Saturday, April 03, 2004

The Weekly Toll

Emergency workers killed early Saturday in ambush

EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. - An emergency medical technician and a paramedic were shot and killed early Saturday in an apparent ambush, authorities said. Police were searching later in the day for the paramedic's ex-husband and were investigating the possibility he committed suicide.

The victims were identified as emergency medical technician Tye Brown, a 33-year-old father of two, and paramedic Katherine Malone, 30. They were found dead at an Edwardsville fire station shortly after midnight, said Eric Dooley, a spokesman for Metropolitan Ambulance Service Trust, an ambulance service for the two-state Kansas City area. More here.

Seven dead in I-95 crash

Seven migrant workers were killed and 12 more were injured late Thursday afternoon when the Econoline van they were riding in struck the median on southbound Interstate 95 and rolled over four times, just short of the Okeechobee exit that was supposed to take them back to Fort Pierce, officials said.

All 19 were ejected from the van during the crash. All of the men in the van were believed to be Mexican immigrants. The accident was yet another in a long line of fatal wrecks involving immigrant workers. In 1990, 10 workers from the same family were killed when a van ran off a remote country road and plunged into a canal near Clewiston.

The crash came less than four months after a Palm Beach Post series, "Modern-Day Slavery," documented how Florida's migrant labor system abuses poor farm workers from Mexico. The series noted how large numbers of farm workers are packed tightly into vans or trucks and how some are killed or maimed in accidents.

Dominino Pizza worker is shot by robber after closing time

A Pembroke Pines Domino's Pizza shop employee was shot early Thursday during a robbery at the restaurant, police said.

Chris Jacoby, 18, was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, where his condition was listed as serious, police said.

A Pembroke Pines Police Department spokesman said Jacoby was alone in the shop, at 1401 N. Palm Av., when he was held up at gunpoint at 12:43 a.m. Thursday.

Man killed in industrial accident at Warren factory

Woman killed by hydraulic lift

Macomb, MI -- State labor officials have not determined whether they will conduct a formal investigation into the death of a truck driver inside a Warren manufacturing facility.
Preliminary findings of a police review of the incident show no foul play was involved in the death of Willie King, 67, of Benton Harbor, Warren police said Wednesday.

King had exited the flatbed truck inside Warren Screw Products, on Schoenherr near Nine Mile Road, and was unloading the cargo when a bundle of metal bars ? weighing approximately 4,000 pounds ? shifted and crushed him against a cement wall shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The industrial accident is the second in Macomb County in the past week. Last Saturday, Rena Kim Griffin, 37, died at FPM Heat Treating in Fraser.

Fraser Public Safety officials said Griffin was working with a hydraulic lift that moves large pieces of metal into a furnace and then returns to the floor. Police investigators believe Griffin was stuck underneath the lift when in come down, injuring her neck.

Nobody at the facility had seen her for 20 minutes and nobody witnessed the incident, police said. Griffin died at the scene. The incident remains under investigation by the General Industry Safety & Health Division.

Authorities Investigate Deadly Industrial Accident

An industrial accident Tuesday is now under investigation, after a Levelland construction worker was killed on the job.

The incident happened just after 4 o'clock Tuesday near the Brownfield Highway and Indiana. Rusty Sanders was operating a piece of heavy machinery, called a Pipe Crane, when it toppled over. Sanders was left trapped between the crane and a trench.

Memphis police officer dies in squad car wreck

Investigators are piecing together information from a wreck that killed a Memphis police officer. The deadly accident happened just before two Tuesday morning. Officer Marlon Titus' squad car crashed into the Dixie Queen at Grand and Park.

Traffic accident on I-75 kills construction worker

An accident just north of Lake City on Interstate 75 leaves one woman dead and another with minor injuries.

A construction worker is dead after an accident on I-75 just north of Lake City last night. 38-year-old Joyce Crews was putting up construction speed limit signs on the interstate when she tried to make a u-turn across all three lanes and her pick-up truck was struck by a tractor trailer.

Man Buried at Construction Site

Wednesday morning a worker was buried in soil at a Better Jacksonville Plan road construction site.

According to police, four men were working in a 15-foot deep hole at the corner of 110th and Wesconnett Boulevard when the walls suddenly collapsed.

Three of the men were able to get out of the hole uninjured, but the fourth man suffered a broken leg when a 100-pound tree stump fell on him. 52-year-old Comer Lindley was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Forklift Accident Kills Worker

A 19-year-old forklift driver is dead after the five-ton machine tipped over and crushed him overnight. North Las Vegas police and OSHA are investigating how the accident happened at a lumber yard near I-215 and Range Road. Authorities say speed might've been a factor. It looks like the driver was turning the forklift with the lift raised -- but not carrying anything -- when it tipped.

Contractor dies after falling through skylight at Plantation High School

Plantation, FL -- A contract worker for the Broward School District was killed Monday morning while working on improvements at Plantation High School, officials said.

Ceranord Siffort, a 43-year-old worker for Padula and Wadsworth Construction Co., died after falling through a rooftop skylight at the high school about 11 a.m., according to the Plantation Fire-Rescue Department. Siffort fell 20 feet into a bathroom under construction.

Officials still seeking cause of accidental death at nursery

Albany, OR -- Officials still don't know exactly what happened to cause the death of a Harts Nursery employee in an equipment accident on Thursday.

Scott D. Wriggelsworth, 24, of Albany, was killed while operating a skid loader at the nursery operation outside Jefferson.

Doug Hart, co-owner of Harts Nursery, said Wriggelsworth was a good employee, though he had only worked there for about a week. He died of head injuries, and investigators think he may have leaned forward out of the cab and become caught between the frame of the loader and the lifting mechanism on the front.

HPD officer killed in suspected drunk driving accident

Houston -- Forty-three-year-old Officer Frank Cantu Jr. was working in the Montrose area when his patrol car was broadsided at the intersection of Dunlavy and West Gray.

Police say the driver of the other car has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

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.

Warrant officer killed in line of duty

Pretrial Warrant Supervisor Joseph LeClaire, 53, of Greenacres Road, was shot to death while serving as arrest warrant in East Germantown.

The accused gunman, Darien Houser, 41, was wanted for failing to appear in court. He allegedly shot LeClaire in the head and stomach after entering his apartment on the 4900 block of Stenton Avenue. Officers Vincent A DiSandro, 37, and Carlo Delborrello, 29, were wounded in the encounter.

Power worker electrocuted in Carbon County

SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) -- A worker died when he was electrocuted while helping move a power line in Carbon County.

David Bennett, 40, of Saratoga, died last Friday, according to the Carbon County Sheriff's Office. He was a 14-year employee of Carbon Power and Light.

Accident claims life of Beistle machinist

A Shippensburg-area man died Monday in an industrial accident at The Beistle Company in Southampton Township, Cumberland County, MD.

Wallace J. Bigler Jr. died shortly after 7 a.m. when he was moving a piece of assembly equipment with two other employees at the facility off Walnut Bottom Road east of Shippensburg, according to a release from Cumberland County Coroner Michael Norris.

The machine fell on Bigler as it was being placed in a new location, a state police news release says.

Meat plant worker dies after arm gets caught

MERCED, CA -- A Richwood Meat employee died Tuesday after being pulled into the machine he was operating, company officials said. Chris Banghart, 24, who had worked at Richwood for about four years, was taken by air ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. He died en route to the hospital.

Crane accident kills quarry worker

WARREN -- A quarry worker died Tuesday morning in this southern Herkimer County town when a weight broke free from a crane cable and fell on him, state police at Herkimer said.

Dean P. Robertson, 40, of County Route 25A in Richfield Springs was pronounced dead at the scene by Herkimer County Coroner Christopher Moser, police said.

Robertson, an employee of Hanson Aggregates, was standing in a rock quarry on Kingdom Road when the accident occurred about 10 a.m. With him at the time was co-worker Theodore R. Dziadik, 41, of Hopkins Road, Richfield Springs.

The two men were standing near a crane while the crane operator was extending the crane boom and lowering the cable lines, state police said. Suddenly, the ball weight at the end of a crane cable broke free and fell, striking Robertson and killing him upon impact.

Forklift accident kills worker in Kenner

New Orleans -- A Pellerin Milnor Corp. employee was killed Tuesday when a forklift he was operating fell on its side and pinned him to the ground, in the second fatal accident at the Kenner plant in less than a year.

James Harrington, 58, of Metairie, was pronounced dead at Charity Hospital, company spokesman Gary Gauthier said.

Store Employee Dies When Van Crashes Into Mall

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A paraplegic driver lost control of his hand-operated van at a Columbus mall, killing a store employee walking outside. Shelton Coleman, 24, a male J.C. Penney employee, died at the scene after being hit by the van and thown into the side of the mall. The employee, who was outside the building on a break at the time of the incident, became pinned underneath the vehicle after it smashed into the building.

Two construction workers killed in separate incidents

Two workers died in separate construction site incidents in Wake County Monday, the state Department of Labor reported.

Juan Zepeda, 28, was killed in the morning when a concrete column collapsed at North Carolina State University's Carter-Finley Stadium. Zepeda was one of three workers who fell about 30 feet when the column toppled, according to N.C. State Campus Police. The other two were injured.

The second fatality happened shortly before 1 p.m. off N.C. 55 near Holly Springs while workers were lifting an object at a water line trench.

"Apparently something failed and it fell on the employee," Santos said.

That victim's identity was not immediately available. More here.

Grove Worker Run Over, Dies

A 54-year-old grove worker was killed early Monday when he was struck and run over by a piece of equipment, Polk County sheriff's officials said.

J. Angel Franco-Cortez was killed near Lake Wales about 7:25 a.m. when he walked into the path of the equipment, known as a grove goat.