Weekly toll: Workplace deaths continue into new year
Posted with permission from Jordan Barab.
Supermarket Employee Killed in Fall from Ladder
Pasco, WA — A supermarket employee, Duoc Tran, fell to his death at Comumbia Market when the ladder he was climbing to retrieve an object for a customer slipped and he fell and hit his head on the floor. [Source Washington Department of Labor and Industries.]
Construction worker killed in fall at Amazon fulfillment center site
Bakersfield, CA — A construction worker was killed Saturday in a fall at the Amazon fulfillment center construction site. The Kern County Fire Department said they received a call around 3:30 p.m. for a person who fell near the 1900 block of Petrol Road. Firefighters said when they arrived they found the worker had died.
Orchard worker dies after blade falls off wind machine
Fresno, CA — Authorities say a worker at a California citrus orchard has died after a blade from a wind machine fell off and struck him. The Fresno Bee reports a 600-pound (272-kilogram) propeller struck 53-year-old Richard Escobedo on Jan. 3 at the orchard operated by Wonderful Citrus northeast of Visalia. Escobedo The Wonderful Company says it is investigating the accident and will “take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that it does not happen again.”
Worker killed in construction accident in Wilmington
WILMINGTON, Del. (WPVI) — Delaware State Police are investigating after a worker was killed in a construction accident in Wilmington Friday. The accident occurred just after 4 p.m. at the former General Motors Plant at 801 Boxwood Road. An initial investigation has determined that Atlantic Coast Dismantling, a Boston-based company, was performing demolition work at the plant. The work being conducted involved the use of heavy machinery and cables to bring down steel beams. Head foreman, 64-year-old Paul Leary of Miami, Florida, was overseeing the work when a cable snapped, striking him in the upper torso and head area. Leary was pronounced dead at the scene.
22-year-old police officer shot and killed responding to accident in California
Davis, CA — A 22-year-old police officer in California was shot to death early Friday in an “ambush”-style attack while responding to an accident. Natalie Corona of the Davis Police Department was arriving at the scene of a three-car collision in downtown Davis when a man on a bicycle pulled up and opened fire on the officer, according to new details of the shooting released late Friday. Corona was struck by one bullet and fell to the ground, upon which the suspect unloaded his entire clip on the downed officer, police said. The suspect then reloaded and started firing wildly, hitting a fire truck multiple times, a house and a bystander in his backpack. The shooter also targeted a firefighter, police said, but he was struck in the boot and not hurt. No one else was injured.
Alabama police officer killed, another wounded in shooting
BIRMINGHAM, Ala — One Birmingham police sergeant was killed and another officer critically wounded early Sunday morning in a shooting as they questioned two people suspected of trying to break into cars in Alabama’s largest city. Sergeant Wytasha Carter died in the shooting and the other officer, who has not yet been identified is in critical condition, according to police. Carter died in the shooting and the other officer, who has not yet been identified is in critical condition, according to police. Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said the officers approached the two suspects just before 2 a.m. outside a nightclub in downtown Birmingham, after a plainclothes officer spotted one checking door handles on cars parked outside the venue. Smith said one suspect opened fire after being confronted by the officers.
Investigation underway after workplace fatality in Old Hickory
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) is investigating a workplace fatality at Sontara Old Hickory Inc. in Old Hickory. The office was notified Thursday of a death at the facility on Swinging Bridge Road, which is listed as a clothing and fabric manufacturer. A health and safety investigator with TOSHA will survey the scene, review company procedures and protocols and interview witnesses and management.
Worker killed at Lancaster precast concrete plant
Lancaster, OH — A Lancaster man was killed Thursday morning after he was pinned between two concrete forms at E.C. Babbert, Inc. in Lancaster. Dispatchers received a 911 call just before 10 a.m. from the plant requesting a technical rescue team for a man stuck in machinery. The Babbert plant manufactures precast concrete products. Hoyt McMaster, 59, of Lancaster, was transported to Fairfield Medical Center with traumatic injuries, according to Lancaster police. Hoyt died of his injuries at the hospital later that morning. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be involved. Erin Breedlove, plant supervisor, told the Lancaster Eagle Gazette that McMaster was remotely operating an overhead crane by himself and got pinned between two forms.
Delaware County Worker Dies In Fall From Ladder
Columbus, OH — A Delaware County maintenance worker died Wednesday after falling from a ladder at the auditor’s office. 44-year-old Scott Amrine was moving light fixtures in the ceiling. County officials say an investigation continues.
Co-worker caught in stabbing death of Texas plant supervisor
BROOKSHIRE, Texas (AP) – Deputies have captured a man accused of a stabbing attack at a Houston-area steel fabrication plant that left a supervisor dead and another employee wounded. The stabbings happened Wednesday night in Brookshire at Orizon Industries, a unit of Spitzer Industries where Parker was a contract worker. Investigators didn’t immediately offer a motive for the attack that killed 64-year-old night supervisor Harry Parnell. A 36-year-old co-worker was hospitalized in critical condition.
‘We lost a member of our family’: Savannah city employee killed on the job
Savannah, GA — Savannah Police’s Traffic Investigation Unit is investigating an accident on Jan. 9 that resulted in the death of a City of Savannah employee. About 3:45 p.m. officers responded to the city lot on Sycamore St. near May St. and discovered an employee with the City of Savannah’s Public Works & Water Resources Department deceased. The employee was identified as Peter Solomon, 62. Police say Solomon was on-duty at the time of his death but did not say how he was killed. Chatham County Coroner Dr. Bill Wessinger tells WJCL 22 News that Solomon was pressure washing a large tractor-type of equipment with a blade when it moved forward and ran over him. Solomon’s body was taken to the GBI for an autopsy.
Officer killed by texting driver
Construction worker fatally struck by SUV identified as 51-year-old
DENVER, CO — A construction flagger who was directing traffic was when he was fatally stuck by an SUV on Wednesday afternoon in Adams County has been identified, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Troopers identified the man as 51-year-old Sean Keller of Lakewood on Thursday. According to CSP, Keller was hit by a Jeep and was pinned underneath the vehicle. The agency said Keller was working for a private company, not the Colorado Department of Transportation. CSP said Keller was directing traffic in both directions using a handheld “STOP”/”SLOW” sign. He had just switched the sign to “STOP,” which the driver failed to do, hitting Keller. CSP could not say what charges the driver may face.
‘It just doesn’t get any easier’: An Oregon community mourns three crab fishermen who perished in deadly waves
Newport, OR — On Jan. 3, the day before Oregon’s Dungeness crab fishing season was set to start, conditions looked bleak. “Crabbers to sail into storm,” read a headline in the Newport News Times, which noted the marine forecast predicted 20-foot swells and gusts of up to 55 mph. Among the commercial fishing boats leaving from Yaquina Bay in Newport, Ore., was the Mary B II, a wooden 42-foot fishing vessel. Stephen Biernacki, 50, and James Lacey, 48, had recently decided to try their luck at catching Dungeness crab after fishing off the coast of New Jersey for years. Joining them on board was Joshua Porter, 50, an experienced fisherman known locally for helping countless addicts through recovery after getting sober himself more than a decade before. None of them would make it home. At around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the crew of the Mary B II were headed back to the docks when they reached the Yaquina Bay bar — the point at which at the Yaquina River meets the Pacific Ocean, creating massive, unpredictable swells that can easily overwhelm smaller vessels. That night, the U.S. Coast Guard measured 16-foot high waves near the bay’s entrance. A crew had been on its way to help escort the Mary B II across the bar, the Coast Guard said in a news release Wednesday. But before they could get there, the fishing boat abruptly capsized, tossing two of the men overboard into the frigid waves.
Suspect who stabbed supervisor to death felt picked on in Waller County
BROOKSHIRE, Texas (KTRK) — The man accused of stabbing his supervisor to death may have felt picked on at work, Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith revealed. After a manhunt, Evan Parker, 34, was arrested at his apartment in the 18000 block of South Parkview in west Harris County Thursday afternoon. Parker is accused of killing Harry Parnell, 64, and injuring another employee who was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Deputies were called to Spitzer Industries on FM 762 near Brookshire just after 8 p.m. Wednesday. Investigators said Parker arrived at work Wednesday night and asked specifically for his supervisor, Parnell, then stabbed him. Parnell was set to retire this year and had been with the company for 20 years.
Postal Worker electrocuted while changing light
MONROE, La. (KNOE) – The United States Postal Service is investigating the death of one of their workers. Monroe Police Department says preliminary reports say the worker was electrocuted while changing a bulb for a light pole in a parking lot. The employee was identified as Paul Wesley Gammill. Reggie Brown with MPD says the incident happened just before 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday morning. It happened at the USPS facility on Shannon Street, just off North 18th Street. Entergy also responded to the incident. Entergy workers were checking their lines and poles.
Ohio factory worker dies after being crushed by conveyor belt, Bath & Body Works boxes
Reynoldsburg, Oh — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a death at a Reynoldsburg, Ohio, factory. WCMH reported that OSHA spokesperson Larry Johnson said an employee died after getting caught between a conveyor belt and boxes at an L Brands facility Friday afternoon. An incident report from the City of Reynoldsburg police said the employee, identified at 56-year-old Harvey Beavers, got pinned between boxes holding Bath & Body Works products and the conveyor belt. Beavers and a co-worker were loading boxes of products onto a truck by using an expandable conveyor, according to the OSHA incident report.
Public Works employee dies at Central Landfill in Johnston
Employee dies by suicide inside Perot Museum, police say
DALLAS, TX — An employee of the Perot Museum died by suicide on Tuesday morning before the museum opened, according to the Dallas Police Department. The death, which involved a firearm, happened in what was described as a secluded area of the museum, a police official told Star-Telegram media partner, WFAA-TV.
Truck driver killed in N.J. Turnpike crash that caused major delays
Truck driver killed in Highway 99 collision, traffic snarled for hours
STOCKTON, CA — A truck driver was killed in a collision on Highway 99 on Tuesday morning that left lanes closed for six hours as authorities cleared debris and moved vehicles off the road. The California Highway Patrol said at 5:06 a.m., a disabled 2012 Peterbilt silage truck was parked on the shoulder of the northbound lanes of the highway just south of Arch Road. The truck was partially blocking the right lane, and a 2013 Peterbilt semitruck was approaching from behind at about 55 miles an hour, the CHP said. The Peterbilt semi was being followed by 2017 International semitruck, which was traveling at an unknown rate of speed, the CHP said. The Peterbilt slowed down and moved to the left to accommodate the disabled silage truck, but the International did not reduce its speed. The International collided with the right rear of the Peterbilt’s trailer, then veered to the right and collided with the right rear of the silage truck, the CHP said. The driver of the International was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said. He was identified as 36-year-old Modesto resident Pedro Avila, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said.
Virginia worker dies in accident at car dealership
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say a man has died in a workplace accident at a Richmond car dealership. Henrico County police spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Hummel tells The Richmond Times-Dispatch that 24-year-old Jamison Paul Garrett died Monday in an accident at Bill Talley Automotive. Hummel declined to provide details on the circumstances surrounding Garrett’s death as a county police investigation is ongoing. She says the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration also is investigating the death.
Office Dale Woods died Monday at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Colerain Township, Oh. – Funeral arrangements are pending for the Colerain Township police officer who was hit by a pickup truck. The police department says Officer Dale Woods died Monday night at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, three days after being critically injured on Colerain Avenue. He was directing traffic and moving a traffic cone at the scene of the late-night crash when a pickup truck hit him.
Utah police officer killed; suspect hospitalized
OREM, Utah (AP) — A three-year veteran of the Provo police force was shot and killed during a shootout while trying to apprehend a fugitive in neighboring Orem south of Salt Lake City, the police chief said Sunday. Officer Joseph Shinners managed to return fire after he was shot and struck the suspect at least once in a parking lot outside a business in Orem Saturday night. Shinners later died at Utah Valley Medical Center, Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson said.
Woman Killed in Accident While Loading Hay on Montana Ranch
Bozeman, MT — A woman lost her life in Montana while loading hay alone on a ranch. On Jan. 3, around 7:30 am the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a woman reportedly trapped between a hay bale and a truck on a ranch near Bozeman. The sheriff’s office confirmed that Kelsey Driscoll, 30, was the victim. Driscoll was working alone on the Copper Spring Ranch loading hay when she slipped and was pinned between the truck bed and hay bales.
Truck Driver Killed in Collision
Easton, WA — James Hayward, a truck driver for Aramark Uniform Services died in a motor vehicle collision involving four tractor-trailers and a pick-up truck. The incident occurred during a severe weather event 8 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit and 9 miles west of Easton near milepost 62, which closed down both directions of I-90 for many hours. Hayward was employed by Overall Laundry Service. [Source: Washington Department of Labor and Industries]
New York Firefighter Dies After Falling 50 Feet From Overpass
New York, NY — Fire department officials continued investigating the circumstances that led to the death of a rookie New York City firefighter on Sunday night after he fell from a bridge in Brooklyn while trying to rescue two people involved in a car accident. The firefighter, Steven H. Pollard, 30, died from injuries he suffered when he dropped more than 50 feet from the Belt Parkway’s Mill Basin Bridge onto heavy sand below, the authorities said. At about 10 p.m. on Sunday night, he was part of a crew of firefighters reporting to the scene of a two-car accident in the bridge’s westbound lanes, said Daniel A. Nigro, the New York City fire commissioner. Firefighters were dispatched to both sides of the parkway, according to a Fire Department spokesman. Mr. Pollard arrived on the eastbound span of the parkway, which is separated from the westbound span by a gap. When Mr. Pollard tried to cross over the gap to get to the crash — a car that had flipped over with two people inside — he fell inside the space between the two spans, dropping more than 50 feet, Mr. Nigro said.
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