Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Weekly Toll (Minus a few)

I often make the point that, despite fairly thorough internet searches, The Weekly Toll misses around 75% of all workers killed in workplace "accidents" every year. Of course, if you're interested in the whole workplace death scene, I'm doing much worse than that.

Revere at Effect Measure points out that by the most conservative estimate, 75 people die each week due to work-related cancer.
If 75 people died in a train wreck or 75 people died in a building collapse or 75 schoolchildren in a school shooting it would make headlines in every newspaper in the country. But we won't read about it.

Not only will 75 workers die today. But they did yesterday, too, and will tomorrow and so on, day after day after day. Bhopal in slow motion.
And, of course, even those numbers don't include people who die of other work-related illnesses like silicosis, liver disease and black lung. Almost none of their names will ever be known.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled carnage. (And thanks again to Tammy Miser for putting this together.)

Columbus Police Officer Killed in Collision

Columbus, OH -- Columbus police officer responding to a prowler call was killed in a head-on crash with another motorist early Saturday.

Melissa M. Foster, 35, was driving her police car south on Gender Road , behind another cruiser, about 1 a.m. when a northbound motorist swerved across the center line.

The driver of the lead cruiser avoided the collision, but Foster's was struck head-on.

Worker Electrocuted

The electrocution that claimed a young man’s life Thursday at a substation being built on Achord Road was the first-ever employee death on the job for the company.

According to Tommy Muse, president and CEO of Albrey Silvey Enterprises of Carollton, the 23-year-old electrocution victim was Kyle Holcombe, of Fruit Hurst, Ala., a community about 20 miles from Carollton. Holcombe had worked for the company since October 2004, but Muse said he was experienced after having worked for a Florida company and others.

Holcombe “was working in a man-lift changing washers on a de-energized buss bar when his man-lift made contact with an energized switch.”

Taxi drivers growing marks for armed robbers

She called herself "Cristal' and asked for a cab to pick her up by a grocery store in Baldwin Park. Manuel Antonio Arevalo, who went to the call for his tired brother, was later found carjacked and shot in the 13500 block of Hamburger Lane on Nov. 15. The 46-year-old was pronounced dead the next day at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Worker crushed at warehouse construction site

SOUTH DAYTONA -- A 55-year-old Geneva construction worker died Monday when the lift he was on crushed him against a beam, police said. Paul Galati was a subcontractor working on a doorway at a warehouse at 3100 Opportunity Court when the accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m., said police Cpl. Joe Curatolo.

Galati was on a scissor lift and police do not yet know how Galati got caught between the lift's rail and the doorway beam. He was crushed in the chest area, Curatolo said. The worker was pinned for about 15 minutes and died at the scene, Curatolo said.

Witnesses describe frenzied attack, shock that followed

Detroit -- The workers at the Peerless Metal Powders & Abrasives plant in southwest Detroit would soon learn exactly what their coworker James Flemons had fashioned 24 hours earlier.

It was a sword.

They say Flemons, 30, attacked a 43-year-old colleague, Anthony Williamsof Detroit, with the weapon, killing him. That night, Tabb recalls standing mesmerized as Flemons chased Williams through the plant, striking him repeatedly. "James was hitting him in the back of the neck with that sword," he said. "He just kept doing it and doing it. Then he reached down and rolled him over on his back and again started hitting on his neck." At one point, Tabb tried to intervene with a shovel. "Man, what are you doing?" Tabb screamed to Flemons. Flemons turned around and calmly uttered: "Stay out of my business." Police said by the time Flemons finished, Williams was nearly decapitated. The vision of the attack keeps Tabb, 45, up at night. When he recounts it, he cries.

Carnival employee charged with murdering co-worker

Palm Beach, FL -- The final conscious minutes of carnival worker Glenn Stahl's life were spent shielding himself from a barrage of fatal punches and kicks delivered by four fellow workers, according to sheriff's investigators, who arrested the men late Saturday. Palm Beach County sheriff's investigators say the killing was instigated by a fight over racial slurs and one of the alleged attackers urinating around Stahl's trailer.

Skokie cab driver killed by passengers, police say

SOUTH SIDE, IL -- Chicago police were questioning two men Monday in connection with the fatal shooting of a Skokie cab driver who was found dead Saturday on the South Side. Karim Ally, 57, of the 8300 block of South Kimball Avenue in the north suburb died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to a spokeswoman with the Cook County medical examiner's office. Ally's body was found in the 6300 block of South Calumet Avenue about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, said Carlos Herrera, a Chicago police spokesman.

Cab driver killed in head-on collision

MATAWAN — A two-car collision involving an alleged drunken driver on High Street was fatal for one man, and injured all other parties involved on Sunday. Rajal Brooks, 30, of Matawan Avenue, Aberdeen, was reportedly driving east on High Street in a 1993 four-door silver Plymouth when he moved into the westbound lane and struck a 1993 four-door red Ford Crown Victoria taxicab, owned by Holmdel-Aberdeen Car Service, in a head-on collision, police said. The taxicab was being driven by Carl A. Mottey, 63, of Old Bridge, who was pronounced dead at the scene due to internal injuries, Matawan Detective Sgt. Ben Smith said.

U.S. agent dies in wreck with Tampa tour bus; no injuries on bus

TAMPA, Fla. - An on-duty federal agent died Monday when his car was pushed by another vehicle into the path of a tour bus ferrying passengers to a cruise at the Port of Tampa. No one on the tour bus, which was taking passengers to the Carnival Cruise Line's ship Inspiration for a Caribbean cruise, was injured. Tampa Police said the 2:30 p.m. accident occurred as the bus was headed south on a downtown street toward the cruise terminal when the man driving a Ford Mustang hit a Mercury Grand Marquis driven by the agent and pushed it head-on into the bus. The agent was killed instantly. Police did not immediately release his identity or identify the agency for which he worked.

2 men killed during construction of silo

GREAT FALLS, MT -- Two workers were killed Monday when they fell more than 100 feet into a silo being built at a $70 million malting barley plant near Great Falls, authorities said. James Miller, 22, and Andrew Sievertson, 18, were working on a platform at the top of the silo Monday morning, but it was not immediately clear how they fell, sheriff's Capt. Ray St. Onge said. It looks like they were working on some type of platform and it gave way," St. Onge said. Their bodies were taken to Missoula for autopsies, he said.

Worker dies in fall from scaffold

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ — A construction worker died last Thursday after he fell from a Sunset Avenue building he was working on. Sergio Bustamente, 57, Harrison, was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m. at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, according to police reports. “He received a serious head injury,” said Ocean Township Chief Robert E. Swannack.

Burn victim dies of injuries,1413,138~10023~2555996,00.html
Severely burned over most of his body, Alan Brambling of York died at 4 this morning at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office. Brambling was injured in an explosion and fire yesterday morning at the Jack Giambalvo car dealership in Springettsbury Township, said township Police Chief David Eshbach. The fire broke out as Brambling used an acetylene torch to cut an empty 55-gallon steel drum in half, said Springettsbury fire Capt. John Shire.

The drum, used for windshield-washer fluid, had contained alcohol fumes.

The fumes exploded and blew off the lid, which in turn cut the hoses feeding oxygen and acetylene gas, Shire said.

The flash fire spewing from the severed hoses set Brambling on fire and was spreading in the shop when an employee coming to work spotted flames and found Brambling, Shire said.

Frederick Co. man killed in accident at Taneytown business

Frederick County, MD -- A Frederick County man was killed in an industrial accident yesterday morning at a Taneytown business when a truck rolled over him, according to state police at the Westminster barracks. Earl Richard Vaughn, 77, was working behind the truck at Dougherty's Ice Co. in the first block of Church Road, police said, when the brakes apparently failed on a box truck weighing more than 30,000 pounds and it rolled back over him. Vaughn was pronounced dead at the scene.

Myer staff stop for shot employee

Retailing came to a halt in the Myer city store in Adelaide today as staff and shoppers paid their respects to an employee gunned down there last week. The one minute of silence coincided with the funeral of 61-year-old employee Carole Schaer, fatally shot as she worked in the store's handbag and shoe section on November 17. About 300 people attended her funeral. A murder charge has been laid against 69-year-old Simon Schaer, who was not required to enter a plea during a brief court appearance last week. Schaer will reappear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in January.

Man charged with killing co-worker in a fight

SEATTLE -- King County prosecutors charged a man with manslaughter Wednesday for the death of a co-worker in a fight outside a fast-food restaurant in Kenmore. Nicholas Kevin Morrow, 45, of Kent, beat Michael Bender to the ground at the Jack in the Box parking lot Sept. 23, charging papers said. The two were contractors at work on a nearby construction site. Bender had called Morrow a "rat" for telling the foreman another worker was smoking marijuana at work, a witness told investigators. During their lunch break, Morrow followed Bender to the restaurant and confronted him. Morrow told investigators that he was defending himself because Bender had threatened his life, the King County Superior Court documents said. He didn't know Bender had died until he was told by the detectives. Morrow was scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday. If convicted as charged he could be sentenced to more than six years in prison.

Cab Driver Stabbed To Death

Memphis, TN - A cab driver is killed and a suspect on the loose after a cab ride turns deadly. It happened this morning in southeast Memphis. Police have been busy interviewing witnesses trying to get a description of the suspect. A suspect who took the life of 62-year-old Robert Adams in the parking lot of Foxwood apartments around 10:30 this morning. Police say when Adams pulled up to the complex, the passenger jumped out - stabbed and robbed Adams of all his cash, then took off heading towards Mt. Moriah.


A gas station worker was shot and killed yesterday during what detectives believe was a robbery, the authorities said. The victim, a 40-year-old man who the police believe was from Nigeria, had not been identified last night. He was killed about 8:30 a.m. at the gas station at 187-47 Jamaica Avenue in Hollis while a co-worker was out getting coffee, the police said. William K. Rashbaum (NYT)

Ambulance crash cause undetermined

HAGERSTOWN - The cause of an ambulance crash in Howard County, Md., last week that resulted in a local paramedic's death and the death of an unborn baby has not been determined as of Wednesday, Maryland State Police Sgt. Thornnie Rouse said. A Mid-Maryland Medical Transport ambulance was taking a pregnant woman from Washington County Hospital to a medical center in Baltimore on Nov. 18 when the crash occurred at 12:40 p.m. on Interstate 70 west of St. John's Lane in Howard County, Maryland State Police said. The ambulance driver, Jeanette M. Roseberry, 27, of 18036 Herr Lane, west of Boonsboro, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Three others inside the ambulance, including the patient, were injured. Roseberry's funeral was Tuesday.

Taxi Driver Killed

Anchorage, AL -- On Wednesday, November 17, police in Barrow found 33-year-old cab driver Sangkhom “Sam” Promdongloiv dying of a gunshot wound in his taxi. Police say he was a Thai man whose driver's license listed an Anchorage address. Promdongloi later died at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Oil Worker Killed in Accident

Bismarck, ND -- Authorities say a 44-year-old Burke County man has died in a work-related oilfield accident. Divide County Sheriff Lauren Throntveit says the incident happened Wednesday afternoon in northeast Divide County, between Crosby and Noonan. The sheriff says the victim was trying to get into a piece of loading equipment when he became pinned between the machine and its bucket.


ALTO, TX - A Tuesday afternoon industrial accident claimed the life of a Jacksonville man as he repaired electric wiring on a sawmill motor.
Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell said Timothy Shawn "Tim" Treadwell, 24, was killed when he was electrocuted about 4 p.m. at the Crosscut Hardwood Lumber Mill, located one mile north of Alto on U.S. Highway 69. "A witness stated Mr. Treadwell was in the process of repairing some wiring on a large electric saw motor when he apparently came in contact with high voltage," he said. "I think they said he was working on wiring that was 440 volts."

Man charged with killing boss

Benton, AR -- A Thanksgiving day shooting leaves on man dead and another is behind bars. It happened just before noon at the ArkLaTex Nexus Bar north of Benton. Deputies tell us 58-year-old Charles Williams shot his boss, 55-year-old Larry Broome, in the chest. Broome owned the bar and Williams had been working there for about four months. Broome was pronounced dead at LSU Health Sciences Center. Williams is charged with manslaughter.

Cop killed helping driver on I-55

Before Patrick Barnard headed back home to see his family in Tremont for Thanksgiving, his mother left him a message. "I'm a mother, so I had left him a message and said the weather is not so good down here and to be careful," said Catherine Barnard. "He called at 10:30 [Wednesday] night to say, 'I'll be careful. I'm on my way.'" But Barnard, 30, an off-duty Burbank Police officer, never made it home for Thanksgiving. He died Thursday after a car struck him when he stopped to help a stranded motorist on I-55 -- about 20 miles from his destination.

Cab driver killed in $150 robbery

Jersey City, N.J. — A cab driver working his way through medical school was shot and killed while being robbed of $150, authorities said. Investigators said Rady Khella, 25, was shot sometime after he picked up his last official fare early Thursday. There were no suspects. Police found only small change in his pockets.

Wisconsin man to stand trial in Lincoln woman's death

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin man charged with the murder of Jennifer Hitchcock told police he killed the Lincoln woman because she might serve as a witness against him and because he could not face prison thinking of her with another man, Wisconsin police said recently. "He said he wanted her to himself," said Detective Charles Foulke of Middleton, Wis. "He said it was important that he was the last person to have her." Foulke made the statements while testifying at a Nov. 18 preliminary hearing for Bennie Frier, Mason's 24-year-old nephew. Both men are charged with kidnapping Hitchcock, 22, and killing her on Nov. 3. Mason told police Hitchcock also saw the Nov. 2 shooting death of Baraboo, Wis. cab driver John Romberg, 55, Foulke said. Mason has been charged with Romberg's death, which he said was an accident. But just as important to Mason, Foulke said, was that Hitchcock not be with any other man while he was in prison.

Runaway truck kills man

Honolulu, HA -- One man was crushed to death and another seriously hurt yesterday when a runaway garbage truck hurtled down Makakilo Drive, plowed through the eastbound H-1 off-ramp, catapulted a 20-foot embankment, flipped on its side and slid to within 15 feet of the back wall of Chili's Bar & Grill in the Kapolei Shopping Center. George Damon, Honolulu Disposal Service's operational vice president, made a preliminary identification before the body was taken to the medical examiner's office. He said he believed the man to be Mark Roben, who had recently joined the company.

Man killed by forklift accident

PIERRE, S.D. - A central South Dakota man has died of injuries he suffered when a forklift ran over him, according to the Hughes County sheriff. Rick Metzinger, 24, of Blunt, was loading and unloading materials with another employee of Kroeplin Ag Service of Blunt. He was riding on the front of the forklift when he apparently fell in front of it. Sheriff Mike Leidholt said. The accident happened Wednesday.

Oxnard man killed in fall

Oxnard, CA -- A 70-year-old Oxnard man died after an industrial accident this morning in Camarillo, authorities said. Julian Romero fell off an unknown structure at Rio Farms in the 600 block of Laguna Road, where he was working, Ventura County coroner's officials said.

A Bristol Tennessee Police Officer Dies in the Line of Duty.

Parishners at Kingsport’s Salvation Army try to comfort Captain Steve Terry over the death of officer Mark Vance. “He just loved police work and I knew him for many years”, says Steve Terry. Terry retired several years ago from Bristol P.D. to serve a higher calling, he remembers Vance, who was a former marine, as a man who made a difference in so many lives. It was with this compassion for others that Vance answered last night's domestic violence call. But a gunshot to his head ended any chance of a peaceful outcome. Police say Nickolus Johnson shot Vance at point blank range.

Worker dies in garage collapse

Bethesda, MD -- A construction worker was crushed to death under a 35-ton concrete slab yesterday morning, when the top two floors of a six-story parking garage being built for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda collapsed. About a dozen other workers were uninjured after being trapped in the wreckage, but had to be rescued by county firefighters. Ronal Alvarado Gochez, 25, of Falls Church, who had been on a ladder on the fourth floor, apparently was killed instantly. He was employed by Virginia-based Williams Steel Erection Inc., a subcontractor on the project.

Worker slain on walk to campus

Police didn't know victim had restraining order against husband. The slaying of a UNC Chapel Hill employee as she strolled to work Monday, followed by her husband's turning the gun on himself, left police probing and some workers wondering how to make the campus safer. UNC police were called about 7:40 a.m. after shots were fired. They discovered the victim, Shennel R. McCrimon McKendall, 37, of nearby Pittsboro. And they found her 34-year-old husband, Randy Leverne McKendall, whom witnesses saw shoot himself with the 9 mm handgun, police said.

Cargo Trains Collide, Killing a Conductor

RICHLAND, FL -- Two CSX cargo trains crashed head-on in the early morning fog Monday, killing the conductor of one train and injuring three other CSX employees, including a conductor from Bartow. C.J. Jones, 28, a conductor from Carol City in South Florida, was killed in the 2:30 a.m. crash in Richland, east of Zephyrhills and about five miles west of North Polk County. A total of 16 cars derailed, 15 on a southbound train and one on a northbound

Armored-car guard shot, killed

An armored-car guard was ambushed and killed Monday during an armed robbery in Ahwatukee Foothills in which the shooter escaped on a bicycle. Robert Keith Palomares, 24, was carrying the weekend deposits out of the AMC Ahwatukee 24 theater at Ray Road and 50th Street. The shooter lay in wait near a ticket booth.

Man dies in trench collapse

DANBURY, CT — The young father stood in the trench, perhaps measuring its depth. Two other workers operated large, earth-moving machines at the edge of the 12-foot-deep excavation. Then came disaster. The trench walls caved in, burying Frederico Barbosa Fernandes underneath tons of dirt. City officials believe he died instantly. They also suggested that his death was unnecessary. Fernandes was part of a crew installing underground drainage pipes at Westville Commons, a condominium complex under construction on Scuppo Road. Federal law calls for dirt walls to be braced when workers are in trenches, but no supports were in place in this case, city officials said.
“That’s a no-no,” said Danbury assistant fire chief Phil Curran. He said the lack of supports and the rain-softened soil both contributed to the cave-in on the city’s west side.

Bridge mishap kills one

NEW TOWN, ND -- One man died and three were injured Tuesday morning when a steel support structure for pier nine of the new Four Bears Bridge collapsed west of New Town. Tex Hall, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, said the worker killed was Levi Grant, 21, of Mandaree. Those injured are Gaylord Grant, brother of Levi Grant, and Jacob Fettig, both 19 and from Mandaree, and Clifford Mossett III, 24, Twin Buttes, according to Hall. All are in Trinity Hospital in Minot.

Grain truck driver killed when caught in auger

FRANKFORT, Ind. -- A grain-moving device crushed and killed a delivery truck driver as he was working on a farm, police said. Derek F. Blough, 24, of Rossville, was making a delivery Wednesday for United Feeds to a farm when he got caught in the auger of a grain storage compartment on his truck, the Clinton County Sheriff's Department said. It was unclear how Blough fell into the auger as no one saw the accident, Sheriff Mark Mitchell said.

City worker killed in wreck

SHELBY — A Shelby City sanitation worker died Wednesday afternoon when the garbage truck he was driving flipped while going around a curve. Three other workers inside the truck cab were taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. The truck’s load shifted while rounding a sharp curve on Airport Road about half a mile from the Cleveland County landfill, said N.C. Highway Patrol troopers investigating the wreck. When the load shifted, the vehicle overturned and the top of the truck dug into the ground before the entire truck rolled over, landing on its wheels with the mangled trash container on its side, said Trooper B.C. Sanders. The driver of the truck, Richard McCombs, 50, of New House Road, was killed.

Oakdale trucker killed in accident

A divers' team on Wednesday recovered an Oakdale man's body from a dump truck that plunged into the California Aqueduct south of Tracy, the California Highway Patrol reported. The San Joaquin County coroner's office identified the man as Miguel Ramirez, 29. He had been a driver for Magnum Trucking of Lathrop for about a year.

Island terminal service resumes after accident

A spokesman for Kinder Morgan River Terminals said the Presidents Island materials handler had resumed "limited operations" Thursday in the wake of an accident that killed two workers. The men killed Wednesday while off-loading a railcar were Sylvester Bolton, 43, and Timmy-Durell Jones, 36, both of Memphis. They died when a clogged hopper chute suddenly gave way, burying them under a load of ammonium sulfate.

Construction worker killed by falling tree

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME - A 32-year-old construction worker from Old Orchard Beach was killed Thursday morning -- and two of his co-workers injured -- when a 70-foot tree fell on them as they worked at an Old Orchard Beach business. Lt. Keith Babin said Jean St. Amand died from his injuries at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford late Thursday morning.

Construction worker dies in trench collapse

Kansas City, MO -- A Northland construction worker died Monday when the walls of a 15-foot-deep trench collapsed on him, Kansas City fire officials said.The man's name and age were not available, pending notification of relatives.

Workers with the WMI Construction Co. of Riverside were working in a trench dug to connect the house to utilities, Battalion Chief Germane Friends said. One worker managed to escape, but the other did not.

Bright Wood worker killed in forklift accident State begins investigation of woman's death

MADRAS, OR – The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) is investigating a fatal industrial accident at the Madras plant of Bright Wood Corp., in which a 29-year-old Madras woman was struck and killed by a forklift. Madras police and Jefferson County paramedics responded at 8:10 p.m. Tuesday to the reported accident at Bright Wooda secondary wood remanufacturer with 1,100 employees in Madras and other facilities in Redmond and Bend. Police, assisted by Bright Wood employees, tried to resuscitate Susanna M. Parish, without success, Officer Frank Kerr said in a news release issued Thursday. Jefferson County EMS arrived shortly thereafter and pronounced the woman dead.

Taxicab driver killed in shooting

A taxicab driver was shot to death Wednesday in the Arcadia neighborhood of east Phoenix during an apparent robbery, said Phoenix police Sgt. Lauri Williams. James Barker, 46, was found slumped over the steering wheel of the Discount Cab car he was driving near 39th Street and Clarendon Avenue, Williams said. Several neighbors heard gunfire and called 911 about 11:40 p.m. Some went outside and saw a person running away from the cab, Williams said.