Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

We are deeply saddened for the families who must endure the loss of a dear loved one because of a work related incident. We purpose to never forget. Please visit us at or

February 3, 2015 - Kent, WA - 49 year old Peter Ploeger of Cle Elum lost his battle for life after being injured on January 12, 2015 while working for Hermanson Company, LLP.  He fell from a step ladder onto an electrical junction box which caused damage to his leg requiring surgery. Unfortunately he died from complications from the surgery.

March 6 - Wenatchee, WA - Sergio Nuno Camacho was doing his normal job of driving a Stemilt Growners company vehicle to bring trees back from a nursery when he pulled to the side of the road and called for help. Emergency workers were unable to revive him and he died of a heart attack.

March 9 - Tacoma, WA - 52 year old Randal Simmons suffered a medical event as he was helping to load a work van for a painting job. He was transported to an area hospital where he died of a stroke. He was an employee for Saxon Painting Company at the time of his death.

March 16 - McClure, VA - 34 year old David Brummitte of Pound was a certified workplace examiner for Alpha Natural Resources Deep Mine 41near McClure when he died on the job after being struck by rock "sluffing off the mine wall". 

March 17 - Everett, WA - David Whipkey was an office worker for The Boeing Company when he collapsed at his desk on February 25th.  He was transported to an area hospital where he passed away.

March 18 - Omaha, NE - 18 year old Michael Petersen was a collection driver for Abe's Trash when he was killed on the job. He stepped from the drivers seat and was struck by a motorist.

March 18 - Port Angeles, WA - 49 year old Anthony Commeree of Sequim died of a medical event while working on a boat, working in an equipment room. He was found slumped against a beam and unconscious by a co-worker and was not able to be revived. He was an employee for Westport LLC, a boat building company, at the time of his death.

March 19 - Tolland, CT - 50 year old David L. Ridzon of Willington was working to fill pot holes in a road when a town dump truck backed into him. He was transported to an area hospital where he died. Ridzon was an employee for the City of Tolland Public Works Dept.

March 23 - Goldsboro, NC - 35 year old William Grey Bailey of Kenly was a North Carolina Dept. of Transportation employee who was working along a roadway in the median when he was struck and killed by an impaired motorist. The motorist has been arrested.

March 23 - Lebanon, CT - 54 year old Donald Merchant of South Windham was using equipment to move corn from a large mound at the Square A Farm in Lebanon. When he got off the equipment, some of it toppled onto him. Other farm workers dug him out but he was unresponsive.

Raleigh, NC - 41 year old Erasmo Hernandez, 33 year old Lose Luis Lopez-Ramirez and 33 year old Anderson Almeida were killed on the job and another injured when a mast scaffolding the were using fell from the Charter Square Construction Project. It is not clear who their employer was.

March 23 - Montrose, PA - 48 year old Daniel Acker died on the job while working in a quarry leased from owner Peter Kane.  Acker was operating a block saw on a bed of stone with his back to the highwall, and he apparently slipped on loose material or ice and fell several feet with the running saw landing on top of him. This caused severe lacerations to the back of his legs causing him to apparently bleed to death onsite.

March 24 - Fond du Lac, WI - 21 year old Trevor Casper was a Wisconsin State Trooper who was only three months out of the Academy when he was killed during a shoot out with a bank robber. He was on his first solo day when he encountered the suspect who had also killed another person in his attempt to get away.

March 24 - San Jose, CA - 38 year old Michael Johnson was an officer for the San Jose Police Department when he was killed on duty. He and other officers were responding to a call about a suicidal person when they were met with gunfire as they approached the apartment building. the gunman was found dead on his balcony.

March 24 - Minot, ND - 37 year old Brian James Story and 50 year old Christopher Rusk Sluder were shot to death by a worker who was part of a verbal altercation the day before regarding work performance. Story was part of an employee development programat Turtle Mountain Pork, while Sluder was the manager. The worker was arrested for the murders. Turtle Mountain Pork is managed by AMVC, a swine management company based in Audubon, Iowa.

March 24 - Killeen, TX - 61 year old Frank Wilson was a truck operator for the City of Killeen when he was killed on the job at the city's Solid Waste transfer station. He was apparently struck by a piece of motorized equipment. 

March 25 - Sultan, WA - Dennis Blansett was a machinest for Docufeed Technologies, Inc. preparing to set a milling machine when the owner saw him collapse onto the floor. He was resuscitated and transported to an area hospital when he suffered a second cardiac event and did not recover.

March 25 - Inchelium, WA - 54 year old Jeffery Sackman died on the job when he was crushed by a falling tree as he was cutting a separate tree. He was employed by Ram/Z Excavating and Construction Company at the time of his death.

March 25 - Hanford, CA - 51 year old Luis Manuel Santos was killed on the job when he was electrocuted. He was a truck driver for Penny-Newman Grain of Fresno and while unloading grain he came into contact with overhead power lines. He suffered head and neck injuries associated with electrocution. 

March 25 - Bridgeport, CT - 30 year old Jose Araujo of Milford was working inside a trench for Burns Construction when a man walked up to him and shot him. The man who shot Araujo had walked up to a job site foreman inquiring about a job and was told him to fill out an application at the company office. The man walked away but then came back and fired multiple shots, striking Araujo.

March 26 - Blaine, WA - Terry Whight was attempting to climb onto a tractor used to remove a pool liner when he fell backwards onto the ground. It has been determined that he passed away from natural causes. He was employed by Beachwood Resort at the time of his death. 

March 27 - Miami, FL - An unidentified maintenance worker was killed on the job when he was struck by a glass table top that flew off a balcony. He was working on an electric gate at the Flamingo Apartments when the piece of glass flew off one of the balconies on the ninth floor due to the high winds. Repeated attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful.

March 28 - Morgantown, PA - 27 year old Jacob Lopez of Ephrata was working in the melt shop of Timet Titanium manufacturing plant when an explosion occurred.  State police say a boiler about 35 feet in diameter exploded while using titanium for production inside the plant.
State police said Monday that a five- or six-foot-tall boiler that was 20 to 25 feet in diameter exploded while using titanium for production

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State police said Monday that a five- or six-foot-tall boiler that was 20 to 25 feet in diameter exploded while using titanium for production

Read more from at:
Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News
State police said Monday that a five- or six-foot-tall boiler that was 20 to 25 feet in diameter exploded while using titanium for production

Read more from at:
Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News

March 30 - Harrison County, MS - 40 year old Brandon Seth Ricks, a pilot for T & M Aviation from Blanchard, OK and 55 year old Steven D. Cobb, a member of the US Forest Service were both killed in a helicopter crash. The helicopter was assisting with a prescribed burn when it suddenly crashed into a wooded area. Nearby witnesses said right before the crash, they heard the helicopter overhead, and it sounded like it was having engine troubles. 

March 30 - Mount Vernon, WA - Lisa Eison was an employee for Mert's Taxi when she was shot to death while on duty. Attempts to locate further information has not been found.

March 31 - Battle Mountain, NV - 47 year old Ronald Paul Raiche, Jr. died on the job when he was struck by a motorist. He was working in a two-man crew on the right shoulder of I-80 west of Battle Mountain to repair cracks when a commercial vehicle drifted onto the shoulder. He was an employee of the Nevada Dept. of Transportation.

March 31 - Soundview/Bronx, NY - Victor Chafla was a long time employee for VZ Deli, a bodega in the Bronx. He was the unintended victim of a shooting March 26th outside the store as he was stocking fruits and vegetables in an outdoor display.

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