Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Weekly Toll

Pipe crushes worker in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY, CA - A worker on a sewer pipeline project was killed Friday afternoon when he was crushed by a 4,000-pound piece of pipe that fell off a truck, the Alameda County Sheriff's Department reports.

The 31-year-old worker was killed shortly after noon when a 40-foot-long concrete-lined steel pipe fell off a flatbed truck for an unexplained reason, Sgt. Dave DiFranco said.

The Alameda County Coroner's office identified the dead man as Clemente Gonzalez-Contreras of Morgan Hill.

Mechanic Dies In Accident At Urbana High School

URBANA, Md. -- Frederick County school officials said a mechanic at Urbana High School fell to his death as he was climbing a light pole at the football stadium.

It happened about 10 a.m. Thursday when the worker was climbing the 65-foot pole to adjust the lights.

A school spokeswoman said Larry Rough, 45, fell more than 50 feet. Officials said he had been wearing a safety harness and three other workers were with him when the accident happened.

Court Officer Killed Serving Warrant

PHILADELPHIA (AP) One court officer was killed and two others injured early Friday when they were shot serving a warrant on a man wanted for failing to appear at his trial on rape charges, police said.

Joseph LeClaire, a 50-year-old supervisor, was shot in the head and stomach in an apartment in the city's Germantown section at 1:42 a.m., authorities said. More here.

VDOT worker killed at HRBT

HAMPTON -- A Virginia Department of Transportation worker apparently was violating safety rules and riding in the back of a truck designed for a taller tunnel when he was killed at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on Wednesday night, VDOT officials said Thursday.

Paul Thurber, 48, a Norfolk resident and electrician with the department for more than a year, was killed when his head hit the top of the westbound entrance to the tunnel.

Charles Brinkley, also riding in the back of the truck, suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital after a short observation period.

Thurber and Brinkley were sitting on a ledge installed in the back portion of the platform meant to rest tools on when the truck entered the westbound tube and their heads hit the mouth of the tunnel.

Crash kills farm worker

LOGAN TWP., NJ -- An unidentified farm worker was killed when the van in which he was a passenger crashed into a flatbed trailer on Mallard Court Thursday.

Caesar Perez of Bridgeton was driving the large 1992 Ford Superwagon, taking workers to farm sites, according to police, when the van crashed into the parked trailer.

There were 13 passengers in the van when it crashed at 2:54 a.m., police said

Construction worker falls to death

Bronx, NY -- A construction worker plummeted to his death Wednesday after falling three stories from a Bronx rooftop onto a scaffold landing that collapsed beneath him, police said.

Calwain Brown of the Bronx, an employee of Ozone Park-based Tahoe Contracting Inc., was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital Wednesday about 9 a.m. Brown, who was in his 40s, died a short time later, police said.

According to building officials, Brown was climbing down a ladder leaning precariously against a residential building he was working on at 1180 Jackson Ave. A 12-foot stationary scaffold was positioned six feet away from the building, and the ladder was leaning against the scaffold pointed toward the roof, Buildings Department spokeswoman Ilyse Fink said.

"The weight of the worker and the angle of the ladder pried the scaffold away from the building and the worker fell three stories," Fink said.

Worker survives 8-story plunge

Hollywood, FL -- A construction worker fell more than eight stories Monday from a Hollywood apartment building, leaving him in critical condition with fractures and internal injuries.

Pedro Matta, a worker with a waterproofing and painting company, was repairing a balcony at the Apartments at Hillcrest complex when he fell more than 80 feet, said Hollywood Fire-Rescue spokesman Matt Phillips.

Matta, of Miami, fell after attempting to jump from the building's roof onto a motorized platform about a half-foot below the roof, said co-worker Ricardo Veliz.

Crane crash robs man of his legs

Bend, OR -- Friday was going to be the day that Melvin Henderson quit his job.

Half an hour after he arrived at work near Round Butte Dam, his body was mangled in an accident that cost him both his legs.

Date farm worker electrocuted after ladder touches power line

THERMAL, CA -- Authorities are investigating the death of a Thermal man who was electrocuted Tuesday on a date farm.

Gerardo Olvera-Hernandez, a 23-year-old date farm worker, died early Tuesday after he touched a ladder to a high-voltage power line at 84-301 Avenue 66, the Riverside County Coroner reported.

Olvera-Hernandez reportedly crossed under a 7.2-kilovolt power line while carrying a 32-foot metal ladder in the upright position while pollinating date trees. He was electrocuted when the ladder touched the power line.

Rosa Maria Gonzales, spokeswoman for IID Energy, said the voltage that surged through the man would light up roughly 7,200 light bulbs.

Lansing man falls to death in job accident

DELTA TWP., MI - Local and state officials are investigating the death of a 41-year-old Lansing man who died Monday after he fell 50 feet while working at the Eaton County Road Commission office.

William Shattuck was working from a bucket truck installing a flagpole at the office at 3102 Sanders Road, when the rope he was attaching to the pole snapped at about 2:30 p.m., Eaton County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Warder said.

Shattuck fell from the bucket, hit the truck, then landed on the ground.

Conveyor-accident victim identified

Matthew P. Boden, 32, of Denver died Monday after a piece of his clothing got caught in a conveyor belt at a SoundTrack store at 1370 S. Colorado Blvd.

Boden was strangled in the accident, police said.

The accident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More here.

Breyers worker killed in accident

FRAMINGHAM, MA -- In what police described as a tragic accident, an employee at the Breyers Ice Cream plant was crushed to death when a piece of machinery fell on him.

Gregory MacDonald, 45, of 31 Solar Ave., Braintree, was pronounced dead early yesterday at the MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.

Fire and police officials said he was crushed when a large piece of equipment fell on him in the freezer area of the Old Connecticut Path facility.

Worker at Tyson plant in Wilkesboro dies in fall

(WILKESBORO, NC) -- For the second time in three months, state officials are investigating an accident at a Tyson Foods plant in Wilkesboro.

Authorities say David Hartness died on Sunday after ductwork collapsed as he worked on overhead pipes, causing him to fall 15 feet to a concrete floor.

An investigation by the state Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health division begins on the same week that state officials are reviewing a final report in the death of Tyson worker Thomas Okrenuk on December 27th.

Okrenuk was crushed in an accident inside the same plant where Hartness fell. More here.

Officials investigate fatal fall through roof

Macomb, MI -- Shop owner Dan Gleason stands beneath skylights in the ceiling of his business, Gleason-Holbrook Manufaturing on Groesbeck near Metropolitan Parkway in Clinton Township. Last Saturday, a roofing worker fell through one of the skylights and fell to his death on the factory floor.

State and local investigators are trying to determine why a 19-year-old Detroit man fell to his death while doing roof work at a Clinton Township tool and die shop.

William Edward Thomas was killed Saturday when he fell through a sky1ight and landed on the cement floor inside the Gleason-Holbrook Manufacturing Plant.

Boy's death result of fall at work site, not from bicycle

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC - A 16-year-old boy who was initially reported to have died Tuesday as a result of a bicycle accident actually died as a result of an injury sustained while working at a construction site, according to the Horry County coroner.

Coroner Robert Edge Jr. said Gustavo Hilario died of head injuries received at a work site on Second Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach.

The boy's father, Geraldo Hilario, initially told authorities his son had been riding a bicycle on Ranchette Circle in Socastee and fell, hitting his head on the ground. More here.

Fall from tree kills Georgetown man

Georgetown, SC -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a work-related accident that claimed the life of a Georgetown man Friday.

Henry Knowlin, 46, was working to remove a tree at a home under construction at 901 Sixth Ave. in Conway at about 10 a.m. Friday. According to Horry County Deputy Coroner Dan Bellamy, Knowlin was in the tree when he fell.

Bellamy said he fell about 45 feet and was unconscious. He was rushed to the Conway Medical Center where he died two hours later.

Firefighters Die in Church Blaze

PITTSBURGH-March 14, 2004 ? Firefighters who thought they had a church fire under control were trapped when the steeple collapsed Saturday. Two firefighters were killed and 29 were injured, including nine that were hospitalized, officials said.

Emergency crews found the bodies of both firefighters by Saturday afternoon, about eight hours after the fire started at the 131-year-old Ebenezer Baptist Church, city Operations Director Bob Kennedy said.

Firefighters Richard A. Stefanakis, 51, and Charles G. Brace, 55, both of Pittsburgh, died in the blaze

DOT Worker Struck, Killed

ATLANTA -- A state Department of Transportation worker was killed and another one injured Thursday when they were struck while picking up a piece of trash along the side of Interstate 20 in downtown Atlanta, authorities said.

The workers, whose identities were pending, were hit from behind around 11 a.m. while collecting debris along the westbound lanes of I-20 near Spring Street.

Sheriff's deputy killed, four injured during standoff with teen

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. -- The teenage son of a prosecutor killed a sheriff's deputy and barricaded himself in his home before he was found dead inside Saturday with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot to the head, officials said.

Michael Harvey, 16, was found in an upstairs bedroom of his lakeside home, said Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider. He said the teenager had been dead for up to 20 hours.

The confrontation started Friday morning when officers went to investigate a domestic violence complaint from the boy's mother, who had fled to a neighbor's house. She allegedly was attacked with a pipe when she refused to let the boy drive to school after drinking the night before.

The first officer to arrive, Deputy Jason Scott, was fatally shot as he stepped out of his car, Guider said. He was shot four times, and a second officer retreated under fire and called for backup.

Worker dies after falling into a box compactor at a Macy's store in Yonkers

YONKERS, NY - An employee died in an apparent workplace accident Wednesday morning at the Macy's store in the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers. Sources tell News 12 Westchester Dimitri Henry became caught in a box compactor and was crushed. Henry was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where he later died.

Trench collapse kills worker

FISHERS, Ind. -- A trench that apparently failed to meet construction safety standards collapsed Monday morning, killing a Carmel man.

Hector Javier Marquez, 33, was working in a 3-foot-wide and 15-foot-deep trench on a home site when the dirt collapsed on him, Fishers fire officials said. The trench was not shored up with boards or gradually sloped. At least one of those safety steps is required in trenches deeper than 5 feet, according to the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration's rules.

More here and here.

Beltway accident kills road worker

Baltimore, MD -- A construction worker was killed yesterday evening when a car plowed into a work site on the shoulder of the northern side of the Beltway in an accident that brought traffic to a standstill for several hours.

State police said Erika Glazer, 76, of the 7900 block of Winterset Ave. in Baltimore was westbound on the outer loop when she apparently fell asleep at the wheel of her 2000 Acura, entered the shoulder of the fast lane and struck David A. Bowles, 51, of Kingsville.

Bowles...was erecting a portable highway sign advising motorists of scheduled lane closings when he was struck, police said.

A similar work-site accident occurred March 2 on a nearby stretch of the Beltway when an Ellicott City woman lost control of her 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse while eastbound near Thornton Road and struck three construction workers. She and one of the workers were seriously injured.

Man dies at Mason plant

The Ohio Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators are investigating what caused an accident at Leggett & Platt in Mason that killed an employee after he fell into a compression machine early Monday morning.

At 2:27 a.m. Monday, Mason Fire Department emergency medical crews responded to an accident involving Robert Brogan, 30, of Franklin, at the bed spring manufacturer, 4074 Bethany Road.

OSHA spokesman Dick Gilgrist said Brogan was caught in the machine that compresses the bed springs and bands them before they are shipped.

Second Construction Worker Dies

Tragedy has struck twice at an Effingham County construction site. This morning, Johhny Boyette of Bonafey, Florida, fell to his death on the job. That's the second time in less than two weeks that a construction worker has died at Plant McIntosh. WG Yates and Sons Construction has suspended all work at the site until it completes an investigation.

Officials aren't saying how Boyette died, but WTOC has learned the man basket he was in tipped over. Two weeks ago, the same thing happened to Joe Bethanie, who plunged 40 feet to his death.

Happy Anniversary

Oh, and finally, let's not forget these men and women who were killed just doing their jobs.