Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities is a like minded group of people who have all lost someone to a work related incident. We are here to help in any way we can. Look for us on Facebook or our website

DOT Supervisor Struck by Equipment

August 20, 2015 - Missoula, MT - 45 year old Jason Rolls of Helena was working with two other Montana DOT employees on Highway 200, using equipment to mix sand and salt. The equipment wasn’t secured correctly and it gave way. The wheels began to move on the rig while Rolls was still standing nearby.

Wrecker Driver Killed in Crash

August 20, 2015 - Kingfisher, OK - 30 year old David Alan Moore was killed on the job after the wrecker he was driving crashed. The vehicle went off the right side of the road, back onto the roadway and off to the left. The wrecker rolled, stopping in a ditch. He was not wearing a seatbelt. It is unknown who he was employed with.

Sheriff's Deputy Dies After Encounter

August 20, 2015 - Houston, TX - 26 year old Tronski Dontel Jones, a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy, died in the early morning hours of what has been deemed natural causes after dealing with a combative inmate at the Baker Street Jail.  The inmate reportedly became argumentative and combative while being moved from one area back to his cell. Sources say that pepper spray used during the altercation may have played a role in the deputy's death. The sheriff says it's impossible to know the exact cause until an autopsy is complete.

Police Officer Struck by Motorist

August 24, 2015 - Bellevontaine, MO - 53 year old Sgt. Peggy Vassallo was an officer for the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department. She was on her way to work when she was involved in a two vehicle accident. As she was rendering aid to the other driver, another motorist entered the area at a high rate of speed and as they swerved around Sgt. Vassallo's vehicle, they struck her.

State Trooper Shot During Stop

August 24, 2015 - Lake Charles, LA - 43 year old Steven Vincent, a Senior Trooper with the Louisiana State Troopers was killed on the job when he was shot in the head by someone he felt needed assistance. Trooper Vincent noticed a pickup truck sideways, seemingly stuck in a ditch. As he approached the vehicle, the driver got out with a shotgun and opened fire on the officer. Other motorists who noticed what was going on raced to help and subdued the shooter until police arrived.

Man Dies After Fall From Scaffolding

August 24, 2015 - Fullerton, CA - 29 year old Elman Cano Carranza of Los Angeles died after falling from scaffolding at a construction site in downtown Fullerton. He fell onto construction equipment causing massive internal injuries. He died at a local hospital. His employer is unknown.

Trucker Dies in Crash

August 24, 2015 - Braceville, IL - 37 year old David Lee Conway Jr. of Warrenton, MO was operating his tractor trailer semi when another semi driver attempted to merge back into traffic after having stopped his rig. Conway's semi truck slammed into the back of the other semi, causing him to be ejected and his truck torn apart. Conway was an employee of 5 Star Logistics.

Worker Dies of Burns

August 24, 2015 - Beech Grove, IN - 27 year old Andrew Swanson of Fishers was burned at work on August 22. It is unknown how he was burned. He was working in the diesel department of the Amtrack Beech Grove Facility when the incident occurred. He was taken to a local hospital where he died of his injuries.

IndyCar Race Car Driver Dies

August 24, 2015 - Pocono, PA - 37 year old Justin Wilson, a British race car driver living in Longmont, CO died after being struck by debris during a pile up on the Pocono Raceway track. Wilson was struck in the head by a piece of debris that broke off another driver's car that crashed. Wilson tried to avoid the subsequent pileup, but his car hit the debris and veered into an interior wall. He was airlifted to a hospital where he was in a coma in critical condition before he died. His team's owner is Jeremy Dale in Colorado.

Worker Struck in Construction Incident

August 24, 2015 - Parlin, NJ - An unidentified worker was at the construction site of new homes in Parlin when he was struck by a large piece of equipment. Repeated attempts to locate his name or more information were unsuccessful.

Man Falls Down Elevator Shaft

August 25, 2015 - Manhattan, NY - An unidentified elevator mechanic died on the job when he plunged four stories down a shaft in a Hell’s Kitchen building. Police said he was wearing a hard hat but not a safety harness as he walked across wooden boards four stories up. The beam gave way right over the elevator shaft and he fell into several feet of standing water in the basement of the building.

Two Shot During Live TV Interview

August 26, 2015 - Roanoke, VA - 24 year old  Alison  Bailey Parker, and 27 year old Adam Ward were employees of WDBJ7 News in Roanoke when they were both gunned down by an angry ex-employee of the station. Parker, a reporter and Ward, her cameraman, were doing a live interview when the man walked up to the pair and began shooting. He also struck the woman being interviewed. The scene was caught on live camera but was quickly cut back to the news anchor.

Worker Dies at Construction Site

August 26, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN - 25 year old Jeramie Gruber of Northfield was working at the US Bank Stadium construction site when he fell to his death. Gruber slid down the roof and broke through a guardrail before falling to an elevated platform below. Another worker was injured in the incident. He was an employee for Berwald Roofing, a subcontractor for Mortensen Construction.

Officer Killed During Domestic Call

August 26, 2015 - Sunset, LA - 51 year old Henry Andrus Nelson, a Corporal with the Sunset Police Department, was shot to death when answering a call for a domestic dispute. He was the first responder to the scene, and police also found three woman who had been stabbed inside the home. One of the women died.

Worker Dies After Fall From Truck

August 26, 2015 - Prescott, WA - Manuel Flores Perez was an employee for Flat Top Ranch when he fell from the back of a moving pickup truck. He complained of knee pain but didn't want medical attention at the time. As he got worse his employer attempted to find treatment for him but was turned away because he was, by then, unconscious. It was later determined that he died of a brain bleed.

Police Officer Murdered in Ambush

August 28, 2015 - Houston, TX - 47 year old  Harris County, Texas Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth was killed on the job when he was ambushed and shot multiple times  from behind in an unprovoked attack as he pumped gas into his patrol vehicle while on duty. There is no explanation for his murder but the Sheriff feels the attack was due to the fact Goforth was a law enforcement officer.

State Trooper Killed in Crash

August 28, 2015 - Dardeene, MO - 25 year old James Matthew Bava of Mexico, MO was a Missouri State Patrol officer. He was killed while pursuing a motorcyclist that he had observed committing a traffic violation. It is unclear what caused his patrol vehicle to swerve off the side of the highway where it crashed into trees, overturned, and caught fire.

Motorcycle Officer Dies in Collision

August 28, 2015 - Fenton, MI - 38 year old Chad H. Wolf, a Michigan State Police Trooper died after his motorcycle collided with a car pulling a trailer. Trooper Wolf was crossing over the interstate when the car suddenly switched lanes causing Wolf to be thrown off his bike and he became trapped beneath the empty flatbed as the driver continued onto the interstate. He was dragged approximately four miles before motorists at a rest stop spotted the Trooper under the trailer.

Warehouse Worker Dies in Forklift Incident

August 30, 2015 - Harrisburg, PA - 40 year old James E. Brownawell died on the job as he as moving materials with a forklift at Dayton Parts in Harrisburg. He was operating a forklift to remove bundles of steel from shelving in the warehouse. He removed one bundle but in the process inadvertently dislodged a second bundle, causing it to jut out into the aisle. As he turned his forklift around to proceed down the narrow aisle he apparently didn't see the second bundle sticking out and three sections of steel penetrated his chest.

Worker Killed in Manufacturing Incident

August 31, 2015 - Danville, VA - 56 year old Jeanie Lynn Strader of Chatham was a 15 year associate for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Danville plant at the time of her death. She worked as a windup operator and roll changer at the plant. It is not clear what type of industrial incident occurred to cause her death. She was also a member of U.S.W. Local #831.

Man Falls From Water Tower

August 31, 2015 - Brownsville, TX - 21 year old Pedro Samuel Salazar was performing routine maintenance on a satellite antenna. According to the Brownsville Police Department, "somehow he lost his grip and fell to the ground". It is not known who he was employed by.

Heart Attack Claims Worker

August 31, 2015 - Seattle, WA - James "Twain" Hinderman was a sous chef at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He was found in the restaurant's cooler by co-workers

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