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

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Weekly Toll

A partial list of the roughly two-hundred American workers killed on the job over the past two weeks.

Two workers killed at the Valero refinery

Two workers at the Valero oil refinery died Sunday while working on a unit at the facility, which is the same refinery where an explosion in 2001 killed one man and injured eight others.

Cpl. Jeff Oldham, a state police spokesman, said the men appear to have succumbed to nitrogen fumes inside a silo just after midnight Saturday.

"A witness said that when he saw them up there it looked like they were trying to retrieve something from inside the silo," Oldham said.

When the witness left and came back about five minutes later, he saw the men were unconscious, Oldham said. The witness used a radio to make an emergency call. A man wearing an oxygen mask retrieved the men, Oldham said.

State police identified the men as John Ferguson, 29, of Westminster, Md., and John Lattanzi, 57, of New Jersey. They were pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital, Oldham said.


Logli employee killed trying to thwart suspected shoplifter

ROCKFORD, IL - One man was dead and another hospitalized in stable condition Saturday night after they were stabbed while trying to stop two suspected shoplifters at Logli Supermarket, 6410 E. State St.

The men, both Logli employees, began following the suspects inside the store about 6:30 p.m. When the suspects tried to leave without paying, the employees stopped them in the foyer of the store's southwest entrance. A confrontation ensued and the employees were both stabbed.


Swansea officer killed in collision

SWANSEA, MA -- Police Sergeant Robert Cabral was known as a good cop in Swansea: a patrolman with 26 years on the force, a soccer coach, a devoted dad who dedicated his spare time to teaching children not to use drugs and alcohol.

For 24 years, Wayne Smith has been a volunteer firefighter in Swansea, where he grew up, resides with his family, and responds to roughly 15 calls a year.

The two men knew each other, the way people do in a small town.

At 12:37 a.m. yesterday, their fates collided when, police said, the pickup truck Smith was driving slammed into Cabral's police cruiser. Cabral, who turned 52 Oct. 29, was pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River. Smith, 49, was arrested and charged with motor vehicle homicide while intoxicated. He was being held at the hospital for treatment of injuries that did not appear to be life threatening, police said.


Randall Man Run Over By Gravel Elevator, Killed

Randall, MN -- A man was killed in a construction accident Friday, according to the Pine County Sheriff's Office.

Mitchel Lee Mammenga, 32, of Randall, Minn. was run over by a 120-foot gravel elevator and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The accident occurred about 12 miles northwest of Pine City, Minn. Mammenga had been working as for Tri-City Paving of Little Falls as a foreman on the crushing crew.


Second EMT Dies of Lung Disease

New York, NY -- The Fire Department Oct. 28 held funeral services for an Emergency Medical Technician who passed away Oct. 23 from a lung illness believed to be related to his work at Ground Zero.

EMT Felix Hernandez, 31, died surrounded by friends and family members in Orlando, Florida. The details of his death haven't been released at the request of his family. Mr. Hernandez was on medical leave from the FDNY at the time of his death. .... He joined the FDNY as an EMT in 1995, starting in Station 21 at Lincoln Hospital and later moving to Station 17.

He was one of hundreds of EMTs who responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and he later returned to help with the ongoing recovery efforts. He's believed to be the second city-employed EMT to die from an illness related to work performed at the WTC site.

EMT Timothy Keller died June 23 at age 41 after a heart attack brought on by respiratory distress. Like Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Keller was a non-smoker with no previous lung problems who developed serious respiratory issues a few years after Sept. 11.


Family copes with loss after police officer killed in tragic wreck

INGLESIDE, TX - The family of a Corpus Christi police officer killed in a tragic hit-and-run accident remembers the father of three.

Officer Wesley Hanks was riding his motorcycle near Little Rock, Arkansas, Thursday when a vehicle caused a pickup to crash into him.

Investigators say Hanks was run over by the truck, and both drivers fled the scene.


Man dies when bulldozer is submerged

HOLIDAY, FL - For weeks, residents on Ivy Lane have heard the sound of bulldozers and construction trucks clearing land for a new lakefront home at the end of their cul-de-sac.

But Monday, that work took a tragic turn.

Taylor G. Bingham IV of Oldsmar died Monday afternoon when the front-end loader he was operating ended up submerged in the water. Authorities said it appeared the ground beneath the bulldozer either eroded or gave way. But nearly three hours after it happened, they weren't yet certain how 33-year-old Bingham died.

"We're not sure yet," Pasco County sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. "It wasn't apparent whether he drowned or had some type of medical condition."


Trash Truck Driver Killed In Bizarre Accident

MOTEBELLO, CA - A trash truck driver was killed when he apparently got out of his truck to check on mechanical problems and the truck rolled over him.

The accident happened about 6 a.m. in Montebello at Whittier Boulevard and Fourth Street. Reportedly, the driver (Jose Abraham Robles, 39)was making a turn on Fourth Street when he experience problems with the truck not going into reverse. He got out of the vehicle to look underneath it and see what was wrong. It was then that the truck rolled over him.


Worker killed while repairing truck

SOLVAY, N.Y. -- A central New York man was killed early Monday after being run over by the truck he was trying to fix.

The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department said Christopher Hilton, 50, of Clay, was helping a co-worker at Solvay Paperboard repair a truck in the company's parking lot around 2:30 a.m.

The co-worker, Richard Kadlubowski, started to drive the truck to another location but didn't realize Hilton was still working on the rear of the tractor, deputies said. Hilton was run over by the rear tires.


Blaze ravages home; firefighter dies

LEWISTON, CA -- A firefighter died after battling a blaze last week that also claimed the 1850s-era home built for this town's founder, Frank B. Lewis.

Walter Sykes, 48, of the Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department, was taken ill in the midst of fighting the Oct. 26 fire and later died of a heart attack. The fire destroyed the two-story home of former fire chief Jesse Cox, 63, and his wife, Rosemarie, 62.


Forklift accident kills man near Manassas

MANASSAS, VA -- A 68-year-old man died Monday when a forklift he was operating fell on top of him at a construction site.

The man, whose name was not released, was found by co-workers at the construction site at 8220 Birch St. near Manassas. The forklift flipped on its side while the man was operating it, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, said Officer John Bogert, spokesman for Prince William County police.


Natural gas drilling rig worker dies in W.Va.

CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. - A 19-year-old rig worker drowned Wednesday after getting trapped under a plastic liner in a natural gas drilling pit, officials said.

Albert Murphy, of Lefthand, was performing maintenance on the rig when he slipped into the basin. He died on the scene near Chapmanville along U.S. 119, the Logan County Sheriff's Department said in a release.

Murphy was employed by Indiana, Pa.-based contractor S.W. Jack Drilling Co., said Jessica Greathouse, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. The site is owned by Denver-based Energy Corporation of America, she said.


Crossing guard hit by car near Mahwah school


MAHWAH, NJ - An elementary school crossing guard was hospitalized Wednesday after being struck by a car as she waited in the street to cross a group of children, police said.

Shirley Sochulak, 70, was carried about 20 feet before she fell from the car and hit her head on the blacktop, said police Lt. Bruce Kuipers. She was bloodied but conscious while being taken to The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, and her injuries weren't considered serious, Kuipers said.

No citations were issued to the driver of the car, Leona Fleissman, 63, of Ridgewood, pending the outcome of a police investigation, the lieutenant said.

Sochulak "was out in the street with her stop paddle while the vehicle was making a left from West Ramapo Avenue onto Island Road," Kuipers said. "She was in the process of starting to cross the children when she was hit."

It was the second time in just over a week that a crossing guard was struck while on duty in Bergen County.

On Oct. 25, 81-year-old Estelle Reynolds was struck and killed by a fellow crossing guard near Park Ridge High School, police said.


Russell man dies filling pothole

Columbus, GA -- A Russell County employee died Wednesday while filling a pothole, Russell County Deputy Coroner Doug Lee said.

Joseph Linsey was filling a pothole next to a trailer carrying tar on Sandfort Road, a quarter mile east of Clark Road, Lee said. A car struck Linsey and pinned him between the car and the trailer.

Linsey, 46, of Phenix City, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:40 p.m. from blunt force trauma, Lee said.

Another person, whose name was not released due to notification of family, was injured in the traffic accident, said Jeff Nelson with the Alabama State Trooper traffic homicide unit.


Worker killed in factory accident

WYOMING, MI -- A 30-year-old plastics engineer who family members said was excited about the impending birth of his first child, died Wednesday in an industrial accident at a Wyoming plant.

Martin Nimptsch, of Rockford, died while working on a machine at Leon Plastics, 4901 Clay Ave. SW.

The accident occurred at 10:41 a.m. Nimptsch was working at a compression former, which forms molds under pressure.

He appeared to be leaning over the machine when he was struck by a piece of it, said Wyoming police Lt. Scott Beckman.

"We don't know if it was employee error or manufacture error. It (equipment) blew off, striking him. He was unresponsive," Beckman said.

Nimptsch died at the scene. Leon Plastics officials could not be reached for comment.


Man dies at Supervalu center in Hopkins

Hopkins, MN -- One man is dead and another is in critical condition after a construction accident in Hopkins.

The two men were working at the Supervalu distribution center when a wall collapsed on them. One man fell forty feet and survived, while another fell onto scaffolding below and died from head trauma.

Supervalu representatives call the death and injury a tragic accident.

The two workers – both from out of state – were installing shelving inside for a subcontractor. A large metal wall collapsed on them, as they stood forty feet above the ground on a high jack lift.

According to Connie Kurtz of the Hopkins Police, “everybody was wearing hard hats.”

Supervalu officials will temporarily shut down the plant while investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration look in to the incident.


WELDER DIES AFTER BLDG. FALL

Brooklyn, NY -- A WELDER died yesterday after falling from a Brooklyn condominium project, officials said.

Heng Zheng, 50, of Chinatown was dead at the scene, 207 South First St. in Williamsburg.

Police and city Department of Buildings officials gave conflicting accounts of how Zheng fell, with cops saying he slipped from the third floor about 10 a.m. and Buildings officials saying he was knocked off by a falling concrete block.

Zheng lived on Henry St. with his wife and had two adult children.


OSHA looks into fatal construction accident

Great Falls, MT -- Authorities Thursday identified the Great Falls man who died after a cement truck on a construction job site near Benefis East backed over him.

Terry Richerson, 40, died at Benefis Hospital around 7 p.m. Wednesday from injuries sustained earlier in the day, said Cascade County Coroner Scott Wagner.

Around 8 a.m., a 41-year-old driver with United Materials was backing a concrete truck up a 10-degree ramp to pour cement when the vehicle backed over Richerson.

Great Falls police called it an accident and said no criminal activity was involved.


Horrific accident claims man’s life

CHAPEL HILL, NC — An accident at a work site in thesouthern Covington County area of Chapel Hill, near Florala, Saturday left one man dead and investigators busy trying to discover what exactly happened.

According to a news release by the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, around 10:30 and 11 a.m. rescue officials were called to the Southern Rock & Lime site just off of Hwy. 54 East in regards to a work-related accident.

Upon arrival at the seen, on Stovall Road, officials discovered that Primitivo Cuaquuha of Samson, had died as a result of the accident.

The accident, as described by CCSO officials, involved a dump truck falling into a pit.

“He was backing a dump truck down a hill to be loaded when he lost control of his vehicle and backed off of a cliff and into the pit,” the CCSO release stated. “Mr. Cuaquuha died as a result of his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Coroner’s office.”


Man killed by straw bale in Gratiot County

BETHANY TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- A Bay Port man died after being crushed while delivering straw to a Gratiot County farm Thursday morning, the county sheriff's office said.
A 650-pound bale of straw fell on Robert Dale Wertz, 62, from a semitrailer as it was unloading at the Bethany Township farm, the Gratiot County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Wertz was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, the department said.


Swansea police officer killed by alleged drunken driver

SWANSEA, Mass. - A Swansea police officer was killed by an alleged drunken driver early this morning.

Police say Sergeant Robert Cabral driving on Route Six when his cruiser was struck head on by another vehicle near a nursing home around 12:42 a.m. Cabral was pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

The other driver -- 49-year-old Wayne Smith of Swansea -- was arrested and charged with drunken driving resulting in motor vehicle homicide.


Rio Vista Officer Killed Three Weeks After Wedding

Rio Vista, CA -- A Rio Vista police officer who was injured in a head-on crash in Solano County on Friday has died, the Rio Vista Police Department announced Sunday night. The department expressed "profound sadness" at the loss of Officer David Frank Lamoree, who died around 5 p.m. Sunday, on his 26th birthday. Lamoree was driving home from work late Friday night when his vehicle was struck head-on by an eastbound vehicle attempting to pass a truck by moving into the westbound lane of state Highway 113. Stockton resident Vincent Ellis, 18, one of four occupants of the vehicle that struck Lamoree's vehicle, died at the scene. The other three occupants were seriously wounded.


Md. School Worker Dies in Fall - Germantown Man, 53, Was on Catwalk Setting Up Lights

Washington, DC - John Horvat made a living as a media services technician at Seneca Valley High School and responded to fires and other emergencies during his free time as deputy chief of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. The 53-year-old Germantown man died yesterday morning after falling from the school auditorium's catwalk as he was setting up lights for a church service.


Cab driver found dead was strangled by cord

Louisville,KY - Planes Aldophe, a cab driver found dead Sunday morning on East Kingston Avenue, was strangled with an electrical cord, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Jack Arnold said yesterday. No arrests have been made in the death of Aldophe, 36, a native of Haiti. Anyone with information should call Louisville Metro Police at 574-LMPD.


Accident kills worker at LMC Industries

A worker was killed in an industrial accident at LMC Industries in Arnold on Tuesday. Jefferson County police and fire officials withheld the man's name. Officials at LMC Industries could not be reached. LMC is a manufacturer and distributor of injected molded plastics and metal stampings.


OSHA probes Milford death

Nashua, NH– A Brazilian man who had lived here for three years was killed Friday in an accident at Northern Marble and Granite, a Milford company that makes countertops and other stone products for homes and businesses.Valtecir Lopes, 37, worked two jobs to support a daughter here, and his wife and two daughters back in Brazil. He was apparently killed after stonework fell on him. Federal work-safety officials were in Milford on Monday to investigate, and few details were available.


Wichita Bus Driver Killed In Traffic Accident

Wichita, KS - October 25--Authorities are investigating a fatal bus crash this morning in Northwest Wichita. That took one life, and sent four people to the hospital. The accident happened just after 7:00, on Ridge Road near 37th Street North. A city bus driver died in the crash. He's been identified as 40-year-old Joseph Downing. He worked for the Transit Authority for 5 months. Police say a minivan going east on 37th street north failed to yield and collided with a MTA bus going north on Ridge Road.


Worker dies after falling 35 feet in Muskego

Muskego - A contract worker died after he fell 35 feet onto a concrete slab from a ladder while working on one of the city's sewage lift stations Monday, police said. Officials refused to release the man's name because relatives had not yet been notified. Police Lt. John La Tour said the man, 53, was working above the lift station tightening a flange before his fall down a dry shaft along Woods Road, near Sandy Beach Drive. Another contractor who saw him fall called rescue workers at 11:23 a.m.


Services for rig worker set for Wednesday

Corpus Christi, TX - Roth fell to death at industrial yard; review under way Funeral services for the Kiewit Offshore Services subcontracted employee who fell to his death Sunday morning are set for Wednesday. Twenty-five-year-old Frank Warren Roth plummeted more than 100 feet at 9 a.m. Sunday while working on the construction of an offshore rig at Kiewit's industrial yard, said San Patricio County Justice of the Peace Charlotte Griffin.


NORFOLK POLICE IDENTIFY SUSPECT IN SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER

NORFOLK, VA -- A manhunt continues for a 29-year-old man accused of shooting to death Norfolk Police Officer Stanley Reaves on Friday afternoon.

Reaves was answering a call in the Park Place neighborhood about 4 p.m. when he was fatally shot. "He had gotten out of his car and was walking toward the suspect just to talk to him. As the officer approached him, without warning, the man pulls a gun out and shoots the officer," Amos said.

Reaves was no more than a few feet away when the man fired multiple times.

Police wouldn't say how many times the officer was hit or in what part of the body. Reaves was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he died.

Reaves, 33, joined the Norfolk police force in March after 11 years with the Baltimore police.



Firefighter dies after being burned during training exercise

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A firefighting instructor died Tuesday after being badly burned during a training exercise at the state fire academy. Robert Gallardy, 47, died Tuesday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, where he was being treated for the severe burns he suffered Sunday.


Truck driver killed

Englewood, Fl -- A Thonotosassa, Fla., man was killed early Thursday morning when his semi truck overturned on Interstate 75 just north of the Sarasota-Charlotte county line. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Joseph C. Watson, 25, was traveling south on I-75 around 5 a.m. when his truck veered onto the grass median. The truck overturned and spun around. Watson died at the scene, according to the FHP.


Roofer dies in fall at Rutland school site; Skylight opening was uncovered

RUTLAND, MA -- David A. Wheeler's family was shocked by the sudden death of the man they had come to think of as "superman" because of his ability to miraculously recover from near-fatal injuries.

Mr. Wheeler, 64, a roofer on the $17.7 million elementary school being built between Naquag School and Central Tree Middle School died at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester on Monday night from a severe head injury suffered in a fall.

The accident occurred during the drizzly afternoon about 1 p.m. when Mr. Wheeler plunged through an opening in the roof meant for a skylight.

The plywood covering that usually secured the hole had been removed because crews expected to install the skylight that afternoon, according to the town's School Building Committee chairman.


Texas Pastor Electrocuted During Baptism

Waco, TX -- A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after adjusting a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.

Water in a baptistery usually reaches above the waist, said Byron Weathersbee, interim university chaplain at Baylor University.

Lake was pronounced dead at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said. The woman being baptized apparently had not stepped into the water and was not seriously injured.


Driver arraigned in bridge death

Redding, CA - A Redding driver accused of second-degree murder in the death of a road worker last week was arraigned today in Shasta County Superior Court where his public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Lawrence Javier Apodaca, 34, who is facing life in prison if convicted of the charges against him, is tentatively due to have his preliminary hearing on Nov. 3. He is charged with murder and a series of related crimes, including a special circumstance of vehicular manslaughter and having three prior misdemeanor driving under the influence convictions. Apodaca is suspected of having been drunk when his minivan slammed into a street sweeper operated by Ronald Joe Toney, 45, of Redding, Thursday night on the Market Street Bridge. An employee of J.F. Shea Co. Inc., Toney was thrown to the ground and crushed by the heavy machinery, which traveled nearly 70 feet from the point of impact before coming to rest on its side.


Volunteer clearing debris killed in accident

An out-of-town relief worker was killed Saturday near downtown Miami while moving debris from Hurricane Wilma into a vacant lot behind a fire station, officials said.

The unidentified man was killed when the heavy-digging machine called a track excavator tumbled over and trapped him. The cause of death is still under investigation, but he may have been electrocuted by fallen power lines.


Big Rigs Collide, Closing I-70 - Victim's Name Not Known

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Part of Interstate 70 remains closed in Washington County after two tractor-trailers collided near mile marker nine in Buffalo Township overnight. State police said a big rig flipped on its side, blocking the westbound lanes, at about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. A second tractor-trailer carrying steel coil came through and smashed into it. The steel coils came through the cab and killed the driver, Ralph Smith, 51, of Ohio. The driver of the first truck, Robert Pannell, 53, of New Jersey, was taken to Washington Hospital for back pain. Another tractor-trailer driver was behind the trucks. He watched everything happen. Jeff Grimm said, "I just watched him. He just kept coming. He just stayed in the right lane and drove right into the bottom of the semi that was on its side." Pennsylvania state police said they expect the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 to reopen by Wednesday afternoon.


Man dies after fall at Grede Foundry

REEDSBURG, WI - A male employee of Grede Foundry in Reedsburg died at UW-Hospital Saturday after falling while at work, Stewart Davis, Grede's Vice President of Human Resources said. The 68-year-old employee, James Kingsbury, was cleaning an area above a sand silo when he fell at least 30 feet onto a metal grate near the bottom of the silo, according to an incident report from the Reedsburg Police Department. Andrea Christensen, a nurse at Grede Foundry, several foundry employees and EMT Betty Hinze assisted in carrying Kingsbury out of the silo, the report states. Rescue workers had to free Kingsbury's leg from the silo before he could be carried out. His injuries included deep cuts on his legs and forehead area.


Man killed after dump truck hits train in northeastern Wisconsin

ARMSTRONG CREEK, Wis. - A dump truck hit a moving train in northeastern Wisconsin, killing the truck's driver.

Jeffrey Diges, 38, of Crivitz, was driving south on Old Highway 101 about a mile south of Highway 8 when he hit an eastbound train at about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday in Forest County, according to a Wisconsin State Patrol news release.

The truck rolled and caught fire, officials said.

Diges, who worked for D & C Trucking of Crivitz, died at the scene. The train conductor had minor injuries, according to the State Patrol.


Van Houten Produce owner, 46, dies after chasing thief

Lansing, MI - The owner of a well-known local produce store chased a robber away from his store and gave police crucial information about the break-in Tuesday morning before he collapsed and died. Jeff Van Houten, 46, was opening up Van Houten Produce in Lansing shortly after 6 a.m. when he caught a man trying to steal from his store, Lansing police Lt. Bruce Ferguson said. "He chased him out and got the license-plate number," Ferguson said about the Lansing business owner.


Probe continues into death of gold mine worker near Carlin

ELKO, Nev. - State and federal safety regulators continue to investigate the death of a worker who fell about 15 feet at a gold mine north of Carlin, the third mining-related fatality in Nevada this year. Matthew Willkie, 45, was working as a process operator for Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. and was helping a co-worker remove a sump pump for replacement when he fell from an upper work deck on Saturday, Barrick Gold Corp. spokesman Vince Borg said.


More charges filed against suspect in on-camera killing

PHILADELPHIA - A man charged in two murders, including one caught on tape by security cameras, was charged in a third killing, police said Wednesday. Juan Covington, 43, was charged with murdering Odies Bosket, a longtime city employee who was shot several times in a subway station in March while on his way to pick up his daughter from day care.


Bus driver killed in I-35 accident identified

San Antonio, TX -- The name of the bus driver killed in Tuesday's accident has been released.

42-year-old Juan Martinez of Houston was killed when the bus he was driving slammed into an 18-wheeler at about 2:30 p.m. along Interstate 35 and Fischer Road.

Investigators say a blown tire on the driver's side of the bus might have caused the deadly crash.

The tour bus was headed to Mexico when the accident occurred. The crash shutdown all northbound lanes of I-35 for almost four hours.



Worker crushed to death south of Olathe

Kansas City, MO - A 51-year-old Olathe man died this afternoon when he was crushed by a piece of machinery at a Johnson County business. Rescuers were called about 3:30 p.m. to Kerry Sweet Ingredients, 400 Prairie Village Drive at the New Century AirCenter southwest of Olathe. Authorities said the company makes sweet ingredients for food products.


City bus driver killed in crash

Wichita, KA - A Wichita city bus driver was killed Tuesday in a collision at 37th North and Ridge Road.

Police said a van was stopped about 7:10 a.m. on 37th Street North trying to cross Ridge Road. A Wichita Transit bus was northbound on Ridge.

The van began to move eastward, crossed the line of traffic and collided with the bus, said Lt. Jeff Weible.

The driver of the bus, Joseph B. Downing, 40, of Wichita, was partially ejected and died at the scene.


Elderly man shoots and kills caretaker in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - An 83-year-old man in a wheelchair shot and killed his caretaker, saying he thought she had been stealing from him, police said. Lincoln M. Sowell was arrested at his apartment building following the shooting around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Philadelphia police Cpl. Jim Pauley said. Donna Bond, 52, was shot in the stomach, chest and arm. Pauley said she was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead less than an hour after being shot three times


Worker Killed by Toxic Fumes

A man was found dead after inhaling toxic fumes and now several government agencies are investigating the mysterious death, News 4 WOAI learned Monday.

Thirty-three-year-old Hector Viesca was found dead in a field Saturday night in Pleasanton, officials said.

Viesca was inspecting oil wells off Corn Road when investigators believe he inhaled hydrogen sulfide.

“He checked the tank and what happened was he was supposed to look away,” Pleasanton Fire Marshal Trinidad Vosquez told News 4 WOAI. “I don't know if he did or didn't.”

Government agencies want to know if the oil company Viesca worked for, trained him properly.

“When a truck driver goes out, they should know what to do and what to carry with them,” Vosquez said.

Viesca was alone in the field when the accident happened. Coworkers tried to reach him be cellphone, and when he did not respond, they searched for him. They later found his body.


Worker succumbs to April injuries

RANDOLPH, NJ – A 23-year-old construction worker who hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps, died on Friday, Oct. 21, from injuries suffered in an April accident while working on a school construction project in Dover. The worker, Kevin John Caponegro, 23, died on Friday, Oct. 21, at Morristown Memorial Hospital where he had been a patient since he was injured on April 7. Mr. Caponegro would have celebrated his 24th birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 25....Dover Capt. Robert Kerwick said Mr. Caponegro had been operating a fork lift-type vehicle at the construction site when he was injured. “He had parked and gotten off the fork lift near an excavating machine,” said Kerwick. “The operator of the excavator backed up without seeing Caponegro, and pinned him against the fork lift’s tire. He was crushed between the two vehicles.”


Store owner shot to death in front of wife

Houston, TX - Nerves are on edge in a north Harris County neighborhood where a store owner was gunned down late Wednesday during an apparent robbery. The victim was shot in front of his wife in the 9000 block of Cheswick at Gulf Bank. Hung Bui and his wife had just locked up their convenience store when two young men approached them outside. "His wife gave him the money. She said, `Just take the money.' She said, `Take the money and take the keys,' said family friend Valory Barnett. "He gave them the keys. And they just shot him down in front of his wife." The 54-year-old died on the spot.


Crossing Guard Killed by Another in Accident

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Oct. 26 - A school crossing guard driving to work on Tuesday morning struck and killed another crossing guard, an 81-year-old woman, as she tried to usher students across a busy road in the rain. The driver, Marvin Hodgdon, 70, of Montvale, N.J., said on Wednesday in a telephone interview that he had been on his way to his second day on the job as a crossing guard in nearby Hillsdale when Estelle Reynolds, a crossing guard here for 16 years, raised her hand-held stop sign and stepped onto Pascack Road, across the street from Park Ridge High School.


Jersey City robbers kill deli worker in heist bid

Newark, NJ - An employee at a Jersey City delicatessen who recently emigrated from Egypt was shot and killed during a robbery Wednesday night, authorities said yesterday. Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said Nabile S. Sharoubin, 41, was shot once in the arm, but the bullet passed through his chest. He was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center at 8:48 p.m. Wednesday. "That was a holdup that apparently, unfortunately went bad," DeFazio said yesterday.


TRUCK DRIVER DIES IN ROLLOVER CRASH ON I-95

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL -- A truck driver hauling a load of Busch Natural Ice beer Friday morning died in a rollover wreck after he collided with a Dodge Durango and swerved off Interstate 95, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Three people inside the Durango were not injured.

Beer and beer cans spilled onto the southbound lanes of the highway and the grassy shoulder a mile north of the Gatlin Boulevard interchange, where FHP shut down two of the three southbound lanes after the 9:30 a.m. accident. At one point, all southbound lanes were blocked while a crew pulled the truck wreckage onto the highway.


2 men sought in store killing

Indianapolis, IN -- Police investigating the weekend killing of a popular Eastside gas station owner are trying to determine whether Palwinder Singh was shot by a man who robbed the store twice in August.

The shooter could be part of a two-man team sought in multiple armed robberies, police said.

"I think it's the same person," Rick Singh, the victim's cousin, said Sunday. "Heightwise, it's the same."

The shooting occurred about 9:20 p.m. Saturday. The store video shows two men were involved, one outside and one who approached the counter and pointed a handgun at Palwinder Singh. The robber fired as the clerk reached for his attacker's gun.


Sargento worker dies of injuries

Sheboygan, WI - A 41-year-old Kiel man died Wednesday from injuries sustained in an accident Saturday morning at Sargento Foods Inc. in Plymouth, said Sheboygan County Coroner David Leffin. Jason W. Schmoller, of 16932 Lax Chapel Road, died at St. Nicholas Hospital, where he had been on life-support since Saturday, Leffin said.....One of the forks from the other forklift struck Schmoller's leg below the knee, Gannon said. Whether the other forklift was in motion at the time of the crash is uncertain at this point, she said. Other employees with first-aid training applied pressure to Schmoller's leg to stem the bleeding until ambulance personnel arrived, she said. "He had massive blood loss on the scene," Leffin said. "Because of the collapse of the circulatory system, they weren't able to get any IVs started on him while en route (to the hospital)." Schmoller went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, Leffin said. Schmoller was resuscitated and underwent surgery, where doctors amputated his leg. He had suffered a brain injury, however, because of a lack of oxygen to his brain due to the massive blood loss, Leffin said.


Trucker killed in fiery crash on Interstate 75

RIDGE MANOR, FL -- A tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel collided with a box truck filled with fruit on Interstate 75 early Tuesday, resulting in a fiery, deadly wreck and a cleanup effort that could take days or even a week.

The driver of a 2003 Mack tanker, Terry Ray Hillhouse, 49, of Ocala, died at the scene, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of a 1993 Chevrolet box truck, Donald E. Ferguson, 56, of Leesburg was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where on Tuesday afternoon he was listed in critical condition, hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said.

"It was a very eerie scene," Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Trooper Larry Coggins said.


Worker operating forklift dies after 17-foot fall

City of Pewaukee, WI - A Cedarburg woman working alone moving materials with a forklift fell 17 feet at work and later died, police said Wednesday.

Linda M. Smith, 44, was found by a co-worker at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday. She was taken by Flight for Life to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa, where she died early Wednesday, Police Chief Gary Bach said.

Officials said Smith had worked for about three years at Boelter Co., N22-W23685 Ridgeview Parkway, a food service and equipment supplier. Details of how the accident happened were under investigation and specifics were not immediately released. An autopsy showed Smith died from blunt force trauma, a spokesman for the Waukesha County medical examiner's office said.

Smith's husband, Scott, an Ozaukee County sheriff's deputy assigned to courthouse security in Port Washington, described her as "an awfully good woman" in brief remarks Wednesday but declined to comment further.

Linda Smith was the second person this week to die from a fall in Waukesha County. Thomas Bolan, 53, of the City of Pewaukee, died Monday after falling more than 22 feet from a ladder down one of Muskego's sewage lift station shafts.

He worked for Milwaukee-based Faust Co. Inc. and was tightening a flange when he fell.


Fisherman Dies in Kahana Bay

Honolulu, HI - A Kane'ohe man in his 50's died while fishing with a friend on Thursday in Kane'ohe Bay. It happened shortly after one o'clock in the afternoon. Friends identified the victim as Gerald Lee, a long-time employee of Hawaiian Electric. "They were trolling for papio, they had already set their crab lines and there was a set of bigger waves that came in, came up, pushed the boat up, it flipped them out of the boat," explained Capt. Kenison Tejada of the Honolulu Fire Department. The two men were onboard Lee's Zodiac boat. Fire officials said the survivor blew up an inflatable life vest, and both men hung on.


Man dies after train collides with his truck

Albany, GA Ben Hill County- Co-workers say they can't believe 61-year-old James Nichols is gone. "He was very dependable and dedicated, always there. He would go day or night in emergency storm damage or whatever. Just a fine individual, as an individual and an employee, just a fine person," says Marvin McKie, Assistant Road Superintendent. "About 8:41 AM this morning we got the call that one of the county trucks collided with a CSX train here on Zinnia Road, Ben Hill County," says Sheriff Bobby McLemore. Authorities say Nichols was headed south on Zinnia Road. He was dropping off a load of field dirt to a spot where other county road employees, including his son, were working.


Georgia man killed while dismantling S.C. water tower

Bowdon, Ga. - A 33-year-old worker has been crushed to death while working to dismantle a water tower. Mike Lowery of Bowdon, Ga., was cutting the tank with a torch when a chunk of metal shifted, trapping him between two sections of the tank, authorities said. Firefighters from across the street responded immediately, but with the worker trapped more than 100 feet above the ground, a ladder truck had to be called in from Lancaster, about 20 miles away. Kershaw Town Administrator Tony Starnes said it took about an hour to get Lowery down. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.


Women gives birth as son dies in same hospital

NEW YORK - At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on Thursday, a woman gave birth to a son, delivered by Caesarean section. She did not know that during her recovery, elsewhere in the same hospital, she lost her oldest child, a 19-year-old deli worker who had been shot behind the counter by a man in a mask. The 19-year-old man, Yaser Saleh, was shot in the stomach on Wednesday night in a Springfield Gardens deli by an unidentified man who witnesses believe argued with Saleh last week over something that seemed trivial: the man had been short a quarter for a 79-cent candle, and the cashier would not give it to him.


Farmer dies in tractor accident

WESTMINSTER, Mass. --A 71-year-old Westminster farmer died on Thursday when the tractor he was driving rolled on top of him, authorities said. Vilho A. Lucander was found under the rear wheel of the tractor and pronounced dead at the scene of an apparent crushing injury, police said. An autopsy is scheduled. Lucander was working his 42-acre farm when his wife, Eleanor, asked a chimney sweeper working at their house to look for her husband, fire Chief Brenton W. MacAloney said. The man found Lucander under the tractor. The accident was reported just after 1 p.m. "We have no idea what caused him to be there," MacAloney said.


Norfolk police officer dies in shooting

Norfolk, VA - A police officer who was shot while standing near his car Friday afternoon died a short time later at a hospital, police said. Police responding to a call that an officer had been shot shortly after 4 p.m. found the wounded officer, who was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to the police department. The officer's name was not immediately released. Olan Burruss, a police spokesman, said the officer apparently did not discharge his weapon. Police were looking for a man in a late-model green Jeep Cherokee in connection with the shooting. They described the suspect as a black man, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, wearing a green jacket and shoulder-length dreadlocks.


Trucker found dead in parked semi

Dallas, TX - Authorities discovered the driver of an 18-wheeler dead Friday morning in the sleeping quarters of his truck, which had been parked on the side of Interstate 20 in Hutchins since the day before. As late-morning traffic accumulated behind the roadblocks protecting the investigation scene in the westbound lanes near the Trinity River, a chain-reaction crash unfolded about two miles to the east in Dallas. Five vehicles collided, and two caught fire. Three people were taken to a hospital, but their injuries weren't thought to be life-threatening. The Dallas County medical examiner's office hadn't ruled on what killed the trucker. Hutchins police identified the man as 48-year-old Eddie Montgomery of Laredo. He worked for a trucking company there.


Truck driver charged in fatal crash with school bus

HERTFORD, N.C. The driver of a pickup truck that collided with a school bus in Perquimans County, killing four people in the truck, has been charged.

The Highway patrol says 25-year-old Ruben Fajardo of Wilson was charged with four misdemeanor counts of death by motor vehicle and a count of failure to reduce speed.

The accident occurred Monday on U.S. 17 when the school bus and the truck from a Wilson contractor collided and caught fire near Hertford.

The man's brother and three fellow workers died in the truck.


Tractor-trailer driver killed in I-70 crash

Pittsburgh, PA -- A tractor-trailer driver was crushed to death by a roll of steel he was hauling early today when he crashed into an overturned rig on Interstate 70 in Washington County. Ralph T. Smith, 51, of Bellaire, Ohio, died shortly after midnight, state police said.

Another tractor-trailer driver was traveling west on I-70 in Buffalo Township when he lost control, and his rig traveled onto an embankment and overturned in the westbound lanes, according to state police. Smith struck the overturned rig, which caused a roll of steel he was hauling to snap loose and crush his cabin.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other rig was taken to a local hospital.


Worker Crushed

Authorities are investigating how a factory worker became entangled in machinery and suffered fatal injuries.

The accident happened yesterday at Kerry Sweet Ingredients in southern Johnson County. John Frisbey, 51, had worked at the plant for 19 years.

Sheriff's spokesman Tom Erickson says Frisbey got caught in a conveyor-belt type of machine. Fellow workers were being interviewed about how the accident happened.


Tow truck driver killed on I-15

VICTORVILLE, CA — The flashing lights of a still-running tow truck illuminated the pavement just feet from where its former driver lay dead.

The man, whose name was not being released until his family is notified, was struck and killed on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 15 between Mojave Drive and D Street around 6:57 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.

Initial reports from investigating Officer D. Bradford of the California Highway Patrol state that a woman called roadside assistance to have a flat tire changed and the service sent a tow truck driver from Garon-T-Towing to the scene, Bradford said.

He added that the deceased tow truck operator was standing on the shoulder changing a flat tire for the stranded motorist just before the collision.


Alcohol Believed To Be Factor In Crash That Killed Construction Worker

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A portion of the East-West Expressway was shut down for nearly five hours Friday morning when a driver struck and killed a construction worker. The crash happened just east of downtown Orlando near the Primrose overpass.

It was a scene traffic homicide investigators have become all too familiar with. Around two o'clock Friday morning, a construction worker was killed by the driver of an SUV on the 408 just east of downtown Orlando.

According to the Orlando Police Department, it was the eighth time this year a pedestrian has been killed by a reckless driver. The latest victim was John Baggett, a 45-year-old from Magnolia, Texas.

Witnesses told police Michael Cole, from Casselberry, was traveling at a very high rate of speed when he crossed into the construction zone and struck Baggett. Investigators said alcohol was a factor in the crash.


Gary truck driver struck, killed by rig on Tri-State

WORTH -- A Gary truck driver was struck and killed by another driver's rig Thursday on the Tri-State Tollway in Worth, authorities said.

Michael Buchanan
, 53, was checking the straps on the sides of his truck about 9:30 a.m. when another truck clipped the end of his vehicle and continued on to strike him, police said.

Buchanan was stopped along the southbound lanes of the highway, where he was checking his cargo on the traffic side.


Deputy's fatal crash studied

VISALIA, CA --Authorities haven't determined what caused a Tulare County sheriff's deputy to lose control of his patrol car on a tree-lined road north of Porterville, leading to his death and the serious injury of a chaplain.

Kevin Elium, a five-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, was driving his police cruiser north on Main Street about 9 p.m. Oct. 6 when he crashed into a silk oak tree along the roadway.


Martell man dies after farm accident

MARTELL, Neb. -- A Martell farmer has died following injuries he received in a farm accident earlier this month.

Clarence Forsgren, 77, died this week after being injured Oct. 1 while repairing his combine in a field on the family farm near Martell, Lancaster County officials said.
Forsgren was repairing the combine when he told his son Lynn to start up the belt drive system, the sheriff's office said. Forsgren's right arm became entangled in the belt, causing severe injury.

Another son, Chuck Forsgren Jr., said his father lost a lot of blood in the accident, and his health deteriorated.

"That shock and everything wasn't good for him," his son said.


CWA, OSHA Probe Death at Texas Plant

An IUE-CWA member in San Antonio died Oct. 20 when he was crushed by the forklift he was operating at Newell Recycling. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, as is the union.

Alejandro Gonzales, 39, who was married and the stepfather to three children, had worked at the company for 11 months. He was a member of Local 86780, which represents about a dozen workers at the scrap metal recycling center.

Charlie Barrett, CWA representative for occupational health and safety, said Gonzales was trying to remove some stray copper wire caught in an axle of the forklift. To do so, he had to raise the forklift and apparently had moved it onto a railroad tie and wood support.

"It's still not totally clear how everything happened," said Barrett, who went to San Antonio to investigate. "He was underneath the forklift, trying to remove some wire and it came down on his chest."

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