Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Our hearts and thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives while working. If we can be of any help please contact us, Going to work should NOT be a grave mistake!

September 15, 2014 - Bolingbroke, GA - 24 year old Deputy Michael Norris was fatally shot and another deputy injured as they were attacked by a man with a gun. They were responding to a suicide call at the man's home. Norris was a member of the Monroe County Sheriff's department.

October 1, 2014 - Boonton, NJ - 39 year old Selvin Zelaya and 46 year old Oscar Portillo were killed on the job when they were buried in a trench collapse as they were installing a drain pipe. They were employed by Bednar Landscape Services.

October 2 - Rebecca, GA - 61 year old Isabel Gomez died on the job when he was struck by the falling arms of a front end loader. He was working with his brother on the hydraulic system of the machine when the arms suddenly fell. He was employed by WBT Farm Service. 

October 4 - St. Louis, MO - 33 year old Rolan Mask of Edwardsville, died after being struck by a box truck that backed into him while working for Antler Trucking Co.

October 6 - Chazy, NY - 36 year old Philip Fortsch III of Champlain was killed on the job when a farm tractor he was operating crashed and overturned into a river. He was employed by Rovers Farms in Chazy.

October 6 - Brookhaven, MS - 22 year old Chase D. Curtice was working on an oil rig when he was struck and killed by a pipe. He was employed by Loomis International for Denbury Resources.

October 6 - Tualatin, OR - An unidentied 27 year old worker was killed on the job when he was crushed under heavy metal plates that fell from a forklift. Repeated attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful. He was employed by Pro Saw.

October 7 - West Point, GA - 57 year old John Edd Dunnivant of Lanett, AL was fatally injured in an unknown incident in the steel press section of Kia Motors Manufacturing plant in West Point.

October 7 - Correctionville, IA - 49 year old Daniel Lewis Uhl of Anthon was pinned by a large piece of earth moving equipment he was operating on a construction site in Correctionville. The name of his employer is unknown.

October 7 - Sparks, MD - 64 year old Michael Ray Mathews died of injuries he received on the job a few days before. He was using a roller compactor machine to flatten out a pile of dirt, when the pile collapsed causing the machine to rolled. He was pinned by the machine. It is not known who he was working for.

October 7 - Chehalis, WA - Zach Whitty was working his normal job for B & M Logging Inc. when he passed out and later died at a hospital of an asthma attack.

October 7 - Yosemite, CA - 62 year old Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt of San Jose, was flying an fire retardant plane helping to fight the Dog Fight Fire in Yosemite National Park when the plane crashed into a canyon wall. He was employed by CynCorp International for Cal Fire.

October 8 - Hicksville, NY - 56 year old David Zimmerly of Lindenhurst was working to make repairs under a postal truck in a shop when a co-worker got into the truck and began to drive away, crushing Zimmerly. He was employed by the United States Postal Service.

October 8 - Douglas, AZ - An unidentified landscaper was killed and his co-worker injured when they were attacked by thousands of bees that were disturbed at a private residence. Repeated attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful.

October 9 - Ogden, PA - An unidentified man died on the job when he fell from an elevated bucket while working for Lenni Electric. His name has not been located.

October 10 - Baltimore, MD - An unidentified construction worker was killed on the job when he was struck by equipment that fell onto him. Repeated attempts to locate his name and employer have been unsuccessful.

October 10 - Post Falls, ID - 18 year old Jeremy McSpadden Jr. of Spokane Valley, WA was an actor for the Incredible Corn Maze in Post Falls when he was killed on the job. He was a role player in the “Zombie Slayer Paintball Bus” attraction at the maze and was running to the back of a bus when he slipped and fell under the bus.

October 12 - East Orange, NJ - 34 year old Zoungo Sou-Oud was working his normal job at Alexander's Car Wash when he was caught in the cross-fire of a shooting and was shot. He was not the intended target, rather an innocent person.

October 13 - Williston, ND - 28 year old Dustin Payne of Hazel Green, AL was working on a tank October 3rd when an explosion occurred. He died 10 days later of those injuries. He was working in a North Dakota oil field for Nabors Completion & Production Services.

October 13 - Carrick, PA - 29 year old Omar Hodges had just arrived at his work, still sitting in his vehicle, when he was shot to death for an unknown reason. He was employed by Pittsburg Environmental Services Bureau.

October 14 - Jamestown, PA - 65 year old Thomas Thomas of Kinsman, OH, was killed on the job when he was caught in the power take off of a machine as he was feeding cattle. He was working on a farm near Jamestown.

October 14 - Maumee, OH - 40 year old Brad Griffitt of Holland was in his construction vehicle when it was struck by a tractor trailer semi truck on September 19th. He was in a coma until his death on October 14th. He was employed by DG Slurry-Seal of Toledo, Inc. 

October 14 - Erwin, TX - 51 year old Gary Reedy died of injuries he received after falling about 25 feet into a hole at Energy Solutions facility. He was also exposed to radioactive material but that is not what caused his death. He was employed by Erwin Resin Solutions.  

October 15 - Bristol, VA - 50 year old Gary Bowers was a temporary worker at Helm's Candy plant when he died on the job in an unknown incident. His employer was At Work Personnel. 

October 15 - Sundown, TX - An unidentified worker was fatally electrocuted while working at Sundown Independent School District. He was a subcontractor working for K-Bar Texas Electric.  Attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful.

October 16 - West Carrollton, OH - 33 year old Geoffrey S. Garnett was working as a welder with others to replace the roof of an electrical transformer substation when he was electrocuted. He was employed by Cohen Recycling which is owned by Metal Shredders.

October 17 - Greeley, CO - 46 year old Nicholas Arrendondo-Urbibe was part of a road construction crew working on a flood control project when a construction truck backed up over him. He was employed by Duran Excavating at the time of his death.

October 18 - Middletown, DE - 66 year old George R. Lynam, Jr. was killed on the job when he was struck by a broken tow hook. Lynam was operating a tractor trailer fully loaded with corn when it became stuck. Another worker was attempting to pull the semi free when the tow hook broke loose, crashing into the side window and hitting Lynam. They were employed by Baker Farms. 

October 21 - Columbia, TN - 22 year old Gordon Schaffer was working alone in the Papa John's restaurant where he was employed when he was shot on October 20th in a robbery. 

October 21 - Louisville, KY - 22 year old Tomi Leigh Batts was operating a forklift when it malfunctioned, causing her death from an unknown cause. She was employed by AAA Cooper Transportation.

 October 22 - Florence, OR - 52 year old Mark Fortune was checking equipment at the end of his work day when he somehow backed a work vehicle off the McCoulough Bridge platform, falling into the river below. He was a mechanic for Great Western Corporation.

October 22 - El Paso, TX - Two unidentified workers died of drowning as they performed maintenance on a pump at the Robert Bustamante Wastewater Treatment plant for El Paso Water Utilities. At some point a pit area started to fill with water and one of the workers entered the space to turn off a valve but was unable to escape. The second worker also entered the space to help but could not get out. They were employed by Cubic Water LLC.  Repeated attempts to locate the name of the workers has been unsuccessful. 

October 24 - Sacramento, CA - 42 year old Danny Oliver, a Sacramento Sheriff deputy, and 42 year old Michael David Davis, Jr., a Placer County Sheriff deputy, were both shot to death during a shooting rampage. Deputy Oliver was shot by the suspect who was sitting inside a vehicle in one location. After fleeing the scene and hijacking a truck the suspect made his way to a home where he shot Deputy Davis as he approached the truck.

October 24 - Memphis, TN - 21 year old Zachary "Zach" Wayne Holliday of Hernando, MS was working alongside his father on the Sears Crosstown Building that was undergoing renovations in Memphis. Co-workers became worried after seeing Zach's vehicle in the lot after hours so his father and their boss started looking for him, finding that he had fallen down an unprotected old packaging chute.  They were employed by Chandler Demolition Company.

October 24 - Reily, MI - 25 year old Florian Nilaj of Farmington, MI and 40 year old Gazmend Vukaj of Novi, MI died on the job while working on a water tower for Southwest Regional Water District in Reily Township. Both men fell from scaffolding as they were trying to fix some cabling and it broke. Neither were wearing safety harnesses. Nalaj died at the scene and Vukaj later at hospital. They were employed by V & T Painting LLC.

October 25 - Auburn, WA - Jeffery Syverson was the owner of Prime Air Services in Auburn was found dead without any signs of injuries. The circumstances of the incident is not known.

October 26 - Greenville, SC - 60 year old James "Fly" Irby was a commercial painter for many, many years. He was working with a crew subcontracted to do work at an apartment complex. He was on the roof, securing a ladder, when he apparently lost his balance and fell off backwards. It is not known who he was employed by.

October 27 - Seattle, WA - Timothy Kern was the owner of Fundamental Coffee Company LLC, an eating establishment, and was found in the break room deceased. It was determined he died of natural causes.

October 28 - Statesboro, GA - Salvador Hernandez was working to fix a piece of machinery at Claude Howard Lumber Mill when he was somehow pinned by the machine. The circumstances of the incident are not known. 

October 29 - Grosse Pointe Woods, MI - 59 year old Leland Rumph was partially buried in a trench collapse on a construction site. A secondary collapse occurred when a police officer jumped in the trench attempting a rescue. The officer was pulled free but Rumph was buried to his neck. He was owner of Rumph Construction.

replace the roof of an electrical transformer substation. - See more at:

was using the compactor to flatten a pile of dirt when the pile collapsed - See more at:
was using the compactor to flatten a pile of dirt when the pile collapsed - See more at:

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