Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weekly Toll: Mothers Day Edition

A partial listing of American workers killed on the job over the past two weeks. In this Weekly Toll, we have at least two mothers who were killed on the job, leaving children behind.

This edition of the Weekly Toll is dedicated to the memory of Detective Vicky O. Armel, mother of two children who was shot when a mentally ill youth attacked her police station, and Pamela Holmstrom, mother of three who was shot while driving a cab.

But on this Mothers Day, let's also not forget all the mothers who are mourning the children they have lost to workplace accidents, nor the wives who are spending their first Mothers Day as single parents


Train Kills Worker at Dupont Stop

Washington DC -- A Metro employee was struck and killed by a train yesterday at Dupont Circle Station as he performed routine track maintenance, the second workplace fatality the subway system has suffered in seven months.

Candace Smith, a Metro spokeswoman, said Jong Won Lee, 49, of Springfield was working on track equipment about 50 yards from an entrance to the station when he was hit by a train about 10:15 a.m. She said two employees working nearby were unharmed

Man killed in industrial plant accident

Athens, GA -- A 45-year-old Athens man was killed Friday in an industrial accident at a Lawrenceville plant cited last year for workplace violations.

When firefighters arrived at Valentine Enterprises Inc. on Collins Hill Road just after 11 a.m., they found the body of Jerry Hill inside a large industrial mixer, authorities said.

It was not known if Hill worked for Valentine or for a company maintaining the 150,000-square-foot plant’s equipment.

The 35-year-old company develops, processes and packages powder nutritional and dietary supplements, according to the firm’s Web site.

In July 2005, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Valentine for 15 safety violations the agency rated as “serious,” according to data on the OSHA Web site. The federal agency originally proposed fining Valentine $16,225, the data indicated, but a settlement of $9,735 was reached between the company and OSHA as the problems were corrected.

OSHA looks into carpet cleaners' deaths

Moorpark, CA -- A state agency will investigate the suffocated deaths of two carpet cleaners from carbon monoxide fumes in Moorpark, officials said Tuesday.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration will talk to owners and employees of Coast and Valley Carpet Care and determine what information regarding hazardous conditions the employees should have known and what they were provided with, said Dean Fryer, OSHA spokesman.

Friday night, cousins Victor Manuel Monroy Cortez, 20, and Jose Luis Monroy Cortez, 25, were cleaning carpets at 11808 Torino St. to prepare it for an open house the next day.

The cousins backed their van into the garage, which faces the front of the condominium and is connected to the residence, and started working with a gasoline-powered carpet-cleaning device mounted to the vehicle.

They died from asphyxiation by inhaling exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide, said Senior Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Stevens. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that enters the bloodstream and prevents oxygen from entering the body.

Road worker hit, killed by pickup

Ann Arbor, MI -- A 34-year-old construction worker died Friday night after being hit by a pickup truck in the construction zone on westbound I-94 underneath the northbound US-23 overpass.

Steven Wayne Leelean of Harrison was employed by Midwest Bridge Co. of Williamston, a contractor of the Michigan Department of Transportation. The company is working on the US-23 and I-94 interchange bridge and road repair project, which has had intermittent single-lane closures.

From evidence at the scene and witness statements to police, Leelean was using a push broom to clean up debris from the road around 11 p.m. when he stepped out of the closed left lane and into the open right lane, directly into the path of an oncoming pickup truck, said Michigan State Police Sgt. Tony Cuevas.

Sheriff's Deputy Shot to Death in Tenn.

KINGSTON, Tenn. -- A sheriff's deputy and a friend riding with him on patrol were shot to death Thursday night and one suspect was in custody.

Deputy Bill Jones and his friend, Mike Brown, were found dead along state Highway 58 in eastern Tennessee, Roane County Sheriff David Haggard said.

"It looks like somebody opened fire on them and shot the officer and the ride-along," Haggard said.

Man killed in crane accident identified

VALLEY CENTER, CA – An avocado grove worker who died in a crane accident Wednesday has been identified by the county Medical Examiner's Office as Luis Juarez, 40, of Oceanside.

Juarez died when a crane boom that was being used to load avocados hit power lines on Castlecrest Drive about 7:10 p.m., authorities said.

The cause of death was high-voltage electrocution, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.

Live Oak man killed in farm accident

Branford, FL -- It was a nightmare no one ever wants to experience when a wife found her husband pinned underneath a burning, overturned tractor Saturday evening, Apri 22.

John Clare Saunders apparently died after his tractor overturned and the seat pinned him to the ground.

An investigation is continuing to determine if Saunders, 52, of 169th Road, died from the tractor’s impact or the fire that engulfed the tractor afterward.


A 52-year-old man was crushed to death Tuesday after the forklift truck he was driving flipped over, a Sterling Heights police spokesman said.

The accident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. at Teleflex Fluid Systems Inc., 42600 Mound Road in Sterling Heights, Police Lt. Michael Reese said. The man was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Troy where he later died.

Farm worker dies after being run over in field

Woodland, CA -- A 21-year-old farm laborer has died as the result of injuries received from being run over by a tomato harvester, the state's Department of Industrial Relations reported.

Details were incomplete due to conflicting jurisdictions, however, The Democrat has learned that a CalOSHA investigation is under way into the death.

According to Dean Friar, a spokesman for the Department of Industrial Relations, the accident occurred around 8 a.m. last Wednesday morning in a field near Zamora owned by D. Campos Inc.

Friar reported CalOSHA officials arrived around 10 a.m. They reported the woman was apparently walking alongside or behind a tomato truck as it was backing up into a field when the accident occurred and she was run over.

Truck driver crushed by cargo of logs

FORT SMITH, AR -- A truck driver hauling logs in a rainstorm was killed when his rig slammed into a 10-vehicle pileup and the logs crushed his cab.

State police said the truck driven by Chester Jones, 47, was the last vehicle in the crash on Interstate 540 Monday evening in northwest Arkansas. A police report said the logs he was hauling shifted and crushed him.

Four other persons were injured in the wreck, police said.

Brakes may be culprit in truck driver's death

DRAPER, UT -- The 30-year-old driver of a dump truck was killed Monday after the vehicle's brakes apparently failed.

Just after 3 p.m., Devin Cordes, of Orem, was driving two trailers full of gravel near 13500 South on the Bangerter Highway when, according to a preliminary investigation, something went wrong with the brakes, Draper Police Sgt. Gerry Allred said.

The truck was heading out of the Suncrest Project area, he said.

Cordes lost control of the load on a curve and was killed instantly when the cab was crushed by the heavy load, Allred said.

Solon farmer killed in tractor rollover

SOLON, Iowa -- A Solon farmer was killed Tuesday after he was pinned underneath his tractor, authorities said.

Michael Divoky, 50, was driving his tractor at about 11:30 a.m. southeast of this eastern Iowa town when it veered off the road and into a ditch. The tractor rolled over and pinned Divoky underneath, the Iowa State Patrol said.

He was transported to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead.

Man charged in death of co-worker

PASSAIC, NJ — Police arrested a 44-year-old man Saturday and charged him with the stabbing death of a co-worker after the two got into a fight over money at a construction site last week.

Frank Maltese was arrested about 11 a.m. at a phone booth on Park Avenue in Newark and charged with homicide in the death of Nicholas Luciano, 43, said Passaic Detective Sgt. Stewart Kennedy.

Police Hunt For Security Guard's Killers

LA PUENTE, CA -- The security guard, identified as 59-year-old Frutso Anuino, who had been on the job for only one week, was shot to death Thursday night when four men robbed a La Puente market.

Police are still looking for the suspects, described only as being in their late 20s.

The robbery took place at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday night in the 800 block of Hacienda Boulevard at Northgate Market in the Hacienda Plaza shopping center, sheriff's officials said.

Suspect arrested in hit-and-run death of truck driver

San Pablo, CA -- A Richmond man has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for allegedly running down a truck driver on eastbound Interstate 80 in San Pablo Friday morning as the victim was trying to warn motorists away from his disabled big-rig.

Investigators believe Gabriel Kanani Acosta, 21, was intoxicated at 4:15 a.m. when the car he allegedly was driving hit the truck driver on I-80 near San Pablo Dam Road, throwing the victim 200 feet, said California Highway Patrol Officer Trent Cross.

The victim has been identified as Charles Johnson Jr., 51, of Hayward.

Man killed, 3 hurt in collapse of gas rig, Rain-soaked ground may have caused accident

Binghamton, NY - A worker was killed Friday morning and three others were injured when the natural gas drilling rig they were working on collapsed and fell onto a nearby trailer in the Schuyler County town of Dix. The Schuyler County Sheriff's Department identified the man killed as Burton Stebbins, 27, of Wellsville. He was tethered to the rig about 30 feet above the ground when it collapsed and fell on him, Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman said. The injured men were identified as: * John Matheny, 21, of Ohio, who was treated at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira and released. * Richard Waters, 21, of Whitesville, who was listed in good condition at Arnot Ogden Medical Center. * Kenneth Schoonover, 41, of Renovo, Pa., who was listed in fair condition at Arnot Ogden Medical Center. The drilling rig was located on Baker Hill Road and owned by Union Drilling Inc., which has corporate offices in Fort Worth, Texas, and a regional office in Buckhannon, W.Va. The company was drilling the well for EOG Resources, which is based in Houston.

Georgia Officer Dies Of Suspected Asthma Attack

Columbus, Georgia-- An autopsy is being conducted on a Columbus police officer who died on the job Thursday. The coroner says 39-year old Robert Kearse may have had an asthma attack while sitting in his patrol car at a Wynnton Road gas station. Kearse reportedly tried to radio for help, but could not catch his breath to complete the call. Police say he was under a doctor's care for the respiratory ailment.

Officer Dies In Motorcycle Crash, Motorcycle Collided With Car, Burst Into Flames

SAN DIEGO, CA -- A San Diego police officer was killed Friday when his motorcycle collided with a car and burst into flames in Lincoln Park, authorities said. Officer David Moya, 29, of Campo, had been with the department for five years. He was headed to his parents' house when his civilian motorcycle struck a vehicle on Imperial Avenue at Interstate 805 at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday, San Diego police said. Moya had just left his patrol shift at the department's Southeastern Division. He planned on spending the night at his parents' home because he was due in court in San Diego this morning, said Gary Hassen of the SDPD.

Man's body found at car lot

DURHAM, NC - An elderly man was found dead inside a northern Durham business early Friday. Durham police think it was a homicide but did not release the cause of the man's death. The man, identified as James Morris, 77, of Mebane, was discovered about 9:30 a.m. when a part-time employee went into the office at Growing Motors, a used-car sales lot at 4416 N. Roxboro St., said Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael. Michael said Morris was seen alive at his business at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The employee called for help, and police sealed off the area as a crime scene. Soon, traffic at North Duke and North Roxboro streets had backed up, and several men had congregated in adjacent gravel parking lots, wondering whether the victim was their friend, the man who owned the business. One of the cars owned by the business also was missing, Michael said. Officers were combing the city Friday for a two-door, white 1990 Oldsmobile Toronado. The missing car has a burgundy leather interior and possibly has dealer plates that bear these numbers ID016052, ID016054 or ID016055, according to a police news release. The signs outside the business indicate the operation is at least 20 years old. Shiny used cars are lined up in a row facing the street, their selling points scrawled across their windshields. "Drives x-x-nice," one said.

Bouncer Shot And Killed Outside Walnut Hills Bar

Walnut Hills, OH - A bouncer at a local bar Friday night was shot and killed as he worked the door carding and searching patrons. Police say Adrian Battle was searching a man at the door of the First Note bar on Chapel Street in Walnut Hills around midnight when he found a gun on the man. Police say that's when Battle was shot. The suspect fled the scene. Officers found Battle outside the bar, dead of a gunshot wound. Police say they interviewed people inside the bar which was open when the body was found. One of the bar's workers, who asked to remain anonymous, made a plea to witnesses to come forward. "If you're any type of human being, they'll help," said the bar worker.

Officer Fatally Shot Outside Police Station

Chantilly, VA -- A Fairfax County police detective was killed and two officers were wounded yesterday afternoon after a gunman opened fire with high-powered weapons in the parking lot of a police station during a shift change, law enforcement officials said.

The gunman, who was awaiting trial on carjacking charges in Montgomery County, was killed during the ensuing shootout with police, the officials said.

Police and county officials identified the slain officer as Detective Vicky O. Armel, 40, a nine-year veteran who was assigned to the Sully District station in Chantilly in western Fairfax where the shooting occurred. Her husband is also a Fairfax detective. The couple has two elementary school-aged children, neighbors said.

It was the first fatal shooting of a Fairfax officer in the line of duty in the department's history.

Taxi driver killed in crash

Fayetteville, NC - A taxi driver was killed Saturday morning in a collision on Sante Fe Drive, Fayetteville police said. According to a release, the driver of an Audi lost control and crossed the center line of the roadway, striking the taxi head-on. Investigators believe the Audi was travelling at a “high rate of speed,” the release said. The wreck happened at 1:20 a.m. near Lariat Drive. The driver of the taxi, Jimmy Earl Locklear, 38, died at the scene, police said. Locklear worked for LM Taxi and Shuttle Service. No other details about the collision including the identity of the Audi driver, were available Saturday.

Fast-Food Worker Shot To Death

SAN DIEGO, CA -- A 23-year-old man was killed by a gunman at a Jack in the Box in Sherman Heights, NBC 7/39 reported.Yassir Amarant was rushed to UCSD Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 10:04 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.Amarant was gunned down at about 9:20 p.m. at the Jack in the Box at 2404 Market St. He was working at the cash register. Witnesses said the gunman walked behind the counter, pushed Amarant and shot him with a handgun.

AK Steel: Temporary replacement worker dies at Middletown Works

MIDDLETOWN, OH — A central Ohio man who was a replacement worker at AK Steel in Middletown died after he was struck by a piece of equipment.

Curtis Johnson, 54, of Newark, died Thursday night after being struck by a large coal cart, the Montgomery County coroner’s office said.

Johnson and about 1,500 others began working at the plant after AK Steel’s union employees were locked out more than two months ago in a contract dispute.
The company bought classified advertisements in several Ohio newspapers, including The Dispatch, seeking millwrights, electricians, pipefitters, welders and others to keep the plant running.

Chief: 'No time to react', Chesterfield officers shot, one fatally, in domestic confrontation

Richmond, VA - Chesterfield County police officer Gary J. Buro had been working without a supervisor only two days when he was fatally shot by a man who had been arguing with a girlfriend early yesterday.

Although Buro had 11 years' police experience before coming to Chesterfield, he had been working with a field training officer until Tuesday, Police Chief Col. Carl Baker said yesterday.Buro, hired Jan. 17, was put through the six-week field training officer program to learn the department's procedures.

He's an experienced officer, there's no doubt about that," the chief said.Buro, 34, a former New York City and Lantana, Fla., officer, was killed after he and officer Joseph G. Diman, 26, responded to a domestic disturbance call about 1:20 a.m. in the 3700 block of Totty Street in Ettrick.

Gilbert officer dies of hit-run injuries

Tempe, AZ - A Gilbert police officer died early Sunday from the type of crash he dedicated his life to preventing. Officer Rob Targosz, 37, who spent years arresting drunken drivers, died during surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, several hours after a car driven by a man arrested on suspicion of drunken driving slammed into his motorcycle near the intersection of Price Road and Apache Boulevard in Tempe, police said.

Tyler Fahlman, 20, who Tempe police say is an Arizona State University student, was arrested in connection with the crime at his apartment at University House at Tempe, 2323 E. Apache Boulevard.

Concrete slab falls, kills landscaper

Norwich, OH - A man working a residential landscaping job in Norwich Township was killed yesterday after a concrete patio slab fell on him, police said.Emergency crews called at 8:30 a.m. to a $600,000 home at 4880 Bellann Rd. found the man severely injured and bleeding from his ears in the back yard. He died at Ohio State University Medical Center.Hilliard police said they were having trouble identifying the man, who looked to be in his 20s or 30s. A second worker told police they were employed by Gomez Painting and Drywall at 5969 E. Livingston Ave., but police weren't sure the name was accurate. The company is not listed in the phone book, and officials could not be reached for comment.

Oil field worker killed in equipment accident

SEMINOLE, Okla. - Seminole County authorities say an oil-field worker was killed when the brake failed on a pump jack he was repairing and the weights wedged him in a deadly lock. Sixty-year-old Seminole resident Larry Newby was changing a bolt on the frame of the pump jack when the accident occurred. Seminole County sheriff deputy Charlie Miller says he had placed a pump jack in neutral when the weights came down and trapped him between the weights and pump jack frame.

Three die in Bal Harbour construction accident

Bal Harbour, FL -- Three workers were killed Saturday when the roof of a condominium under construction in Bal Harbour partially collapsed and buried them in drying concrete that ultimately crushed them, authorities said.(The deceased are Torivio Acevedo, 36, of Pompano Beach; Menes Daniel, 52, of Miami; and Endy Guirland, 34, of Miami, Miami-Dade police said.)

Hours after the accident, workers tethered above the victims swung pick axes to hammer away at three-foot-deep concrete so they could extricate the bodies from the 26-story construction site at 10295 Collins Ave., just south of Haulover Inlet.

"These people were basically buried alive in concrete," said Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Lt. Eric Baum.

Man charged after store worker dies

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A Columbia man has been charged with murder after a convenience store manager beaten during a robbery died. Frank Furtick Jr., who was being held on charges of robbery and assault, was charged Friday with murder in the death of Louise Dodds of Lugoff. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Dodds, 61, died Thursday from injuries she got during a robbery at her store April 25.

"Popcorn lung" victim Linda Redman dies

JOPLIN, Mo. - Linda Redman, one of 30 popcorn factory workers who sued a flavor manufacturer over lung damage, died after a long lung illness, her family said. Redman, 57, of Joplin, had to use oxygen and was confined to a wheelchair for the last year of her life. She died at her home Sunday. Redman was among 30 current or former workers at a Jasper popcorn plant who sued International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and its subsidiary, Bush Boake Allen Inc. The lawsuits in Jasper County Circuit Court claimed the workers suffered lung damage because they breathed fumes from the chemical diacetyl, used in butter flavoring for microwave popcorn. They alleged the manufacturers should have known diacetyl was hazardous and failed to inform employees of the dangers. Jasper Popcorn Co. and Glister-Mary Lee Corp., which bought the popcorn factory in 1999, were not defendants in the lawsuits. Government health workers said the butter flavoring likely caused the outbreak of lung disease.

San Francisco officer dies during training exercise

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- San Francisco Police say a 41-year-old officer died during a training exercise.

Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto was a 15-year department veteran. Police say he collapsed and died during a canine training exercise on Treasure Island last night. San Francisco police chief Heather Fong says police are "immeasurably saddened" by the death. Coroners will perform tests to determine the cause of death.

Worker dies after falling in canal

SLIDELL, La. -- A Houston man apparently drowned after falling into a canal while repairing a Hurricane Katrina-damaged boathouse south of Slidell. Saint Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputies say the 29-year-old man's name is being withheld until relatives are notified. Divers searched for about 45 minutes before recovering the body from the muddy waters of the canal, which feeds into Lake Pontchartrain.

Worker dies in fall at water tower

LAWTON, Iowa -- A Des Moines man is dead after falling in a water tower while installing antennas in the northwest Iowa town of Lawton. The Woodbury County sheriff's office says the man, who was working for a company subcontracted by Cingular Wireless, fell about 40 feet yesterday afternoon. His name was not immediately released. Deputies says four men were feeding antenna cable through the top of the tower into the interior when the worker fell and hit a landing. He died at the scene.

Man killed at LA work site

LOS ANGELES, CA - A 19-year-old worker was crushed to death Tuesday when a tractor backed up and rolled over him at a demolition site site near Vernon, authorities said. The man was pronounced dead at the job site at 3032 E. Washington Ave. Vernon police, responding to an emergency call placed at 1:11 p.m., were the first to arrive at the scene. Ten minutes later, Los Angeles firefighters were called. The Los Angeles Police Department and Cal-OSHA were also sent to investigate the workplace death, said city fire's Jim Wells.

Harbor Worker Crushed By Elevator, Critically Hurt

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A maintenance worker was critically injured when he was crushed by an elevator while working on the Sea Launch satellite platform in the Long Beach Harbor. Firefighter Paul Rodriguez said the 37-year-old worker was repairing and cleaning the platform when the accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon. He was hanging by a harness on the side of the structure in the path of an exterior elevator.

Man crushed to death at dairy farm

MYAKKA CITY, FL -- For the second time in less than a year, a man has been crushed to death in an industrial accident at a Manatee dairy farm. The latest victim, identified as 21-year-old Javier Luis Mendoza, was killed Saturday at Jerry Dakin Dairy in the 30700 block of Betts Road in East Manatee. Authorities said Mendoza became pinned by a Bobcat front-end loader bucket. He died from chest trauma, according to sheriff's reports. Mendoza was sitting in the operating seat when he leaned through the opening of the Bobcat to switch loading instruments, authorities said. He did not lock the safety bar, sheriff's investigators said. Mendoza mistakenly leaned on the pedal and the bucket pinned him against the machine. A fellow worker found Mendoza trapped and shut off the Bobcat. Mendoza was pronounced dead at the scene.

Paper-plant worker dies after accident

Chillicothe, OH - A worker at a coated-paper distribution center died after being pulled into a machine, authorities said. William Mullins, 54, of South Webster, was trying to fix paper being fed into the machine Sunday at NewPage Corp.'s converting and distribution center, authorities said. Mullins was operating a machine that cuts paper from a large roll into separate pieces, Ross County Sheriff Ron Nichols said. Mullins died at Adena Regional Medical Center.

Construction worker dies in fall from bridge

IN - A worker fell to his death from a bridge under construction over Interstate 69, police said. James Spears, 52, of Roanoke, fell about 25 feet from the bridge to the pavement below in a lane that was blocked to traffic Wednesday, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. Spears was an employee of Primco, a company contracted by the Indiana Department of Transportation to upgrade the overpass at County Road 400 North near Pokagon State Park.

Trucker Killed In Rollover

Sioux Falls, SD - One person is dead after a semi truck rolled over. The accident happened at about 7:30 on Highway 34 southeast of Flandreau. The road was blocked for an extended amount of time today as officials cleaned up after the accident. A witness’s account to the highway patrol that tells how it started. South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Olson says, “Advised that the vehicle veered off the roadway, attempted to correct and rolled.” That rollover sent the massive eighteen-wheeler into the ditch, smashinga sign, cracking the tanker and spilling hot tar into the ditch. Cleanup will take some time. “They're making arrangements with emergency management to clean up the rest of the hot tar,” says Olson. But troopers say what's worse, is that the driver, 29-year old Eric Berreth of Redwood Falls, was not wearing his seat belt. He was thrown from the cab and killed. The Highway Patrol hopes the oozing black mess serves as a reminder to buckle up, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. The South Dakota Highway Patrol says they are continuing their investigation into why the truck went off the road. The witness reports the driver had not been driving wildly until going into the ditch.

Utility worker killed while fixing power lines

Wausaukee, Wis. - A worker was killed while he was trying to fix some power lines downed by a storm, a utility company said Friday. Tim Howard, 45, was killed Thursday afternoon in an incident involving a tree, though Wisconsin Public Service Corp. said the exact circumstances were still being investigated. "We're not quite really sure what happened," spokeswoman Jenny Short said. A co-worker found Howard in a rural area of Wausaukee, she said. About 28,000 customers lost power after a storm Thursday brought gusting winds that knocked down trees and limbs, the utility said. Hundreds of people in Wabeno, Wausaukee and Door County were still without power Friday evening, though the utility expected to restore power to most customers by midnight.

Fall from bridge

Kansas City, KS - Police on Thursday identified Dan Denzer, 47, of Pettigrew, Ark., as the worker who fell to his death while painting the underside of a bridge Wednesday afternoon. The Lexington Avenue bridge at North Chestnut Trafficway has been closed since January for repairs. Denzer stepped back on a platform, fell through a hole and landed on the ground about 50 feet below. The platform had holes to accommodate girders. About a dozen workers were at the bridge at the time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating whether workers had a required fall-protection system, such as guardrails or safety nets.

County employee dies in County Building bathroom

Chicago, IL - A Cook County comptroller’s office employee collapsed in a County Building bathroom and later died of natural causes, an autopsy determined Thursday. An autopsy on William Reilly, 64, of 531 N. Wells St., determined he died from coronary atherosclerosis, according to a report from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He died of natural causes, the report showed

Illinois man killed in garbage truck accident

ELKHORN, WI - A 56-year-old garbage hauler was killed Wednesday morning when a recycling truck backed over him at Southern Lakes Recycling on Broad Street. Michael B. Minnegan, of 1640 Mulford Road, Esmond, Ill., died at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, said Elkhorn Police Chief Joel Christensen. An autopsy was inconclusive, and the official cause of death was not yet released, Coroner John Griebel said.

Worker dies after being shot in face at auto repair shop

Englewood, CO - An unidentified gunman walked into an Englewood auto repair shop Thursday afternoon and shot an employee in the face with a shotgun, police said. The employee was taken in critical condition to Swedish Medical Center, where he later died. Police responded about 3:30 p.m. to 2 Brothers Automotive, 2720 S. Tejon St., but the gunman had already fled. Investigators recovered a shotgun about a block from the scene, and the shooter left behind a ski mask, police said. No motive has been given, but police are speculating that the shooter might have been a disgruntled customer who was in the shop earlier Thursday. Employees told investigators the customer had made threats to employees. Witnesses who saw the gunman flee described him as Hispanic- looking, between 20 and 30, about 6 feet tall, with a medium build and possibly wearing a yellow shirt with khaki pants.

Worker dies, another severely burned after fumes ignite fire in Wellington home

Wellington, FL -- A blackened window frame was the only visible sign of a house fire that killed a man Wednesday and severely burned another when lacquer fumes ignited in a bedroom where they were working. "The homeowners were there in another room and they heard like a `whoosh,'" Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Capt. Don DeLucia said outside the yellow house at 13281 152nd Place South in Wellington. "It ignited twice." Tim Grant, 34, of Boynton Beach, died in the bedroom, authorities said. Anthony Andrews, 41, of Dania Beach, suffered severe burns and jumped out a window to escape the flames. He was taken to the burn unit of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. His condition was not available.

Transit Authority Investigates Worker's Death

New York, NY - A New York City Transit report on the investigation into the death of one of its workers has revealed problems with a motorman's radio equipment. Lewis Moore, 35, died after being crushed while walking through an open-air car on a moving work train last December 1st. His co-worker couldn't reach Transit Authority emergency dispatchers with his radio to let them know Moore had been injured. Instead, he had to use his cell phone to seek help. The TA investigation concluded that inspecting radio-signal relaying equipment only twice a year is not enough. But it also blames Moore for his own death, saying he violated TA rules on worker safety.

Man killed in workplace accident

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA— A local business where an Athens man was killed Friday was cited last year by federal investigators for workplace safety violations, some of them serious. Jerry Hill, 45, died Friday morning when he became caught in a large industrial mixer at Valentine Enterprises Inc., which makes dietary supplements at its Lawrenceville plant at 940 Collins Hill Road, authorities said.

Spreading Manure, IL Farmer Killed By Tractor

Pinckneyville, IL-A rural Pinckneyville father of five dies in a tractor accident. Authorities say 54-year-old Jim William Lunnemann was spreading manure on a hilly field Monday when the tractor he was driving overturned on him.

Farmer killed in farm accident

GLENVILLE MN- A local farmer was killed Monday when the bucket of his skid loader came down on top of him. Bruce Mittag, 65, was working between a hay field and a plowed field when the accident happened.

Worker dies from injuries at Degussa plant in Theodore

MOBILE, Ala. A 40-year-old worker has died from injuries after he got caught in a conveyer at the Degussa plant in Theodore. Police said 40-year-old Arthur McAlloy was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center at 6:20 p-m- Friday.

Tree Service Employee Dies in Freak Accident

Mongomery, AL-A freak accident in Montgomery killed a tree service employee Tuesday. The accident happened in the Beauvoir subdivision off Bell Road. Police say Terry Parker died when a large pine tree was cut, fell to the ground, and bounced back up -- hitting him in the upper body. Montgomery Police Officers say Parker died at the scene. Parker worked for Bullseye Tree Service.

Philadelphia police officer fatally shot during bar robbery

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A police officer was fatally shot while responding to a robbery at a bar.

Officer Gary Skerski, 46, was heading to the rear entrance of the bar in the city's Frankford section about 10 p.m. Monday when a man came out and fired a shotgun blast, striking him in the neck.

"This officer didn't appear like he even had an opportunity to pull his weapon," Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

Solon farmer killed in tractor rollover

SOLON, Iowa -- A farmer is dead today after being pinned underneath his tractor near the eastern Iowa town of Solon. The State Patrol says 50-year-old Michael Divoky was driving his tractor at about 11:30 a-m when it veered off the road and into a ditch. The tractor rolled over and pinned Divoky underneath. He was transported to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead.

Man dies in accident at quarry

Philadelphia, PA -- A Perry County man died yesterday afternoon after an accident at a Pennsy Supply quarry near Newville. James "Leroy" Kratzer, 42 of Buffalo Twp. died from a fall while working on a concrete batch plant that Pennsy Supply is building at its quarry operation on Jacobs Ridge Lane near Routes 11 and 233, officials said.

A Palestine man was killed Friday in an industrial accident at a steel company in Jewett.

Waco, TX -- Roland Bartley, 44, was doing routine maintenance on a machine at Nucor Steel at about 7 a.m. when the machine switched on, catching Bartley between it and another machine, said Brent Walter, chief deputy with the Leon County Sheriff’s Department.

Worker dies in fall from Cambria County cell tower

EBENSBURG, Pa. -- A worker died after falling about 90 feet from a cell phone tower on the campus of a high school, the Cambria County coroner said. Michael Sellers, 25, of Lebanon, was climbing the tower to install an antenna when the accident happened shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said.

Truck Driver Hauling Logs Crushed by Cargo

FORT SMITH, Ark. — A truck driver hauling logs in a rainstorm was killed when his rig slammed into a 10-vehicle pileup and the logs crushed his cab. State police said 47-year-old Chester Jones' truck was the last vehicle in the crash on Interstate 540 Monday evening in northwest Arkansas. A police report said the logs he was hauling shifted and crushed him.

Stratford employee dies from wounds

STRATFORD, CT — A town public works employee who narrowly escaped being pulled into a wood chipper has died from his injuries. Theodore Johnson, 59, died late Saturday in Bridgeport Hospital. On Thursday, Johnson was feeding branches into a wood chipper in Paradise Green when a rope on one of the branches wrapped around his throat and began pulling him into the chipper

Separate accidents leave 2 men dead

GLENVIEW IL-- Two men died Friday evening in separate accidents in Glenview, police said Saturday.

About 4:50 p.m., police officers and paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive man trapped beneath a vehicle at the Bredemann Ford dealership, 2038 Waukegan Rd. Police discovered that Alvaro Hernandez, 45, a Bredemann employee, had been working on his personal vehicle in the dealership's lot. Co-workers raised the vehicle off Hernandez with floor jacks and paramedics tried to revive him, police said. Hernandez, of the 5800 block of North Maplewood Avenue in Chicago, was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. He was pronounced dead at 5:17 p.m., police said.

Sevier construction worker killed in bobcat blaze

SEVIERVILLE, TN - A man was killed Friday when the Bobcat he was operating caught fire, according to Sevier County Sheriff Bruce Montgomery.

The victim was identified as Darrell Stewart, 46, of Gatlinburg.

Stewart was operating the bobcat in the Summitt Development on Little Laurel Road in the Waldens Creek Community when the vehicle became stuck in a muddy area around a burning brush pile, according to a statement released by the sheriff's department. Stewart was unable to get out before the fire spread to and consumed the Bobcat.

Worker falls 70 feet, dies at Florida construction site

HOLLY HILL Fla. -- A worker died after falling 70 feet from a condominium under construction, authorities said.

Jose Gonzales-Perez, 22, fell from Marina Grande's north tower Monday, said Mark Barker, Holly Hill police commander.

"It is apparent that he was not properly tethered at the time he fell," Barker said.
Gonzales-Perez was hired as a form carpenter by Austell, Ga.-based United Forming Inc., to work on the project, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Worker dies after falling from cell phone tower

EBENSBURG Pa. -- A worker died after falling about 90 feet from a cell phone tower on the campus of a high school, the Cambria County coroner said.

Michael Sellers, 25, of Lebanon, was climbing the tower to install an antenna when the accident happened shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said.

A second worker on the ground was feeding up safety rope, Kwiatkowski said. "The initial climb is always the most dangerous until they get all the safety lines in place," he said. Sellers wore a harness, but it was impossible to hook it on to the tower while he was climbing, Kwiatkowski said.

Sellers, an employee of Sting Communications Inc. of Lebanon, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man dies after being struck by end-loader

WILKES-BARRE Pa. -- A worker at a recycling center died when an end-loader that was backing up drove over him, authorities said.

John Koscak, 74, of Wilkes-Barre, died of a head injury after the accident Thursday afternoon at Solomon Container Service, officials said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating to see if any violations occurred. The agency is not commenting until its investigation is complete, local director Andy Hedesh said.

Man killed by falling patio slab identified

Columbus, OH -- Investigators yesterday identified a landscape worker who was fatally injured when a concrete patio slab fell on him Thursday morning.

Carlos Ochoa died of blunt trauma to the head, Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis said. He died at Ohio State University Medical Center after the accident outside a home on Bellann Road in Norwich Township, just northeast of Hilliard.

Lewis did not have an age or address for the man and had been unable to find any relatives. "By releasing his name, hopefully we?ll hear from next of kin," he said.
Health Administration.

Police said excavation work on a landscaping project left about half of the concrete slab unsupported. Ochoa was standing beneath the slab with a shovel when it fell on him.

Deliveryman's death likely accidental;

Philadelphia, PA -- A doughnut deliveryman who disappeared last week, leaving his idling truck on the Schuylkill Expressway, apparently died accidentally after climbing out of the vehicle and falling 50 feet into the river, police said.

Yesterday morning, a Philadelphia police marine unit recovered the body of James Polisano, 43, of Upper Darby, from the Schuylkill.

"The working theory right now is that he climbed out the window attempting to step on the cement barrier and missed or slipped and fell in the water," said Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detectives Special Investigations.

Man dies after fall at business

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA -- A man died Tuesday after falling through a skylight at a business.

Kevin Girard, an employee of Rasmussen Mechanical Services, was working on a roof-mounted air-conditioning unit at Warren Distribution, 2850 River Road.

He apparently stepped through the skylight while trying to get the serial number off the air conditioner, and fell 25 feet to the floor.

He was pronounced dead at Jennie Edmundson Hospital.

One worker killed, two others hurt after crane collapses

HOUSTON, TX -- One worker was killed and two others were injured Wednesday after a construction crane collapsed in northeast Houston. A crew was working on a highway billboard around 10 a.m. when the crane toppled, sending workers tumbling to the ground about 50 to 60 feet below.

Houston police spokesman Sgt. Nate McDuell said one worker died and two others were taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where they were listed in critical condition. The workers' names were not immediately released.

Houston police Sgt. D.J. Crain said it appeared the weight of the crane shifted and part of the equipment slipped down in the mud, causing the crane to tip.

Police probe death at work site

ASBURY PARK, NJ -- Detectives have begun an investigation into the death of a 52-year-old man who appears to have fallen from a ladder at a construction site this weekend, authorities said Monday.

Roberto Serrano, whose address was not available Monday, died a short time after he fell about 25 feet Saturday. He was working at a construction site on Fourth Avenue and Kingsley Street, Detective Capt. Anthony Salerno said.

It appears that Serrano was climbing the ladder and had some material in his hand when the ladder appears to have slipped, and he fell, Salerno said.

Cab driver, mother of three shot to death during pickup

ROCKFORD, Ill. Rockford police are investigating what many believe is the first murder of a cab driver in the city's history. Fifty-three-year-old Pamela Holmstrom died Sunday after being shot in her cab.

Police had found the mother of three slumped over the wheel of the car.

She had been driving a taxi for about a year.

Other cab drivers said yesterday that the shooting has them rattled.

12-year-old dies in accident on farm

KENTON Ohio -- A 12-year-old boy lost control of a team of horses and was killed in a fall from the seat of a manure spreader, authorities said.

The coroner ruled that Perry Bontrager died from head injuries, the Hardin County sheriff's office said in a news release.

He lost control of the horses, which were pulling the spreader, as they returned to the barn for another load of manure about 11:45 a.m. Monday.

The boy was thrown into the back of the horses and then fell to the ground after the spreader struck a gate post, the sheriff's office said.

Truck driver killed on I-85

Charlotte, NC -- A tow-truck driver was killed early this morning when he ran into a bridge on Interstate 85 in north Charlotte.

The highway patrol says the wreck happened around 3:30 a.m. Troopers say the driver, who has not been identified, apparently fell asleep.

According to police reports, the driver was southbound on I-85 when he apparently went off the road near the Interstate 77 interchange. The driver was killed at the scene.

Truck driver killed near Deer Park

DEER PARK, WA -- A semi driver was killed after his truck tipped over into a creek. The crash happened at Buroughs and Monroe Roads, southwest of Deer Park.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says Terry Lee Sharp, 61, was coming up behind a truck stopped at the intersection, when, for some reason he could not stop. Investigators say it looks like he tried to go around the other truck, but the big rig tipped over, and the cab went into the creek.

A Med-Star helicopter took Sharp to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Cabdriver dies 2 days after crash

WHITE PLAINS, NY - A 39-year-old Mamaroneck village resident who struck a utility pole and a tree while driving his livery cab this week has died from his injuries, authorities said yesterday.

Cesar Moreno-Otavo was pronounced dead at 5:08 p.m. yesterday at Westchester Medical Center, according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy to be performed later should reveal the extent of Moreno-Otavo's injuries, authorities said.

The accident occurred Monday as Moreno-Otavo, who was traveling south on Soundview Avenue in a Ford Crown Victoria, slammed into the pole and tree, and was thrown from his vehicle at least 8 feet, police said. Capt. Paul Lundin said Moreno-Otavo was breathing but wasn't conscious when emergency crews arrived.

Officials ID worker killed on the job

FALLBROOK, CA -- A worker who was crushed to death by heavy equipment on Thursday was identified by the county Medical Examiner's Office as Roberto Pedroza Mendez of Lake Forest.

The 49-year-old man was operating the machinery on Country Road near Canonita Drive at 7:30 a.m. when it rolled over him, Sheriff's deputies said.

Worker killed in fall

GRANVILLE W.Va. -- A construction worker was killed when he fell about four stories while disassembling scaffolding at a shopping complex. The man, a 33-year-old resident of Jefferson, Pa., was not identified pending notification of relatives.

State Police Trooper 1st Class D.E. Barger said the accident occurred Friday morning at the University Town Centre in Granville. The man, who was employed by M.I. Friday Inc. of Pittsburgh, was pronounced dead at the scene.

M.I. Friday is a masonry company that specializes in schools, office buildings, large retail/commercial establishments and other large projects, according to the company's Web site.