hospital.

Man Killed on Mining Site

September 1, GILLETTE, WY - 29 year old Cody Alwin Brown of Spearfish, SD died in an incident at the North Antelope Rochelle mine of unspecified injuries. Brown was an employee for Weston Engineering. The mine is owned by Peabody Energy.

Road Assistance Worker Struck and Killed

September 1, CHESAPEAKE, VA - 48 year old Lisa Renee Green of Suffolk was struck and killed while she was attempting to change a flat tire. Green was on her way to help another motorist when she got a flat tire on her vehicle on the High Rise Bridge. She had all her hazard lights on but while she was on the outside of her car she was hit and the car was pushed into her. Green, an employee for Jack Rabbit Services, died at the scene.

Blown Tire Causes Dump Truck Crash, Kills Driver

September 1, COLUMBUS, GA - 52 year old John O'Neal of Guyton was killed in an accident. Authorities say the Volvo dump truck O'Neal was driving blew out a front tire and swerved straight into a guardrail. The truck then went another 150 feet, struck a column and flipped. O'Neal was ejected from the truck but a fire began and he was unable to escape it.

Worker Dies Falling From Tree

September 1, ST. PETER, MN - 25 year old Murray Christopher Purdue of Minneapolis died after falling about 20 feet from a tree he was working in. Purdue was part of a 4 man crew and was leaning against a branch he didn't realize was rotted from the inside. The branch gave way and Purdue plunged to the ground, even though he was using proper safety devices.

Man Killed at Poultry Processing Plant

September 1, ORLAND, IN - 25 year old Samuel J. Worrell of Fremont was fatally injured while working with a piece of machinery at Miller Poultry. Worrell and two other workers had finished servicing a machine that is used to unload crates of chickens and were testing it when the accident happened. The nature of the injuries are not known.

Parking Attendant Killed in Crash

September 1, NEW YORK, NY - Denuld Prophete was killed while retrieving a vehicle at a midtown garage. When Prophete went to get out of the SUV, he accidentally left it in reverse, police said. The car then began to roll backward and Prophete jumped back into the car, however, instead of hitting the brake, he pressed the accelerator causing the car to crash into the metal car elevator.

Semi Crash Kills Driver

September 1, GENOA, IA - 30 year old Derek Lee Sims of Donnelson, IA was killed Thursday when his semi flipped and caught fire on Hwy 35. Sims was heading northbound when it veered off the road, overturned and caught fire. Sims died at the scene.

Worker Dies in Fall From Roof

August 31, MARIETTA, GA - 22 year old Kevin Michael Yeager died from a fall at Lockheed-Martin Cobb County facility. Yager was an employee of a roofing subcontractor for VanWinkle Construction when he fell more than 40 feet from a hangar.

We have also identified individuals who were killed in mining but were not aware of them before now:

February 11, AZ - 55 year old Roy L. Black. Employer: West Stes Skanska/Peabody Energy/Peabody Western Coal Co. Killed as the result of a truck collision.
March 2, NC - 51 year old David E. Clark. Employer: Trader Construction/Lee Creek Mine/PCS Phosphate Co. Killed when struck by a truck while walking.
July 21, NM - 37 year old Jeri L. Etsitty. Employer: P&H Mine Pro Services/BHP Navajo Coal Co. Died when struck by piece of equipment.

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