Weekly Toll: Workplace deaths over the last two weeks
Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.
I took a week off compiling this list. No change in the deadly work that American workers do, except that workers have fewer rights than they did two weeks ago — especially public employees. In other news, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an appropriations bill requiring OSHA to start listing names of workers killed on their homepage again, but we will continue with the Weekly Toll here at Confined Space.
Cal Poly Pomona parking officer killed, suspect fatally shot on campus
LOS ANGELES—A Cal Poly Pomona parking enforcement officer was killed Friday in a violent altercation that ended when police fatally shot the attacker. Pomona Police Chief Michael Olivieri announced the incident on Twitter and said one of his agency’s officers had been involved in the shooting. A law enforcement source with knowledge of the incident told the Los Angeles Times that the parking officer was stabbed and slashed in the neck. When police arrived, officers opened fire on the male suspect. He and the victim were pronounced dead at the two scenes.
5 newspaper employees killed in Maryland newspaper office shooting;
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Five employees of the Capital Gazette were killed Thursday and two were injured in a “targeted attack” on the newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, authorities said. A gunman opened fire through the glass door of the newsroom, Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette police reporter, tweeted shortly after the shooting. “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” he wrote. Four of the five who were killed were editors of the newspaper. Law enforcement officials confirmed the following five people were killed:
Wendy Winters – Editor Special Publications
Rebecca Smith – Sales Assistant
Robert Hiaasen – Assistant Editor/News
Gerald Fischman – Editorial Page Editor
John McNamara – Staff Writer
Minnesota man dies after reported electrocution accident
ORR, Minn. — The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office says a Minnesota man has died after reportedly being electrocuted in an industrial accident. Officials say the agency received a report Friday evening that the 33-year-old man had been electrocuted while trying to fix a power outage issue in rural Orr, Minnesota. The man was pronounced dead on scene. The sheriff’s office says the cause of death hasn’t yet been determined, but the incident is being investigated.
Truck driver killed on Northland highway when semi pushes KC police vehicle into him
Kansas City, MO — A semitractor-trailer driver outside his cab was killed Friday afternoon in the Northland when the driver of another semi hit the back of an unmarked Kansas City police vehicle and pushed it into the victim. The crash on southbound Interstate 29 at Barry Road forced traffic to a standstill in the area around 5:45 p.m. The victim had exited his truck after his trailer door had opened, said Maj. Greg Dull with Kansas City police’s traffic division.
Worker dies in fall from tree in Rowley
A 34-year-old New Hampshire man is dead after falling from a tree he was working on at a home in Rowley. David Bova of Salem, N.H., was preparing to remove a branch while working with a crew on Main Street in Rowley when he fell from approximately 50 feet high, Essex District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan said. He was taken to Anna Jacques Hospital, where he was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries, Kimball-Monahan said. The fall happened sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Kimball-Monahan said.The state police detective unit attached to the Essex DA’s office, Rowley police and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health are investigating. Kimball-Monahan said Bova was working with a crew from Mayer Tree Service.
Round Rock construction worker dies following hospital blast
GATESVILLE, Texas — The Gatesville Police Department on Friday morning reported a second death following an explosion at Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville, Texas, on Tuesday.Thirty-six-year-old Filiberto Morales, of Round Rock, Texas, was working at the hospital construction site when the blast occurred. Morales was transported to Scott and White Hospital in Temple. He succumbed to his injures at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, police reported. Morales was an employee of Network Controls.The explosion in Gatesville, which is located about 45 minutes west of Waco, has claimed two lives and injured 14 other people. Engineers are still working to determine what triggered the blast. The explosion earlier claimed the life of 44-year-old Michael Bruggman, of Rogers, Texas.
Man found dead in Braves stadium cooler was installing invention; cause of death still not determined
ATLANTA, GA – Authorities haven’t yet determined what killed a man whose body was found Tuesday in a walk-in beer cooler at SunTrust Park. The man, whom police identified as 48-year-old Minnesotan Todd Keeling, was found by a stadium employee around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Keeling was at the stadium to install a new beer tap system he’d invented called the Quick Draw Faucet, which he’d designed to cut pouring times from an average of 14 seconds down to five seconds.
Second person dies after vessel’s line snaps at Port of Longview
Longview, WA — A second person died from his injuries after a vessel’s line snapped Thursday morning at the Port of Longview. The Port says Chief Mate Pingshan Li died at Southwest Washington Medical Center just before 10:30 PM Thursday. Li, of China, was 41 years old. Another man, 34-year-old Byron Jacobs died at the scene after the vessel line snapped in half and recoiled. According to officials, a vessel was moving along the dock from one loading hatch to another when one of the lines snapped and flew back toward the dock and the ship. Another longshoreman and security guard suffered minor injuries.
Construction worker killed after truck rolls over him, police say
PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. – A construction worker was killed Wednesday in an accident in Paulding County, police say. The accident happened at a site in the Seven Hills area off Double Branches Lane around 1:30 p.m. Officials identified the victim as Daniel Deiter, 52, of Cornelia. Investigators said Deiter was working on top of the trailer of his unoccupied truck, spreading mulch that was being loaded in by a backhoe. The truck and trailer began to roll backwards. Deiter lost his footing and fell off the trailer, which then rolled over him. The Georgia State Patrol continues to investigate the crash.
Boise construction worker killed in fall from Ammon roof
Boise, ID — A Boise construction worker was killed Tuesday when he fell while working on a roof in Ammon, Idaho, the Post Register reports. Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office identified the man Wednesday as 43-year-old Salvador Hidalga of Boise. Hidalga was working for a roofing company doing repairs on the Ammon residence, according to the Post Register. When he fell, his co-workers performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. They were unable to revive him.
OSHA opens probe into fatal accident
Lockport, NY — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into an accident at XPO Logistics in Lockport early Monday morning that claimed the lives of two employees. Roger Mangine, 62, and Christopher Klosin, 38, were killed when 8,800 pounds of countertop material collapsed inside a truck that they were unloading at XPO Logistics’ site at 4890 IDA Park Drive. By the time first responders arrived, neither man was showing vital signs.
Pasco construction worker murdered on job site
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco says a construction worker was gunned down on a job in an execution style murder Wednesday afternoon. “Two black males come in to the garage, they pass one of the witnesses to walk up to the victim. They tap the victim on the leg, and they pointed the gun at him and executed him at that spot,” said Nocco. Nocco says Heans Giannia Alverez, 46, was working as part of a tile crew in a new housing development and had just taken a lunch break when he was gunned down.
9/11 hero firefighter who wrote about health risks dies of cancer
New York, NY — Before dying from 9/11-related cancer Saturday, hero firefighter Chief Ronald R. Spadafora penned an article about the health risks endured by members of the department, in which he wrote, “I thought I was invincible but I wasn’t,” The Post has learned. The chief of Fire Prevention passed away at the age of 63. He is the highest-ranking member of the department to die from 9/11-related illness to date.
Alleged shoplifter arrested for manslaughter following worker’s death
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Officers are investigating after a man died at an Oklahoma City grocery store on Tuesday evening. Authorities with the Oklahoma City Police Department tell News 4 that 34-year-old Dajuan Wilson went into a Crest grocery store in Oklahoma City to steal beer. However, he was caught and tased by security officers in the store.Officials say that after Wilson was in custody, a manager collapsed. Authorities say 36-year-old Lester Barry was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Energy worker dies after accident
GENESEE TOWNSHIP, MI — Authorities said a worker has died following an accident at an electric plant. The Genesee Township Police Department said 25-year-old Travis Wilson of Richfield Township was working this month on a pipe with a metal cap that was connected to a water line at the Genesee Power Station northeast of Flint. Police Chief John Mullaly told WJRT TV the 30-pound cap struck him in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The plant is owned by CMS Energy, the parent company of Consumers Energy, and burns biomass material, such as construction debris.
Two charged in death of police officer
ROCKY MOUNT, NC — Two men accused of illegally towing a tree-trimming truck have been charged in the death of a Rocky Mount police officer killed late Saturday when he collided with the broken down commercial vehicle on South Church Street. Derrick Sheffield, 46, and Timmy Dixon, 38, have been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the death of 27-year-old Senior Police Officer Christopher Driver. Driver was traveling along South Church Street, responding to a call of a tree truck possibly being stolen. About 10:35 p.m., his patrol car hit the tree-trimming bucket truck left in the roadway.The tree truck had flashers, but the lenses were in such poor condition the lights could barely be seen, said Sgt. David Finch of the State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the crash.
Trucker killed on Wilson Bridge had previous fatal work zone crash
WASHINGTON DC — The driver of a tractor-trailer, who was killed Wednesday when he crashed into several vehicles in a work zone on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, had been involved in a triple-fatality work zone crash 25 years earlier. Rodell Jones, 60, of Bordentown, New Jersey, died when his tractor, towing an empty 53-foot trailer,crashed into a crash-attenuator truck and then a bucket truck in a work zone on the Outer Loop lanes of the Wilson Bridge on June 20. Three workers, who were in a bucket underneath the bridge, were left stranded and had to be rescued by boat by members of the Prince George’s County Police Department. Online court records and news searches show Jones was arrested and charged in connection with the deaths of three workers, who were killed in a work zone on the New Jersey Turnpike on Sept. 25, 1992.
OSHA investigating after man dies picking tomatoes in Colquitt County
Albany, GA — A 24-year-old man that had been in the United States for less than a week has died and OSHA is now investigating. Officials with the Colquitt County Coroner’s Office say that 24-year-old Miguel Angel-Guzman Chavez died Thursday as the result of hyperthermia. Chavez was picking tomatoes when he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, but did not survive. Chavez’s family has been contacted and working to return him to Mexico. Weather conditions on that date had the air temperature at 93 degrees with a humidity level of 94%.
Kentucky worker electrocuted at construction site
LEXINGTON, KY. —A Kentucky coroner has identified a worker who was killed when his dump truck came into contact with high-voltage power lines at a construction site. The Fayette County coroner’s office says in a news release 61-year-old William Everman was electrocuted Friday in Lexington. WKYT-TV reports Everman was moving debris into a pit and had raised the dump truck’s bed, causing it to come into contact with power lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Ohio firefighter dies after station accident
GREENFIELD, OH (WLWT) — A firefighter EMT for the Paint Creek Joint Fire Department has died after an accident at the station at 12500 U.S. 50, approximately 10 miles east of Hillsboro. Joe Patterson, who worked for the Paint Creek Joint Fire and EMS District in Highland County, was working with compressed air cylinders when he was critically injured.he accident happened around 2:16 p.m. Sunday. Patterson was taken by helicopter to Kettering Medical Center, where he later died. In a press release, Jackman said, “It is with deepest sympathies that we have been informed that our brother has been called home and answered his final alarm and did not survive the injuries inflicted by the accident.” The Highland County Sheriff’s Office is helping investigate the incident.
Wounded California firefighter dies; suspect caught
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) —A firefighter who was shot while responding to an explosion and fire at a Southern California retirement home has died. Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee announced that the firefighter had died about four hours after the shooting before dawn Monday. DuRee says the 45-year-old firefighter was a 17-year veteran of the department and leaves behind a wife and two children. Another firefighter and another person were also wounded. Authorities say the person believed responsible for the shooting is a resident of the facility. He’s being questioned.
Mentor officer killed in hit-skip leaves behind son, served department for 14 years
MENTOR, Ohio — The officer killed during a traffic stop early Sunday has been identified as Patrolman Mathew Mazany, a 14-year veteran of the Mentor Police Department. Officials say Mazany, 41, was hit by a Jeep while helping with a traffic stop on the side of Route 2 around 1 a.m. Sunday. The driver of the Jeep, who has been identified as Brian Anthony, of Kirtland, didn’t stop and fled the scene. Mazany was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Worker killed in train derailment identified
SAN ANTONIO, TX — The worker who was injured when two train cars derailed Saturday morning has died. Emergency crews were called to a sand and silica plant in the 24000 block of Pleasanton Road at about 9:30 a.m. A Bexar County spokesperson said cars were being loaded when two of the cars somehow detached from the other cars and began to roll. The cars then derailed, one of them falling on its side. The worker who was killed in the accident has been identified as 46-year-old Rodney Fernandez, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Officials identify truck driver killed in Idaho crash
BOISE, ID – Officials in southwestern Idaho have identified the driver of a commercial truck killed in a fiery, chain-reaction crash near Boise that also killed three airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base. The Ada County Coroner’s Office in a news release Friday said 42-year-old Illya D. Tsar of Rochester, N.Y., died in the crash last Saturday on Interstate 84. Officials say the cause of death was thermal and inhalation injuries because of a multi-vehicle crash.
Semi driver killed in rollover crash on I-24
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The driver of a tractor trailer was killed in a roller crash on I-24 near Briley Parkway. Another driver received minor injuries. The crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Westbound lanes were closed for nearly ten hours as crews worked to clear the scene. The roadway reopened to traffic around 5:15 a.m.
Two people killed in fiery crash on bridge over Lake Texoma
LAKE TEXOMA, Okla. – Two people were killed after a fiery crash on the Roosevelt Bridge over Lake Texoma. Officials responded to the scene just before 2 p.m. on U.S. 70. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers say a vehicle was burning on the bridge when it collided with a semi-truck, sending the tractor trailer into the water that’s about 50 to 60 feet deep. Two people were killed in the crash – the driver of the vehicle and the semi-truck. Authorities were still searching for the driver of the semi late Thursday night.
Rail car falls, kills longtime Little Rock Port Authority worker day after he announced retirement
LITTLE ROCK, AR— Officers removed the body of a Little Rock Port Authority worker from beneath a train car more than four hours after the locomotive crashed into an 18-wheeler on Frazier Pike Road on Thursday morning. Donald Melton, 62, of Austin died Thursday morning after a Port Authority train crashed into a westbound 18-wheeler. Melton had announced his retirement after more than 22 years at the Port Authority just one day before, Port Authority executive director Bryan Day said. Little Rock Police Department Lt. Steve Moore said the train was traveling backward about 9:30 a.m. Thursday when it struck just behind the cab of the truck. Moore said Melton and one other “spotter” — workers who watch the rear of the train while it travels backward — jumped off the train car as it neared the 18-wheeler, but the force of the collision knocked the train off the tracks and onto Melton.
Marshall, IL — The Clark County, Illinois coroner has confirmed the death of a teenager in an accident Wednesday on his family’s farm in rural Marshall. Noah Yeley, 18, died after becoming trapped in a grain bin around mid-day, according to Coroner Jeff Pearce. He provided no further details of the incident. Nationwide, at least 29 farm workers died from accidents involving grain storage and handling facilities in 2016, the latest year for which data is available, according to the agricultural safety and health program at Purdue University. While overall farm deaths have declined in recent years, fatal accidents involving grain storage have not. During the previous five years, an average of 26.2 such deaths were reported, the Purdue data indicates. The actual number of deaths is likely higher because there are no requirements to report such incidents, Purdue officials said. More than one-fourth of all grain entrapment accidents, fatal and non-fatal, involve persons under 21. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota generally have the most such accidents.
Southern Indiana construction worker killed in S. Carolina interstate crash
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say an Indiana construction worker driving a lift, Nathaniel B. Deaton, 40, of Martinsburg, Indiana, has been killed after it was struck by an 18-wheeler on Interstate 77 in South Carolina. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. David Jones said the lift was in the roadway as part of a project on a bridge at exit 27 near Blythewood when it was hit around 5 a.m. Wednesday. Jones says a special team of troopers is investigating and hasn’t determined if the construction zone was properly marked or if any charges will be issued for the tractor-trailer’s driver. The truck was hauling cows.
Suspect charged with murder after maintenance worker death
Cedar Rapids, IA — A maintenance worker for an apartment complex has died after he was beaten last week and left with a broken neck. Authorities say Johannes Rodenburgh, 72, died at a hospital overnight Tuesday after his injuries. On Wednesday, prosecutors upgraded charges against Martavis Tayshon Wise, 27, who is accused of attacking Rodenburgh. Wise’s bond also increased from $10,000 cash only to $1 million cash or surety. Wise allegedly punched and kicked Rodenburgh repeatedly on June 13, knocking him down and the slamming a bicycle on top of him.
Painter dies at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Investigators are working to find out what caused the death of a painter at the entrance to Lakes Regional Park on Thursday. According to South Trail Fire Rescue, the victim was working on a lift near the arched entryway to the park off Gladiolus Drive when the death occurred. Deputies and the fire department discovered a worker severely injured high above the ground in a boom lift. The victim, Manreh Gene Crenshaw, 41, was found pinned between the boom lift and the Lakes park entrance arch. He was declared deceased on scene.
Welder killed during industrial incident in Enid, police say
ENID, Okla. — Employees at GEFCO are shaken up after a 28-year-old welder was crushed to death Tuesday morning during an industrial incident in Enid. Derek Steier was attempting to weld on a 16-by-60-foot trailer frame that was on its side, but the frame’s weight shifted and caused the trailer to fall over. One of the metal bars sticking out from the side of the trailer hit Steier in the chest. Steier was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. GEFCO officials described Steier as a positive, motivated employee and said, “he will be greatly missed for his contributions to the company but mostly for the friendships he has developed here.”Steier’s death while on the job is the second this year at GEFCO. In February, a man was crushed between two pieces of equipment being loaded on a trailer, police said.
Man Killed In Marine Construction Accident In Brigantine
Atlantic City, NJ — The president of a Brigantine marine construction company died Wednesday in what has been deemed an industrial accident. Richard Delano, 68, was working on a dock off the 1200 block of Bayshore Avenue at about 11:30 a.m., when he was injured, State Police Trooper Alejandro Goez told BreakingAC on Thursday. Delano was pronounced dead at 12:51 p.m. The cause is under investigation by the State Police Marine Unit, since it occurred in the water, Goez said. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed it also is investigating. Delano, who lived in Mays Landing, is listed as president of Jersey Devils Marine Construction. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Tow truck driver killed on I-94 was victim of drunken driver, police say
PITTSFIELD TWP., MI – Police say alcohol was a factor in the crash that killed two people and seriously injured three children on Interstate 94 south of Ann Arbor in May. A toxicology report indicates Andre-A Shantay-Samo-Ne Edwards was above the legal limit for drinking and driving when she crashed her SUV on May 29 into a disabled school bus on eastbound I-94 near State Street, Michigan State Police Lt. Mario Gonzalez said. Edwards, 25, of Ann Arbor, crashed after abruptly changing lanes from left to right, crossing all lanes of travel and colliding with the disabled school bus on the side of the freeway, police said. The bus was unoccupied during the crash. However, Nader Chehadi, who worked for Budget and Stadium Towing service out of Ypsilanti, was at the rear of the bus assisting the bus driver when the SUV collided with the bus, killing him at the scene, police said.
Enfield truck driver killed in Route 9 crash in Cromwell
CROMWELL CT — Authorities are investigating a fatal two-vehicle crash that killed a 61-year-old Enfield man early Wednesday on Route 9. First responders were called to Route 9 south near Exit 19 at 6:43 a.m. on the report of a tractor trailer that had veered into the path of an oncoming car, causing a collision. State police said the truck driver, Charles A. Cuillmette, 61, of Riviera Drive, Enfield, was behind the wheel of a 2001 Kenworth tractor trailer owned by C. R. Levesque Trucking of Monson, Mass. Cuillmette was traveling south in the right lane when his vehicle crossed the left lane and drove into the center median, the accident report said. The truck continued through the median into the northbound lanes and hit a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse operated by Mark Klimchuck, 60, of Saybrook Road, Middletown, as it was moving north, according to police. The tractor trailer came to a rest once it hit the guardrail on the highway’s right shoulder and struck a tree, authorities said in a press release. Cuillmette died in the crash, the report said.
Ocala, FL — An Ocala FedEx truck driver was killed on the Florida Turnpike on Wednesday afternoon after being hit by a loose brake drum that crashed through his windshield after coming off a nearby semi-truck. Charles Sexton, 61, was at Mile Marker 267 traveling behind a 1996 semi driven by 33-year-old Justin Brewer of Mount Dora when a mechanical malfunction caused a brake drum and a tire to come loose from the sod truck, a Florida Highway Patrol report states. The brake drum bounced off the ground and went through the windshield of the FedEx box truck before striking Sexton. Brewer wasn’t injured in the incident, which remains under investigation.
WARRINGTON, Pa. (AP) – Authorities say a worker with a tree care company was killed when a tree fell on him at a Pennsylvania home. The York County Coroner’s Office says Jason Covert-Kohler was working with other company employees when the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Monday in Warrington. The 35-year-old Dover man was taken to a hospital but died there a short time later. Authorities say Covert-Kohler died from blunt force head and neck trauma. His death has been ruled an accident.
Man killed in Greeneville industrial accident
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man was killed Friday night in what the Greeneville Police Department describes as an industrial accident death. Police say around 10:30 p.m. they were called to Takoma Medical Center about the death of Samuel Munoz, a contract employee of GreenTech Lighting. Officers say Munoz was working at JOST International Corporation, working on the lighting in an elevated position inside the building, when it is believed he was electrocuted. Munoz’s body was sent for an autopsy. TOSHA is conducting an investigation.
Prison officer hit by car, killed while supervising inmates
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) – A state corrections officer was struck and killed by a passing vehicle as she supervised inmates doing a work detail in South Florida. The SunSentinel reports 48-year-old Tawanna Marin died Monday afternoon shortly after being hit by a car. The crash happened in Coconut Creek, which is near Fort Lauderdale. Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones said in a statement that Marin was a corrections officer with the state for nine years. She was based at the South Florida Reception Center in Doral. The inmates were working for the Department of Transportation.
Hotel Worker Shot and Killed
Seatac, WA — A desk clerk at America’s Best Value Inn, Brent Arancio, was found shot by a shuttle driver. Medics transported to Harborview where he was pronounced dead a short time later. (Source: Washington Department of Labor and Industries)