Monday, April 21, 2014

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Our hearts and thoughts are with the families who have suffered the loss of their loved one to a workplace incident.  Worker Memorial Day is every year on April 28th. For a list of WMD events that may be in your area, please visit  Please let us know if we can help you in any way.

March 10, 2014 - Colorado City, AZ - 14 year old Rulon Barlow Jessup died while working for his father when the forklift he was operating went off a bridge embankment. Another boy, who was also riding on the machine, was able to jump off before it went over the side.

April 1, 2014 - Plymouth, MA - 43 year old Greg Maloney died when his Plymouth Police Department motorcycle was involved in a crash. Details are unknown.

April 1 - Grayville, IL - 66 year old Vic Hawkins was killed on the job as he worked to repair a skid loader machine at a construction site. He was pinned between the boom and bucket when, for some reason, the hydraulics became activated. His employer is unknown.

April 1 - Vevay, IN - 57 year old Richard E. Hunter of Osgood was killed on the job when he was struck and pinned by a tree that fell when he cut another tree. He was employed with Rodney Sloan Logging Company of Batesville, IN according to his obituary.

April 1 - Fernley, NV - Christopher Smith died on the job when a pipe fell off a flatbed trailer, crushing him. He was working for BV Nevada Corporation, which dismantles trucks.

April 1 - Bagley, MN - 41 year old Mike Larson of Fosston died on the job when his jacket was caught on an automatic 40 foot wide, hanger-type door as it began to go up. He was employed by Bagley Hardwood Products.

April 2 - Auburn, WA - Greg Foss died of natural causes/cardiac disease when he was at his KME Diving Suits, Inc. shop. The co-owner of the shop found Foss unresponsive when he arrived for work.

April 2 - Manhattan, NY - An as of yet unidentified man in his 30's died when he fell from one level to a scaffold while working at the Dream New York hotel.  Efforts to locate his name have been unsuccessful.

April 2 - Vassar, MI - 26 year old Travis Bielat of Taylor was killed on the job when the tanker truck carrying ethanol he was driving exploded in a fiery crash. He was a driver for Petroleum Transport, Inc.

April 2 - Fort Hood, TX - The soldiers were killed by a gunman who entered the base and opened fire at random. Thirty-nine year old Sgt. 1st Class Danny Ferguson of Tampa, FL; 38 year old Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and 37 year old Sgt. Timothy Owens of Effingham, IL were all killed at the Fort Hood base during the shooting rampage.

April 2 - White Sulphur, KY - 75 year old Charles Morgan "Hoot" Gibson died when his farm tractor flipped over as he worked to unroll hay, crushing him.

April 3 - Aspen, CO - 47 year old Jeffrey Beadle, a lift operator at Snowmass Ski Area, was found by a skier with severe chest trauma. He was alone at the time of the incident. Circumstances are unknown.

April 4 - Ecorse, MI - 36 year old Chris Castro of Warren died on the job when the crane he was operating tipped over. He was ejected as it tipped. He was employed by Connelly Crane, working at U.S. Steel Great Lakes Works faciltiy.

April 4 - Haverhill, OH - Jim Morrison was an employee for Haverhill Chemical plant and was working in an area not usual for him. He was helping to fix a pipe that burst, killing him.

April 5 - Victoria, TX - 43 year old David Zamora died on the job when he was crushed by a piece of heavy equipment while working for Lee Specialties Ltd at Rice Energy's Big Foot pad.

April 6 - Summerville, SC - 34 year old Heath Sutherland of Phil Campbell was struck and killed by a motorist as he ran into a roadway because he was trying to avoid a falling tree. He was in South Carolina to help clear trees and debris from the median of Interstate 26. 

April 9 - Bellevue, WA - 50 year old Erik Wolff of Gold Bar died of natural causes while working for Pacific Coca-Cola Bottling Co.  He was making a delivery when he was found unconscious.

April 9 - Bronx, NY - 38 year old Dennis Guerra, a New York Police Department Housing Officer, died after being overcome by smoke from a fire in a building. A resident started the fire and Guerra went in to help but was overcome and pulled out of the building unconscious.

April 9 - Camp Lejuene, NC - 21 year old Lance Cpl Mark N. Boterf of El Paso, TX died of a single gunshot wound to the chest as he was on duty at the main entrance to the base. It appears another Marine accidentally discharged his weapon in the guard shack.

April 9 - Madison, NC - 29 year old Walter E. Murray, Jr., thought to be from Eden, was killed on the job when he fell about 80 feet inside a water tower he and his family were painting. He was working for Boss Enterprises of Eden.

April 10 - Orland, CA - 32 year old Tim Evans of Elk Grove/Sacramento was killed on the job in a fiery crash of his FedEx truck that crashed into a tour bus.  For an unknown reason, his FedEx semi crossed the median and crashed into the bus, carrying students and others. In all, 10 people were killed.

April 10 - Orland, CA - 53 year old Talalelei Lealao-Taiao of Sacramento was killed on the job in a fiery crash when a FedEx semi truck crossed the median of Highway 5 and crashed into the Silverado Stages bus she was driving. She was transporting students and others when the incident happened. She and 9 others were killed in the crash.

April 10, Florence, MT - A 51 year old unidentified man from Bonner was killed when he fell from the roof of a home in Florence as he cleared shingles. Repeated attempts to locate his name were unsuccessful. He was working for Missoula based Jared Langley Enterprises.

April 11 - St. Genevieve, MO - 53 year old John Hahl of Farmington and 29 year old Chris Rawson of Hillsboro were killed on the job when they fell from an elevated boom lift.  Both men in the basket of the boom lift when a big rock dislodged and crashed into the boom, detaching it.  They worked for Mississippi Lime Co. based in St. Louis.

April 12 - Buzzards Bay, MA - 34 year old Joseph Boyd III of Fall River and 34 year old John Loughran of Quincy died on the job when the boom truck there were working from tipped backwards. They were in an elevated boom lift working on electrical lines when for an unknown reason the truck tipped backwards, cab up. They were employed by Mass Bay Electrical doing maintenance for Utility Nstar.

April 12 - Dalton, GA - A 48 year old unidentified employee for McMinnville, TN based Porter Roofing Contractors died on the job when he fell through an unstable portion of a roof at Shaw Industries. He fell about 30-35 feet to the ground. He may have been from Tennessee.

April 12 - Kettle Falls, WA - Melissa Moon of Evans, WA died of a massive heart attack while working at Boise Building Solutions Manufacturing LLC in Kettle Falls.

April 14 - Manhattan, NY - An unidentified worker was killed on the job when he fell onto scaffolding while working at Dream New York Hotel.  Repeated attempts to locate his name or employer have been unsuccessful.

April 14 - Polk County, WI - 50 year old Michael J. Seversen of St. Croix Falls was a member of the Polk County Sheriff Department when, in April of 1991, he was shot in the line of duty. He was paralyzed from the neck down and although he was paralyzed he remained active in the sheriff's office using his wheelchair. Recently he had some severe medical issues which contributed to his death this month.

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