Sunday, June 05, 2005

Weekly Toll

Accident kills elevator installer

WESTFIELD, MA - A 42-year-old Spencer man, installing an elevator at The Arbors assisted-living complex on Court Street, died from injuries Thursday after it started to move.

Glenn Martin, a Bay State Elevator Co. employee, was pronounced dead at Noble Hospital shortly after the accident, which was reported at 2:05 p.m., police said.

Martin's death, the city's second workplace death in as many days, is being investigated by the federal Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, police said.

Steamroller flips, killing operator in Salem

SALEM, MA - A 23-year old Beverly man died Friday morning after being crushed by the steamroller he was operating.

Josue Villatoro, 43 Roundy St., was piloting a blacktop roller at Hillcrest Chevrolet on Highland Avenue shortly after 9 a.m. Friday when the vehicle rolled over, crushing Villatoro.

Man dies following accident at rock quarry

Winchester, KY -- A Mt. Sterling man employed by The Allen Company Inc., 131 Jefferson St., died Tuesday after an accident at the Boonesboro Quarry, Madison County.

The victim was identified as James Edward Woosley.

Allen Company secretary and treasurer Bob Beam said no information on the accident could be released because an investigation by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, is pending.

Villatoro was working for Middleton-based contractor Pavement Inc. at the time of the accident. Coworkers attempted to revive Villatoro, who was clear of the machine after it flipped, according to police, but the man subsequently died of his injuries shortly after being transported to North Shore Medical Center.

"Initial investigation shows that the roller came close to the edge and rolled over, crushing Villatoro," said Salem Detective Tom Brennan.


MILL VALLEY -- Mill Valley police said today a Mill Valley Golf Course groundskeeper died Thursday when a grass mower he was riding went off a 20-foot embankment into a creek bed at the golf course.

Police identified him as 36-year-old Earl Milligan of Rohnert Park. The accident was discovered around 11:11 a.m. near the ninth tee, police said.

Milligan was found beneath the mower and was pronounced dead at the scene. He worked for the city-owned course for 15 years, according to the Parks and Recreation Department. He leaves a wife and middle-school-age daughter.

Lt. Hipolito Nunez said yesterday that Martin was working underneath the elevator when "for some reason it started" to move and Martin somehow got caught.

A co-worker inside the elevator unsuccessfully tried to shut off the power, jumped off the moving car and ran downstairs to the main power shut-off, Nunez said.

Worker dies from second-story fall at apartment construction site

THE WOODLANDS, TX - A construction worker died Thursday morning after falling from the second floor of an apartment complex under construction on Texas 242.

The man, whose identity was withheld by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department pending notification of next of kin, was an employee of Global Construction Company L.L.C. of Houston.

The company declined comment about the incident Thursday afternoon.
Rescue workers were called to the Pine Creek Apartments on Texas 242 at 8:06 a.m. Thursday.

"When we arrived on scene, we found a Hispanic male lying in the parking lot area with an obvious head wound," said Lt. Jimmie Springer, with The Woodlands Fire and Rescue.

Springer said the man was attempting to breath when rescue workers arrived on the scene, but he went into cardiac arrest as Montgomery County Hospital District paramedics loaded him into the ambulance.

Construction diver dies in drainage pipe in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON, FL — A 29-year-old laborer who apparently became trapped as he worked in an underground drainage pipe Thursday died inside the water-filled culvert despite the efforts of dozens of rescue workers.

Ciro Cardenas Jr.'s family watched divers and rescue crews work for nearly five hours to try to locate him in the 215-foot pipe and adjoining retention pond.

Rescue crews stand by as divers enter the water. A co-worker said Cardenas planned a 10-minute dive, possibly to clean out the pipe.

At about 11:40 a.m., Cardenas, equipped with scuba gear and a wet suit, descended into the 36-inch-diameter pipe at the construction site of Vistazo of Boca Raton at Spanish River Boulevard and Northwest Fifth Avenue, Boca Raton Fire-Rescue spokesman Frank Correggio said.

A co-worker told officials Cardenas had planned a 10-minute dive, possibly to clean out the pipe. The co-worker called 911 after 20 minutes.

At 4:25 p.m., rescue workers glimpsed his lifeless feet and hands on video captured by an underwater camera they had manipulated into the pipe. He was about 26 feet in, but divers couldn't reach him because a mound of silt and sand had accumulated between Cardenas and the mouth of the pipe, according to diver Tony Ojea, a Delray Beach fire-rescue lieutenant.

Accident kills Chicopee man

WESTFIELD, MA - A worker at a manufacturing company on Apremont Way died Wednesday as a result of head injuries suffered when he was caught in a machine, police said.

Qui Nguyn, 37, of 34 Ednsons Court, Chicopee, was pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield following the accident, which was reported at about 8:30 a.m.

Nguyn was an employee of Berkshire Industries Inc., at 109 Apremont Way.

Lt. Michael A. McCabe of the Westfield Police Detective Bureau said Nguyn suffered extensive injuries when his head got caught in a machine.

Abandoned pipe packs deadly blast

ZAPATA, TX — It was one of thousands of abandoned pipes in one of the state's leading natural gas production areas. And it needed to be cut.

The workers thought the pressure had bled outbbb, managers said, so they attached the manual cutters onto the pipe and moved it around and around. That triggered a force so massive it blew the clothes off of some laborers and launched Augustine Alaniz a distance of about 40 feet, killing him instantly.

Two other workers are being treated in nearby hospitals for broken bones and abrasions from the explosion Wednesday in a remote natural gas field near here, said Luis Gonzalez, partial owner of Kobra Sales and Services Inc., the contractor Alaniz worked for.

Alaniz, 31, of Zapata, who was known as Augie, earned about $7 an hour as a laborer. He is the seventh person killed in a South Texas oil or natural gas field since October, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating this incident.

Kobra, a 2-year-old company, hasn't been cited previously by OSHA.

Area man killed when dirt wall collapses at construction site

Benton, Arkansas -- A Traskwood man employed by Nalco Construction Co. of Benton was killed Wednesday afternoon when a dirt wall collapsed as workers were digging a ditch for a sewer line.

The victim was identified as Cecil Griffin, 35, of 7918 Highway 299. Griffin's wife, Jo Ann, is an employee in the Benton Courier mail room.

Hobby said he was "digging at the site when I turned around to take another scoop, and then the bank fell in on him and I started to dig him out to get to him."

Price, the backhoe operator, said he was setting gravel when he turned around and saw the ditch cave in. At that point, he said he and other employees "started to dig Cecil out."

Other witnesses reported that the employees had not used a steel brace designed to prevent dirt from caving in. The police department report does not include any reference to this equipment.

Methane Drill Rig Blast Kills 2 in Kansas

Montgomery County, KS -- A methane drilling rig exploded Thursday, killing two workers and seriously wounding another, authorities said.

Drillers had reached only 20 feet when a pipe at the rear of the rig exploded, said Nancy McPherson, co-owner of the family company that owned the rig.

The two men who were killed apparently were working on the pipe at the time. The injured man was hit by shrapnel, but McPherson said he was able to shut down the equipment and call for help. The rig was being used to drill for coalbed methane gas.

KDOT worker killed

A Kansas Department of Transportation worker picking up trash alongside US-75 highway just south of N.W. 35th Street was struck by a car and killed Wednesday morning.

Marvin Scott McDonald III, 24, of Topeka, was a temporary employee of KDOT who began working as an equipment operator at the Area Four office in Topeka in December, said KDOT spokesman Joe Blubaugh.

Alabama coal mine shut down after fatality

A west Alabama coal mine was shut down Thursday following a late-night accident that killed an electrician who was working underground.

Robert A. Patilla, 42, of Fayette was the first worker killed at the North River Mine, operated by the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co., since at least 1995, according to records from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Tyron Hicks, the mine's personnel director, said it was unclear what occurred in the accident, which happened after the start of a shift at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Steelworker dies in fall at Saline site

A steelworker died after falling nearly three stories at a construction site on Saline's west side Tuesday morning, officials said.

Gregg Creech, 36, of Livonia, was fatally injured when he fell from a steel girder atop a car dealership under construction at Michigan Avenue and Austin Road about 7:45 a.m., said Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten.

Several witnesses either heard Creech hit the ground or saw him fall head first, Bunten said, including one who said Creech was walking alone on a steel beam and he lost his balance when his foot hit one of the bolts.

Creech was employed by the Acker Steel Co.

Moorpark construction worker killed in trench collapse

MOORPARK, Calif. Authorities say a construction worker was killed today in Moorpark when a trench he was digging collapsed.

It happened shortly before noon. Ventura County fire officials say the equipment operator was digging a 17-foot-deep trench for a sewer line when it collapsed, burying him.

Officials say the sewer line was being installed for the offices of Sharma Construction.

Cement worker killed in misshap

A cement truck driver was killed in an industrial accident within the 2800 block of Wagon Trail Road when he was struck in the head by the truck's rotating cylinder while he was checking his cargo.

Pearland Police reported that Clinton Brown, 48, had climbed onto a ladder on the rear side of the vehicle to check on the concrete's consistency, when his head was "caught and pinned, killing him instantly."

Brown was an independent contractor and was not an employee of the Alfa Ready Mix and Material, where the accident occurred.

Washington County Worker Crushed By Sheet Of Steel

TOWN OF KEWASKUM, Wis. -- A worker at a Washington County gravel quarry died Monday after he was crushed by a sheet of steel. Sheriff's authorities said the 57-year-old Berlin man was working at Michaels Materials quarry when the steel fell from a truck that was being loaded. The medical examiner said the man died at the scene.

Carnival Worker Struck by Ride Dies

Los Angeles, CA- Walter Vofrei, 43, of Colton died of massive head injuries when he was struck by machinery at 9:42 p.m. at a street fair on Reseda and Victory boulevards, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the cause of the accident, police said. "It was ruled an industrial accident," said LAPD Officer Sandra Escalante.

Parsonsburg farmer killed in forklift accident

PARSONSBURG, MD -- A 59-year-old Parsonsburg farmer was killed in an accident with a forklift early Monday morning at his property on Seymore Lane, according to police. William Albert Riall was struck by a forklift at his farm shortly after 1 a.m., said 1st Sgt. Lee Fisher of the Maryland State Police in Salisbury. Fisher said the incident is being ruled an industrial accident. "He was run over by a forklift that was removing the chickens from his chicken house," she said. Riall was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Law enforcement officials weren't releasing the identity of the forklift operator Monday.

Apartment worker shot

KANSAS CITY, KAN.- A tenant of the Wyandotte Towers shot and killed an employee of the high-rise apartment building that is home to elderly and disabled persons, police said Tuesday. Police identified the victim as Robert Floyd Sr., 53, of Kansas City, Kan. The shooting occurred about 7:35 a.m. inside the building at 915 Washington Blvd. When police arrived, they found Floyd dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Police had taken a female resident into custody.

Porterville Officer Killed in Accident

Porterville, CA -- An officer with the Porterville Police Department is dead after an accident early Monday morning.

The CHP says the deadly crash happened before 5:00am Monday morning near Lindsay.

Authorities say officer Michael Zamora was driving down the road in his own car, when he swerved and hit a farm labor van head-on. Zamora, along with two in the labor van, were killed and four others were critically injured.

Police are not sure what caused Zamora to swerve.

Worker dies after falling from building

Charlotte,NC- A construction worker died Tuesday afternoon after falling from an apartment building roof in the University City area, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police said Fidel Loera Ornelas fell from a roof at 419 Michelle Linnea Drive near Mallard Creek Church Road about 4:30 p.m.The man was part of a roofing crew working on the apartment complex, police said. Ornelas, who suffered a severe head injury, was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center, they said.

Worker's death at quarry under investigation

Kewaskum, WI--Berlin man, 57, killed when metal slab falls on him at pit in Town of Kewaskum. Federal officials on Tuesday were continuing their investigation into the death of a 57-year-old Berlin man at the Michels Materials gravel quarry here a day earlier. According to a preliminary accident report released Tuesday by the Washington County Sheriff's Department, a chain used to lift a sheet of steel onto a flatbed trailer was unhooked just moments before the metal slab toppled off the side of the trailer and onto the victim, identified as David A. Randall.

Two Dead Following Accident In Darke County

OSGOOD, Ohio -- Two people are dead following an accident that happened late Tuesday night on Sherman Road in Darke County. Authorities said shortly before midnight a driver stopped to help a farmer who was working on his broken-down tractor. Investigators said a car slammed into the farmer, killing him. The driver of the car was also killed in the accident. Authorities said the person helping the farmer jumped out of the way and did not suffer any injuries.

Driver killed in Interstate 93 crash

THORNTON, NH — A 34-year-old Vermont man was killed instantly Wednesday afternoon after losing control of a tractor-trailer while traveling north on Interstate 93 just before the Thornton/Woodstock town line. Steven R. Seaver of White River Junction, Vt., was pronounced dead at the scene just after 12 p.m. when the tractor-trailer he was driving rolled into the guardrail. The 2005 Freightliner truck was towing a semi-trailer full of garbage. Seaver was an employee of Justin Excavation of West Lebanon, the company that owned the truck. In a preliminary on-scene investigation, State Police said they believe Seaver tried to correct truck's path as it began to veer toward the shoulder of the road. Police said the attempt was unsuccessful and the truck then rolled over and crashed into the guardrails.

Krystal manager dies months after being shot

Savannah,GA- A Garden City woman died Friday from injuries sustained during an armed robbery more than nine months ago. Fe Hope Ricord, 54, was shot during a robbery at the Krystal on Ga. 21, Garden City Police Chief David Lyons said. Police now are investigating the incident as a homicide.

Suspect arrested in jewelry-shop owner's killing

Orlando, FL- The highly publicized killing of a jeweler on Thursday produced tips from the public that helped lead to the arrest of a supsect, the Orange County Sheriff Office said today. Detectives found the teenager sitting outside the county jail waiting to surrender and face charges for the shooting death of Greg Puzon, Cpl. Carlos Torres said. Rodrigo Burgues, 19, told detectives he shot Puzon in a struggle while trying to rob Orlando Custom Jewelers on South Orange Blossom Trail, Torres said. Burgues said he fled without taking anything.

Feds probe fatal accident at Paulding County plant

HAVILAND, Ohio - The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a Van Wert man who was injured Wednesday at a Paulding County factory. William Thomas, 59, died at Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne, Ind., after an accident at Haviland Drainage Products. Witnesses said Mr. Thomas was driving a lift truck that skidded off a loading dock and trapped him underneath.

Worker dies in Charleroi accident

A 45-year-old Butler County construction worker died yesterday from injuries he suffered during a workplace accident in Charleroi. Bobby Allan Jordan II was found unresponsive in the bottom of a ditch at a construction site where he was working. He was pronounced dead at Allegheny General Hospital about 12:35 p.m., said the Allegheny County coroner. His death was ruled accidental.

DPS trooper struck in head during drill dies

AUSTIN, TX — A Texas Department of Public Safety trainee died Friday, more than a week after he was struck in the head during a training exercise. Trooper trainee Jimmy Ray Carty Jr., 29, of Grand Saline underwent emergency surgery May 19 following his injury during an arrest and control tactics drill. DPS spokesman Lisa Block said she did not know how or what Carty was struck with. Block did not know the cause of death. An official at Brackenridge Hospital, where Carty was admitted, would not release any details.

Small plane crashes at Oklahoma City airport

YUKON, Okla. A ground crew member at the Oklahoma airport where a small airplane crashed during an air race today has died.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration says the worker was killed when he fell out of the back of a pickup truck racing to the single-engine plane that lost power and crashed.

Trench collapse leaves man dead, Simpsonville subdivision without water

A 24-year-old man was killed when a trench collapsed, burying the man and leaving one Simpsonville subdivision without water or sewer service for at least part of the weekend.

Lester Millwood was doing sewer line work Friday in a nearly 15-foot deep trench with his uncle when the walls apparently collapsed and buried him under four feet of dirt.

Rescuers tried to reach Millwood, but he was pronounced dead five hours after the trench collapsed Friday afternoon. Millwood's uncle, Roy Millwood, was treated and released from Greenville Memorial Hospital.

The men were working for Whitesides Construction of Duncan.

Courtesy Patrol driver killed while helping stranded motorist

WESTOVER, W.Va. -- A West Virginia Courtesy Patrol driver was killed and a tow truck driver was critically injured about 5 a.m. Thursday after they were hit by a vehicle on Interstate 79 while helping a stranded motorist.

Witnesses said that as the men were securing a car onto the tow truck, a minivan ran off the highway, hitting the Courtesy Patrol vehicle, the tow truck and the two victims.

The courtesy patrol driver, Roy Wayne Fancher of Thornton, was pronounced dead at the scene. The tow truck driver, Gary Joseph of Morgantown, was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he was in critical condition Thursday.

Trucker fell asleep before hitting tunnel

WHEELING , WV- State Police identified the trucker who was killed when his tractor-trailer exploded at the entrance to the Wheeling Tunnel on Tuesday morning as Pedro Neri, 58, of Pacoima, Calif.

Investigators believe Neri fell asleep then struck the wall near the entrance to the westbound lanes of the tunnel on Interstate 70, but they are waiting for the results of an autopsy, Trooper Scott Zimmerman of the Wheeling Detachment said.

Neri's rig, which was pulling an empty trailer, burst into flames at the entrance, killing him and damaging the tunnel.

Trucker killed on I-64 near Sandstone exit

SANDSTONE, WV - A Jackson County man was killed when his tractor-trailer wrecked on Interstate 64 early Tuesday morning, a Summers County dispatcher said.

Eddie Myers, 44, of Cottageville, was killed when his eastbound tractor-trailer ran into the median and flipped about 3:45 a.m. near the Sandstone exit, the dispatcher said.


MOJAVE, CA - A Bakersfield tire company employee was killed when his heavy-duty pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 58 and drove off an overpass onto the roadway below.

David Junior McCants, 43, of Bakersfield was dead when rescue crews reached site of the crash, which happened about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday about 10 miles west of Mojave, investigators said.

“He was thrown from the vehicle because he was not wearing a seat belt,'' California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Kloss said.

The 1999 Ford F-450 truck owned by Parkhouse Tires Inc. had been eastbound on Highway 58 at 75 to 90 mph, weaving in and out of lanes and occasionally drifting into the center divider, CHP officers said.


MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, PA -- A tree slammed into the cab of a crane clearing flood debris Tuesday at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, fatally injuring the operator.

Elmer R. Possinger, 51, of 261 Rim Rock Road, Hamilton Township, was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, said Lehigh County Coroner Scott M. Grim.

Possinger was the owner of E.F. Possinger and Sons, a Snydersville excavation and paving company under contract with the National Park Service for tree removal and excavation work.

Possinger was operating a crane removing an uprooted tree that fell on a historic springhouse on Freeman Tract Road in Middle Smithfield Township, said Bill Halainen, a park service spokesman.

Workers attached a chain to the trunk, and Possinger gave the go-ahead to cut the tree at its base. When it was cut it swung around, crashed through the glass of the crane's cab and hit Possinger in the head, Halainen said.

Crumbling wall kills construction worker

Salt Lake City, UT -- Whether it was caused by the pounding from his sledge hammer or something else isn't yet known. No one saw the cinder-block wall collapse onto Tomas Hernandez, though someone heard it.

By the time the wall was removed and Hernandez freed, it was too late. The 29-year-old construction worker from Salt Lake City was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The accident occurred about 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Swenson Building on the Weber State University campus in Ogden. Hernandez was working for MKP Enterprises, an interior demolition subcontractor.

Dan Pratt, vice president of Hughes General Contractors, said Hernandez was alone using a sledge hammer to remove a cinder block wall in the faculty locker room. Pratt estimated the wall was 7 feet tall, 8 feet long and 10 inches thick. The wall broke in half horizontally, and the top half fell onto Hernandez.

"It just virtually toppled over and pinned him to the floor," Pratt said.

Trucker dies in Rt. 287 accident

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -- A truck driver was killed in a fiery crash with another tractor-trailer on Route 287 early Wednesday morning.

State police in Somerset said a truck owned by Ser Max Express, of Quebec, Canada, struck the rear of another truck owned by Kinard Inc., of York, Pa., which was disabled on the right shoulder at milepost 28.8 on the southbound side of the highway. The accident was reported at 1:21 a.m.

Police said the cab of the truck that struck the disabled tractor-trailer burst into flames, trapping the driver and burning him beyond recognition. Police are trying to confirm his identity through dental records. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Somerset County medical examiner.

Worker killed on 23rd birthday while installing power lines

WRIGHT, Wyo. -- A Sundance man who was working on his 23rd birthday died when he apparently touched a power line.

Leslie Wallace Sipe was pronounced dead at the scene of Tuesday's accident, Campbell County undersheriff Scott Matheny said.

Matheny said Sipe was working for a company that was installing power lines along Savageton Road a few miles north of Wright on Highway 50, but authorities didn't immediately know the name of the company.

Matheny said Sipe had climbed a power poll and was working on one line when he apparently touched the charged line.


WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Dump trucker driver Eugenio Benito Moreno, 60, of West Palm Beach died early Tuesday when his truck collided with another truck on Florida's Turnpike, three miles south of PGA Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Moreno was not wearing his seat belt and was partially ejected from his truck's passenger-side window, said Lt. Pat Santangelo, FHP spokesman. His truck hit a semitrailer in the southbound lanes and struck and broke a concrete median wall about 5:30 a.m. He died at the scene.

Three construction workers killed as bus careens through work site in upstate New York

CASTLE CREEK, N.Y. -- Three construction workers were killed in the chain-reaction crash of a bus that careened through a highway work site in upstate New York. Police believe speed played a role in the accident.

The bus, carrying a college choral group, struck a motorcycle in front of it on Interstate 81 north of Binghamton on Friday morning. The bus then struck the rear of a tractor-trailer and veered into the right-hand lane, which was closed and under construction. There, it hit a cement mixer, and together the vehicles traveled about 75 feet across a bridge where the cement mixer struck another construction vehicle, state police said.

Construction workers Jason Pessoni, 30, of Cininnatus, and Jonathan Randall, 32, were killed Friday. Wayne Bonsell, 39, of Binghamton, died Saturday at Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center, hospital officials said.

The bus driver, Robert Smith, 57, of Ozark, Mo., was trapped in the wreckage for nearly two hours before he could be extricated. He was listed in critical condition Saturday.

Trooper killed in Sumter County crash

SUMTER, S.C. -- A state trooper was killed in a crash Monday when his cruiser was rear-ended by an armed robbery suspect on the run, authorities said.

Senior Trooper Jonathan W. Parker, 29, died in the crash about noon on state Highway 527 in Sumter County, according to a release from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said the suspect, Eric Shawn Ridel, would be charged with murder after he is released from a Columbia hospital. Dennis told The (Sumter) Item that the charge would be based on witness statements that Ridel intentionally crashed into Parker's parked patrol car, Dennis said.

Police began pursuing a robbery suspect in a red Thunderbird on Interstate 95. The chase came off the interstate and onto state Highway 527 in Sumter County, investigators said. The trooper's car was on the side of Highway 527 when it was hit by the suspect's car.

The trooper's car was pushed into trees and caught fire, investigators said.

Vigil held in Durham for slain store owner

DURHAM, NC -- Friday evening, Ahmed Raja was on a plane bound for Pakistan. He wanted to return to his wife and teenage son, but not this way.

Raja, 44, was fatally shot Tuesday inside the Hilltop Food Mart at 204 Hardee St. As his body moved over the ocean and home to the town of Gujar Khan, family and friends held a vigil.

"[The robbers] never gave him a chance," said Raja's cousin Muhammed Sajjad, pressing fingers over his eyes. "Not to speak. Not to give up."

Schnucks clerk killed by truck -- Pinned between semi and loading dock wall

Southaven, MO -- A receiving clerk for Schnucks in Southaven was killed Thursday morning when she was pinned between an 18-wheeler and a loading dock.

Rita Carol George, 56, was receiving a delivery from a Schnucks truck at the chain's supermarket at Goodman Road and Swinnea about 5:20 Thursday morning.

DeSoto County Coroner Jeffery Pounders said that as George removed the plastic seal from the rear door of the truck, the seal fell between the truck and the dock.

"The driver went ahead and unloaded the truck," he said. "The plan was that the driver would pull the truck up so the seal could be retrieved, then the truck would back up again so that George could re-seal the door.

"But unknown to the driver, George had gone out a side entrance and was behind the trailer when the driver backed up. The driver quickly pulled forward again after he had hit George, but attempts to revive her failed."

Parking lot worker's shooting a mystery

San Diego, CA -- A parking lot employee found shot last night died a short time later at a hospital, police said.

The wounded man was found about 11:10 p.m. in a parking lot at Kettner Boulevard and Vine Street in Midtown. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was declared dead about 20 minutes later, San Diego police said.

The victim was believed to be about 50 years old. Officers found no witnesses to the shooting, had no description of the shooter and did not immediately know a motive for the assault.

New York trucker dies in I-294 crash

THORNTON, IL -- The driver of a semitrailer truck involved in a multiple vehicle accident on southbound Interstate Highway 294 near Thornton was killed Wednesday when some of the steel beams he was hauling pierced the cab of his truck.

The driver from New York, who was not identified pending notification of his family, was in the last vehicle in a chain-reaction crash involving at least four semitrailer trucks, Illinois State Police said.

The impact was so great that the beams in the victim's truck went completely through the front of the cab and onto the flatbed truck ahead of it, police said. There were no immediate reports of additional injuries, and details of how the accident occurred were unavailable.

Chronicle vendor fatally hit by trailer

Houston, TX -- A Houston Chronicle newspaper vendor was fatally struck by a trailer in northwest Harris County early Tuesday morning.

Michael Wathen Carrico, 61, was working at the corner of Veterans Memorial and North Sam Houston Tollway about 5:30 a.m. when a man on Veterans Memorial who was stopped at a red light with other traffic waved him down for a paper.

Carrico, trying to make it past a heavy-duty truck hauling an open-bed trailer in the first of two southbound lanes at the intersection, ducked under the oversized gooseneck trailer hitch pulling the trailer. Just as he did, the light turned green and the driver of the truck proceeded southbound.

Carrico, who worked for an independent Chronicle distributor, was run over, officials said.

Two shot fatally in separate robberies -- Suspects sought in deaths of hotel clerk, bystander

A hotel clerk and a bystander at a flea market were killed in separate robberies Sunday.

About 7:30 p.m., a man entered the Deluxe Inn at 3733 Jackson and asked the clerk, Keshavbhai Patel, about weekly rental rates.

When Patel said rooms were not rented by the week, the man pulled out a pistol and demanded money, police said.

Patel, 44, ran to a rear office and shut the door, but the gunman fired through the door and hit Patel in the back of the head, killing him.

Trucker killed in hit-and-run

SAN BERNARDINO, CA -- A man officers allege was driving while drunk struck and killed a trucker early Sunday as he stood on a highway shoulder helping his brother, a fellow trucker, repair his big rig, officials said.

Martin Tora, 28, of LaMont, in central California, was hit about 5 a.m., near the Waterman Avenue exit off eastbound Highway 30, officials said. He had pulled over his semi an hour earlier when the truck he was following - driven by his brother - was involved in a minor accident, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Ortiz said.

Shooting suspect charged in officer's slaying

Genail Q. Postley Jr. is today charged with the murder of Battle Creek Police Department Detective LaVern Brann and assault on Detective Greg Huggett.

Calhoun County Prosecutor John Hallacy on Friday issued warrants charging Postley, 21, of Battle Creek, with open murder, assault with intent to murder, possession of a short barreled shotgun, being a felon in possession of a firearm, disarming a police officer and felony firearm.
The charges stem from the shooting death Monday of Brann and injury to Huggett in a hallway of Forest Hills Apartments on Battle Creek's south side.

Postley, 21, is alleged to have shot the detectives as they went to his mother's apartment to talk to her and her daughter about the investigation into the stabbing death April 26 of City Cab driver Unice Sharp. Postley is a suspect in that murder and could be charged as early as next week, Battle Creek Chief David Headings said.

Tipmont lineman is killed

WINGATE, IN - A lineman for Tipmont REMC died late Friday when he came in contact with a charged power line while repairing storm-damaged equipment.

Todd R. Smith, 34, of Lafayette died instantly when he touched a live wire while working in a boom on a Montgomery County road about 11:30 p.m., said Darren Forman, county coroner.

One co-worker was at the scene working on the ground nearby when the accident occurred, said Ken Ritchey, general manager for Tipmont.

Co-workers immediately began CPR and ambulance crews continued efforts to revive Smith, but he was pronounced dead later at St. Clare Medical Center in Crawfordsville.

"Todd was just a super guy," said Ritchey. An investigation is under way to determine exactly how Smith came in contact with the live wire. Smith worked for Tipmont for 10 years and leaves a pregnant wife, two sons and stepson.

Contractor for CU electrocuted

Springfield, CT -- A City Utilities contractor trimming a tree Thursday afternoon in southwest Springfield came in contact with a live power line, killing the man and raising safety questions.

Clint H. Harris, 30, of Seymour was pruning branches close to the live wire behind a home in the 700 block of West Whiteside Street when he was jolted by a line carrying 7,620 volts, CU spokesman Ernest DeCamp said.

"We don't know how this happened," DeCamp said Thursday afternoon. The contact may have been indirect, DeCamp added.

Harris worked for Springfield-based Trees Inc. The company could not be reached.