Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

As always, our hearts and thoughts are with the family members who have lost a loved one to a workplace incident.  Please let us know if we can help you in any way...

September 6, 2013 - Desert Hot Springs, CA - Victor Aguilar Gonzales of Compton was fatally electrocuted while working at Desert Springs Elementary School.  He was employed by Celco Construction.

Sept 7 - Auburn, WA - 40 year old Erica Meier died of a blood clot in her lung that dislodged after she had surgery for a work related broken ankle.  She was employed by College Success Foundation.

Sept 10 - Northville, ND - 48 year old Adan Sotelo Preciado of Gillette, WY died on the job after falling through a roof while working on a warehouse in Northville.  It is unclear who he was employed by.

Sept 15 - Pembroke, NY - 54 year old Kevin Doktor was working on his farm when he somehow became pinned under a skid steer bucket loader. 

Sept 15 - Chicago, IL - 47 year old Raul Lagunas was killed on the job when he was pinned between two construction vehicles.  It is unclear how the incident happened of who he worked for.

Sept 17 - Shenyang, China - Dave Riggs of Nevada was killed in a plane crash into a lake while practicing for a stunt for an air show in China.  It appears he was self employed.

Sept 18 - Avondale, IL - Gustavo Briceno died on the job when he drown and was swept away while working in a sewer pipe.  He was lining a sewer with styrene plastic, when storm water swept him away.  He was employed by Kenny Construction.

Sept 18 - Mount Vernon, IN - 33 year old Brandin Levi Almon died in a tower related incident while working for Design Build Technology.  

Sept 19 - Broomall, PA - 40 year old Jason McClay was shot to death during a robbery of the Rite Aid drug store where he was manager. 

Sept 20 - Ventura, CA - 62 year old Nicholas Rojas of Fillmore, CA died on the job when he fell from the tree he was trimming after a branch broke.  He was working at Golf n Stuff, its a miniature golf course in Ventura.

Sept 21 - Laguna Beach, CA - 42 year old Jon Coutchie, a Laguna Beach Police officer, died after his motorcycle collided with a truck as he was responding to a call about a speeding motorist. 

Sept 22 - Renville, MN - 58 year old Jeffrey H. Muetzel died in a farm related incident.  He was trapped under a corn head that fell off a combine when he was repairing it.

Sept 22 - St. Cloud, MN - 56 year old Lee Teske, a self employed window washer, was killed on the job when he fell 70 feet while working at the Kelly Inn hotel. 

Sept 23 - Danville, KY - Michael and Angela Hockensmith, owner of a downtown pawn shop, were victims of murder when they were shot by a robbery suspect.  A salesman for an unknown company, Daniel P. Smith of Richmond was also murdered.

Sept 23 - Bigfork, MT -  60 year old Peter Mahlum died while on a class project at Flathead Community College in Kalispell.  He fell backwards from a scaffold about eight feet, and into a 55 gallon barrel.  He was a student of the Building Trades department of the college.

Sept 23 - Long Island, NY - 45 year old Steven Giacobello was struck and killed while working a sanitation route in Oyster Bay.  He had just finished emptying trash into his truck's container when a motorist struck him.  He was employed by the Town of Oyster Bay. 

Sept 23 - Middletown, DE - Jerry Hurley of Port Deposit, MD died on the job when he was buried in a trench collapse.  He was operating an excavator in a trench for a sewer line.  He got off the machine and the ground collapsed under him.  He was employed by Austin & Bednash.

Sept 24 - Wentworth, SD - 58 year old David Feige was killed when he was crushed under a piece of farm machinery.  He was working on a corn harvester when the jacks failed and the machine fell on him.

Sept 24 - Sioux Rapids, IA - 64 year old Lawrence "Larry" Vaughn died of thermal burns after he fell into a burn pit on a farmstead and could not get out of it.

Sept 25 - Buckley, WA - Robin Wills died on the job after suffering a medical event that then caused the vehicle to go out of control and flip over an embankment while working for Derek Alan Muirhead dba Buckley Farm Fresh Produce.

Sept 25 - Beaver, WI - 58 year old Alice E. Fendryk was killed in an unknown incident while working on a farm. No other details are provided. 

Sept 25 - Cherokee, IA - 52 year old Marc Sarchet was killed when the crane truck he was driving crashed.  Sarchet lost control of the truck after a tire blew out, causing a rollover.

Sept 25 - Wilder, KY - 53 year old Robert Allgood of Leesburg, OH died while working when he lost his balance, falling about 25 feet while working on a construction site.  He was installing insulation for Metal Systems of Milford.

Sept 25 - Myerstown, PA - 17 year old David Swarey died in a tragic farming incident.  He was feeding corn into the chopper of a corn harvester machine when he was somehow pulled into the machine.  It is unclear if he was working his family farm or for another farmer. 

Sept 26 - Gaffney, NC - 24 year old Kenneth Robert Clary of Kings Mountain died on the job when he fell from an elevated lift.  He was operating a picker lift, retrieving merchandise, when his lift was struck by another lift operator causing him to fall.  He was employed by Automated Distribution Services - ADS - in Gaffney. 

Sept 26 - Seattle, WA - 59 year old Thomas Mordy was found unresponsive on the floor of the Washington State Convention Center Public FAC, where he worked.  It was determined that he died of a heart related medical event.

Sept 26 - Gerber, CA - 49 year old Danny Holman of Red Bluff, a Tehama County Public Works Department employee, suffered fatal injuries on the job when he was unloading equipment for road maintenance work. 

Sept 26 - Boise, ID - 63 year old Captain Henry Skillern of Humble, TX suffered a mid-flight heart attack while on a flight from Houston to Seattle.  The United Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Boise.  He later died at an area hospital.

Sept 26 - Tama, IA - 27 year old Christopher Wheeler was killed on the job when he was struck by a semi truck driver who did not slow sufficiently in a road construction work zone.  Wheeler was a flagger for the project but it is unknown who he was employed with.

Sept 26 - Poplar Bluff, MO - 29 year old Gregory "Keith" Robertson died after being pinned under water in a lake under heavy equipment.  Robertson owned Robertson Construction Company and was operating an excavator near the bank of Roxy Lake when the bank collapsed, causing the excavator to roll into the lake.

Sept 26 - South Holland, IL - 54 year old Richard Cowser was working as a security officer for Thornwood High School when he suffered injuries on the job.  Cowser and another guard were attempting to break up a fight on campus when he fell into a locker.  He had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital where he later died.  His exact cause of death is unknown.

Sept 26 - Coal Creek Canyon, CO - 46 year old Ubaldo Ruiz Marquez of Commerce City was killed when he was struck by his work vehicle.  He was on a work site doing flood repair work when his truck experienced an issue.  He exited the truck to check the problem, and it rolled backwards into him. It is unclear who he was working for.

Sept 27 - Indianapolis, IN - 25 year old Mitchell Ray Morgan was killed on the job when the crane he was using to lift a generator fell over due to the weight of the generator.  He was an employee for B-MAC Wireless.  (Second story on page)

Sept 27 - Austin, TX - 26 year old Jeremy Brugman died on the job when he fell while framing a home in the Villa Montana Community near Lake Travis.  It is unclear who he was working for.

Sept 27 - Lake Charles, LA - 53 year old Ronald J. Harris, Sr., Pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center was shot to death during a worship service.  A known suspect walked into the church during the service and shot Mr. Harris at close range.  The murder suspect was arrested.

Sept 27 - Boise, ID - 40 year old Mark Urban died in a parachute training exercise.  An Idaho smokejumper for the US Bureau of Land Management, Urban jumped out of a plane and something went very wrong.  It is unclear if his equipment malfunctioned or there was a weather issue. 

Sept 27 - Paragould, AR - 53 year old Donald Wayne Robertson died on the job when he was crushed under a double wide mobile home.  Robertson was attempting to set up the mobile home when it collapsed on top of him.  He was employed by Affordable Home Super Center of Blytheville.

Sept 27 - Bloomsburg, PA - 69 year old Carl R. Enlow, a helicopter pilot for Heritage Rotors of Port Orange, FL, was killed when he was struck in the head by the aircraft's rotor.  He was operating helicopter rides at the Bloomsburg Fair in Pennsylvania. 

Sept 29 - Santa Monica, CA - 63 year old Mark Benjamin and his 28 year old son Luke Benjamin died in the fiery crash of their corporate jet into a hanger.  The senior Benjamin was the CEO for Morley Construction Company.  It is not clear why the plane crashed or who was the pilot.

Sept 30 - Wilmington, DE - 43 year old Melvin E. Johnson, Jr. of Baltimore, MD was crushed under a large piece of equipment in Newcastle County.  He was attempting to load or unload a large piece of computer equipment when he lost his footing and the equipment fell onto him.  It is unclear who he was working for.

Sept 30 - Shakopee, MN - Jorge Ortega of Laredo, TX was working with a young horse on Sept. 12th at the Canterbury (horse) Park as a seasonal worker when the horse reared up, pinning him against a wall. He was hospitalized and died on Sept 30.

Sept 30 - Huntington Harbour, CA - 28 year old Brandon Orozco of Whittier was electrocuted as he worked inside an underground vault that suddenly became energized and then started on fire.  He was working with a crew for CAM Contractors hired by Southern California Edison. 

trapped under a corn head that fell off a combine when he was repairing it. - See more at:
trapped under a corn head that fell off a combine when he was repairing it. - See more at:

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