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News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Weekly Toll

Worker killed in hit-and-run on beltway

A construction worker was killed in a hit-and-run accident on the Baltimore Beltway on Saturday, Maryland State Police said. Police say the incident happened around 5:30 a.m., when a vehicle driven by a white male was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed on the inner loop of the beltway. The left lane was closed for construction work. Message boards, signs and fluorescent barrels were positioned along the roadway.

The vehicle crashed into a truck, but the driver was able to continue before stopping the vehicle on the right shoulder. Witnesses said he got out of the vehicle, appeared to check the damage and drove away.

The victim was identified as William Ruffin, 42, of Baltimore.


Small Plane Crashes Into Coconut Creek Home Pilot Killed

COCONUT CREEK, FL-- A two-seat plane crashed into a house and burst into flames Saturday afternoon, killing the pilot, police said. No one else was injured. The pilot was the only person in the plane, said Coconut Creek police spokesman Tony Avello. The pilot's identity wasn't immediately released. The plane clipped the roof of the home owned by Steve and Traci Sandford, who both work for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

City worker killed

Independence, MO - Electrocuted while working on water plant. Independence Water Department employee Alan Lance Followwill died on the job Thursday after being electrocuted at the Courtney Bend Water Treatment Plant. The accident happened as three employees were unloading a trench box, used to reinforce ditches during utility repairs. They were operating a crane on a flat-bed truck when they came in contact with a high-voltage line. Construction equipment operator Stanley Rohrer, 50, suffered burns in the same accident, and is in a hospital. Rohrer has nearly 30 years experience on the job. A third worker on the site was not injured, and the city has withheld his name.

Wal-Mart employee was shot dead

Martin County, TX- Wal-Mart employee Megan Leann Holden, whose abduction was captured on videotape late Wednesday, was shot dead, Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle said. The body of 19-year-old college student from Henderson was found in Martin County, West Texas. A suspect is a man, about 20 to 25 years old, in a dark coat fixed on videotape loitering around the front Wal-Mart entrance "for a good period of time," police spokesman Don Martin said. Surveillance video "shows Megan getting into her truck and the [man] running up behind her and either hitting her or pushing her," Martin reported. "Then the vehicle drives off."


IOSHA to take part in investigation of worker’s death

Ft Wayne, IN- The Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration will join an investigation into the death of a 24-year-old New Haven man in an apparent construction accident Wednesday. Todd Lee died of blunt force trauma to the head when he fell from atop a Carmike Theater complex under construction near Dupont and Diebold roads about 4 p.m., Allen County Coroner E. Jon Brandenberger ruled. Lee’s death was an accident, the coroner said. Lee was working near the roof line of the building when he fell about 30 feet to the ground. Fellow workers told authorities they saw him hit his head at least twice as he fell.


Man killed in construction accident identified

Centreville, VA- Police identified a 39-year-old Centreville resident Thursday as the man killed in a construction accident in Lake Manassas. Aristides Chavarria, of 14225 Saint Germain Drive, was killed Wednesday when a trench wall collapsed and buried him, said Detective Dennis Mangan, Prince William police spokesman.


Man killed in farm accident

Greeley, CO- A 25-year-old Loveland man died Thursday afternoon in a front-end loader accident at the M and J Dairy at Weld County Road 7 and Colo. 60 west of Interstate 25 near Johnstown, according to the Weld County Sheriff's Office. The man, identified as Matthew Slaschenriem, had the loader scoop in the air and got out in front of the tractor to work on a hydraulic line when the bucket collapsed on him, according to Weld County Coroner's Office


Slaschenriem died at the scene.

WAYNE VA-- Reports show Dwight Ferguson died within minutes after crash. West Virginia State Police on Friday said a preliminary report from the State Medical Examiner’s office reveals that a man whose body was found inside a wrecked cargo van nearly 15 hours after it crashed had died within five to six minutes of suffering a head injury. Debra Vernick, the mother of the victim, Dwight Ernest Ferguson, 21, of Wayne, said that finding is unacceptable to her and others who knew her son. "I won’t believe that," Vernick said. "(State authorities) are covering their own hind ends. I am convinced he was alive and trying to get out."


Newport News Restaurant Killed During Robbery

VA-A Newport News restaurant worker is dead after officials say she was shot during a robbery Friday night. Police have charged 30-year old Terrance McCoy Carter of Smithfield with first degree murder. Police say Carter robbed the George's Restaurant at 19th Street and Jefferson Avenue around 7:30pm. According to authorities, there were three employees in the restaurant at the time of the robbery. No customers were present. Yong Cha Kim, 57, gave Carter some money, then police say he shot her once in the head.


Industrial accident kills Easton man

Easton, PA--Atlantic States plant, facing trial on work environment, has third mishap in a week. A 41-year-old Easton man died Thursday night at Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co. in Phillipsburg, the latest in a series of accidents, some fatal, at the foundry that federal prosecutors have described as a dangerous workplace. Investigators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the United Steelworkers of America were at the plant Friday collecting information on the death of Thomas Lawlor, of the 1200 block of Elm Street. Phillipsburg police said Lawlor was hit by an 18-foot pipe weighing more than 700 pounds. The pipe rolled off a rack he was near shortly after 6 p.m., police said. He died at Warren Hospital, Phillipsburg.


Store clerk shot and killed

Bishoop, CA- Shooting at Bishop's Meadow Farms Liquor leaves longtime employee dead; suspect arrested at scene. The manager of an area liquor store is dead and authorities are investigating the second firearm-related homicide in three years following a bizarre shooting Wednesday afternoon. Longtime Meadow Farms Liquor employee David A. Pettet, 50, of Bishop, succumbed to "numerous" gunshot wounds yesterday that the Inyo County Sheriff's Department says he received during an altercation with a man at the North Sierra Highway store.


Worker electrocuted while changing light bulb

Chicago, Ill- An electrician was electrocuted Saturday while changing a light bulb in a sign at an Uptown gas station, police said. Awhan Coksakalli, 36, of the 6100 block of North Kenmore Avenue was standing on a ladder about 1:50 p.m. at the Uptown Service Station, 4900 N. Broadway, when a co-worker noticed that he was shaking, said Chicago police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak. The co-worker lowered Coksakalli to the ground, and a nurse passing by attempted CPR, Kubiak said. Coksakalli was pronounced dead at Weiss Memorial Hospital, said a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office. A death investigation was continuing.


2 Pr. William Workers Die at Building Sites

Prince William County, VA-- Two Prince William County construction workers were killed yesterday in separate accidents -- one crushed when her truck ran over her, the other buried in a collapsed trench, authorities said. In the first incident, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m. on an excavation site for a housing development near Dumfries, Shelby Blosser, 56, of Luray, Va., was doing maintenance on her six-wheel dump truck when it unexpectedly began to roll, authorities said. Several hours later, in the Lake Manassas subdivision near Gainesville, a construction worker was digging a trench for a plumbing pipe to a new home about 1:30 p.m. when one of the trench walls collapsed, entombing him instantly, Taylor said. Prince William County police spokeswoman, 1st Sgt. Kim Chinn, said police would release the man's name once his family has been notified.


Jackson-area firefighter killed in house fire

SUMMIT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A third-generation firefighter died Thursday morning after he was trapped inside a burning house in Jackson County. Three other firefighters were hospitalized after suffering smoke inhalation. Summit Township fire Capt. Scott Thornton, 39, was pronounced dead at Foote Hospital in Jackson, the township said.


Radio Shack Offers Reward In Employee Murder Case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Radio Shack Corp. has announced it is offering a $25,000 reward in a Birmingham murder case. The electronics retailer said the public's assistance is needed in finding the person or persons responsible for Sunday's shooting death of 20-year-old Justin Campbell. Lt. Henry Irby, a police spokesman, said Campbell was closing up the business on Huffman Road when someone shot him in the back of the head. The victim's father found him hours later. He said there have been no arrests or charges filed in the case.


Man Dies While Removing Mobile Home Damaged By Hurricanes

LAKE WALES, Fla. -- A construction worker was crushed while operating a backhoe as he removed a mobile home that was damaged in the hurricanes that pounded Polk County last year. Authorities say 49-year-old Terry Danner of Haines City was pinned between the backhoe and another piece of construction equipment at Lake Wales' Green Acres Mobile Home Park. A manager at the mobile home park said Danner said the hurricanes that hit Polk County had severely damaged the mobile home and that Danner was helping his brother's hauling company tear it down. Danner's death appears accidental, but deputies are waiting for the report from an autopsy that will be conducted Thursday for confirmation.


Worker killed by track hoe in Cape

Cape Coral, FL- The Cape Coral accident happened at about 1:52 p.m. when the bucket of a track hoe crushed Augustin Yanez, 34, police spokesman Angelo Bitsis said. Track hoes are large machines with a bucket attached to mechanical arms. The bucket moves up and down. Yanez, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene, Bitsis said. Investigators haven't been able to confirm his address.


Conductor in steel company rail yard killed by train

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - A longtime employee of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. died Monday at the company's North Plant after being hit by a train in the rail yard. Kenneth Cesaro of Wintersville was a conductor on the trains that carried material among the steel plants. He had been with the company for 33 years.

Company spokesman James Kosowski said the accident happened shortly after noon while Cesaro, 54, was pulling a lever beside a track to change an oncoming train's direction. The company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.


Man's death investigated

GREENVILLE, MI-- When Marge Bush caught glimpses of her son-in-law, Jonathan DeGood, looking at her daughter, she saw the love that people search for in life. "It was an uncontrollable and undeniable love," Bush said Tuesday as she tried to comfort Sarah DeGood in the wake of her husband's death Monday. "John loved and cherished Sarah. It was great to see that. I'll miss it, and I know she will, too." Authorities are investigating if DeGood, a 25-year-old from Greenville, died from carbon monoxide poisoning or another cause after he was discovered in a Cascade Township warehouse Monday.


Worker dies in fall off apartment roof

A 33-year-old subcontractor from Ohio died Tuesday after falling from the roof of apartments being constructed along Leforge Road and Railroad Street, Ypsilanti Police said. Joseph P. Kennedy of Columbus was working on the roof and apparently slipped and fell, according to a police investigation. Attempts to resuscitate Kennedy were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Kennedy's relatives were notified and went to the hospital.


Worker dies in fall from New Canaan roof

NEW CANAAN -- A 47-year-old construction worker died Sunday when he fell 30 feet from a wooden plank while framing the roof of a house in New Canaan, police and neighbors said. Antonio Assis of Danbury was standing on the plank with another man when their weight dislodged it, sending Assis plunging to the ground at 17 Wardwell Drive shortly before 3 p.m.


Coast Guard Searches for 4 Missing in Sea

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two fishermen were killed and four others were missing in the choppy Bering Sea after two separate accidents on the opening day of the dangerous snow crab season.

The 92-foot Big Valley and the 134-foot Sultan went out after snow crab amid stormy seas and up to 40 mph winds. The Kodiak-based Big Valley sank Saturday 70 miles west of St. Paul Island, about 750 miles west of Anchorage.

Three crewmen found by helicopters Saturday were wearing bulky survival suits, but two of them died. Cache Seel, 30, of Kodiak, was treated at a Saint Paul hospital after he was found floating in a life raft.

Kodiak resident Gary Edwards, the skipper and owner of the Big Valley, was aboard the vessel and among the three missing, Seel told authorities, said Coast Guard Lt. Charter Tschirgi. There were believed to be six men aboard.

Also missing was a crewman washed off the Sultan 150 miles northwest of St. Paul Island. Alaska State Troopers identified him Sunday as Manu Lagai, 33, of Spokane, Wash. Lagai was wearing only rain gear, not a survival suit, when he went overboard, said trooper spokesman Tim DeSpain.

From 1991 to 1996 in Alaska's crab fisheries, 61 people died, with most of the fatalities occurring when boats were operating in heavy weather, according to a study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.



Possible suspect quizzed in motel worker's death

HILLSIDE, IL-- Police were questioning a possible suspect in the death of a Hillside motel employee early Monday, according to police. The employee, Vinodbhai Patel, 63, was found in the parking lot of the Hillside Manor Motel, 4740 Roosevelt Rd., around 3 a.m. by police who were sent there in response to a call from the motel, said Frank Alonzo Jr., chief of the Hillside Police Department. Patel was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 4 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner. An autopsy indicated Patel, whose address was not available, died of a head injury resulting from a homicide, according to an examiner's office spokesman. Alonzo said a decision would be made Tuesday on whether to file charges.


Rig deaths investigated

ODESSA, Texas - The latest was a 90-foot fall from the Big Dog Rig No. 14 on Jan. 8 that killed Brian Harrison, 24, of Odessa, said OSHA Assistant Area Director Scott Ketcham. Harrison died at a remote well site in Upton County, said Sheriff Dan Brown. An autopsy was ordered, the sheriff said. Fred Rabe, Big Dog's safety manager, said he did not know the cause of the death. "We're waiting on the investigation (results) and, really, waiting on the rest of the investigations because we've not seen any investigation results as of yet," he said.


FDNY seeks answers in deaths

Long Island, NY- FDNY seeks answers in deaths. Firefighters crammed into their bulky protective gear had been wrestling with a frozen fire hydrant and an intermittent water supply when a roar of flame on the third floor of a Bronx tenement forced several firefighters on the fourth floor out a window, two of them, Fire Lieutenant Curtis Meyran, 46, and Firefighter John Bellew, 37, to their death. The Brooklyn incident unfolded so rapidly that a chief from the 44th Battalion was calling in a second alarm for more units as he heard a "Mayday" distress call from a firefighter on the second floor. That Firefighter, Richard Sclafani, perished. Another firefighter, critically injured, was found in the basement. One officer at the scene radioed the dispatcher to have the hyperbaric chamber at Brookdale Medical Center ready.


Fire official stricken at blaze dies

RENSSELAER -- Rensselaer Ambulance response queried after Micheal Falkouski's apparent heart attack. An assistant fire chief has become the city's first line-of-duty death, felled by an apparent heart attack early Sunday morning as he responded to a two-alarm blaze, officials said. Assistant Fire Chief Micheal Falkouski died Monday morning at Albany Memorial Hospital, just over 24 hours after he was stricken at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday.


Hundreds gather to honor fireman, friend and father

Olympia,WA- Life of firefighter Mark Noble remembered with laughter and tears. The title Olympia firefighter Mark Noble chose for a safety video about the high risk of cancer for firefighters is "You need it like a hole in the head." In the last of many causes he took on in his 47 years, Noble tackled the issue of firefighter safety with his characteristic combination of lightheartedness and ardor. The 800 or so firefighters and friends of Noble who saw the video's first public showing at Noble's memorial service Monday laughed and cried alternately as they recalled a man whose keen sense of humor was what drew them to him. Noble died Jan. 15 of a form of brain cancer linked to the toxins he breathed as a firefighter. His illness was deemed occupational under legislation enacted the month before his May 2002 diagnosis. In the three years since then, Noble fought to advance safety standards for fire departments everywhere to protect more firefighters from breathing in the kind of carcinogens that brought on his tumor.


Three killed in Perth Amboy explosion

PERTH AMBOY, N.J. -- Three men died and a fourth was critically injured when a highly flammable fuel they were handling exploded at an industrial site Tuesday morning. The men, who were thrown several yards from the loading dock where they were transferring acetylene into small tanks, worked for Acetylene Service Co. The blast was felt in Staten Island, N.Y., according to some reports. Ten other workers at the warehouse in an industrial complex near Route 440 were not harmed. The men were transferring acetylene from large tanks into hundreds of smaller tanks that were in three tractor trailers when a hose leaked and one of the smaller cylinders blew up, said fire Chief Larry Cattano. A cause of the leak was not immediately known, he said. Acetylene is a colorless, flammable gas widely used as a fuel in welding and cutting metals. Killed instantly were Enio Perez, 32, and Pablo Morillo, 29. German Gonzalez Vasquez, 46, was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark. The injured man, Giovanni Pena Gomez, suffered traumatic blast injuries and was hit by flying debris. He was listed in critical condition Tuesday afternoon at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center.


Searchers recover bodies in crane collapse

BRAINTREE, Mass.— Searchers sifting through rubble Thursday recovered the bodies of two workers killed when enormous steel beams came crashing down on a building at a former shipyard. The recovered bodies were identified as those of Elvis Munoz, 44, of Lawrence, and David P. May, 36, of Manchester, N.H., the Norfolk District Attorney's office said. Autopsies were planned for Friday. Several other workers were injured Wednesday when a piece of the giant metal frame that once held up to 22 shipbuilding cranes collapsed onto the building at the Fore River Shipyard, about 10 miles south of Boston on the Quincy-Braintree line. The workers had been inside the building removing asbestos.


Golf course worker dies after cart crashes into lake in Tamarac

TAMARAC, FL – A 42-year-old maintenance worker at the private Woodmont Country Club was killed Tuesday morning after his cart went into a lake on the golf course, the Broward Sheriff's Office said. Here's what Coleman-Wright said happened: Around 9:45 a.m. a small group of women were golfing near the seventh hole of the country club, which is near the intersection of Southgate Boulevard and Pine Island Road, and spotted a body floating in a small lake. One of them called 911.


Worker found unconscious at job site dies

SYCAMORE TWP. - A construction worker died Tuesday after he was found face down and unconscious at a construction site. Authorities said they do not know how Rodney H. Watkins, 38, of Lawrenceburg, died. An autopsy will be performed. Watkins was working alone on the second floor of a construction site behind Cincinnati Animal Referral & Emergency Center, 6995 E. Kemper Road, when another construction worker found him about 2:30 p.m., according to Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.


OSHA to probe fatal accident in Waukegan

Chicago, IL- A federal agency is investigating the death of a construction worker hospitalized for 10 days after he was pinned between two pieces of machinery in Waukegan, officials said Tuesday. Lloyd Ainsworth, 59, of Crystal Lake died at 5:30 a.m. Monday in Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. He was injured around 8 a.m. Jan. 14 while trying to use a backhoe to jump-start a dump truck at a construction site at 180 Sea Horse Drive, according to Michael Lock, regional vice president for Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., which had hired Ainsworth through the local union.


Detective dies from crash injuries

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - A Lawrenceburg detective who crashed his cruiser early Tuesday while responding to a call has died, Indiana State Police said this morning. Thomas L. Cochran, 56, of Aurora was pronounced dead at University Hospital at 1:53 a.m. today as a result of injuries from the crash, a hospital spokeswoman said this morning.


Man killed in Artesia concrete plant mishap

ARTESIA, Miss. - A West Point man has been killed in a conveyor belt accident at the Holcim Concrete Plant in Artesia. Randy G. Vibrock Sr., 49, was pronounced dead on the scene at the manufacturing facility, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said Tuesday. Vibrock came in to work and went down into the hole at the plant, said Merchant. Plant officials suspected something was not right when Vibrock did not emerge for lunch and to relieve someone in the control room. Merchant said Holcim officials discovered that Vibrock had been caught up in a 42-inch conveyor belt. "It appears his clothing got caught in the machine," Merchant said. A toxicology test, performed as part of a standard procedure, showed there was no indication of alcohol or drug use. An autopsy will not be performed, Merchant said. Holcim (US) Inc. is one of the largest cement manufacturers in the United States.


2 teens accused of killing cabdriver

SPRING VALLEY, NY — Two village teenagers were charged yesterday with murdering a cabdriver during an attempted armed robbery last week. Valery LaTouche, 19, of 30 Columbus Ave. and Brandon L. Dixon, 17, of 4 Schevchenko Place, pleaded not guilty in village Justice Court to second-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery in the Jan. 20 shooting of Vismick Pierre, 47, a Haitian immigrant who worked two jobs to support his girlfriend and their 3-year-old son. Police were searching for a third young man in connection with the shooting. Pierre died Jan. 21 following emergency surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital for a bullet wound to his left side that the county medical examiner said severed major arteries in his abdomen.


City employee killed unloading salt in Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. A city worker in Poughkeepsie died yesterday while unloading salt from a snowplow. Police say the 43-year-old Department of Public Works employee was killed shortly after four in the afternoon in an apparent accident at a storage shed. The man -- whose name wasn't immediately released -- was pronounced dead at a Poughkeepsie hospital.


Worker who shot three, killed himself at Jeep plant gave no hint of violence

TOLEDO, Ohio A spokeswoman for Jeep's parent company says the employee who killed a supervisor and injured two others before killing himself gave no indications "something like this would happen." The shooting took place last night at the company's plant in Toledo, Ohio. The spokeswoman says the gunman -- identified as Myles Meyers -- had met on Tuesday with his bosses and union leaders to talk about a problem at work. She says it appeared then "the issue had been resolved amicably."


City sanitation worker killed

Rochester, NY- A city sanitation worker was killed Thursday morning after he was pinned underneath his garbage truck. The accident happened around 8:30 a.m. on Highland Avenue. Michael Sanguedolce, a 21 year city employee, was driving what the city calls a one-man vehicle. City Attorney Linda Kingsley says there were other garbage trucks in the area, but no one witnessed the accident. “We had a major tragedy. One of our sanitation workers was killed this morning under his truck on Highland Avenue. I just got that news 20 minutes ago. We must certainly send our condolences to the family of the city employee who died on duty,” said Mayor William Johnson.


Fatal fall at docks

San Mateo, CA- An employee unloading cargo from a ship at the Port of Redwood City fell 25 feet to his death yesterday morning. Robert Joseph Padgett, 56, of San Francisco fell from a catwalk suspended above a ship and died when he hit the deck below, according to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office. Padgett’s fall was the result of a broken pin in the catwalk, according to a report filed by his employer, Metropolitan Stevedore Services, to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.


Construction company CEO killed on the job

THE VILLAGES, FL — The 49-year-old owner of a Lady Lake construction company died Monday after falling from the top of a building being worked on in The Villages, police said. Lt. Bobby Caruthers with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said Leo P. Steinmetz, president and chief executive officer of Steinmetz Construction and Development Inc., fell from the roof of the Hampton Inn being constructed on County Road 466. Caruthers said a witness told police that Steinmetz was hoisted to the top floor of the building by a lift crane. After that, the witness did not see Steinmetz so ran downstairs and discovered Steinmetz on the ground with severe injuries. Emergency responders received a call at 2:13 p.m. Monday, and arrived to find Steinmetz bleeding from the nose and mouth and covered in massive bruises, Caruthers said.


Batesville man killed in Izard farming accident

Salem, AR- An Independence County man was killed Jan. 17 in a farming accident at the Johnny Branscum chicken farm on Highway 177 near Dolph. Gabriel Ayala, 24, was crushed between a forklift and a long bed trailer filled with caged chickens. Ayala was rushed from the Branscum farm to the Community Medical Center in Calico Rock where he was pronounced dead at 2:06 a.m.


T worker killed by Orange Line train identified-2 others injured at Wellington

MEDFORD, Mass.-- An MBTA worker was killed Thursday night when he and two co-workers were hit by an inbound Orange Line train while they were clearing snow from tracks at the Wellington station in Medford. Signal engineer Obioma Nna, 46, of Framingham, was killed. Michael Mason, 53, of Halifax, and Peter Lee, 46, of Wakefield, were injured when the train hit them around 7 p.m., T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. A weekend blizzard, followed by a midweek storm, had dumped more than two feet of snow on the region.


Employee killed in forklift accident at company in Elkridge

Elkridge, MD- A PERI Formwork Systems Inc. worker was killed Wednesday after a forklift ran over him at the concrete-forming company in Elkridge, according to the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Agency. An employee was operating a forklift about 2:20 p.m. at 7141 Dorsey Run Road and apparently did not see Steven Francis Wall, 45, of the 200 block of Thomas Manor Lane in Forest Hill, and ran over him, said Linda Sherman, an agency spokeswoman.


Steelworker dies after accident

LORAIN, OH -- A female steelworker died from injuries suffered in an industrial accident yesterday afternoon at Republic Engineered Products Inc., according to the coroner and mill officials. Velma Burnette, 47, of Lorain, who was working in the bar mill in the east portion of the plant, had massive trauma after being trapped by a load of steel, according to rescue workers who responded to the accident.


Dump truck kills worker

Annapolis, MD- A 31-year-old construction worker was killed yesterday after he was crushed beneath the wheels of a dump truck in Annapolis, city police said. The accident happened at 3:15 p.m. at a construction site at Forest Drive and Hicks Avenue. Jose Alfredo Lopez of Silver Spring was pronounced dead at the scene.


Pr. George's Cabdriver Dies of His Wounds

Edmund Sowah was disciplined, his colleagues said yesterday -- a quiet and humble man who worked many hours a day. As one of 600 cabdrivers in Prince George's County, he was accustomed to the grueling shifts, the late-night rides from one dangerous street to another... Sowah is the second cabdriver slain in seven months in Prince George's. In July, Arshad Mahmood, also 45, was killed on an Oxon Hill street. He also was found inside his taxi, its engine running. He had been dispatched moments before the 11 p.m. shooting to the Southern Avenue Metro station, on the District-Prince George's line. That case has not been solved.


Woman shot dead; co-worker charged

ROCKLAND, MN - A woman was shot to death Friday and her husband dodged bullets outside their trucking business after a lunchtime meeting to end her romantic relationship with a company driver, police said. The driver, Douglas Dyer, 31, of Friendship, fled in his pickup truck moments after Allison Small, 30, of Vinalhaven collapsed on a snow-covered parking lot outside the building at 61 New County Road. Her husband, Brandon Small, 28, was shot at but escaped injury and called police.


Boiling Springs Lake officer killed during traffic stop

BOILING SPRINGS LAKE, N.C. - A police officer was shot with his own weapon and killed early Tuesday when a struggle ensued after he learned the driver he stopped was wanted on a probation violation, authorities said.

Officer Mitch Prince, 36, was killed during a traffic stop on N.C. 87 shortly after 1 a.m., said Boiling Springs Lake police Chief Richard White.


Ceres police officer dead, second wounded in gunbattle

CERES, Calif -- One police officer is dead and a second in critical condition after a gun battle in the community of Ceres (SEER'-eez) last night.

Ceres police say Sergeant Howard Stevenson died from injuries he suffered during the exchange of fire outside a supermarket around 8:30 last night. Officer Sam Ryno suffered several gunshot wounds and is critical condition at an area hospital.


Brothers Appear In Court Over Fatal Stabbing

HONOLULU -- Two brothers charged in a deadly Waipahu stabbing made their first appearance in court.

Edilberto Tagari has been charged with second-degree murder. His brother, Enrico Tagari, was charged with hindering prosecution.

Police were called to Island Landscaping and Maintenance Thursday night when an employee stabbed and killed a fellow co-worker, Ronal Balon, 26, according to police.


Questions Remain Unanswered In Death of Fallen Texas Firefighter

BAYTOWN, TX — The questions that remain about the house fire that killed Baytown firefighter Nito Guajardo Dec. 20 will likely be answered, but not soon, said state fire officials.

Guajardo died while fighting a fire at a County Club Oaks home on the Monday before Christmas. The cause of the fire and how Guajardo died are still unknown.


FATAL STORE SHOOTING; $100,000 in jewelry gone;

Glenn Head, NY -- The man who fatally shot an employee inside an upscale Glen Head jewelry store Tuesday afternoon escaped with more than $100,000 worth of merchandise, Nassau police said yesterday.

An inventory revealed that assorted jewelry, most of it diamond rings, was missing from J&J Jewels on Glen Head Road, said Det. Lt. Dennis Farrell, commanding officer of the Homicide Squad. Detectives believe the robber must have had some sort of bag to carry the jewelry as he fled after firing several rounds at Thomas Renison, 48, of Glen Cove, the store owners' son-in-law.

Renison, the father of two teens, suffered five bullet wounds to the chest area, all the rounds striking vital organs, Farrell said. He was pronounced dead at North Shore University Hospital in Glen Cove about a half hour after the shooting, which took place at 4:30 p.m.


Lincoln man killed in construction accident near Norfolk

Lincoln, NE -- A Lincoln man was killed when a co-worker driving a dump truck accidentally ran him over in a construction area north of Norfolk, the Nebraska State Patrol said.

David Zavala, 42, was removing debris from a roadside Tuesday afternoon when a co-worker backing up a dump truck accidentally ran him over, the patrol said.

The Pierce County attorney's office was investigating the accident, which happened six miles north of Norfolk near the junction of U.S. Highway 81 and state Highway 13.



Worker dies after falling from roof

Moreno Valley, CA -- A Rialto construction worker died Saturday after he fell off a roof while on the job in Moreno Valley, the Riverside County coroner's office said. The man was identified as Santos Escanuela, 54.

The roof was under construction at a housing-tract site at Camino Del Rey, officials said. Officials did not release any further information about the location.


Gas station clerk slain in robbery identified

New Orleans, LA -- A clerk who was killed Saturday during the robbery of an eastern New Orleans gas station was identified Sunday by the Orleans Parish coroner's office.

An autopsy showed that L.J. James, 56, of New Orleans died of a single gunshot wound to the head, said John Gagliano, the coroner's chief investigator.

Three men entered the Chevron station at 10422 Chef Menteur Highway on Saturday about 8:30 p.m., demanded money, shot James and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.


Neighborhood Mourns Slain Store Owner

Beverly Hills, CA -- Two people carrying guns and wearing masks barged into a liquor store near the Beverly Center on Saturday, killing the owner with a gunshot to his face, surveillance footage released by police showed.

The armed robbery took place about 8:45 a.m. at the St. Regis Liquor store at 3rd Street and Orlando Avenue.

Police said the robbers, who were dressed in black, demanded money before killing Jae Yang, 59, of Oxnard, who had been standing behind the counter helping a customer.


2nd driver sought in fatal crash

Pasco, FL -- The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for a dark-colored coupe thought to be involved in an accident that killed a Pinellas County construction worker on Monday.

The victim, Brian Kearns, 50, was reaching into a toolbox on a road striping vehicle about 2:10 p.m. when a Dodge Neon SRT traveling south on U.S. 19 crossed three lanes of traffic and struck the construction worker.

Two hours later, Kearns died of the injuries he sustained in the crash. He was among a group of construction workers hired by the state Department of Transportation to stripe a stretch a highway, south of Sealawn Drive in Spring Hill.

Michelle Mayberry of United Rental Highway Technologies, where Kearns worked, said he could not say how long Kearns was employed by the Clearwater company and declined to talk about Monday's accident.


Big Rig Rolls Forward, Traps and Kills Owner

Orange Country, CA -- A man was crushed by his big rig Monday when he started the engine and the truck rolled forward, trapping him against a block wall, police said.

The accident killed Gary Morner, 55, of Orange about 6:30 a.m. in the 500 block of Batavia Street, said Sgt. Dave Hill.

Police said that after Morner leaned inside the driver-side window to start the ignition and then got in front of the truck to work on it, the truck rolled forward. He had apparently left the truck in gear and failed to set the brakes.


North Dakota man electrocuted at oil pipeline site

Trenton, ND -- A backhoe struck an unmarked electrical line at an oil pipeline site, electrocuting a worker, Williams County officials say.

Brian Loken, 45, of Bowman, died at the scene late Friday morning, Capt. Bob Stancel said.

The backhoe was unearthing the pipeline for maintenance when it struck the electrical line just northeast of the MonDak Bridge, about 10 miles southwest of Trenton, Stancel said.

"Loken was outside the trench and went to investigate what struck and was electrocuted," Stancel said


Trains collide, cause fatality

Riverside, CA -- A crew member was killed and at least four others injured when two trains collided head-on in dense fog Friday morning east of the Salton Sea, officials said.

The collision resulted in the derailment of five locomotives and seven rail cars.

Initially, it was reported that none of the injured, all crew members, sustained life-threatening injuries, although one had to be transported from the crash site by helicopter, authorities said. Kenneth Leonard, 44, of Monrovia was pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m. at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, according to a Riverside County sheriff-coroner news release.


Four charged in killing of newspaper deliveryman

Atlanta, GA -- Four suspects have been arrested in the killing of a 27-year-old man who was fatally shot while delivering newspapers in DeKalb County.

Ulice Carl Walker was found dead shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday in his SUV, which had careened off the road and hit a tree. Walker was delivering papers for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.


Investigators visiting Sherwin plant U.S. officials notified within hour of death

Corpus Christi, TX -- Work safety investigators are expected to return to the Sherwin Alumina plant in Gregory following the death of a contract worker killed in an accident Thursday and their initial visit on Friday.

Ronald Benavides, 36, was one of a three-man crew that was cleaning a lime slacker tank, a tank that holds a lime solution used at the plant.

Steve Hutchins, investigator for the San Patricio County Sheriff's Department, said the caustic material is in a fluid form most of the time, but when the liquid drains, it solidifies. Benavides was using a high-pressure water hose to take the solidified material off the tank.

"They took the door off the bottom of the tank and left the door off during the night to get some of the product out," Hutchins said. "The next morning, Benavides was shooting (the water) into the door trying to break up the product when it broke loose and came out all at one time."

Hutchins said Benavides was knocked off his feet and fell under some valves and pipes, where he was submerged in the hydrated lime slurry.


Heavy machinery accident is fatal to man

Sallisaw, OK -- A Sallisaw man who was operating a 60-foot "skyboom" was killed Tuesday morning when the piece of heavy equipment fell off a wrecker.

Ricky Alan Smith, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene, state troopers said.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that a 1989 Simon 60-foot skyboom, operated by Smith, was being loaded onto a wrecker that had a 36-foot tilt trailer while it was parked on private property about 10 miles north of Vian in Cherokee County.

As the skyboom was being loaded, a chain holding the tilted trailer broke. The trailer fell back to the wrecker's frame, causing the machinery on it to bounce.

Smith was thrown from the boom's lift bucket onto the ground, and the boom landed on him when it bounced a second time, troopers reported.


LeRoy man killed farm accident near Adams

ADAMS, Minn. - A 39-year-old LeRoy man died in a farm accident when a skid loader slid onto him at his brother's rural home near this southeastern Minnesota town.

Gary Gerard Smith was pinned under the machine when he was found about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday by his brother, Ricky Smith, 42.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said Gary Smith was not breathing and didn't have a pulse when he was found. Ricky Smith performed CPR, she said.

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