Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

We continue to give honor and remember those individuals who have died while working.  We welcome feedback and would be happy to have you contact us.


Oct 2 - Chicago, IL - 58 year old Earlene Lewis-Madison died of an unknown cause/reason when she fell to the floor from her desk while working at the City of Chicago, Dept. of Public Works.

Oct 2 - Granger, IN - 51 year old Daniel Miller died when he was struck by a motorist while working at the back of his truck cleaning weeds.  He was employed by ITR Concession Company, LLC where he was a maintenance employee.

Oct 2 - Arbuckle, CA - 36 year old Jaime Paez Gomez was killed when the farm wagon he was operating pulled into a public traffic lane and was struck by a 19 year old motorist, who also died in the crash.  Gomez was employed by Tom Charter & Perry Charter dba T&P Farms. 

Oct 2 - Seattle, WA - 55 year old Lee Morris, a Captain Pilot for Alaska Airlines, was the victim of a possible homicide in Los Angeles, CA.  Police were notified when he did not report for a flight and his body was found near a freeway off-ramp.  No further details are given. 

Oct 3 - Salinas, Puerto Rico - 32 year old Edwin Lopez Menendez died of electrocution when he touched a high voltage power line while attempting to remove a cable from a truck.  He was employed with Consolidated Waste Corp.

Oct 4 - Bedford, IN - 60 year old Kerry Meadows was found unconscious/unresponsive after working on the ground with another lift.  He was a journeyman lineman for Duke Energy Indiana, Inc.

Oct 5 - Vancouver, WA - 82 year old Prebble Dudley died November 2, 2012 after she was injured on Oct. 5th while working at Crossroads Community Church, Inc.  She apparently tripped on a blanket or pillow while working with children, hitting her head on the floor.  She did not immediately seek medical attention until Oct. 9. 

Oct 5 - Charlotte, NC - 38 year old James Halstead of Ocean Springs, MS, drowned while attempting to retrieve his keys that fell under a dock.  He worked as a white water rafting tour guide for U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Oct 9 - Spokane, WA - 50 year old Michael E. Farrington died of natural causes while performing his normal work duties on a roof with a co-worker.  He was on his first day of work for Holliday Enterprises, Inc.

Oct 9 - Indianapolis, IN - 38 year old Christopher Buster died of a vehicle crash when he lost control of a street sweeper which flipped and ejected him.  He was employed with Robert Pitman Jr. dba Envirosweep.  

Oct 10 - Virginia Beach, VA - 60 year old James Price died of an unknown cause while observing panel readings on the 3rd floor of the HRSD-Chesapeake-Elizabeth plant (Virginia Beach plant).

Oct 10 - Bennettsville, SC - 44 year old Jeffery P. Cheek of Rock Hill was electrocuted while working on a back-up generator at Marlboro County High School.  Wires had been installed improperly by another company.  He was employed by Nixon Power Services. 

 Oct 12 - Prather, CA - 57 year old Dennis Cowley was working as a handyman for a homeowner when he was killed in an 8 foot trench collapse.  He was working for Fred Dow. 

Oct 13 - Wolcottville, IN - 56 year old Terry "Chopper" Keck died of blunt force trauma while working on a semi-truck that was on a jack.  The semi was struck which caused Keck to be pinned between the tractor and cement floor.  He was employed by Lakeside Transport, LLC.

Oct 18 - Elm Mott, TX - 42 year old Prek Gjokaj of Sterling Heights, MI died in a fiery crash when a semi truck in front of Gjokaj slowed for road construction and he drove into the back of that semi, causing his truck to burst into flames. It is unclear who Gjokaj worked for. 

Oct 23 - Alameda, CA - 38 year old Corwin Hardham died of apparent natural causes while in his office of Makani Power, Inc., a company he co-founded. 

Oct 25 - Hillsboro, OR - 55 year old David Huttula of West Linn, died after falling approximately 16 feet from an extension ladder while installing new siding on a home.  He was employed with Fairway Construction, LLC. 

Oct 25 - Dallas, TX - 42 year old Josh McGowan was killed when he was struck by a construction truck that was pushed into him after it was struck by a tractor-trailer rig.  He was working for Brooklyn Sweeper, a highway clean up company. 

Oct 29 - Easton, CT - 54 year old Russell F. Neary died in the line of duty when he was struck by a falling tree while cleaning debris after Hurricane Sandy.  He was President of the Easton Volunteer Fire Company. 

Oct 30 - Eugene, OR - 60 year old Richard Wigney died of head trauma when he fell from a short ladder, striking his head, while working for Rainbow Valley Design & Construction.  Specifics are unknown. 


Nov 2 - Portola, CA - 55 year old Jose Noriega, possibly of Anaheim, drowned when an excavator he was operating tipped and rolled into Lake Davis.  He was employed with Creative Home Inc., dba Creative Home Interiors (CHI) Construction.

Nov 6 - Fresno, CA - 32 year old Salvador Diaz and 34 year old Manuel Verdin were murdered by a co-worker who went on a shooting rampage at Valley Protein where they worked.  Two other co-workers were also shot, but survived, the shooting by a recently discharged parolee who worked at the plant a little over a year. It appears the shooter had no reason to open fire on his fellow workers, before taking his own life.

Nov 7 - Madera, CA - 25 year old James S. Chavala of Bakersfield, was struck and killed by a motorist when he was attempting to cross a roadway to continue his work.  He was employed by Pavletich Electric & Communications.  

Nov 13 - Newton, IA - 71 year old Clarence "Hoot" De Hoedt died of head and neck injuries when he fell from the back of a flat bed trailer while helping to unload it at a construction site.  He was a driver for Bisom Trucking. 

Nov 14 - Mooresville, NC - 59 year old Frank Carl Booth was working as a crossing guard, directing traffic for Iredell-Statesville Schools, when he was struck by a motorist. 

Nov 16 - Harrisburg, IL - 53 year old Captain David Underwood died of presumed natural causes after being found on a restroom floor of the Saline County Sheriff's Department.  He was the jail administrator. 

Nov 16 - Indianapolis, IN - 45 year old Anthony Gerard Hicks was shot to death by another employee in the break room of Conagra Foods Packaged Foods.  No further details are known.

Nov 19 - Jamul, CA - 69 year old Mateo Murillo died of blunt force head and chest trauma when he was crushed under a felled tree.  He was working for Altanil Corp., dba Rancho El Cielo (a private ranch).

Nov 21 - Fresno, CA - 40 year old Arturo Ortiz suffered a fatal injury to his upper chest when a car fell off a jack stand and onto him.  He was self employed with Arturo's General Auto Repair.

Nov 28 - La Habra, CA - 58 year old David Gonzales died of natural causes according to authorities.  He was working in a CVS Pharmacy store.

Nov 30 - Redmond, WA - 50 year old Michael Little died of blunt force injuries due to a 35 foot fall from a roof.  He was employed by Unique Roofing Concepts Co. 


Dec 1 - Burns Harbor, IN - 35 year old Jason C. Scott died of an unknown cause while working for Arcelormittal Burns Harbor Division.  He was found unresponsive, laying on the locker room floor. 

Dec 3 - Salinas, Puerto Rico - 67 year old Alfredo Cartagena died while working when he was hit and run over by an operator of a loader machine who didn't notice him.  He was working for Empresas Diaz Betterecycling.

Dec 4 - Newton, IA - 63 year old James Harder of Omaha, suffered crushing injuries when he was trapped between a semi truck and container trailer while working for TSL Transportation, Inc.  The incident happened at Jacobson Warehouse.

Dec 11 - Moses Lake, WA - 31 year old Michael Huntley suffered fatal head trauma when he was crushed between a paint cart and mast tube while working for Genie Industries, Inc.  

Dec 11 - Davenport, IA - 57 year old Thomas McLachlan was engaged in grading work on a hill when his dozer rolled near an edge, rolled and pinned him to the ground.  He was employed by Hawkeye Paving Corporation.  

Dec 12 - Tacoma, WA - 64 year old Roger Warren of Orting died when the tractor trailer rig he was driving traversed a barrier and rolled over.  He was employed with Nichols Trucking Co, Inc. of Tacoma. 

Dec 13 - Seattle, WA - Andrew Charleston of Tacoma died while working when he fell from an elevated work platform called a Stacker. He was priming an airplane for painting.  He was an employee for Boeing Services, Inc.  

Dec 31 - Fort Wayne, IN - 58 year old J. Robert Shimer II was beaten to death while working inside his booth at the Antiques on Broadway shop by someone attempting to rob the store.  

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