Weekly toll: The tragedies never end
Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.
Construction Worker Dies After Falling From Brooklyn Building: NYPD
New York, NY — A construction worker fell from a building and died in Brooklyn on Sunday, authorities said. The 58-year-old man fell from scaffolding at 1382 Nostrand Ave. in East Flatbush, police said. The address is of a brick building that is a couple of stories high.
FHP trooper killed while standing outside patrol car in Alachua County
ALACHUA CO., Fla. — A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is dead after being hit by a car while on duty in Alachua County. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, it happened Saturday just after 6:30 p.m., on State Road 93 near Mile Marker 403. 52-year-old Master Sergeant William T. Bishop was responding to a crash when two other vehicles collided near the scene of the first accident. One of the vehicles involved in the first crash was parked in the emergency lane. During the second crash, Master Sergeant Bishop was hit while standing outside his patrol car.
DPW worker killed in Plainville accident identified
PLAINVILLE, MA — The highway department worker killed in an accident Thursday as been identified as David Fiske, a 31 year town employee. Town Administrator Jennifer Thompson said Fiske, 57, was “literally the heart and soul of our Department of Public Works.” Fiske was mowing grass around the Walnut Street water booster station when the accident occurred. Police said the tractor mower he was operating tipped over and landed on top of him. Thompson said the cause of the accident is under investigation by Plainville Police and the state Department of Public Safety and Department of Industrial Accidents.
Two workers killed by gas at Miss. waste-water lift station
PETAL, Miss. — Two men were killed Tuesday afternoon when they were overcome by methane gas at a waste-water lift station in Mississippi.Petal Mayor Hal Marx said the men were working for a company that had contracted with the city to do some work at the lift station.“Our crew was on the scene with them most of the day,” he said. “They told our crew they could leave and they were finishing up.”Marx said two of the three men working for the contractor were found unconscious in the lift station.Emergency personnel were called. First responders were able to reach the men, who were about 15 feet down, and pulled them out. Efforts to revive the men were unsuccessful. The victims were father and son, 45-year-old Terry West and his 20-year-old son Gage West. (More here.)
Chief’s death on I-94 ‘devastating’ to firefighter community
COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, MI – Fire Chief Ed Switalski recognized the dangers rescuers face responding to emergencies on the expressway.They all do. Switalski, 55, was killed Wednesday, June 14, when he was struck by a car while he stood on the shoulder of I-94 behind a fire truck with its lights flashing.
Officer Killed in Shooting
NEWPORT, Ark. — Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed while investigating a vehicle larceny near the intersection of Park Place and Bowen Street at approximately 6:00 pm.
He was assisting other officers check the area when they observed a suspicious person flee on foot. As the officers followed the man into a residential area he suddenly turned and opened fire, striking Lieutenant Weatherford. Lieutenant Weatherford was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Colleagues, police at loss to find reason for UPS shooting
San Francisco, CA — Colleagues and investigators were at a loss Thursday to explain what drove a San Francisco UPS driver to pull out an assault weapon at work and kill three co-workers who police suspect he targeted. Jimmy Lam, an 18-year veteran of UPS, appeared to single out the three slain drivers but investigators have yet to determine what set him off on Wednesday, an official in the San Francisco Police Department said. Lam walked up to driver Benson Louie and shot him during the meeting. As his co-workers frantically fled the room, he shot Wayne Chan in the back and then walked up and “finished him,” Cilia said, citing witnesses.Victim Mike Lefiti was fleeing from the building when Lam went to a street and shot him, he said. Lefiti, 46, and Louie, 50, had each worked for UPS for 17 years, according to the company. Chan, 56, had 28 years of service.
Man killed in industrial accident north of Silverthorne during Highway 9 paving work
Silverthorne, CO — A 20-year-old man working on a road paving operation was killed in an “industrial accident” Thursday afternoon, June 15, on Highway 9 north of Silverthorne, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman confirmed. The incident occurred at around 12:30 p.m. near milepost 107, the spokesman said.
Cal-OSHA Opens Inquiry into Worker’s Death
Laguna Beach, CA — Services were held this week at Bellevue Memorial Park in Ontario for a construction worker who died from injuries suffered in a 12-foot fall at a job site of a controversial hillside home under construction in Laguna Beach. Apolinar Fermin Bercenas, 60, of Pomona, was a 27-year employee of Decco Construction, a Fullerton framing contractor, said company president David Eminhizer, who glimpsed Fermin’s fall at 694 Diamond St.
Circle K Cashier Fatally Shot in Lake Elsinore Was ‘Part of This Community’
Riverside, CA — A 26-year-old man was arrested in the shooting death of longtime employee who was killed Wednesday at a Riverside County convenience store. The store cashier was killed early Wednesday at a Circle K store in the 16300 block of Lakeshore Drive in Lake Elsinore. Riverside County sheriff’s investigators did not provide details about the crime, but nearby residents reported the sound of gunfire. “I heard boom, boom, boom, boom, then he paused,” resident Diana Trent told the Press-Enterprise. “There was seven shots altogether.” Family members and store employees identified the victim as Eric Whitcomb. He was described as a nice co-worker who worked at the store for 12 years and liked to read books before starting his shift.
Police: Officers killed, inmates on run in Georgia
Atlanta, GA — Two Georgia inmates described as “dangerous beyond description” remained on the run Wednesday after disarming and killing their guards on a prison bus, authorities said. The reward for information leading to their arrests continued to grow. Authorities said Donnie Russell Rowe, serving life without parole, and Ricky Dubose, who has prominent tattoos on his face and neck, overpowered and fatally shot Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue with their own guns as the guards drove 33 inmates between prisons.
Oilfield worker dies while working on water line in Borden County
Lubbock, TX — An investigation is underway following an accident on Friday at a Borden County oilfield that left a 20-year-old man dead. Coby Stinson was pronounced dead at Scenic Mountain Medical Center after he was taken there by Scurry County EMS, according to Borden County Sheriff Benny Allison. At about 4:25 p.m., Scurry County officials received a call after workers with the Keystone Pipeline Construction company were working on the end of a waterline when it burst due to built up pressure. As it came loose, a piece of the line struck Stinson.
Kayak Guide dies in Yellowstone Lake During Rescue Attempt
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — A kayak guide in his first season on the job in Yellowstone National Park has died while trying to rescue a park visitor who capsized on Yellowstone Lake. Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, of Salt Lake City died Wednesday in the West Thumb area of the lake, according to the National Park Service. Conant was among three guides on a kayaking excursion with a group of nine clients. Park rangers found Conant in the water and worked to revive him, but he was pronounced dead before he could be transported by helicopter to a hospital. Park officials say the client whom Conant attempted to save was rescued by other guides in the group and was treated for hypothermia at a park clinic.
Construction worker dies after I-5 hit-and-run
Aurora, OR — One of the construction workers seriously injured during a hit-and-run crash on Interstate 5 last week has died, according to officials. Ronald Ernest Davis, 57, died in an area hospital from injuries he sustained when a box truck struck him and another highway construction worker around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6. Davis, of Powell Butte, and Antonio Manuel Bahena, 20, of Troutdale, were hit by Colin Michael Cook, 27, the driver of the box truck.
Deputies ID 19-year-old run over, killed by bulldozer in Hamlin
Rochester, NY — Deputies are investigating a farm accident involving a teen in Hamlin. Deputies have identified the victim as Gino Valle of Greece. According to deputies, a 19-year-old man was run over and killed by a bulldozer. He was taken to Strong West in Brockport where he was pronounced dead. The accident happened on Redman Road. Deputies say after the bulldozer ran over the teen, it continued to move across Redman Road and hit gas tanks. Local fire crews are checking to make sure there are no issues with the gas tanks.
Iowa road worker dies after being struck by vehicle
Lucas County, IA — An Iowa road construction worker died after being struck by a vehicle in a work zone Tuesday in Lucas County. Barbarella Ann Moore, 48, of Waterloo was working, getting ready to flag vehicles while another construction worker was cutting concrete, according to a release from the Iowa State Patrol.
Flash fire, not explosion, killed 1, critically wounded 3 at Jasper car dealership; probe ongoing
Worker killed at West Virginia coal mine
Chicago-Area Firefighter Dies After Collapsing While Responding to Fire
Dolton, IL — A Dolton, Ill., firefighter died over the weekend while battling a fire in a neighboring city, leaving a whole community in mourning. According to CBS Chicago, Lawrence Matthews, 35, went into cardiac arrest while working to put out a fire that had engulfed multiple mobile homes in the area around 1:30 p.m Saturday. He was rushed to Ingalls Memorial Hospital but never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m.
Decatur Firefighter Dies in Tractor Rollover
DECATUR, Ill. (WRSP) — Decatur Fire Chief Jeff Abbott says Decatur firefighter Micah Wakeman died Monday night after a tractor crash in Logan County. The tractor rolled over and he was pinned under it. Wakeman was 43-years-old when he passed away. He had been with the fire department for 16 years.
2 employees killed after pickup crashes into Jasper auto detailing business
JASPER, TX- Two men were killed Monday morning when a pickup went off the road and crashed through the front wall of the business where they had been detailing a vehicle, according to the Jasper Police Department. A press release from the Jasper Police Department identified the two men that were killed as Oscar Rivera, 26, and Louis Castro, 29. According to the press release, officers with the Jasper Police Department and members of the Care Plus Acadian EMS were dispatched to Abel’s Auto Detailing at 2109 South Wheeler at about 11:50 a.m. Monday. When they got to the scene, Jasper PD officers found that a 2007 Ford F-150 driven by Joe Clifton Dickerson, 62, had crashed through the front and rear walls of the business’ metal building.
Road worker killed along I-81 in Greene Township
Hazelton, PA — A 41-year-old Hazleton man was pronounced dead after he was hit by a passing motorist as he worked along Interstate 81 North at mile marker 19.8 at 9:14 p.m. June 9, according to information released by Pennsylvania State Police on June 10. Police said Michael J. Friendy, an employee with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, was setting up a construction zone when he was hit by the passing vehicle.
FDNY: Retired firefighter dies of 9/11-related causes
New York, NY — Retired Lt. Bill Kelly of East Rockaway, who was among those who responded to the World Trade Center after the 2001 terror attacks, died Saturday of a 9/11-related illness, according to the FDNY. Kelly, 64, had most recently served with Ladder 116 in Queens, according to the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. He was appointed to the fire department on April 15, 1989, and retired on Aug. 1, 2012, the FDNY said in a statement. “The toll continues to mount for those who responded to the attacks on 9/11 and for those who subsequently worked at the site for the months to follow,” Uniformed Fire Officers Association president Jake Lemonda said in a statement. “Lt. Bill Kelly succumbed to his illnesses sustained from his work at the World Trade Center site. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Kelly family at this time.”
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