Monday, March 09, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Please know that we are here to help families and others who have been affected by a work related death. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

December 31, 2014 - Sweden, NY - 53 year old Thomas W. Taylor of Holley died on the job when he was struck by a vehicle. Taylor was plowing driveways when he parked his truck in a driveway and got out of his pickup to look for a customer's address. He was walking on the shoulder when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. His employment is not known.

January 1, 2015 - Fort Edward, NY - 41 year old Melvin W. Jacobie was killed on the job when he was crushed under a tractor trailer semi he was working under when it rolled down an embankment, running him over. It is not known who he was working for.

Following is the second half of February 2015.

February 11 - Southbridge, MA - 22 year old Kevin J. "George" St. Pierre, Jr. was a tow truck driver attempting help a stranded motorist on MassPike when he was struck and killed by a motorist driving a box truck. He was employed with Sturbridge Service Center for the last year.

February 14 - San Jose, CA - 35 year old Manuel Alvarez Zuniga was a security guard for SJ Security when he was shot to death on the job over a stolen box of cigarillos. He was working security at the BBoss Club when a man grabbed a box of cigarillos at a store next door to the club and began running to a getaway car. Zuniga and a second guard noticed the commotion and spotted the thief running to the car and dropping cigarillos in the process. Soon afterward, someone in the car began firing. Zuniga saved the life of his fellow guard when he stepped in front of him when the shots rang out, said the other guard.

February 15 - Pendleton, SC - 52 year old Kenneth M. Stanton died on the job when he was struck by a drunk motorist as he was directing traffic around a wreck. The Anderson SC Fire Department volunteer was struck when a vehicle went around a tow truck through the scene and striking him.

February 16 - Richland, WA - Robert Wildenborg was an employee for Fred Meyer Stores, Inc. when he suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack. He had gone on break and was found by a co-worker. It was ruled a natural causes death.

February 16 - Marietta, GA - 49 year old Norberto Galicia Romero was killed on job while working inside a silo in Houston, TX.  Romero was an employee for an unnamed company hired by Thomas Concrete to clean inside a silo. As he attempted to unclog a "hopper" in the silo, he fell and there was a collapse and he was buried by sand and gravel. 

February 17 - North Versailles, PA - 48 year old Charles Shahan of Mt. Pleasant was working in an aerial bucket lift trimming trees when he fell some 30 feet out of the bucket. He was an employee for Davey Tree Expert Company. It is unclear how he came to fall from the lift. 

February 17 - Shelbyville, TN - 38 year old James A. Currier died on the job after falling into a running piece of machinery at the Tyson Foods Poultry plant in Shelbyville. Currier worked for QSI, a division of The Vincit Group which provides plant sanitation services.

February 17 - Livermore, CO - 29 year old Joshua Lascelles from Ogden, UT was operating a tractor trailer semi truck in Colorado when the right wheels of the truck went off the road. Authorities report that Lascelles over-corrected causing the semi to rotate and turn on its side. It is not known who his employer was.

February 17 - Houston, TX - 19 year old Frank Madrano was working alone inside a home under construction as his cousin was working in another home nearby. A man entered the home where Madrano was working and shot him while robbing him. The company the men were working for is not known. The cousin was able to give the police a description of someone he saw running from the house after alerting to the gunshot noise.

February 17 - Keizer, OR - 40 year old Christopher Pierson was driving piles on a retaining wall project for Union Pacific near railroad tracks when a 35-foot beam he was placing detached and pierced the cab of his crane. He suffered fatal head injuries. He was an employee for Axis Crane and was a member of Operating Engineers Local 701.

February 18 - Souderton, PA - 25 year old Danny Vasquez was stabbed to death during a confrontation with a co-worker just outside the JBS Meatpacking plant. No known motive for the fight has been given. 

February 20 - Heilwood, PA - 29 year old Todd Trimble of Gallitzin was working in the Rosebud Heilwood mine when a large rock dislodged from the mine roof, crushing him.

February 21 - Alcoa, TN - 64 year old Daniel L. Word of Louisville died on the job while working at the Alcoa Tennessee Operations North plant. The circumstances surrounding the incident are not clear but it involved the aluminum can sheet that are processed there.

February 18 and 22 - Canton, MA - Two unidentified workers died on the job after falling while attempting to clear snow from roofs. One worker fell about 40 feet through a skylight. No further details are known about his death. The other worker was also clearing snow from the Draper Knitting Co. when he fell. Reports state he was 35 years old.

February 23 - Tacoma, WA - Thomas Burzloff was working his normal job at The Home Depot when he fell and hit his head. He was climbing down portable stairs when he fell several steps to the ground. He was knocked unconscious when he hit his head and began to have seizures. He died at a local hospital.

February 24 - Mabton, WA - Randy Vasquez was an employee for Riverview Ranch and was driving a loader with a push blade on front. It is reported that he drove into a collection basin of manure from alleys which is about 6 - 8 feet deep. He died of asphyxiation due to inhalation of dairy waste water sludge.

February 26 - Fort Bliss, TX - Jesus Moreno of El Paso was a construction worker killed at the site of the new William Beaumont Army Medical Center. A co-worker said that Moreno was welding when something 'exploded' causing part of the structure he was on to fall apart, causing him to fall. The name of his direct employer is not known.

February 27 - Rochester, MN - 30 year old Brian Baird of Lehi, UT was killed on the job at a Minnesota hotel construction site after being struck by a piece of equipment.  He was underneath a telescopic forklift when a "very large attachment" fell from the arm of the lift. He was employed by Far West Construction of Utah, contracted by PLC, Inc. for the project.

February 27 - Columbia, SC - 56 year old Paul Lewis Fee of Winnsboro was with a crew doing road work on the interstate when he was struck by a motorist. Fee was an employee for the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

February 27 - Akron, OH - 60 year old William Haring was killed on the job after he was crushed by a piece of equipment. Police confirm Haring was crushed by a machine door or swinging mechanism at Logan Machine Company.

February 28 - West Allis, WI - 33 year old Ryan Calkins of Brookfield was killed on the job working on a road construction project called the Zoo Interchange. A representative from the area OSHA office says that Calkins "came into contact" with a drill rig while he was installing tiebacks on a retaining wall. He was employed by Michels Corporation, which is part of the joint venture Wisconsin Constructors II, LLC for the Wisconson Department of Transportation.


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