Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Weekly Toll

Valpo man dies at steel plant.

Tony Parker, a 56-year-old Valparaiso man who coached some of the region's brightest young basketball stars, died Friday morning while on the job at Ispat Inland Inc.'s No. 2 basic oxygen furnace.

The 25-year company veteran was working as a hot metal helper when the accident occurred, said company spokesman David Allen. He was found about 9:15 a.m. and later pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy of the Lake County Coroner's Office.

Parker was working alone when the accident occurred and "no one saw what happened," Allen said. Parker's job was at the hot metal station, where iron comes into the steel shop from the blast furnace and is transferred from rail cars into ladles.

Parker apparently fell 20 to 25 feet into an area below his work station, Allen said.

More here.

Plant worker dies after water main ruptures

A worker at a power plant in southeast Harris County was killed Friday when a water main ruptured.

The accident happened about 2 p.m. at a power plant owned by Calpine Corp.

Mike Addison, 52, was near the water main when it ruptured after a plant turbine came online, said Meg Laidlaw, a local spokeswoman for San Jose, Calif.-based Calpine.

Apache worker dies in accident

An industrial accident Wednesday claimed the life of a worker at Apache Mills.

James Graham, 32, formerly of Calhoun and now of a Summerville address, was pronounced dead at 12:22 p.m. Wednesday. According to an incident report from the Calhoun Police Department, an officer was dispatched to 417 S. River St., at 11:08 a.m. in reference to some type of explosion.

Upon arrival, the officer saw a white male lying on the floor with visible injuries to his chest and face. Witnesses said that they saw Graham welding on a pipe about 30 seconds to a minute prior to hearing the explosion. Graham had been in the process of welding caps onto the ends of a pipe when a cap end blew off striking him in the chest, police officials said.

Highway Worker Killed

Eladio Lopez, a 50-year-old Colorado Department of Transportation worker, was killed shortly after 1 a.m. Friday when a car driving the wrong way on I-25 hit him and a co-worker. Investigators believe the driver was drunk.

Lopez came to the United States from Mexico when he was a teen. He grew up in Commerce City and raised his family in Denver. He was a husband of 32 years, father of three, grandfather of four and friend to too many to count.

'Gentle giant' felled on roadway

They were the final words Kathy Forster spoke to her husband: "Be careful, honey, don't let a car hit you."

It was something Forster told her husband any night he worked repairing the area's broken roads. As always, Paul Forster, 43, promised he wouldn't.

The Colorado Department of Transportation worker died early Friday morning when a car going the wrong way on Interstate 25 slammed into him and a co-worker, killing them instantly.

Highway Patrol officer killed in pursuit accident in Redlands

REDLANDS, Calif. - A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer was killed Thursday when he collided head-on with a minivan in an intersection while he was chasing a suspect in another accident.

Officer James Goodman, a 20-year CHP veteran, died at Loma Linda University Medical Center, said Officer Jim Whitney.

Man dies after bus falls on him

Belleville, NJ -- A Belleville man working for a Bergen County towing company was killed yesterday when a bus he was attempting to haul away fell on him, authorities said.

The bus that crushed 38-year-old Franklin DeLarosa was the same vehicle that collided with a car on the Garden State Parkway on Monday while en route to Atlantic City, said Lt. Robert Urie, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Well Worker Dies in Derrick Collapse

A Pennsylvania man is deadafter a 100-foot gas derrick collapsed in northwest Colorado.
26-year-old Scott Nelson of Warren, Pennsylvania, died at the scene of the accident on Monday.

He was working about two-thirds of the way up the derrick when it collapsed 35 miles southwest of Meeker.

Nelson worked for Union Drilling of Vernal, Utah. The company was sinking a 10,000 foot well for EnCana Oil and Gas.

More here and here.

Police Officer Dies In Gun Battle

OXON HILL, Md. -- Police in Prince George's County have identified the teenager who they said tried to rob an off-duty D.C. police officer before fatally shooting him.

Prince George's County police said Jonathan Washington, 16, attempted to rob D.C. police Sgt. Clifton Rife as he was leaving a friends' apartment in Oxon Hill, Md., at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The two became involved in a shootout, at the apartment complex in the 5400 block of Livingston Terrace, High said. Washington was killed on the scene and Rife later died at the hospital.

Rife is the second D.C. police officer to die within the past week. Sgt. John Ashley died Sunday while chasing a dog that had run away from its owner.

Investigation Continues Into Construction Worker's Fall At Carter-Finley Stadium

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Investigators spent the day at North Carolina State University's Carter-Finley Stadium, wanting to know why a construction worker plunged 80 feet to the ground.

A foreman at the site said all workers who are working higher than six feet off the ground are required to wear a safety harness. The worker, Jose Perez, was in critical condition in WakeMed Tuesday night after the second accident at the site in three months.

Perez fell from the stadium's second level. There have been reports that he was not wearing a safety harness.

Man drowns in crane accident

NASHVILLE -- A crane operator working in a gravel pit drowned Tuesday when the machine toppled into water. The victim of the accident was not identified by authorities.

The accident was reported at 10:07 a.m. at Mead Sand and Gravel at 733 Durkee Road on the south side of Nashville. According to the Nashville Police Department, the crane operator was working near a gravel pit pond when the crane slid into the pond. The operator was unable to climb out of the unit before it was submerged in the water. Another employee of the company saw the accident and called emergency dispatchers.

Bridge worker dies after car crashes through gate

HAMPTON, N.H. -- A Hampton River Bridge employee was killed yesterday when a car crashed through a steel gate he was attempting to open, the state Transportation Department said. Police identified the victim as Alphonse Napolitano, 80, of Seabrook. Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said Napolitano was reopening steel gates on the drawbridge around 10 a.m., when a car drove around one warning gate and crashed through a steel gate at the southern end of the bridge. He said it was not clear if the car hit Napolitano, or if he was hit by the gate. (More here and here.)

Co-workers mourn loss of friend killed in accident

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — Friends and co-workers of a man killed in an industrial accident mourned his loss during a memorial service at his workplace Thursday.
Cozar Jimenez Ferman, 48, of Fort Pierce, was accidentally run over by a front-end loader around 11 a.m. Wednesday at East Coast Recycling, in the 4800 block of Glades Cut-Off Road, a St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office report states. He had worked as a laborer at the company for two years, said Carol Leonard, an administrator with the company.

"It was a tragic accident," Leonard said. "We had a little memorial service today for the employees."

The driver of the front-end loader was moving concrete around when he unknowingly ran over Ferman, the report states. The driver said he last saw Ferman 15 minutes before the accident and did not notice anything unusual until another employee told him he had struck Ferman.

Landscaping worker killed

Shawn McGregor, 27, of Fowlerville, died in an accident involving heavy equipment
A 27-year-old landscape worker from Fowlerville was killed Thursday morning in an accident involving heavy equipment at a Genoa Township subdivision, Michigan State Police said.

Shawn McGregor sustained fatal injuries after he was struck in the head by the hydraulic arm of the Bobcat construction equipment he was operating, Sgt. Therese Fogarty-Cremonte said.

Worker Killed by Rock Crushing Machine

In Charlevoix County, a 38-year old Bellaire man was killed about 8:20 a.m. at Manthei Development Corp. in Norwood Township.

The victim was among several workers who were disabling a rock crushing machine when an arm on the machine swung around and hit the man in the chest, police said. He was pronounced dead at Charlevoix Area Hospital.

No other information about the accident was available Thursday evening, the Sheriff's Department said.

Industrial accident kills worker, 29

State labor officials and company leaders are investigating a fatal industrial accident Thursday in which a 29-year-old man died after a forklift pinned him against a table. An initial investigation by Marion County sheriff's deputies indicated possible problems with the forklift.

Randy Komlance, of Indianapolis, was fatally injured, deputies said, when a forklift backed into a tow cart he was driving. The collision tossed another employee, who was sitting on the cart, into a nearby waste bin and pushed the cart 6 to 8 inches sideways into a metal table. Komlance was wedged between the cart and table, witnesses said. He was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the forklift told deputies he had notified his supervisor of a problem with the "forklift operation." A towing company driver, summoned to remove the forklift, also told deputies the forklift's emergency brake was not working. The forklift's warning beeper also did not sound when he drove it backward, he said. But it did work when the forklift was dropped onto the flatbed of the towing company's wrecker

Worker dies in construction accident

Max Oaks has owned and operated Oaks Construction for more than 20 years."We've been in this business for 23 years and this is our first serious accident,” said Oaks. “We've had nothing even close to a fatality."

Geremias Lopez was working for a contract company hired by Oaks Construction when he was crushed by this 40 ton wall around 10:15 Wednesday morning.As soon as the wall fell, workers hurried to attach the crane to it to left it up. And when the got him they realized he was killed instantly.

Lopez leaves behind a wife and two daughters. All three live in Guatemala. More here.

There have been 21 deaths due to construction accidents in North Carolina since last October.

LIRR Worker Killed While Repairing Tracks

NEW YORK -- A Long Island Rail Road worker was killed while doing track work Wednesday in Brooklyn. The railroad says 30-year-old Peter Osso of Yonkers was pronounced dead at St. Mary's Hospital shortly after the accident.

LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto says a track car tipped over and fell on Osso. No one knows why the car tipped.

Worker injured in fall dies

York, PA -- Emergency and construction workers rush to save a man injured in a fall at William Penn Senior High School on Wednesday. The injured man, Bradley Dean Hahn, 43, of Overbrook Drive in York, died later at York Hospital.

A construction worker died Wednesday after he fell two stories onto a concrete floor at the site of the William Penn Senior High School construction project in York. The man was identified by the York County Coroner as Bradley Dean Hahn, 43, of Overbrook Drive in York. He was a mason for Caretti Inc. of Camp Hill, said Robert Mitten, the York City School District's business manager.

Burn Victim In Monroeville Mall Blast Dies

PITTSBURGH -- A construction worker died Wednesday from injuries suffered in an explosion at Monroeville Mall last month.

James Sherry, 61, of Plum, died in Mercy Hospital, where he had been treated since the April 19 blast. Sherry and another man were working near an area of the mall that was under construction. A transformer exploded, injuring both men and prompting a short evacuation. Sherry suffered burns over half of his body, according to Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht. More here.

Contractor worker falls, dies at BP refinery

TEXAS CITY — A Welasco man working inside a distillation tower at BP’s refinery died Tuesday after falling more than 30 feet to his death.

Israel Trevino, 26, was working on a ladder inside the 50-foot-tall round vessel at the refinery plant at 5:10 a.m. when he fell between 30 and 40 feet onto a scaffold below, said a representative from the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office. The contractor suffered massive injuries to his chest as a result of the fall.

Canton worker dies in truck accident

Canton- A dump truck struck the raised bucket of a work truck, killing a city worker who was repairing a traffic signal, police said.

Peter Milbrodt, 32, of Canton, was thrown from the bucket and pronounced dead minutes later, at 10:41 a.m. Monday at Aultman Hospital. Police said the dump truck, driven by Robert Martz, 64, of Nimishillen Township, was eastbound when it hit the bucket. More here.

Construction accident kills Tyre man Saturday

TYRE, NY — A Tyre man who rescued a Schuyler County teenager last fall lost his life Saturday in a construction accident.

Seneca County sheriff’s deputies report that Michael LaRock, 31, of Route 414, and other employees were unloading heavy pipe from a truck at D.C. Rauscher Trucking Co., near his home about 4 p.m., when a piece hit him in the chest, knocking him off the truck.

The pipe also fell off the truck and is believed to have hit LaRock in the head.

LaRock was taken to Geneva General Hospital with massive head, neck and chest injuries. He was pronounced dead at 4:38 p.m.

Worker dies at Visalia project

VISALIA -- A construction worker fell from the fourth story of a building under way at Kaweah Delta Hospital Monday morning and later died of his injuries.

Craig Mangano, the project's developer, said the worker's identity has been withheld so family members can be reached. He said the man is believed to be from Modesto. Cohen said the victim was working on metal decking on the fourth story of the hospital's new support services building, which is under construction at Mineral King Avenue and Willis Street.

Man Killed in ATV Accident

A U.S. Forest Service employee was killed last week in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Angelina County.

It happened last Thursday in the Angelina National Forest. Authorities say 54-year old Rodney Peters was conducting soil and water evaluations for a project when he had the accident. Peters was a 35-year veteran with the agency, and spent most of his career in Lufkin.

Hanahan man killed Friday in forklift accident

(St. George-AP) May 24, 2004 - A Hanahan man has been killed after a forklift fell on him in Dorchester County. Dorchester County Corner Chris Nisbet says 38-year-old James Gaither was killed Friday afternoon.

Officials say Gaither and another man at RSC Rental Service Corporation were loading a forklift onto a flatbed drug when it slid off the side and landed on top of Gaither.