Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Our thoughts are with the family members and friends who have been forced to say good-bye to someone they love because of their death on the job.  We are an organized community of people who offers support, guidance, resources and advocacy to those affected by work related deaths.  Please let us know how we can help you.

May 30, 2014 - Maplewood, NJ - 51 year old Guo Tai Chen of New York City was killed on the job when masonry came down on him and two others while they excavated for a new stairwell in a restaurant in Maplewood. They were working at Coda Kitchen and Bar, owned by Saul Fisher, but it is unclear if he was their employer or they worked for a subcontractor.

June 11, 2014 - Bronx, NY - 35 year old Jose Duran of Springfield, MA was driving his tractor trailer rig on the Cross Bronx Expressway when a manhole cover exploded, flying through his windshield and striking him in the head. The sewer cap may have been dislodged by another truck. His employer was not listed.

June 11 - Lucas, KS - 65 year old Gary Ward, a longtime employee for the City of Lucas, was fatally electrocuted while working on power lines. Circumstances around his death are unknown.

June 11 - Houston, TX - Russell Soltani was the owner of a used car dealership. When he arrived for work, he was ambushed by an individual who shot him in the back and stole his briefcase. Security cameras caught the event on tape and are looking for the shooter.

June 11 - Chickasha, OK - 56 year old Floyd Etter Jr. was helping a friend on his farm when he was run over by a combine machine. He was on the ground testing it for moisture when the incident happened. 

June 12 - Huger, SC - 44 year old Cisco Agbunag of Goose Creek was working in the mold and equipment shop of Nucor Steel Berkeley plant in Huger when a large piece of equipment fell onto him in the maintenance shop, crushing him.  The plant melts down scrap metal and recasts it into sheet metal and I-beams for construction.

June 12 - Hallendale Beach, FL - 27 year old Christopher J. Ricci of Sunrise was working with a construction crew at a residential build when a crane began to tip over.  The workers started to scatter when they realized the crane with tipping, but Ricci was unable to get out of its way and was struck. A truck with the logo DLS Prestressed Crane Co. was parked nearby but it is unclear if that company was Ricci's employer.

June 12 - Phoenix, AZ - 28 year old Fr Kenneth Walker was a priest at the Mother of Mercy Mission church in downtown Phoenix when he was confronted by a gunman who was at the church to rob it. The gunman shot and killed Fr Walker and injured another priest while they were in the Rectory.

June 13 - Indianapolis, IN - 25 year old William Issac Simpson was working 250 feet down inside a tunnel when he suffered massive crushing head trauma.  He was working for SKJV Construction on the Dig Indy Project/Deep Rock Tunnel connector project. It is unclear what he was struck by in this incident.

June 13 - Allentown, FL - 71 year old James Donald McDaniel of Milton was working in a blueberry patch when he was struck by lightening and then suffered a cardiac event. He was employed by Blue Basket Farms.

June 13 - Whitehall, MI - 46 year old John L. Short died on the job when he was struck in the head by a piece of falling tree. He was working at a private resident to cut down a tree. When the tree began to fall it hit another tree, causing it to break into pieces as it came down.

June 13 - Platteville, WI - 79 year old Merle Forbes was assaulted and murdered and put in the trunk of his taxi cab by a man who has since been arrested. The name of the taxi company was not given.

June 15 - Boston, KY - An unidentified farmer was killed on the job when he became pinned underneath his overturned tractor. No further information, or his name, could be found.

June 16 - Parkville, MO - 35 year old Carlos Enrique Gomez-Escobar, "Carlos Gomez", died on the job when he was electrocuted while working to trim a tree.  He was in the tree of a private homeowner when the strap that held him to the tree came loose and a piece of metal touched a high power line.  It is unclear the name of the tree company he worked for.

June 16 - Washburn, ND - 27 year old Corneilius Johannes DuPlessis, a farm worker from South Africa, died on the job when he was buried in a corn grain bin owned by Doepke Farm. He and another worker were inside trying to get a load of grain off the sides of the bin. The other worker exited, thinking DuPlessis had followed him and started the auger. DuPlessis had not exited the bin and was sucked down into the grain.

June 16 - Flushing, NY - An unidentified 54 year old warehouse worker was crushed when a disabled forklift fell on his chest. Attempts to locate his name or employer have been unsuccessful.

June 17 - San Angelo, TX - 28 year old Cody Freeman of The Colony, TX died after falling from a telephone tower. Reports state he was having issues with his safety equipment when he fell. He was employed by Microwave Transmission Systems (MTSI), a subcontractor for Goodman Networks. 

June 17 - Frankfort, IL - 19 year old Francis "Franky" Licka was operating a riding mower at Union Creek Park for the Frankfort Square Park District when he suffered unknown multiple trauma due to an incident with the mower.

June 18 - Messena, IA - 40 year old Brian Larry Follmann died on the job as he was working on his farm. It is unclear how the incident happened but he was caught in his hay baler. 

June 18 - Tenino, WA - 75 year old William Hill of Olympia was killed on the job when an explosion of fireworks occurred as he and another worker were assembling them.  He was employed by Entertainment Fireworks, Inc. of Tenino.

June 18 - Orangeville, NY - 44 year old Michael Flint died on the job when he was trapped between a farm tractor and wagon. He was working on the Flint Farm and got off the tractor to unhook the wagon when the wagon rolled forward into Flint.

June 18 - New Hampton, NY - 55 year old George Grumbach of Chester died after he was crushed under his truck that rolled into him. He had just parked a dump truck next to a newly unloaded tree for planting and exited the vehicle. Police said the truck rolled backward, pinning Grumbach beneath the front driver's side tire. He was employed by Mid Hudson Forensic Psychiatric in the maintenance department.

June 19 - Kauai, HI - 55 year old Severino Butay of Kalaheo was stopped along a highway, with other coworkers, attempting to change a tire on a work trailer when the driver of a tractor trailer semi struck the trailer. The semi driver was attempting to stop quickly when the rig veered into the crew. Butay was an employee for Kauai County. 

June 19 - Oakland, CA - 65 year old Kil Kim died on the job when he was crushed under a heavy compressor that fell onto him as he attempted to move it.  He was the father of the owner of ANP Tire Service but it is not clear if he was actually working for the shop.

June 19 - Frostproof, FL - 54 year old Michael Falk was driving an enclosed cab pulling a spray trailer when a tractor trailer driver struck the trailer from behind. The tractor was pushed and rolled onto its side, breaking out the windows and causing Falk blunt force trauma.

June 21 - Queens, NY - 43 year old Steven Frosch of Garden City South was killed on the job when he was struck by a street sweeper while working inside of a maintenance garage. He was working on one machine when he was struck by the other and was pinned between the two. He was an employee for Queens Sanitation Department.

June 21 - Chicago, IL - 58 year old Jose Tafoya of Merrillville was working behind a paving machine when a drunk driver drove through barricades and struck Tafoya. His coworkers said he normally worked in front of the paving machine but had gone to the rear to help others.  They were working on a road project but his employer is not listed.

June 21 - Aurora, CO - 31 year old Jason Lee Nolte suffered fatal crushing injuries when he became trapped by 4,000 pounds of glass panels in two wooden crates inside of a trailer. The window company he worked for was not named.

June 21 - Mansfield, LA - 56 year old Ronnie Meshell was working up in a tree for a private contractor at a residence when his safety harness either broke from age or was possibly was cut by a chain saw. He fell nearly 30 feet from the tree he was trimming.

June 23 - Greencastle, IN - 17 year old Riley Sutherlin was killed on the job when he was crushed by a backhoe.  He was working with family members installing new grain bins on the farm and was trying to drive over a pile of dirt, when he lost control of the tractor and it flipped, throwing the teen.

June 23 - Fife, WA - An unidentified 58 year old worker died on his job at Gensco Distribution when he was crushed by machinery.  He was moving a nearly 6-ton piece of equipment that the company uses to bend metal when it fell and trapped him underneath. Repeated attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful so far.

June 23 - Davie, FL - 42 year old Hernan Gutierrez of Hallandale Beach died a horrific death when he fell into the teeth of his operating industrial wood chipper.  He had been working all day with the Tech Trees landscaping crew when the incident happened.

June 23 - Decker, MT - 58 year old Stewart Orcutt of Sheridan, WY died on the job when his coal truck crashed through a berm at the Spring Creek Coal mine in Decker.  He was employed by Wyoming based Cloud Peak Energy operator of the mine. 

June 23 - McHenry, IL - 63 year old Bryan J. Reid was killed on the job when he was struck by his work truck. Reports say he apparently did not secure his truck and he was struck as it rolled. He was employed by the Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company quarry.

June 23 - Caro, MI - An unidentified farmer died when the tire on a tine rack exploded as he was filling it. Attempts to locate his identity has been unsuccessful.

June 23 - Clavert, AL - 46 year old George L. Anthony Jr. of Semmes has died in hospital after being severely burned on June 2nd while working at Outokumpa Stainless USA.  He was working for contractor Ranger Environmental Services at the plant when 90 percent of his body was covered in third-degree burns after an apparent accident in which a group of employees dumped a hot ash-like substance on him. It is unclear how that situation occurred.

June 24 - Birmingham, AL - 26 year old Caleb Bankston was an engineer for the Alabama Warrior Railway. He was checking on something between two rail cars when one derailed, pinning him between the two cars. 

June 24 - Moreau, NY - 71 year old Richard Stearns was working with a landscaping crew when a storm broke out and it began to rain. He and others sought shelter from the rain in an equipment trailer when the trailer was struck by a motorist who was not paying proper attention to the road. the name of their employer is unknown.

June 24 - Detroit, MI - 49 year old Gregory Cotton died when the Detroit Dept. of Transportation bus he was operating swerved and crashed, for an unknown reason, into a building causing debris to crush through the windshield.  

June 25 - Rocky Mount, NC - 41 year old J. Estanislao Gonzalez, a migrant worker from Mexico, was taking a nap under a bus on a farm when another worker started the bus and drove off.  Gonzalez was run over by the bus. The name of the farm he worked for is not listed.

June 25 - San Antonio, TX - 56 year old Dwight Freeman died on the job after being struck by an unknown object while operating machinery.  He was working for Southwest Research Institute.

June 25 - St. John's, FL - 24 year old Joshua Edward Hatcher was a contractor working on the roof of a TA Travel Center when he was electrocuted. He later died at hospital.  His employer is unknown.

June 25 - Minnetonka, MN - 21 year old Travis Sutherland of St. Cloud was fatally electrocuted while trimming up in a tree.  He was working for an unnamed tree trimming company out of Little Falls. Apparently a branch he cut, touched a high voltage line causing him to be electrocuted.

June 25 - Heyworth, IL - 54 year old Thomas Pruser died on the job when he was pinned beneath a utility trailer.  He was manager of Tate & Lyle Grain Elevator and was last seen by others on Wednesday. He was reported missing Thursday and found after a brief search. 

June 27 - Wyoming, MI - 34 year old Russel Scharenbroch, Jr. was killed on the job when he became caught in an injection molding machine that he was cleaning. He was working for Grand Rapids Plastics, Inc.

June 27 - Minneapolis, MN - 36 year old Travis James Carter was operating a forklift, staking bundles of wood products while working for AA Container and Reload.  He was crushed after getting off the machine and a stack of the wood products fell onto him.

June 27 - Sweetwater, FL - 42 year old Jose Felix Obando was working for an unknown subcontractor on an I-95 expansion project when he fell into a deep hole on the side of the roadway. After falling in, the sides collapsed around him. Co-workers were unable to rescue him in time.

June 27 - San Francisco, CA - 32 year old Allen Calloway was shot to death for an unknown reason while working outside during a soccer game. A game which included his son. He was an outreach worker for Herz Playground in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood.

June 28 - St. Augustine, FL - 41 year old Kit Tappen was killed on the job when he was struck by a tractor trailer semi as he worked to help a stranded motorist. He was employed by Complete Collision as a tow truck driver and was helping a motorist when the rear of the semi went into the emergency lane, striking Tappen.

June 29 - McGregor, TX - 55 year old Charl Wynard Swart was killed and two other workers injured in an explosion of a chemical storage tank.  The explosion evidently occurred as the men filled large plastic containers with a highly combustible acetylene gas, which they planned to take out into a field to ignite, according to police. As they were filling the containers something ignited the acetylene.

June 29 - Knoxville, TN - 40 year old Paul Shepherd had just gotten his license to drive a taxi cab a few days before he was fatally shot multiple times inside his taxi.  He was employed by Absolutely Taxi Company.

June 30 - Lexington, KY - 60 year old Macario Santiago-Cruz was working on a church expansion project when he fell about 30 feet from the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church. It is unclear if he was employed by the diocese of a subcontractor.

June 30 - Fairfax, IA - 57 year old David Lee Fry of Cedar Rapids died on the job when severe weather caused the Intermec by Honeywell Technology Center building to collapse. He was found crushed under the debris of the structure. A co-worker was able to escape the collapse. 

June 30 - Eau Claire, WI - 73 year old Gary Henkey has died after apparently collapsing at work on June 27.  He was working at Menards Distribution Warranty Center when he was found on the floor, attempting to get up. His manager called emergency responders and he was transported to a local hospital.

No comments:

Print Page