Sunday, December 18, 2005

Weekly Toll

A partial list of workers killed on the job over the past two weeks.

Missouri Farmer Killed By Bull

UNION, Mo. -- A Franklin County farmer was killed by an aggressive bull when he went out to milk his cows. The sheriff's department said the victim, John Eckstein, 53, was carrying a cattle shocker with him because of past problems with the bull. Relatives called authorities Saturday morning after Eckstein had gone out to bring in cattle for milking and did not return. Relatives found the victim, who had been killed by a bull in the field.Eckstein's family said the bull was aggressive on a prior occasion. The Franklin County sheriff's office in eastern Missouri said it's not clear exactly how the attack took place.


Hamlet, N.C. - Michael Sanderson, a member of Local 1011 at Hamlet, N.C., was killed Nov. 16 when he was crushed between rail-car couplers. He and his fellow crew members were working a sand plant in Lugoff, S.C., on the Hamlet Subdivision of the Florence Division of CSXT. Sanderson was writing down the numbers of cars being spotted in the plant when the tragedy occurred. Sanderson, 48, had hired out on the CSX March 4, 2004, after leaving a factory job where he had worked for many years. He came over to the railroad for the benefits, according to reports. He had been off work until Sept. 6, when he marked back up. He planned to retire in less than two years. The accident happened at 3:45 a.m., just 15 minutes short of quitting time. Sanderson was married with three children, including a son serving in Iraq. "I know the crew is taking this hard," said Local 1011 President Ron Wallace. Georgia State Legislative Director Danny Boyles reminded all UTU members of "the importance of knowing where your fellow co-workers are at all times."


New York, NY -- A Brooklyn man was killed by a Sanitation Department vehicle early yesterday morning as he helped road crews on Staten Island prepare for the anticipated snowfall. Police said Joseph Sordi, 59, a National Parks Service worker, was run over in a beachside parking lot at Father Capodanno Boulevard and Sand Lane in South Beach, a makeshift salt depot.

Woman Crushed By Truck While Trying To Open Gate

ERROL, N.H. -- A worker at the Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge in Errol died Tuesday after an accident. State police said that Elaine Barnett, 52, of Wilson Mills, Maine, was trying to open a gate on an access road at the refuge when she was pinned against the gate by her pickup truck. She was pronounced dead at Upper Connecticut Valley Regional Hospital in Colebrook.

Crane police officer dies; Voght allegedly shot sheriff's deputy, then killed himself

TAYLORSVILLE, IN - Naval Support Activity Crane police officer David Voght is dead after shooting himself and wounding a Johnson County Sheriff's Department deputy today. Voght, 38, worked at Crane as a police officer for four years, according to Corporate Communications Officer Sue Webster. “He was a GS6 (on a rank and pay scale), and his duties included general law enforcement duties,” Webster said. Voght worked first shift, and Webster was unsure whether he was scheduled to work today. Voght was previously a police officer in Fort Wayne.

City Man's Death Under Investigation

Harrisonburg, VA - Dean Steel Employee Died At Greene County Construction Site. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a Harrisonburg man Monday after an incident at a construction site in Stanardsville. The man, Robert Ruffner, 34, of Lee Avenue was working on an addition to Middle River High School in Greene County as foreman of a work crew of Dean Steel Erectors of Harrisonburg. "It’s in OSHA’s hands, and they’re trying to figure out what happened at the site," said Howard Taylor, a manager at Dean Steel. Don Farley, Rockingham County Sheriff, said his office was not involved in the investigation. But Farley said early reports, which were unconfirmed, mentioned Ruffner’s electrocution involving a crane working near power cables.

One Man Dead After Construction Accident

MEMPHIS, TN - A construction worker is dead after a freak accident at the Walnut Grove expansion project in East Memphis. Investigators say two cranes were raising a cement beam when one of the cranes fell into the Wolf River. The cable holding the beam snapped causing the beam to fall on a construction worker. "He was standing by the side, trying to guide the stuff in there to put it into place," says Fire Chief Henry Posey. Police have identified the victim as 43 year old Phillip Bell of Memphis. Bell is a superintendent for Dement Construction based in Jackson, Tennessee. "I've known Phillip longer than I can remember and so it's been tough on all of us, tough on me," says Dement Construction President Bill Dement.

Cab Driver Killed In I-225 Accident - Van Struck Semi Head-On

AURORA, Colo. -- Police have identified the driver of a Yellow Cab who was killed in a traffic accident on Interstate 225 Wednesday morning. According to police, Vladimiar Anosov of Aurora, Colo., was driving a Plymouth Voyager cab southbound on I-225 at 9:09 a.m., when it slowed for traffic. The Voyager was struck from behind by a Buick Century driven by Sergio Hernandez, also of Aurora. Witnesses told police that the impact knocked the Voyager across the median and northbound lanes where it went onto an embankment. The Voyager then came back onto the northbound lanes where it struck the front of an International semi-trailer driven by Robert Henninger Jr. of La Veta, Colo.

Off-Duty Texas Officer Dies While Working 2nd Job

Chocolate Bayou, TX - An accident near Chocolate Bayou killed a Brazoria County sheriff's deputy on Monday, KPRC Local 2 reported. Deputy Jason Oliff, 27, was working an extra job directing traffic in front of the BP Amoco plant on F.M. 2004 when he was struck by a pickup truck at about 6:15 a.m. Officials with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department said Oliff was setting up flares in a safety lane in the middle of the road when the accident happened. LifeFlight transported Oliff to Memorial Hermann, where doctors pronounced him dead. Oliff had been with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department since 2001. He was a jail worker before transferring to patrol. The deputy, who is originally from the Brazoria County area, was engaged to be married.

Tollway Contractor Killed In Tri-State Accident

BERKELEY, Ill. A road worker is dead after an explosive crash on the Tri-State Tollway. The scorched wreckage from the chain reaction crash overnight caused a gapers delay well into this morning's rush hour. CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports it could take months to investigate what went wrong. Traffic is still backed up as crews work to remove the wreckage of a burned out semi that was on its way from Milwaukee to South Holland when it was involved in the crash that killed a road worker. The accident took place on southbound I-294 near St. Charles Road in Berkeley at about 1:47 a.m. 27-year-old Lewis Lingafelter of Tolono, who was just doing his job, lost his life in the process. As a contractor for the Illinois Tollway Authority, he spent his final moments checking roadway markings. “He was walking, and he was provided protection by two maintenance trucks, had two big trucks kind of covering him, making sure he didn’t get hit,” said Illinois State Trooper Doug Whitmore. “It’s a procedure they’ve probably performed hundreds of times safely.” This time, however, it didn’t work. A double trailer semi hauling tobacco coming down the southbound lanes hit the back of a maintenance vehicle even though it had an arrow guiding traffic left. “It would have been a case where he should have slowed or moved left to avoid striking these people,” Whitmore said.

Police release identity of forklift victim; investigation ongoing

WILTON, Iowa - Police have confirmed the identity of a man who died last week in a forklift accident at Industrial Packaging Corporation. Randy Schenkel, of Tipton, was pronounced dead when authorities arrived at the scene Friday morning. Police would not release details of the accident, which is under investigation by Muscatine County medical examiners and the Iowa Division of Labor Services.

Woman Killed Cleaning Machine At Aiken Plant

AIKEN, S.C. -- A Warrenville woman has died after her hair got caught in the fiberglass rolling machine she was cleaning at the Owens Corning plant. Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton says Ashley Strianese, 21, was under one of the rollers shortly before noon Sunday when her hair got caught in the glue on a part that was still spinning. Owens Corning and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating Strianese's death.

Railroad worker dies in weekend accident

BURLINGTON, Iowa - A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad worker has died in work-related accident near Burlington. Des Moines County sheriff's officials say 34-year-old Keith Myers, of Galesburg, Illinois, was killed about 6:30 a.m. yesterday south of Burlington at the Kemper Switch. Myers, a brakeman, was standing on a ladder attached to the side of a railcar when he was struck by a steel support beam for a water tower. Sheriff's officials say the accident happened as the crew moved cars into position to unload coal at an Alliant Energy power station. Myers died at the scene. Railroad spokesman Steve Forsberg says the exact circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.

Glass-factory worker dies after suffering neck wound

Louisville, KY - A 28-year-old Louisville man died Thursday morning after being injured on the job at Kentucky Mirror & Plate Glass Co. The man, Jose Antonio Garcia, was struck in the neck by a piece of glass that shattered as he was removing it from a crate, said Jo-Ann Farmer, Jefferson County senior deputy coroner. Farmer said Garcia was taken to University Hospital, where he died at 11:58 a.m. of a dissected artery. She said that after being struck by the glass, Garcia ran from the back of the factory to the front office of the business at 818-820 W. Main St., which is about half a city block. She said Garcia had worked with the company for three years and had family in California.

State probing death in tow truck accident

WAUKESHA, WI - The state is conducting an investigation into the death of a Waukesha West student Tuesday at Dennis’ Service Inc., 13990 W. Lisbon Road, Brookfield. Josh Reif, 17, was apparently working at the business’s impound lot at 4435 N. 127th St., when a car he was removing from the back of a tow truck fell on him and killed him. Reif, W286-S3577 Snow Goose Trail, Waukesha, was working as part of a school co-op job. But Rose Lynch, communications director at the state Department of Workforce Development, said Thursday that state rules on such jobs prohibit such workers "from assisting or operating hoisting machines" in their work. She added that state law "states that minors cannot operate vehicles on public roads if they exceed 6,000 pounds."

Snow, speed blamed in death

Dayton, OH -- The death of a truck driver on Interstate 75 early Friday is being blamed on Thursday's snowstorm, the Ohio Highway Patrol said. David Cox, 58, of Piqua was killed when a northbound tractor-trailer driver apparently lost control on snow and ice along I-75 and slammed into the tractor-trailer Cox was sitting in, shearing off its top, according to the patrol post at Piqua. A state trooper found the tractor-trailer driven by Cox in the median at 12:47 a.m. after it had slid off the road, Sgt. Doug Bradley said. Cox was in his cab, waiting for a tow truck, when the northbound tractor-trailer went out of control and slid off the road, Bradley said.

Second NYC Police Officer Dies in Shooting

NEW YORK - An off-duty police officer was shot and killed Saturday in a pre-dawn gunfight with two burglars outside his home, authorities said. He was the second officer to die in the line of duty in two weeks. Daniel Enchautegui, 28, a three-year veteran, was pronounced dead at a hospital following the 5:15 a.m. shooting in the Bronx, said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Worker dies after 40-foot fall

OLEAN, N.Y. - A construction worker died after a 40-foot fall from a roof in western New York, sheriff's officials said. Jason Robinson, 36, of New Brighton, Pa., was killed Thursday around 3:30 p.m. in Olean, 60 miles south of Buffalo. He was working on a pipeline project when he fell from the roof of a steel-frame building. Robinson was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Trucker killed by iron culvert falling from truck

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A trucker died at a work site in Shelby County when a one-ton iron culvert he had just delivered fell on him, authorities said. Richard Salls, 52, of Columbus, Ga., was pronounced dead at the scene Thursday near the town of Arlington, northeast of Memphis. He was a driver for Hornady Transportation Co. of Monroeville, Ala. Steve Shular of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department said the incident, though apparently accidental, would be investigated by the state labor department. Shular said Salls had delivered a truckload of sewer culverts to the work site shortly before the incident. Each culvert was 20 feet long and weighed 2,000 pounds. Witnesses said a forklift driver was unloading the culverts when one rolled off the truck, Shular said. It was the second death at a work site in the Memphis area in two days. Wednesday, a supervisor on a highway project was killed by a concrete beam that fell when a crane toppled into the Wolf River.

2 Arkansas teens held in Texas saleman’s killing on test drive

Miller Country, AR - Authorities arrested two Arkansas teenagers in the shooting death of a Texarkana, Texas, used-car salesman whose body was found early Thursday about 10 miles away in southwest Arkansas. Tommy Ables, 52, was shot “several times” shortly after he accompanied a customer on a test-drive of a black 2001 BMW 740 iL, said Toby Giles, chief deputy of the Miller County sheriff’s office.

Construction worker killed near Arlington

Memphis,TN - A truck driver delivering a load of iron sewer pipe to an Arlington job site was crushed to death Thursday morning when one of the 20-foot, 2,000-pound pipes rolled off the truck. Authorities were working to notify his family and were not releasing his name. Officials said worked for an Alabama company and did not live in the Memphis area. It was the second death at a local construction site in as many days. On Wednesday, a supervisor on the Walnut Grove Road improvement project died when struck by a concrete beam. Thursday’s accident occurred along a dirt service road, just north of U. S. 70 and west of Tennessee 385.

Treatment center worker was strangled

BURLINGTON, Iowa - The state medical examiner's office say a worker found dead at a drug treatment center in Burlington was strangled. Forty-four-year-old Kathi Mertens of Mount Pleasant was found in a medication storage room at the Alcohol and Drug Dependancy Services last month. Mertens, a counselor's aide, was working the overnight shift. A patient, 19-year-old Ryan Wichhart of North Liberty, is charged with first-degree murder. Police say he was trying to steal drugs.

Police identify worker killed in trench collapse

Nashville, TN - A construction worker killed last week when a trench he was working in collapsed last week was identified today as Mario Perez, 25, of Ocala Drive. Perez was among several workers in a trench on the side of Elm Hill Pike just east of downtown when "a big section of the earth cleaved off" around 4 p.m., Assistant Fire Chief Lee Bergeron said.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Fatally Shot During Traffic Stop Near Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA — The body of a state trooper was found near his cruiser after he pulled over a car early Monday, police said. Cpl. Joseph Pokorny was found dead about 2 a.m. near an exit of Interstate 279 about 5 miles southwest of the city, officials said. "I just want to say that we are going to work this investigation until the suspects involved in this cowardly murder are behind bars," said state police Col. Jeffrey B. Miller. Pokorny, 45, who had been a trooper for more than 22 years, was found by a Carnegie borough police officer. The officer saw Pokorny's car door open and found the trooper's body outside of the car. Pokorny had called in information on a black 2001 Mercury sedan minutes earlier, and police were reviewing tapes of the call to determine why he had pulled it over. Police were also looking for the sedan, while officers from several departments joined in a manhunt in woods near the shooting, authorities said. Police said the trooper's gun was also missing, although they couldn't say if that was the weapon used to shoot Pokorny.

Friends mourn tragic death of firefighter

Eddy, TX, - A fire truck crash over the weekend took the life of a Central Texas firefighter. Thirty-one-year-old Chad Wessels was on the way to a house fire for the Briggs Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a 12-year veteran with the Fort Hood Fire Department. The accident happened on FM 963, about 2 miles east of County Road 210 in Burnet County.

Two killed in construction accident

Chicago, IL - Two construction workers were crushed to death Monday when a concrete slab being lowered onto the roof of a new retirement home fell and crashed down on top of them, authorities said. A construction crane was positioning the slab onto the roof of the four-story masonry building on the city's South Side shortly before 2 p.m. when the concrete section fell, crashing through the concrete third floor and onto the workers on the second floor, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. Emergency crews removed one body shortly after the accident but searched in the rubble for a few hours before recovering the second victim later Monday, Langford said. The victims' identities, ages and genders were not immediately released.

Equipment operator dies

Reno, NV - in industrial accident A contracted employee of the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility died in an industrial accident Sunday afternoon, Sparks and Washoe County officials said. The man, whose identity wasn't immediately available, was killed while operating a piece of equipment around 5:30 p.m., said Washoe County Sheriff's Deputy Darrin Rice. Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are joining Washoe County sheriff's detectives in investigating the cause of the accident. The facility, located at 8500 Clean Water Way along the Truckee River just east of South McCarran Boulevard, is co-owned by Reno and Sparks. Sparks spokesman Adam Mayberry did not know what company the employee worked for. The facility is the primary sewage treatment plant for the Truckee Meadows.

Bleckley police officer dies in car accident

Dublin,GA, - Special to The Courier Herald A one car accident that occurred last Monday in Cochran has claimed the life of one of Cochran’s police officers. According to Cochran’s Acting Chief of Police Jon Thrower, Sgt. Edwin Sears died Sunday afternoon as the result of injuries he sustained in the wreck.

Maine aid worker dies in New Orleans

Portland, ME - Police in New Orleans are investigating the bus accident on Saturday that killed a hurricane relief volunteer from Portland. Meg Perry, 26, was among 13 Mainers who had traveled last month to the Gulf Coast to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. She was well-known in Portland as an activist at People's Free Space, a community organization that focuses on social justice causes. Perry died Saturday afternoon around 1:30, when the group's bus crashed on Interstate 10 near downtown New Orleans. The driver, 20-year-old Alyssa Wisehart of Connecticut, lost control and hit both guardrails on the interstate before the bus flipped on its side, according to a report on Sunday by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Officer dies in shootout with burglary suspects

NEW YORK -- A young police officer dying from a bullet to his chest shot two burglary suspects early Saturday, one of them identified as an actor who played a misfit mobster on "The Sopranos." Officer Daniel Enchautegui, 28, collapsed in the driveway of his Bronx home and died shortly afterward.The wounded suspects were quickly captured. Investigators identified one as Lillo Brancato Jr., an actor who got his break in the Robert De Niro-directed film "A Bronx Tale" in 1993 and played doomed mob wannabe Matt Bevilacqua during the 1999-2000 season of "The Sopranos.

Painter stabbed to death

Beverly Hills, CA -- Beverly Hills Police have few clues to follow in the stabbing death early Wednesday morning of a 65-year-old Burbank man. Jurgen Hapke, who worked as a painter, was remembered by family members as a hard-working man who was considering retirement when he was killed at a job site at a Wells Fargo bank in the 9300 block of Wilshire Boulevard "They were done with the job and were there to pick up their scaffolding," said Brad Turnham, Hapke's stepson. Hapke and partner Helmut Mende were attacked at about 6:45 a.m. by an unknown man who drove up in a dark-colored American-made car, Beverly Hills Police said. Without provocation, the man stabbed Mende, 71, multiple times. Hapke approached the man yelling and trying to scare him away, said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mitch McCann. The man then turned on Hapke, stabbing him multiple times in the chest, McCann said.

West Virginia miner 20th U.S. coal death in 2005

Newhall, West Virginia - A West Virginia miner killed in a roof fall Thursday afternoon is the 20th U.S. coal miner to die on the job in 2005. Denny J. East, 35, of Panther, died in the accident at a new underground mining operation in McDowell County, according to federal officials. East is the third fatality this year for West Virginia’s coal industry, according to the federal government’s official count. The accident occurred at 12:40 p.m. Thursday at Arjay Mining Inc.’s Adkins Branch Mine No. 1A near Newhall, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. The company was in the process of opening the new mine when the accident occurred, said C.A. Phillips, deputy director at the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

Railroad worker shot in attempted robbery

Macon, GA - A Norfolk Southern Railroad worker was shot Friday during an attempted robbery near Masseyville Road. William E. Windham, 45, told investigators he was sitting in his truck along the railroad tracks when two men came up with a gun and tried to rob him shortly before noon, according to a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office. When Windham tried to drive away, the gunman shot him in the upper left side of his body, the release stated. The men ran away without getting anything and Windham flagged down a passing Atlanta Gas Light worker who called 911, the release stated.

DeVos Place employee killed in accident

Grand Rapids, MI - An accident inside DeVos Place has left one person dead. Police tell 24 Hour News 8 that just after 1:00 a.m., first responders were called to the complex after a section of doorway fell on a security guard. Officials say James Avink Jr., 26, died at the scene. It happened right along Bridge Street at the building's loading dock. The Mason-Dixie Dixieland Challenge race for Saturday is canceled. MIOSHA will investigate the incident.

Vanderbilt police officer dies in wreck

Nashville, TN - A Vanderbilt University police officer died after driving at excessive speed on wet pavement in his pickup truck, which crashed into a tree while he was on his way to work, Metro and Vanderbilt police said yesterday. Douglas A. Bailey, 49, of Antioch was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was taken for treatment, police said.

Democrat-Gazette productions manager killed in auto accident

SPRINGDALE, AR — A headon collision on U.S. 71 Business on Wednesday afternoon killed two drivers, including Eric Haley, productions manager at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Arkansas edition. Haley’s green Nissan pickup was traveling south near Wagon Wheel Road when it was struck by a silver Lincoln sedan traveling north about 4:30 p.m., said Ken Watson, assistant police chief of Springdale.

PA Shop Owner Killed by Giant Tire

UNIONTOWN, PA - A freak accident at a tire store in Fayette County has killed the store's owner. Allen Craft was killed yesterday at industrial tire shop Craft Tire when a large, off-road tire fell and crushed him. It happened in North Union Township at about 1:35 p.m. yesterday. Glenn Heller is a sales representative at Craft. He says Allan Craft founded the business and has owned it for 25 years. Fayette County Coroner Phillip Reilly says the tire that struck Craft weighed between 8,000 and 12,000 pounds.

Construction worker dies after house falls on him

ROUND LAKE PARK, IL -- An Indiana man was killed Tuesday when the pre-fabricated home he was working on in Round Lake Park fell on him, authorities said Wednesday. Roger Dunithan, 61, of Syracuse was killed, said Round Lake Park and Hainesville Police Chief George Filenko. The ranch-style home in the 2800 block of Gateway Circle was on cinder blocks and either the blocks moved or the weight of the home caused the structure to become dislodged, officials said.

Caregiver At Miami Assisted Living Facility Killed

MIAMI, FL -- Police in Miami are searching for two suspects after an employee of an assisted living facility was killed Thursday morning. The incident happened at an assisted living facility on the 7100 block of Northwest 1st Terrace in Doral. The victim, a woman in her early 20's, was not immediately identified. But friends said she had recently arrived in Miami from Honduras. Miami-Dade Police detectives said 12 people lived at the facility in northwest Miami-Dade County.

Falling concrete kills construction worker

OVERTON, NE — A Lincoln construction worker was killed when a one-ton piece of concrete fell on him at an overpass project Tuesday. Jose Walle-Martinez, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, about half a mile west of Overton, Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber said. According to a preliminary report, the concrete became displaced and fell 30 feet before crushing Walle-Martinez, who was on a crane lift waiting for the concrete to be placed on a retaining wall. The concrete was about 10 feet long and weighed about a ton, said Toby Tomsen, roads project manager. Capital Contractors, a Lincoln-based construction company that specializes in bridge construction, was the sub-contractor doing the bridge work. Paulsen Inc. of Cozad is the primary contractor for the $6.36 million project. Anthony Aksamit, 37, of Superior also was injured. He was treated and released from a Kearney hospital.

Street Sweeper Driver Killed In Collision With Semi

COCOA, Fla. -- A street sweeper was killed in Brevard County on Thursday morning when he was run over by a semi. Channel 9 has learned the driver of the semi was arrested for what he allegedly did moments before the crash.

Those who witnessed the horrible crash on State Road 520 near I-95 said a sweeper truck driver had absolutely no chance of survival.

"The front end is straight, flat. There's nothing there but a steering wheel and a 12-inch dash in front of you. That's it. That's all the protection you got," Pridgen said.

Troopers said the 32-year-old man died instantly when his sweeper got caught underneath a semi-tractor trailer driven by 66-year-old Jerry McClendon of Georgia

Driver killed in crash was resident of Utica

LA SALLE, IL — An autopsy was set for today on the area trucker who died early Wednesday in a tanker truck collision on Interstate 80, near Marseilles.

Wayne B. Wold, 57, Utica, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:05 a.m. Wednesday, said La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard.

Illinois State Police, District 17, La Salle, identified the other truck driver involved in the crash as Corwin T. Mirr, 48, Princeton, Wis. Mirr was transported to Morris Hospital, an ISP spokesman said.

Driver killed in three-vehicle crash

RENSSELAER, IN -- A semitrailer driver died Wednesday morning after a three-vehicle crash near here on Interstate 65, closing both southbound lanes for more than eight hours.

Zoran Jefic, 55, of Greenfield, Wis., was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jasper County coroner's office. Jefic suffered blunt force trauma to his head, chest and legs, according to Indiana State Police in Lowell.

Semi Driver Killed In Overnight Interstate Accident

TROY, Ohio -- Authorities said a semi struck another semi and left a driver dead. The accident happened on Interstate 75 in Miami County about three miles north of Troy around 12:45 a.m.

At this time, investigators are considering charging the surviving driver with vehicular homicide.

Investigators said a State Highway Patrol trooper escaped injury during the incident. They said the driver of the second semi was traveling at an unsafe speed for the extremely hazardous conditions of snow, ice and 30 mph wind gusts.

Authorities identify worker killed in accident

Sparks, NV -- The man killed in an accident at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility over the weekend died of blunt force trauma to the head, the Washoe County Coroner's office said Monday.

The victim was identified as 44-year-old Donald Wilson of Grass Valley, Calif. He was an employee of Wastewater Solids Management Co., which is under contract with the plant to periodically clean out tanks used in water reclamation.

Randall Gray, who manages the plant at 8500 Clean Water Way in Sparks, said Wilson apparently got his head stuck in a piece of machinery.

The Oregon-based company has been contracted to clean the tanks for several years, and there's never been a serious safety issue.

Construction worker dies after house falls on him

ROUND LAKE PARK, IN -- An Indiana man was killed Tuesday when the pre-fabricated home he was working on in Round Lake Park fell on him, authorities said Wednesday.

Roger Dunithan, 61, of Syracuse was killed, said Round Lake Park and Hainesville Police Chief George Filenko.

The ranch-style home in the 2800 block of Gateway Circle was on cinder blocks and either the blocks moved or the weight of the home caused the structure to become dislodged, officials said.

Liquor store owner killed during robbery

Houston, TX -- A southeast Houston liquor store owner was fatally shot Wednesday during an apparent robbery, police said.

The victim, whose identity has not been released, was slain about 7:15 p.m. at Diamond Liquor, 4910 Telephone Road, police said.

Police have not determined how much money may have been taken during the robbery. Detectives said they will examine videotape from the store security camera to find clues to help them solve the case.

Truck driver killed in train-truck collision

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- An Amtrak train collided with a semitrailer in southeastern Utah, killing the truck driver, injuring several Amtrak passengers and derailing the front wheel on the train's lead engine, authorities said.

The California Zephyr was carrying 119 passengers from Emeryville, Calif., to Chicago on Wednesday when it hit the truck at a train crossing, just south of Interstate 70, about 46 miles east of Green River, said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham. The crossing has only warning signs, said Graham, who is based in Oakland, Calif.

The train hit the truck, which was hauling trash, and traveled about one-half mile down the track before coming to a stop, said Chief Deputy Curt Brewer of the Grand County sheriff's office. It appeared the truck was trying to cross the tracks in front of the approaching train, he said.

Killed in the crash was David Miller, 26, of Clifton, Colo., and his truck was owned by Roustabout Specialties in Grand Junction, Colo., the sheriff's office said.

Founding utility director killed

LIHU'E, Kaua'i, HI — John Bandmann, a founding board member of the Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative, died Tuesday.

Bandmann, 63, of Lawa'i, was electrocuted while helping dismantle an old plantation electrical station in Kekaha.

He worked for Kaua'i Electric for 26 years as a line maintenance worker and baseyard supervisor. When the firm was purchased to be operated as a community cooperative, Bandmann ran for its first board of directors in 2003 and was one of the top vote-getters. He was also a longtime community volunteer and sportsman.

Truck driver killed in wreck

Charlotte, NC -- A man driving a tractor-trailer in southern Catawba County was killed this morning after he lost control and hit two cars and several trees before crashing.

The N.C. Highway Patrol, which is investigating the wreck, did not release the driver's identity pending notification of his family, said Trooper B.K. Perkins.

Construction Worker Killed On Job

Charlotte, NC -- A construction worker was killed on the job in northwest Mecklenburg County.

The construction site is on Preservation Pointe Drive off Overlook Mountain Drive. That's near Brookshire Boulevard.

Eyewitness News was told that the man was trapped under a piece of equipment.

Fire, police and medic crews are at the scene. Officials are trying to piece together exactly what happened.

Newspaper truck driver killed in crash on Interstate 84

MONTGOMERY, N.Y. -- A delivery driver for an upstate newspaper was killed when his truck crashed into the back of a snowplow on Interstate 84.

Police say Edward Hooper of Monroe was driving west in the Orange County town of Montgomery when the collision occurred yesterday morning near exit six on I-84.

It was the fourth fatal accident on that stretch of highway this year.

Employee shot, killed at Fayetteville VA hospital

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. --An employee was shot and killed in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Monday night, and another hospital worker was charged with murder, authorities said.

Arthur James Charland Jr., 42, a pharmacy technician, was arrested by the FBI because the incident happened on federal property. He was charged by the agency with first-degree murder and held in the Cumberland County Jail.

The victim's name was being withheld Tuesday while authorities tried to locate her relatives, according to Ken Lucas, spokesman for the FBI's state headquarters in Charlotte

Worker found slain in Durango's

ST. PETERSBURG , FL -- A 29-year-old assistant manager at a Durango's Steakhouse was found murdered in the restaurant early Monday morning in the city's 31st homicide of the year, the most in more than a decade.

Stephen Francis Holmes, who was recently promoted, was closing up the restaurant at 3901 Fourth St. N Sunday night. An employee told police they last saw him alive around 10 p.m.

Just after midnight, an exterminator there for routine work used a key to enter the restaurant and found Holmes "with severe upper body trauma," police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.

Worker killed at Rantoul factory

RANTOUL, Ill. --A Rantoul woman died after she was apparently pinned between a forklift and racks at the Conair Corp., manufacturing plant here, authorities said.

Andrea Guajardo, 38, was pronounced dead at an Urbana hospital shortly after the accident Monday morning, Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said. Preliminary autopsy results indicated she died from crushing injuries, he said.

There were no witnesses to the accident, which happened in the plant's distribution center, but several people were nearby, said Brad Saltsgaver, a Rantoul police investigator.

"I feel comfortable (concluding) it probably was just an accident," Saltsgaver said. The company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were also investigating.

Guajardo's death is the second at the plant this year. An explosion inside a chemical mixing room last July killed plant worker Erna Uden, 52, of Rankin.

Miner killed in Armstrong County

Bethel, PA -- A coal miner was killed Monday at Rosebud Mining Co. Logansport Mine in Bethel Township, Armstrong County. Eric Benjamin Hill, 30, of 1256 Elders Ridge, Indiana County, was operating a continuous miner around 2:15 p.m. Monday when part of the rock ceiling fell on top of the machine, pinning him underneath, according to mine inspectors.

Hill, a 6-year veteran miner, was working in an area about 2 miles from the mine entrance and roughly 400 feet underground when the incident occurred, investigators said. Seven other men who were working in the area were not injured.

Armstrong County Coroner Bob Bower said the preliminary cause of death was asphyxiation and would most likely be ruled accidental. An autopsy was planned for today. Investigators said initial reports were that a three-foot by 12-foot section of rock came loose and fell on top of Hill, trapping him underneath.

A miner also was killed in June at Rosebud's Tracy Lynne Mine in Kiski Township, Armstrong County. In that incident, Boyd Alfred Beer Jr., 26, of Kittanning, died when a section of mine roof collapsed.

Firefighter dies en route to blaze

Austin, TX -- An award-winning volunteer firefighter from the Hill Country community of Briggs died early Sunday as he responded to a reported fire.

Chad Wessels, 31, was traveling east on RM 963 when he lost control of the 1,200-gallon water tanker he was driving about 1:30 a.m., according to the Department of Public Safety.

The tanker, a 1986 GMC flatbed truck, went off the road, struck a fence and some trees, and caught fire. Wessels was pronounced dead at the scene, about 15 miles northeast of Burnet.

Driver plunges cab into Hudson

New York, NY -- A distraught livery cab driver was presumed drowned yesterday after driving off an upper West Side pier into the Hudson River when a parks worker booted him off a pedestrian walkway, cops said.

NYPD divers scoured the 45-degree, 25-foot-deep waters off the W. 69th St. pier for five hours for the unidentified man before calling off the search at 5 p.m., police said.

Cops said it appeared the driver, from New Jersey, intended to commit suicide.

Without warning, he barreled through a waist-high metal railing and off the 800-foot-long pier, shocking witnesses and sending cops, firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard scrambling to Riverside Park South.

Two workers killed in construction accident in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL – A concrete slab crashed through the roof Monday of a building under construction on the city's South Side, crushing two workers to death, authorities said.

A construction crane was trying to position the slab atop the four-story masonry building. The workers were on the second floor, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

"We don't know if it was crane failure or operator error or what at this point. We don't want to speculate," Langford said.

Emergency crews closed the construction site and were working to reinforce the floors with large jacks, Langford said.

The dead were identified as Jaime Jones, 33, and James Beemsterboer, 37.

State Trooper Killed Near Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA -- A state trooper was fatally shot while making a traffic stop early Monday and police set up a manhunt for four suspects, authorities said.

The shooting occurred shortly after 2 a.m. near the Carnegie exit of Interstate 279, just west of Pittsburgh. The trooper's gun was missing, police said.

Glass-factory worker dies after suffering neck wound

Louisville, KY -- A 28-year-old Louisville man died Thursday morning after being injured on the job at Kentucky Mirror & Plate Glass Co.

The man, Jose Antonio Garcia, was struck in the neck by a piece of glass that shattered as he was removing it from a crate, said Jo-Ann Farmer, Jefferson County senior deputy coroner.

Farmer said Garcia was taken to University Hospital, where he died at 11:58 a.m. of a dissected artery.

She said that after being struck by the glass, Garcia ran from the back of the factory to the front office of the business at 818-820 W. Main St., which is about half a city block.

Truck driver killed in crash likely had medical trouble

TAMPA, FL -- TAMPA - A 56-year-old Tampa truck driver likely experienced "some kind of medical distress" that caused him to lose control of a semitrailer truck Wednesday afternoon, said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins.

Abelardo Perez of 917 Palm Drive north of downtown died after the truck crashed into two oak trees, investigators said. Until the medical examiner completes an autopsy, troopers won't know for sure what happened to Perez just before the truck veered off the road, Coggins said.

Perez was driving south on U.S. 41 near S 17th Avenue in Tampa at about 4:32 p.m. when the truck veered to the right across other southbound lanes.

Worker crushed while installing FEMA trailer

Slidell, LA-- An out-of-state worker was killed Thursday when a FEMA trailer he was helping install at a Slidell home collapsed and fell on him, law enforcement authorities said.

The name of the man was not immediately released. He was a contract worker, a law enforcement official said.

The man was installing the Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer at a home in the 1300 block of Hampton Road when it fell and crushed him, the official said. He was dead at the scene, authorities said. No other information was available Thursday night.


Spokane, WA -- A man moving barrels of grease from a restaurant was crushed to death in a hydraulic lift Tuesday morning.

Two employees of Frank's Diner, 1516 W. Second Ave., walked out the back door of the restaurant on a break about 7:30 a.m. and made a grisly discovery, said Spokane Police Sgt. Gary Warren.

The victim had been collecting barrels of waste grease from the restaurant for Baker Commodities Inc. when he became stuck in a hydraulic lift used to load the barrels into a truck.

He was crushed and died instantly. The restaurant employees found him about five minutes later.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating the case. The man's name and age were not released Tuesday.


Antioch, CA -- An Antioch man was electrocuted in a work-related accident Thursday evening.

Daniel Hart, 51, was found unconscious near a work area on the Pittsburg/Antioch Highway at Verne Roberts Circle shortly after 5 p.m., said a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Coroner's Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Delta Diablo Sanitation District press release.

Hart had worked for the district since 2001 as an instrument technician, district general manager Gary Darling said. He was working on rewiring a portion of the plant when the incident occurred, Darling said.

Officials probe death of man in truck

Pittsburgh, PA -- An investigation continues into the death of a Clymer man found unconscious in his pickup truck Thursday.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mike Baker said Allen Matthew Rhea, 30, of 225 Morris St., was taken to Indiana Regional Medical Center in cardiopulmonary arrest just after 9 p.m. Thursday. He was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m.

Rhea had been found unconscious in his truck on Hemlock Road at Route 422 in Armstrong Township in Indiana County. The truck traveled off the south berm, hit a guide rail and was still running with the tires almost completely consumed by fire as they spun against the road.

Rusty Mechling, owner of Fayette Engineering Co. Inc., on Route 119, in North Union Township, said Rhea was performing contract work earlier in the day in a building behind his business, which repairs armored vehicles for the military.

Baker said Rhea was removing contaminants from steel girders in the plant.

Worker dies after falling into Union County wood chip bin

URBANA, Ark. --A lumberman was killed when he fell into a wood chip bin at a sawmill and an auger was somehow activated.

Floyd Lundy Jr., 31, of El Dorado, died in Thursday's accident at the Anthony Forest Products sawmill, Union County Chief Deputy Jerry Thomas said. Lundy died at the scene, Coroner Curtis Butterfield said.

Anthony Forest Products President Aubra Anthony Jr. said Lundy had worked at the mill for nearly 10 years.

Worker killed by front-end loader near

Wilmington, DE -- State police this morning are investigating the death of a man who was run over by a front-end loader at a salvage yard near Wilmington.

State police spokeswoman Sgt. Melissa Zebley said the victim, whose name has not been released, was apparently standing behind a large piece of equipment at Casper’s Auto Parts at 741 S. Market St. when a co-worker using the loader backed over him.

Van driver is killed in crash with tow truck; rig had brake trouble

LAKESIDE, CA – A tow truck with smoking brakes that was pulling a large utility truck swerved out of control and smashed into a van, killing its driver, on state Route 67 yesterday, authorities said.

The name of the van driver, a 35-year-old Ramona woman, was not immediately released.

Lanes remained open past the wreckage, but southbound traffic backed up nearly to Ramona, and northbound motorists fared little better through the evening commute.

Worker killed by wall of dirt in Jericho

Long Island, NY -- A 26-year-old man was buried alive when a wall of dirt collapsed on him and three others who were digging a trench at a Jericho home, police said.

Juan Ramos, whose first child was born eight days ago, died despite co-workers' frantic efforts to free him.

Ramos came to the U.S. nine years ago from El Salvador, his brother said.

The workers were waterproofing a townhouse foundation at the Hunt Club, a gated condominium complex on the north service road of the Long Island Expressway.

Umbagog refuge worker killed in accident

ERROL, N.H. -- A worker at the Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge has died after an accident.

State police said Elaine Barnett, 52, of Wilson Mills, Maine, was trying to open a gate on an access road at the refuge when she was pinned against the gate by her pickup truck. She was pronounced dead at Upper Connecticut Valley Regional Hospital in Colebrook.

State police said the Chevrolet pickup may have slid on snow and ice after Barnett got out to open the gate Tuesday.

State investigates death of worker

DURHAM, NC -- Officials with the state Department of Labor were investigating a Durham construction accident that killed one man and injured another.

Christopher B. Winn, 31, of Louin, Miss., was killed early Friday at 5325 Old Oxford Highway, said Capt. Paul Martin of the Durham County Sheriff's Office. Winn was part of a crew working on a new site for the pharmaceutical company Merck.

About 8:15 a.m. Friday, Winn was steadying a large piece of steel as it was being hoisted by a crane, Martin said. An electrical current from a power line arced to part of the crane, transferring the energy to Winn and electrocuting him, Martin said. Another worker who had been working alongside Winn complained of numbness but didn't appear to be seriously injured, Martin said.

Winn worked for Pittsburg Tank & Tower, a Kentucky company working on the Merck project under general contractor Turner Construction, officials said Tuesday.

Farmworker, 22, dies after tractor rolls over near Simi

Simi Valley, CA -- A farmworker was killed Saturday in an accident at the Mehan Ranch avocado orchard near Simi Valley.

Alejandro Ramos, 22, lived in Fillmore and was an employee of Central Coast Labor, according to a statement released by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Paramedics and sheriff's deputies were called to Mehan Ranch at 15255 Tierra Rejada Road about 12:45 p.m. to investigate an accident. They found Ramos trapped under a tractor and pronounced him dead at the scene.

According to sheriff's Capt. Bill Flannigan, Ramos was on the tractor pulling a trailer when the accident happened. He tried to go up a steep hill and the tractor fell back and pinned him.

Bronx construction worker dies after falling 5 stories

NEW YORK, NY -- A construction worker died Wednesday after falling five stories from a Bronx building, police said.

The 27-year-old worker, whose name was not released, was doing brick work on the outside of 2985 Botanical Square, in the Bedford Park section, when he fell from the fifth floor to the pavement at 1:42 p.m., police said.

He had been on a makeshift scaffold, police spokesman Detective Brian Sessa said.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Supervisor of $36 million highway project killed on job

Memphis, TN -- The supervisor of a $36 million road improvement project in Memphis was killed when a crane swinging concrete beams into place at a bridge construction site over the Wolf River slipped and lost its load Wednesday.

Police said two cranes were involved in the accident, one on the east bank of the river and one on the west bank. While a beam was in the air, fire officials said the soil underneath the western crane shifted, sending it into the river.

Phillip Bell, 43, was killed when the beam struck the east bank, flipped upward and struck him as he was standing outside the crane cab. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Bell worked for Dement Construction Co.

Bus driver dies following crash

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- The tour bus driver involved in an accident that sent 35 passengers to the hospital this weekend died Monday, police said.

Donald Snell, 60, of Gloversville, died at Hackensack Medical University Center in New Jersey from injuries sustained during the crash, according to Bergen County Police.

The bus Snell was operating collided with a second tour bus and two other cars shortly before 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning along Route 17 in northern New Jersey, officials said.

Two Marine Reservists arrested in death of Pizza Hut worker

ALBANY, Ga. -- Two Marine Reservists were arrested in the shooting death of an 18-year-old gunned down as he left his job at a Pizza Hut in Albany.

Deyale Johnson, 20, and Nevarro Brinson, 22, were charged in the killing of Damarcus Wadell.

Firefighter dies in traffic accident

New Orleans, LA -- A New Orleans fire captain was killed Friday afternoon when his fire truck swerved to avoid an 18-wheeler at an eastern New Orleans intersection and struck a minivan before rolling over in a ditch , authorities said.

Capt. Richard B. McCurley, a 12-year NOFD veteran who drew praise from fire Superintendent Charles Parent for his participation in many rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, died at the scene. In the moments before his death, witnesses said the severely injured leader mustered the strength to use his radio to call emergency medical workers to the scene to treat two other firefighters and two civilians who suffered injuries in the crash.


KILGORE, TX - Part of a Gregg County highway is closed indefinitely after a Pilgrim's Pride truck crashed on a bridge, killing the driver, littering the roadway with processed chicken parts and causing transportation officials to question the bridge's integrity, officials said.

Fred Baxter, 59, of Pittsburg, was ejected from the truck and died at the scene of the wreck early Thursday, according to a report from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

He was not wearing a seat belt, the report said.

Baxter had been driving north on Texas Highway 135 when he may have fallen asleep, the report said. The truck veered one way, then another, finally striking the guardrail of the bridge and plunging into Caney Creek, about two miles north of Interstate 20.

2 men sought in store owner's death

Houston, TX -- Police released a surveillance video Saturday of the armed robbery at a northeast Houston meat market during which the popular owner of the shop, a fixture in the community for about 25 years, was fatally shot.

Witnesses said one of the two armed men who entered Vega's Meat Market, at 8003 Fillmore, at 9:13 a.m. Friday became very angry with owner Valdemar Vega, 52, about the amount of money he was given, according to Houston Police Department homicide investigator Alan Brown.

Witnesses said the man yelled, "This isn't all the money," Brown said.

Ogden crossing guard dies after car hits him

Ogden, UT -- An Ogden crossing guard died Saturday, one day after a car hit him.

Lynn Gilbert, 67, was wearing his reflective clothing, holding a stop sign and preparing to help children cross Harrison Boulevard at 33rd Street when he was struck about 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Ogden police Lt. David Tarran said the driver of the 1996 Chevrolet Corsica might have been paying attention to a stopped car in the lane beside her and not seen Gilbert in the left northbound lane.

Kansas trucker hauling hogs killed in Arkansas wreck

MOUNTAINBURG, Ark.--A Kansas truck driver hauling hogs was killed when his rig ran off Interstate 540 and struck a concrete bridge pillar. Hogs escaped from the truck and blocked traffic before being herded into a makeshift pen.

State police identified the dead man as Armin Brandhorst, 34, of Green, Kan. Troopers speculated that Brandhorst may have fallen asleep, then overcorrected after waking to realize his rig was leaving the roadway.

"We had about 40 hogs all over 540 highway," wrecker service owner Ken Pence said. Some hogs remained trapped in the trailer and had to be lifted out with straps and a front-end loader.

Phelps Dodge workers die separate in accidents

Two men died in accidents this week at Phelps Dodge facilities in New Mexico. The accidents occurred Monday and Tuesday. The deaths were the first at a New Mexico facility of the company since 1998.

The company identified the men as William Scott Johnson, 42, of Deming, a Chino Mines Co. maintenance services worker, and Earl Marlbrough, 42, of Beaumont, Texas, who worked for a contractor at Phelps Dodge's closed Hidalgo smelter near Playas.

Richard Peterson, spokesman for Phelps Dodge, said Johnson was killed about 11 a.m. Tuesday while pressurizing a pontoon flotation device at the company's Chino plant near Santa Rita.

"He was repairing a metal flotation device used to hold a pump on one of the ponds," Peterson said. "The pontoon ruptured and caused fatal injuries."

Joe Sublasky, spokesman with the Grant County Sheriff's Department, said one of the metal ends of the pontoon blew off and struck Johnson in the head.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Peterson said Johnson had been working alone and no other employees were injured. It is not known what caused the rupture. Johnson had been employed by Phelps Dodge since 2004.

Marlbrough was killed Monday afternoon when a tower that was being demolished at the smelter fell on the machine he was operating. Marlbrough had been operating an excavator while demolishing two electrostatic precipitators -- units that filter smelter emissions.

"The tower fell in a way it was not expected to fall and (landed) on the shearer," state police Officer Russell Tolley said.

Man working on roof falls to his death

A Washington County roofer who was killed Wednesday afternoon while supervising a job in Indiana County was not wearing fall-protection equipment.

The Indiana County Coroner's Office said Thomas Conner, 59, of 901 Michigan Ave., Washington, fell 15-25 feet from the roof of Conveyor Service Belt, a business located on Airport Road just off Newport Road, in Burrell Township, at 4:35 p.m.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mike Baker said Conner was not wearing safety equipment, such as a harness, so representatives from the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration were called in yesterday to investigate the accident.

Conner, who was employed by L. W. Miller Roofing Co., of Washington, apparently misjudged the edge of the roof as he was picking up scraps, fell backward and hit his head on the ground, according to Baker.