Weekly Toll: Workers die at gas stations, construction sites, bowling alleys, chicken processing plants, in rivers and falling off buildings
Posted with permission from Jordan Barab.
Boom truck hits power lines in Flagler, electrocuting 2 workers
PALM COAST, Fla. – Two construction workers were electrocuted Monday in an industrial accident in Flagler County, sheriff’s officials said. The men died around 8:30 a.m. on Sebastian Court in Palm Coast. According to Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly, Nomad LLC, a subcontractor, was laying concrete foundation for a new house when a boom truck struck a power line. Both men were killed instantly from 13,000 volts of electricity, Staly said. Their names have not been released.
Man Killed at Construction Site
Bowling Green, MO — A Franklin County man was killed in a construction accident in Bowling Green Monday. According to reports, a gust of wind knocked two men off of a wall at the construction site of a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) highway shed. A gofundme.com page is collecting donations in the memory of Markie Hartzell, 28, to help pay for funeral expenses, and assist his family.
Vigil Held for Gas Station Clerk Killed in Attempted Robbery in Dorchester
Boston, MA — A vigil was held Sunday night for the man who was killed in a shooting in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood Saturday night. According to the victim’s sisters, the man who was killed was Jose Luis Phinn Williams, 67, of Dorchester, Massachusetts. They say he would have been 68 on Monday. “My brother was a hard worker,” Rose Phinn-Westby said while holding a picture of her brother. “He’d been here since 1970 and he has seven children.” This was the second time he was attacked at the gas station, the sisters said. In 2016, he suffered a concussion after being mugged on Halloween. He was out of work for six months.
Man Dies During Industrial Accident at Allen Harim
HARBESON, Del.- Delaware State Police are investigating a deadly industrial accident at Allen Harim’s Harbeson plant. According to the Delaware State Police, shortly before 9 p.m. on Friday, troopers were dispatched to the plant for an employee who had suffered serious head trauma during an industrial accident. Police say a 59-year-old employee from Bridgeville and another employee were trying to change the battery ofcan a pallet jack right before the accident. Police say the replacement battery was in an electric hoist and while being lowered, the corner of the battery got caught on another battery sitting next to the jack. At this point, police say the 59-year-old was leaning forward to help free the new battery, but after doing so, the horizontal block portion of the hoist holding the battery struck the man. Police say the man was transported to Beebe Hospital and later died from his injuries.
Retired Suffolk County police sergeant dies of 9/11-related cancer
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY — Retired Suffolk County police Sergeant Dennis Reichardt died Thursday from 9/11-related cancer, the department announced. As a member of the Emergency Service Section, Reichardt responded on September 11, 2001 as a bomb technician. He spent several days at Ground Zero and then worked at the Fresh Kills Landfill through the end of December 2001, screening debris.
Federal officials investigate New York mine blast that killed one
GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. – A mine accident in Gouverneur that claimed the life of a worker is being investigated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Police say there was a gas explosion 3,800 feet underground at Empire State Mines where Brendan P. Demasters, 40, of Middleburgh Heights, Ohio, was working. Demasters was taken to Gouverneur Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy shows the cause of death was a broken cervical vertebra due to blunt force trauma. The death was ruled an accident.
Friends mourn truck driver killed in train accident
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — On Friday morning, divers recovered the body of a truck driver from a canal in Port St. Lucie. Investigators identified the man as Oslavio Morales, 54 years old. Morales was delivering dirt to a construction site around 2 p.m. Thursday when his truck was hit by a train. The impact pushed the truck into a nearby canal.
Dump truck driver killed in three-vehicle crash on I-275
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A dump truck driver was killed Friday afternoon in a crash on I-275 in Pinellas County. Troopers said the dump truck was traveling northbound on I-275 when the truck and an Infiniti G35 traveling adjacent to it, collided and entered the center median. The Infiniti collided with a tree while the dump truck collided with the center guardrail and overturned, troopers said. The truck traveled into the southbound lanes spilling its load of dirt across the roadway and crashed into a third vehicle.
OSHA investigating Bellows Falls company after fatal fall on work site
Bellows Falls, NH — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an inspection of a Bellows Falls company following a fatal fall at a work site in Hanover, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. Hanover police notified the agency of the fall at Mulherrin Farm Road on Sept. 22, spokesman Ted Fitzgerald said in an email Wednesday. The agency launched an inspection of the company that operated the work site, Home Improvement Co. of Vermont Inc., doing business as Jancewicz & Son, the same day, he added. He said the agency does not comment on open inspections, and added there’s no timeline for its completion. He also declined to identify the man who died.
OSHA investigating after worker run over by semi-truck, then backed over during industrial accident
Atlanta, GA — A worker at a metro Atlanta manufacturing plant has died in a freak accident involving a semi-truck driving through a dark parking lot.
Metal Worker Crushed to Death by Falling Beam in Spring Valley
Spring Valley, CA — A worker was fatally injured Wednesday when an iron beam fell off a truck and struck him at an East County metal-fabrication yard. The industrial accident at West Coast Iron in the 9300 block of Jamacha Road in Spring Valley was reported shortly before 10:30 a.m., according to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA. The victim’s name was withheld pending notification of his family. Cal/OSHA will investigate the fatality, a process that can take up to six months, to determine if any workplace violations contributed to the accident, agency spokeswoman Jeanne-Mairie Duval said.
Nacogdoches County deputy killed in the line of duty
NACODOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Deputy was tragically killed in the line of duty early Friday morning. Deputy Raymond Bradley (Brad) Jimmerson, 49, was struck and killed this morning while attempting to remove debris from the roadway on US highway 259, approximately 7 miles north of Nacogdoches.
Construction at standstill after Jacksonville worker dies in St. Johns River
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Construction of the Fuller Warren Bridge is on standby as Archer Western conducts an investigation into the death of 51-year old worker Stanley Cooper. He died after falling into the St. Johns River on Thursday.
One dead, one missing after ‘catastrophic’ Wyoming train crash
LARAMIE COUNTY, Wyo. — One person was killed and another is missing after a train crash in southeastern Wyoming on Thursday evening. Around 7:45 p.m., a Union Pacific freight train rear-ended another Union Pacific freight train that was stopped on the tracks roughly 18 miles west of Cheyenne. Four men who work for Union Pacific were involved. One was killed and another is missing. The other two were taken to a hospital but have since been released.
El Dorado Springs (MO) Firefighter Dies from Injuries
El Dorado Springs, MO — El Dorado Springs Firefighter Russ Hayes, 62, has died after a wreck in a firetruck. The El Dorado Springs Fireman lost control of a vehicle in Stockton, and was life-flighted to Springfield. El Dorado Springs City Manager Bruce Rogers tells KOLR10 that Hayes, 62, was on his way to have a pump inspected for annual certification on one of their trucks. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Hayes lost control of the truck on Highway 32, three miles west of Stockton.
Electric worker killed
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — A worker died while performing electric utility work on Old Mission Peninsula. Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies and Peninsula Township Fire and EMS officials responded to an area near Center Road between Eagle Rise and Tompkins roads in Peninsula Township at about 11:30 a.m. Friday. They received calls concerning a “medical emergency involving electric shock,” according to a sheriff’s department Facebook post. It appears James Farrington, 51, of Alden,died while completing utility work. Emergency responders transported him to Munson Medical Center where health workers pronounced him dead at 12:50 p.m., according to the Facebook post.
Man who drowned in St. Johns River was not wearing life vest
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A construction worker who drowned in the St. Johns River after he fell off a barge was not wearing a life jacket, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of Stanley Cooper, 51. Following the tragedy, Archer Western, the contractor that was hired to widen the bridge, suspended the project. According to the police report, a co-worker threw two life rings and a floating vest into the ocean in an attempt to save Cooper. A second worker heard Cooper screaming and noticed he wasn’t wearing a vest. OSHA records show the company had several safety violations in the past 10 years, including in Feb. 2017, when two workers were killed in Miami after a concrete barrier fell. The company was fined and is contesting that ruling.
Construction worker killed on job site
Altoona, PA — A man was killed Thursday on a Jackson Township construction site, when a piece of equipment struck him in the torso, killing him instantly, multiple media outlets reported. Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees told reporters a drill auger suspended in the air spun and hit the man in the torso. While the man’s identity has not been disclosed, both WJAC and the Tribune-Democrat reported that he was in his early 20s and lived in Scenery Hill, Washington County. He was an employee of North American Directional, the Tribune-Democrat reported.
Man killed in industrial accident in Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. – A local man died Tuesday morning after an industrial accident in Roanoke. The man died after a piece of equipment fell on him while he was working on site at H & S Construction Company in the 2000 block of Salem Avenue Southwest. Although investigators have not released his name, a friend confirmed to 10 News that 54-year-old Claude Sirry Jr., of Catawba, was the man killed Tuesday morning while on the job for his employer Via’s Truck & Tractor Repair, which has offices in Salem and Floyd. A co-worker said he was two years away from retirement.
Workplace death: Deposit handyman crushed underneath loading dock at Courier
Deposit, NY — New York State Police have identified the person who was killed in an industrial accident at Courier Printing Corp. in Deposit. William H. Sethmann, 66, of Deposit, died while working on a hydraulic loading dock at the facility, on Laurel Bank Avenue. Sethmann, who was an independent contractor and handyman, and had a separate office in the Courier building, was found crushed underneath the dock, authorities said Thursday. Sometime between Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning, a New York State Police investigation revealed, the dock’s lift failed, crushing Sethmann beneath it.
Officer killed, 6 other officers wounded in South Carolina
FLORENCE, S.C. — Seven South Carolina law enforcement officers were shot Wednesday, one fatally, in a confrontation with a man who held children hostage as he fired on the officers, officials said. The man shot three Florence County deputies from inside a home as they came to serve a warrant around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Florence County Sheriff’s Maj. Mike Nunn said.
The suspect then shot four Florence city police officers, one fatally, as officers from all around the area swarmed in to help, Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said. City of Florence spokesman John Wukela identified the fallen officer to The Associated Press as Terrence Carraway of Darlington. Carraway, 52, had just celebrated 30 years as a police officer in the city, Wukela said.
USPS truck driver killed in crash after vehicle erupts in flames, police say
SAN ANTONIO, TX – The driver of a United States Postal Service truck was killed after driving off the highway and into a embankment overnight, San Antonio police said Thursday. The incident occurred just after 1 a.m. on Interstate 35 near Weidner Road on the city’s Northeast Side. According to police, the driver lost control of his vehicle and drove off the highway across the access road just before hitting several light poles and an iron fence. The vehicle then went down an embankment before flipping upside down, police said. Investigators said the truck’s trailer eventually flipped over the cab and then burst into flames. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Burton Heights Pizza employee dies after getting stabbed, police label it a homicide
Burton Heights, MI — A Burton Heights Pizza employee died overnight after being stabbed at the restaurant, in what police are now investigating as a homicide. It was just before 8 p.m. Wednesday when the suspect entered the restaurant just south of Grand Rapids and began to cause a disturbance. Grand Rapids Police investigators said that the employee was stabbed during the disturbance. The employee tried to drive himself to the hospital, but crashed his vehicle in a single car accident on Wealthy Street S. E., just east of South Division. An officer who was nearby provided medical treatment before the employee was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Authorities, Experts Say Construction Worker’s Death in Fatal Crash ‘Preventable’
Rogers, MN — Investigators say charges are likely in Tuesday’s deadly crash along I-94 and County Road 81 in Rogers. A semi rear-ended a truck pulling a trailer, causing that truck and trailer to spin into a work zone and killing 59-year-old construction worker Vern Hedquist. Another construction worker was also hit.
Fall kills ironworker at New Castle construction site
NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – An ironworker was killed Wednesday morning after falling at a New Castle construction site. The Diamond Steel worker fell just after 8 a.m. at an Ellwood Group site on Moravia Street. Ellwood Group said the accident is under investigation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been contacted.
Investigators still looking for answers in ‘complex’ case of skydiver who fell to his death
Lebanon, Maine — Investigators say it will take several more weeks to investigate the death of a skydiving instructor during a jump in Lebanon. Maine State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are all working to determine how skydiving instructor Brett Bickford, 41, of Rochester, New Hampshire, fell a mile to his death during a tandem jump on Sept. 27. McCausland said experts will be brought in to help investigators work through what might have happened. Investigators are trying to determine how Bickford gpt separated from a student skydiver after the parachute had deployed during a jump around 2 p.m. last Thursday. The student skydiver, who has not been identified, landed safely.
Four on nursing home bus killed in crash
QUINCY, IL — Authorities say two nursing home residents and two employees were killed when the bus they were riding slammed head-on into a grain truck in western Illinois. Illinois State Police say the 15-passenger bus caught fire after the crash Tuesday afternoon on U.S. 24 near Quincy and that all four people on board died. Sgt. Stephen Schuwerk says those killed lived or worked at Timber Point Healthcare Center in nearby Camp Point, Ill. He says investigators didn’t immediately know why 57-year-old driver Gay Ivey of Perry crossed into oncoming traffic. He says firefighters were unable to rescue anyone from the bus as flames engulfed it. The truck driver suffered minor injuries.
Bear, cubs kill worker at remote silver mine owned by Idaho company
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A female bear and her two cubs mauled and killed a young man working at a remote mine site on a southeast Alaska island with one of the highest bear densities in the state, authorities said Monday. Anthony David Montoya, 18, a contract worker from Hollis, Oklahoma, died at a remote drill site accessible only by helicopter, according to Hecla Greens Creek Mine and authorities. Mine officials said workers receive training on how to deal with bears because of the large number in the area. Alaska State Troopers said Montoya was mauled by the three bears, all of which were killed before they arrived. It was not immediately clear who killed them. Montoya worked for Idaho-based Timberline Drilling, which provides core drilling services at Greens Creek, the mine said in a release. His body was being taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Employee dies in ‘unfortunate accident’ at Primex Plastics in Oakwood
Oakwood, OH — A 39-year-old employee at Primex Plastics in Oakwood died early Wednesday, Oct. 3, after a tractor-trailer truck ran over him in the parking lot. Kameron Lamar Adams, of Braselton, was walking across the parking lot when the driver, Michael Edwards of Cleveland, turned into the lot and struck him, Oakwood Police Chief Randall Moon said. The man died at the scene. The business is at 3435 Old Oakwood Road, east of Mundy Mill Road.
Truck driver killed in single-vehicle crash Wednesday morning
Opelika, AL — A truck driver who died Wednesday morning may have experienced a “medical event” prior to crashing, according to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. Travis Rutherford Potts Jr., 47, was pronounced dead shortly after the East Alabama Paving liquid asphalt truck he was operating overturned, according to statements from Harris and the Opelika Police Department. At around 6 a.m., Opelika police and fire responded to the 100 block of Old Columbus Road in reference to a traffic accident. Potts was found in the cab of the truck with no signs of life, Harris said. “Potts was removed quickly from the vehicle due to spilled liquid asphalt at the accident,” Harris said. He pronounced Potts dead at the scene.
Phoebus Auction Gallery employee shot dead, identified
Hampton, VA — A Phoebus Auction Gallery employee died after being shot once at work on Tuesday afternoon, Hampton police said. The Phoebus Auction Gallery employee who died from a gunshot wound has been identified. Hampton police identified the man as Courtney Dewayne Thomas, 30, of Hampton. At this time no charges have been filed and police are still investigating. The man was shot by a fellow employee who was handling the gun when it was fired, spokesman Matt Bond said. Following a preliminary investigation, police said the shooting seems to be an isolated incident, but the investigation into the circumstances around the shooting will continue.
Tucson police identify woman killed in construction accident
Tucson, AZ — Tucson police have identified a worker killed in an industrial-equipment accident on Tucson’s south side last Thursday. Hallie Dubey, 51, was working for Eagle Rock Excavating at a site near Benson Highway and Alvernon Way when she was struck by a piece of equipment, said Officer Ray Smith, a Tucson police spokesman. Officers were called to the scene at 1:30 p.m. and determined the incident was an accident, Smith said. The Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the incident, but doesn’t comment on pending investigations, a spokesman said.
Man Dies in Marshall County Industrial Accident
CAMERON, WV — An industrial worker died Sunday in what the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office described as an accident. Sheriff Bill Helms confirmed early this afternoon that Mark Piper, 57, died about 10 a.m. Sunday. The sheriff said his office received a call reporting a heavy equipment rollover near Cameron. Unconfirmed reports suggest the worker might have had a medical issue prior to the accident. Details about the accident or what Piper was doing at the time were not immediately available. Helms said he would provide more information as it became available.
Clark County, In — A Gainesville truck driver was killed last week in Indiana when his trailer overturned, according to authorities. Indiana State Police responded after 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, to the interstate ramp from Interstate 265 westbound to Interstate 65 southbound in Clark County, Indiana. “The preliminary investigation revealed the semi-tractor and trailer loaded with two steel coils was traveling west down the ramp, when the loaded coils shifted causing the semi-tractor and trailer to overturn,” according to the state police. Roger Lee Cole, 64, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Clark County coroner’s office. According to his obituary, Cole worked for Pilgrim Trucking in Cleveland.
‘He was just doing his job’: Gas station employee was shot in the back at work
Indianapolis, IN — Sheriff Jallow‘s wife didn’t like him working at the gas station. Fatou had heard stories about how dangerous the stores could be at night, and the Shell location on the city’s east side where her husband worked as a cashier seemed rife with problems. Eight years after Jallow started working at the gas station, and more than a decade after he’d immigrated to the U.S. from West Africa, his wife’s worst fears were realized. Jallow was found with multiple gunshot wounds at the station in the early morning hours of May 29, according to police. He’d been killed by a man with a grudge against Jallow over an incident that had happened at the gas station a day or so before the shooting, according to a preliminary probable cause affidavit filed in Marion Superior Court. The Shell is in a neighborhood that’s long been challenged by crime and poverty. Police have been called to the station about 30 times since January 2017, records show.
Click here to visit the Confined Space blog.
Click here to donate to the Confined Space blog.