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

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Weekly Toll: Death In The American Workplace

Local produce farmer killed in forklift accident

Mishawaka, IN - Don Schlarb, owner of Hilltop Farms, located on Dragoon Trail in Mishawaka, has died; his family tells NewsCenter 16 he was struck by a forklift on Tuesday while buying a load of watermelons at a friend's farm in Terre Haute


Worker’s death investigated

St. Louis, MO -A worker who fell to his death from a Kansas City bridge Wednesday apparently had worn a safety harness but took it off before the accident, police said Thursday. Other workers told police they saw Andy J. Wilson, 49, of suburban St. Louis, in the harness Wednesday. Police did not know why he took it off. Wilson’s death was the second at the Northeast area bridge in two months. His death prompted city officials to halt work at the site. The work stoppage will continue, according to a statement released by a city spokeswoman, until the city receives a safety plan from the contractor and “assurances from the contractor that all safety requirements are adhered to by all persons on the site as required by city contracts.”


Triple murder began with botched robbery

Honolulu,HI - Police are holding a 23-year-old man suspected of shooting three people to death at the Tantalus lookout last night before tying up and robbing three others who live nearby. The suspect, Adam Koon Wai Mau-Goffredo, has no prior criminal record, police said. Police said Mau-Goffredo took a taxi van up to the lookout, then shot 50-year-old taxi driver Manh Nguyen during a struggle. Police said Mau-Goffredo then shot a couple, Jason and Colleen Takamori, both 53, who were at the lookout taking pictures of the city lights. Investigators said the suspect may have been trying to hold up Nguyen and ended up shooting everyone at the lookout. “This appears to be a botched robbery,” said Homicide Lt. Bill Kato. Mau-Goffredo then took the taxi and drove it to 3703 Round Top Drive and forced his way into the home of Joe and Francine Gedan, police said. Mau-Goffredo tied up the Gedans and a live-in housekeeper before


One Worker Killed In Oil Well Accident

HINTON, Okla. -- An oil rig accident near Hinton, Oklahoma, has left one worker dead and two others hurt. Authorities say a malfunction sent pipe careening through the site Thursday. The well's owned by Dominion Exploration and Production of Oklahoma City and was being drilled by Patterson-UTI Drilling of Snyder, Texas. Caddo County Undersheriff Walt Brown says the afternoon accident happened at a site near Hinton, about 50 miles west of Oklahoma City. Preliminary reports indicate that piping was being pulled out of the drilling area when a brake gave way, allowing material to fall on the rig platform. Sheriff Gene Cain identified the injured as Jonathan Jones of Gracemont, Oklahoma, and William Pittman of Hinton. The sheriff's office later confirmed the name of the dead worker as Andrew Lee Scott of Weatherford, Oklahoma. Calls to Patterson-UTI's offices in Texas and Oklahoma City weren't immediately returned.


Deputy Killed In Freeway Crash

Anaheim, CA - 34 year old Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was killed in an early morning freeway collision in Anaheim. The accident occurred about 5 a.m. this morning on the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway east of Kraemer Boulevard. The deputy has been identified as David Stan Piquette of Corona.


Indiana man killed in work accident

Chicago, IL - A construction accident killed a 20-year-old worker Wednesday afternoon in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood. Vicente Silva was standing near a dual-arm, backhoe tractor at the work site in the 4000 block of North Mozart Street about 1:15 p.m. when the tractor lunged forward, pinning Silva against a wall, Capt. Thomas Libert said. Silva, who is from Hammond, was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at about 2 p.m., a Cook County medical examiner's office spokesman said. No one else was injured in the accident.


Driver Who Allegedly Killed Newspaper Carrier Pleads Not Guilty, Jonathan Dallo Allegedly Slammed Into Carrier's Pickup Truck

EL CAJON, Calif. -- A young man accused of driving a BMW at speeds up to 100 mph before slamming into a pickup truck, killing a newspaper carrier on her pre-dawn rounds, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a vehicular manslaughter charge. Jonathan Dallo, 19, of Jamul, faces up to six years in state prison if convicted of the charge, which carries an allegation of gross negligence, Deputy District Attorney Terrie Roberts said outside court. "There were no alcohol or drugs involved, just speeding," the prosecutor said. The crash occurred last Wednesday when Dallo swerved out of an eastbound lane on State Route 94 in Jamul to pass slower traffic about 4 a.m., authorities said.The 2003-model BMW crashed into a Ford F-150 whose driver, San Diego Union-Tribune employee Jodi Burnett, had stopped to make a left turn onto Rancho Miguel Road.


California Officer Dies Of Injuries

COVINA, Calif.-- A sergeant who was left in a state of semi-consciousness after a 2003 car crash died Monday of complications from injuries he sustained in the collision, police said. Sgt. Scott Hanson was 45. Hanson is the first Covina officer to die as a result of an on-duty incident, according to Chief Kim Raney. "He always wanted to be a cop. He wanted to serve the city he grew up in and he died serving the city," Raney said. Hanson, a 22-year veteran of the department, died at Doctors Hospital in West Covina. He was a lifelong Covina resident and graduated from Northview High School. "It's a tragedy," said former councilman Walter Allen, who knew Hanson.


Cameraman Roland Schlotzhauer was killed on Friday during the filming of a parade scene.

Waterloo, IA - Roland Schlotzhauer specialized in filming helicopter scenes, and died when his chopper became entangled in power lines and crashed. The filming for the movie was shut down for only two days. On Monday the film concluded their on location shooting near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "We chose to complete the movie in honor of the fellows that were on the helicopter," co-producer Steve Schott told the Associated Press.


Fatal accident in Chilton

Chilton, TX - A man was killed Tuesday morning when his truck overturned in the Falls County town of Chilton. The accident happened just before 8:00 p.m. on Highway 7 Business, just east of Highway 77. Troopers say the driver of a produce truck hit a ditch, over-corrected, and lost control; causing the truck to roll over, crushing the cab. The driver, 24-year-old Rogelio Rubio Jr. of San Antonio was killed. No other cars were involved in the accident.


2 Killed, 1 Injured In BQE Accident

Brooklyn, NY -- Two people died Wednesday morning when a livery cab rear-ended a tractor-trailer on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, police said. The accident caused the tractor-trailer to burst into flames, police said. The cab driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the cab's passengers, a woman and a man, were brought to Elmhurst Hospital Center. The woman was pronounced dead on arrival. The man was listed in critical condition. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.


Man Killed on Tractor

Williamson, NY -- A farmer was found dead in the field near his home Monday in the town of Williamson. Shawn Fenton, 30, of Knickerbocker Road, Ontario was operating an older model garden tractor near the edge of a peach orchard on north Slocum Road. The engine malfunctioned causing the belt and pulley to break; Fenton suffered severe lacerations of the neck. His wife had tried to reach the man on his cell phone but when he didn’t answer, she went out to investigate.


CDOT worker dies , Mancos man electrocuted in accident

Durango, CO -- A Colorado Department of Transportation worker shocked by electricity from a 7,200-volt wire during a repaving project near Mancos has died from his injuries. The victim, Rodger Bell, 44, died on June 27. He had been transported by a Flight for Life helicopter from Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque on June 26. He died there at about 4 a.m. the next day, said Lauren Cruse, a University of New Mexico Hospital public affairs representative. The incident occurred about 12:21 p.m. June 2 on U.S. Highway 160 just east of Mancos, where CDOT is repaving about three-tenths of a mile of highway. Richard Reynolds, CDOT regional director for the southwest and south central parts of the state, said the department is investigating the accident. Reynolds declined to comment further. He expressed sorrow at Bell's death in a statement. "This is a terrible tragedy," Reynolds said. "Rodger Bell was an exceptional employee, and a sincere and genuine good man. He will be sorely missed by his friends and co-workers." According to Reynolds, Bell lived in Mancos.


Search Continues For Maine Truck Driver Lost In Floods

Binghamton, NY - Two tractor-trailers fell into a roaring creek that feeds the Susquehanna River near Binghamton, N.Y., last Wednesday morning when a culvert collapsed beneath Interstate 88. Rescue teams found one of the trucks and the driver's body that morning. It was not until Sunday that divers found the tractor-trailer driven by Patrick O'Connell, 55, a longtime driver for Micucci Wholesale Foods of Portland, who was making a weekly run to a cheese company in Cuba, N.Y.


Dead grocery employee was electrocuted, cops say

Indianapolis, IN - An Eastside grocery worker found dead in the store's restroom was electrocuted, police said Sunday. Indianapolis Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Staletovich said that preliminary results of a death investigation showed the electrocution of Yared G. Adhanom, 27, 5000 block of Kessler Boulevard, was likely due to a faulty heater wire. Staletovich said an autopsy had determined the cause of death, and that the circumstances of the electrocution at LoBill Foods, 3737 E. Washington St., were determined in a preliminary analysis by experts from the Indianapolis Power & Light Co. Adhanom was found dead in the store's locked restroom early Friday morning, after other employees called authorities when he failed to come out or respond after several minutes. Rescue workers gained entry and found him about 5:20 a.m.


Victims of Idaho casino blast identified

WORLEY, Idaho — Fragments of fireworks were found in the charred remains of a metal shipping container that exploded and caught fire, killing two Washington state men at the Coeur d'Alene Casino. Still, investigators have not determined if the fireworks are to blame for Thursday's explosion, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. The identities of the two men killed in blaze were confirmed as casino maintenance employees Donald S. Hanson, of Fairfield, Spokane County, and Richard E. Stokes of Rockford, Spokane County, said sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger. The investigation — led by the sheriff's department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will continue into this week on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation, Wolfinger said. The casino canceled fireworks shows it had scheduled for Saturday and Tuesday.


Family of Wilsonart employee killed in Wednesday crash speaks

Tucson, AZ - The wife and friends of a Temple Wilsonart employee killed in a fiery crash Wednesday in Arizona say Steve Brady was a man of faith. Brady and John Zelisko, who was also killed, were both from the Milam county town of Buckholts. The crash happened Wednesday night on Interstate-10, about 80 miles east of Tucson. The Arizona DPS says the Wilsonart truck exploded when it crashed into a semi in front of it. Troopers say poor visibility from a dust storm may have led to the wreck. Steve Brady was an Associate Pastor at the Grace Church in Cameron during his time off. His family says he spent his life helping others on and off the road.


Store will continue to operate despite tragedy

Hutchinson, KS - There's nothing in an employee manual to tell managers and executives how to handle a murder-suicide inside a small-town retail store. There's no reference material, no formula and no process chart that spells out the best practice for handling such an unpredictable and horrifying scenario. So when Duckwall's CEO Bruce Dale received the call that a company employee had killed a co-worker before turning the shotgun on himself, Dale had to react quickly. "On Monday, we brought in a local pastor and a couple of counselors who deal with grief and tragedies," Dale said. "I went down and met with people on Monday afternoon." Dale said the store would continue to operate in Greensburg despite the tragedy that took place inside the building. Some renovations and remodeling - such as tearing out the office where Alicia "A.J." Harding-Huebler was killed - will help remove some of the constant reminders of the June 16 shootings.


N. Shore rail line reeling from 2nd death

Boston, MA - A North Shore commuter rail line has been struck by two deaths in two days, with one track worker dying in a construction accident and another man succumbing after being hit by a train, MBTA officials said. The latest accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. yesterday when John Lee, 20, was hit by a Newburyport-bound commuter train in Ipswich. T officials said the train’s engineer told police he came around a bend and saw a body on the tracks but could not stop the train in time. T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the agency bused passengers between Newburyport and Hamilton until noon yesterday while police investigated the scene. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. Meanwhile, T police yesterday continued to probe the death of a track worker who was crushed between two pieces of heavy machinery about 3:10 p.m. Thursday. The worker, Joseph Gilraine, 36, of Chelmsford was replacing ties on the Rockport line in Gloucester when the accident occurred. T police are interviewing workers and reconstructing the scene to determine the cause of the accident, Pesaturo said.


Working firefighters mourn comrade

Wellington, OH- Firefighters on Friday mourned the death of their comrade Al "Buz" Anderson the only way they knew how - by working. Several volunteers, including three divers, helped LaGrange Township firefighters rescue two adults and two children trapped in their home by floodwaters from the Black River. The firefighters "were out there with heavy hearts today," Fire Chief Robert Walker said. "I could see it in their faces. But they knew they had a job to do." Anderson, 47, died Thursday while trying to rescue two teen- agers trapped in a Jeep in high water near Wellington. Other firefight ers were able to bring the teens, Chet Aden, 17, and Ashley Jordan, 16, to safety. Lt. Bill Brown recalled returning with Anderson from an emergency call Monday at Findley State Park.


Hotel Charged After Teen Employee Dies In Wreck

GREENSBURG, PA - A Westmoreland County hotel is charged with violating state child labor laws following the death of a teenager who had been clocked in for 16 hours. The state Department of Labor and Industry charged Hospitality Group Services, which operates the Ramada of Historic Ligonier, on Wednesday. Sean Nemcheck, 17, who was from Cook Township, was killed on his way home the morning of February 19th, when his truck crashed.


Man killed while working at coal preparation plant

MADISONVILLE, Ky. - A Henderson County man suffered fatal injuries while working at a new coal preparation plant in western Kentucky. The man's name has not been released. He was taken to the Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead at 8:49 a.m. CST on Friday, Hopkins County Coroner John Walters said. The plant is owned by Hopkins County Coal LLC. The victim worked for General Mine Contracting in Henderson, Walters said. The company was doing contracting work on the plant, which was scheduled to open next week. Details of the man's death have not been released. The accident occurred at the East Volunteer Mine on Anton Road, said Dirk Fillpot, spokesman for the Mine Safety and Heath Administration.


Explosion and Fire at Idaho Plant Kills 1

BOISE, Idaho — An explosion and fire Friday at a building being converted into a biodiesel plant killed one man and injured the victim's father and another employee, state police said. Blaise Black, 25, was killed. He had been welding on top of a biodiesel storage tank at Blue Sky Biodiesel at the time of the blast, state police spokesman Rick Ohnsman said. The tank contained an unknown amount of the fuel, and the blast set off another, smaller one and a fire, he said.


3 teens arrested in city slaying, Blown robbery led to homicide, 1 suspect says

Charleston, WV - Three Charleston juveniles have been charged with murder in the death of a South Charleston man who was shot late Thursday during a botched robbery attempt, authorities said. Within hours of the shooting, Charleston police arrested a 16-year-old and charged him with the killing of Joshua Boggess, 25. On Friday afternoon, police apprehended the other two teenagers, who are 15 and 16 years old, without incident in Charleston and St. Albans, Charleston police Detective Bobby Eggleton said.


Man found dead, pinned under car

SHARONVILLE, OH -- An employee of Tri-State Sterling Trucks Inc. on Annuity Drive in Sharonville was found dead in a garage bay by another worker at about 6:40 a.m. today. Allan D. Gibson, 56, of West Chester Township, was pinned underneath a car. It appeared that the jack lifting the car had come down on top of him, Sharonville police said.


Cook found dead in burning restaurant

OSSIPEE, NH -- Anthony Balliro is innocent of two arson charges and did not kill the cook found inside his burning restaurant, his public defender said Friday. "We maintain Anthony's innocence. He did not commit these crimes," public defender Jesse Friedman said after Balliro's arraignment on the arson charges in Southern Carroll County District Court. The charges are felonies, so he could not enter formal pleas. Prosecutors say the cook found dead Wednesday night in the burning Moose Tracks Restaurant in Bartlett had been stabbed repeatedly, but as of Friday afternoon no charges had been filed. Judge Pamela Albee set bail at $500,000 cash for Balliro, 45, of Bartlett, on the arson charges. They accuse Balliro of setting the fire at the restaurant and another at a nearby home where authorities say he had been living. Authorities say the restaurant fire was set around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. When firefighters got inside, they found the body of Steven Hayes, 45, of Jackson


Worker fatally shot at eatery

Chicago, IL - An employee of a fast-food restaurant was shot to death Sunday during an apparent robbery on Chicago's South Side, police said. The 19-year-old woman was shot about 5:15 p.m. inside the KFC restaurant at 83rd Street and South Chicago Avenue. The shooting occurred during a hold-up, but police do not know whether anything was stolen, Calumet Area Sgt. David Wright said. The woman, whose name has not been released, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead, Wright said.


2 dead, 5 injured in arson, gunfire at Safeway

DENVER, COLORADO -- A gunman opened fire Sunday at a Safeway Inc. distribution center, killing one person and injuring five others, including a police officer, before the shooter was killed. Several fires were burning inside the estimated 1.3 million-square-foot building near Interstate 70, said Denver Fire Chief Larry Trujillo. Safeway worker Jesus Lopez told KMGH-Ch. 7 he was about 20 feet away from the gunman. "He was just shooting and lighting fires. He wanted to turn the building on fire," Lopez said. "I just ran. Everybody just ran out." Two unidentifed shooting victims were in critical condition, two were in serious condition and one was in fair condition.


Victim dies in Kmart shooting

Englewood, CO -Englewood police are holding a 39-year-old man in connection with the Sunday night shooting at a Kmart store that left one employee dead and a customer in critical condition. Police are expected to seek murder charges against Anthony Law following the 7:53 p.m. shootings at the Kmart at 200 W. Belleview, spokesman Investigator John Hoehler said. Law was arrested without incident at his apartment just across from the store at about 12:40 a.m., Hoehler said today. He is being held at the Arapahoe County Jail. Law allegedly shot employee Kathy Debell, 43, of Littleton, as she waited in front of the store for a ride home, Hoehler said.


Crane falls, crushes man in St. Francisville

ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA — An 18-year-old Illinois man died Monday when he was crushed by the falling boom of a barge-mounted crane in the Mississippi River where a new bridge will be built, West Feliciana Parish Sheriff J. Austin Daniel said. The sheriff identified the victim as Tristen Jett Hall, an employee of a consulting firm doing soil-boring work for the proposed John James Audubon Bridge between West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes.


Man Killed in Blast at Cheyenne Truck Stop

Cheyenne, WY - The blast occurred around noon today Saturday at the Sapp Brothers truck stop. Sheriff's Sergeant J.P. Hartigan says the man apparently ignited vapors inside the drum, and the drum's lid struck the man in the face and chest. Hartigan says deputies arrived to find another employee giving the victim CPR. Hartigan says the drum may have contained vapors from an octane-boosting fuel additive. He says the man was cutting the lid off the drum to turn it into a trash can. The identity of the 44-year-old man is being withheld pending family notification.


Remembering a beloved father, town employee

Wakefield, MA - Mark Delory, the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department worker tragically killed last Friday, is being memorialized this week by friends, family and co-workers. “Mark was very, very popular,” said WMGLD Manager Bill Wallace. “Mark would do anything for you.” Delory, 39, a gas worker, was filling a pothole on Lowell Street at about 9:45 p.m. when he was struck by an oncoming car. He died a few hours later in the hospital as a result of his injuries.


Worker electrocuted at 49 West Coffeehouse

Annapolis, MD - A man was electrocuted yesterday while working on the air-conditioning unit at 49 West Coffeehouse in Annapolis. Paul M. Butcher, 26, of Annapolis, was the second person affiliated with the restaurant to die in less than a week. At 5:51 p.m., a manager from the restaurant called emergency services to report a cardiac arrest or possible electrocution. The manager found Mr. Butcher unresponsive while on top of the walk-in freezer attached to the kitchen on the first floor. Mr. Butcher was a contractor who was there to repair the heating and cooling system, police said. The emergency dispatcher walked the cafe's manager through cardio-pulmonary resuscitation procedures, but Mr. Butcher could not be revived.


Man dies after being crushed by forklift

Varysburg, NY-(June 28, 2006) — New York state troopers today are investigating the accidental death of a Wyoming County employee. Robert Batt, 56, of Varysburg, Wyoming County, drove a tractor-trailer to Schenck Road in Castile, Wyoming County, yesterday morning to collect a forklift, said Trooper Rebecca Gibbons. Batt was a Wyoming County Department of Transportation employee. The forklift apparently rolled over on Batt and crushed him as he loaded the machinery onto the tractor-trailer, she said. Although the forklift was not turned on, its parking brake was not activated and the machinery remained in reverse gear, she said.


Worker killed in accident at new Keiser College building

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL -- Deputies say a 38-year-old construction worker died Friday when part of a concrete wall fell on him during construction at the Keiser College campus. Rodney Strumbo, of the 1800 block of Debbie Street, was cutting a hole in a concrete wall when it fell on him shortly after 11 a.m. Strumbo was taken to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in Manatee County, where he died.


Worker dies at manufacturing Northwood plant, family says

NORTHWOOD, Iowa -A new employee at a manufacturing plant has died in a work-related accident in northern Iowa. Dennis Vanderwoude had worked at Advanced Component Technologies in Northwood for six days when the accident occurred Monday. His daughter Michelle Karnes says she heard he was crushed by a machine, but authorities have not told her any more details.


Work-related accident kills Springhill woman

SAREPTA-LA – Webster sheriff’s investigators have determined that there was no foul play involved in a work-related accident that killed a Springhill woman Wednesday night. Colota Gates, 27, was pronounced dead shortly after the accident about 11 p.m. at Continental Structural Plastics, located in the North Webster Industrial Park north of Sarepta and south of Cullen and Springhill, Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton said. Gates was loading raw material onto a compression molding press when it came down and struck her head. The press has 19 tons of pressure.


Worker dies after falling from ladder

Newport News, VA-A man died Wednesday after falling off a ladder on the job at a Newport News apartment complex. Jason Maund, 25, was working on a second-story air conditioning unit at River Walk Apartments on Randolph Road. Authorities were called around 2:40 p.m. and Maund was pronounced dead minutes later. Police say there is an indication that Maund had been electrocuted; however, an autopsy is being done to determine how he died.


Worker dies in fall at Upper Peninsula mine

ISHPEMING, MI -- A worker at an Upper Peninsula iron ore mine has been killed in a fall. Forty-nine-year-old Carl Rintamaki died Wednesday at the Tilden Mine in Marquette County. A spokesman says he was doing routine maintenance work on the roof Wednesday afternoon and fell through.


KeySpan repair worker electrocuted at job site

Lido Beach, NY-A KeySpan worker under contract to LIPA died yesterday while making utility repairs in Lido Beach, authorities said. Joseph Ingenito, 55, of Malverne, was working on a malfunctioning transformer and climbed into a manhole to investigate a blown fuse when he was electrocuted, Nassau police said. He was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m.


Funeral: Dad Killed In 540 Foot Fall

Evansville, IN -- A funeral will be held this weekend, for an Evansville man who died on the job in Florida. David Brown, 30, worked for the Evansville-based S & W Tower Maintenance. He was being lifted on a piece of machinery to remove equipment from a television tower when he fell.


David City Farmer Killed In Farm Accident

DAVID CITY, Neb. -- A 75-year-old rural David City farmer is dead following a farm accident in a pasture six miles northwest of the eastern Nebraska town. Authorities said Jerome Meysenburg was killed Sunday when the six-wheeled, all-terrain-vehicle he was operating rolled. He was thrown from the machine, which then landed on him.


Remains Found in Motel Collapse

Bremen, GA - Search and rescue teams recovered badly burned human remains Tuesday night while digging by hand to find a maintenance worker and two other men feared trapped by a roof collapse at a motel. The collapse followed several explosions and a fire at the two-story extended stay motel on US 29 in Bremen Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night, officials who had believed 44-year-old Reese Helton was the only person trapped said two other men could be inside the rubble. They were identified as Robert Swint and Jimmy Swan. The remains were transported to the GBI crime lab for a positive identification. Helton's relatives, including his 17-year-old daughter, sobbed uncontrollably as they anxiously awaited news about his fate. Hours before the remains were found, a cousin said rescuers could no longer hear Helton's cries for help.


Taco Bell Franchisee Fined After Teen Dies in Car Accident

MO-A Taco Bell franchisee in Richmond, Missouri, has paid $24,200 in fines after a 17-year-old employee was killed in a traffic accident while driving to pick up provisions for the restaurant, the Department of Labor announced.


Road Worker Killed In Crash On Highway 85

DENVER, CO -- A road worker was killed in a car crash Saturday that occurred around 4:15 p.m. on Highway 85 in Sedalia in front of Sedalia Bar and Grill.

Colorado State Patrol said 19-year-old Elizabeth Vogel, the driver of a Geo Metro, was traveling northbound on Highway 85 when the car crashed into a construction pickup truck as the Metro drifted into the median.

The momentum of the crash carried both vehicles into a coned construction zone where a road worker was walking. The worker, 27-year-old Christopher Naeve from Westminster, was hit in the crash as he was getting out of his truck in the construction zone.


Hotel Charged After Teen Employee Dies In Wreck

GREENSBURG, PA -- A Westmoreland County hotel is charged with violating state child labor laws following the death of a teenager who had been clocked in for 16 hours.

The state Department of Labor and Industry charged Hospitality Group Services, which operates the Ramada of Historic Ligonier, on Wednesday.

Sean Nemcheck, 17, who was from Cook Township, was killed on his way home the morning of February 19th, when his truck crashed. The state prohibits minors from working more than eight hours a day or from working beyond 1 am on Saturdays, among other things.


Owner Found Slain in Hair Salon in St. Mary's

St. Mary's, MD -- The longtime owner and operator of a Charlotte Hall hair salon was found slain inside his shop early Monday evening, St. Mary's County law enforcement authorities said.

Robert Phipps Sr., 61, of Aquasco was discovered dead after emergency teams from Charles and St. Mary's counties responded to a report of a possible robbery in progress at the salon, Hairtasia Unisex Haircutters in the Charlotte Hall Center at 29948 Three Notch Rd. (Route 5), according to Lt. Daniel Alioto of the St. Mary's Bureau of Criminal Investigations.


Driver dies in fiery I-75 crash

RICHMOND, VA — The driver of a semi-truck died in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, near the northbound exit 87 ramp.

Howard Harkness, 46, of Chicago, died when his 1999 Freightliner burst into flames after going off the road, over a 30-ft. embankment and overturned in a wooded ravine.

The truck was fully engulfed in flames on impact, Richmond Police Sgt. Willard Reardon said.


Immigrant worker dies of heat exposure

FORT WORTH, TX -- This year's first heat-related death in north Texas is the subject of a federal investigation and wrongful death lawsuit. Attorneys filed it today in a case that also goes to the heart of the debate over illegal immigration.

A healthy 19-year-old man snuck into America, found a construction job, but lost his life. Purely an accident, or did his illegal status make him more vulnerable? Government and private investigators are trying to find out.

Dozens of mourners cried for Faustino Varela, even though he had been in America just a few weeks. Only his body went home to Mexico. Faustino never saw a paycheck. He collapsed with $4 in his pocket his second day on the job.

He was working on this foundation in one of north Fort Worth's many new subdivisions. On April 18th, the temperature hit 100. Some young men at the service say they worked the same site that day."He started sitting down, saying he was feeling bad. That's when he passed out," said Sandra Chavez, a friend of Varela’s.

Relatives believe the young immigrant would have been afraid to ask for a break or a drink, or an ambulance."He felt like he didn't have many rights because he was illegal," said Andres Mata, Varela’s cousin.According to medical documents his body temperature was 108 degrees. He died after four days, unconscious in intensive care.


Worker killed in Webster Parish plant accident

SAREPTA, La. -- A bizarre accident at a plastic car parts plant in Webster Parish has claimed the life of a woman. It happened at Continental Structural Plastics in Sarepta.

Authorities say Colotha Gates was loading her machine and someone apparently tripped the machine accidentally, causing the press to come down and crush her skull. Gates later died from her injury.


Separate farm accidents kill two

Monroe, WI -- Two men are dead after separate farm accidents today in Waupaca County and Green County. Waupaca Sheriff's Sergeant Brad Hardel says a 66-year-old man was killed when several large bales of hay fell on him this morning.

The sheriff's department identified the victim as 24-year-old Jesus Lopez of Monroe.


Tow Truck Driver Killed By SUV He Had Been Towing

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A tow truck driver was crushed to death by an SUV he had been towing, police said Wednesday.

Julio Sanchez, 30, of Santa Cruz, had towed the illegally parked Ford Explorer from another location. He stopped on the side of the road and apparently got underneath the SUV, though exactly why was not immediately determined, Pieprok said. Sanchez became trapped under the vehicle as it remained hooked to the tow truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Pieprok said.


Worker Killed By Runaway Bus

HONOLULU, HI- An employee of The Bus died Monday afternoon after a bus he was working on reportedly rolled over him, and dragged him nearly 100 feet. The accident happened in Moanalua at the corner of Ala Mahamoe Street and Jarett White Road. The spokesman for EMS tells us the 59 year old man, Alan Toshio Ishimaru, died at the scene.

He was reportedly working underneath the back ofthe bus when it began rolling down an incline. A second man was also working on the bus at the time. The bus rolled through the front yard of a home and came to a stop just feet from the house itself after crashing through a rock wall.


Father, town worker killed on duty

Wakefield, MA -- The town of Wakefield is mourning this week, after a town worker and father of four was killed while working on Lowell Street. Mark A. Delory, 39, was killed last Friday night, June 24, after a car crashed into him, pushing him into another vehicle. He leaves behind a wife, four school-age children and a large circle of friends and family.


Tippecanoe County firefighter killed in house fire

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A volunteer firefighter charged into a burning house looking for occupants and crashed through a fire-weakened floor Sunday afternoon, falling into the basement and dying despite valiant efforts to save him, authorities said.

Assistant Chief Steven Smith of the Wea Township Community Fire Department died at the scene. The 34-year-old rural Lafayette resident had been a volunteer firefighter for 10 years.


Trucker dies in Kiowa County wreck

Eads, NE --A Nebraska truck driver died Tuesday in a single-vehicle accident 15 miles southeast of Eads in Kiowa County. Clyde G. Rager, 50, of Ponca, Neb., was pronounced dead at the scene by Kiowa County Coroner John Hadley.


Pike Co. nightclub security guard dies from wounds

McCOMB Miss. -- A security guard at a Pike County nightclub died Wednesday of wounds suffered in a shooting at the lounge on June 11, authorities said. Eric Ransom, 35, of Jackson, who worked security for the now-defunct Club Vegas, was shot after breaking up a couple's quarrel.


Crop-duster crash investigated

COLT, AK - The Federal Aviation Administration says it is investigating the fatal crash of an aircraft that had been spraying fertilizer on rice fields near Colt in St. Francis County.

Adam Hess, 24, of Wynne, died Tuesday when the 1999 Ayres S2R-T34 he was piloting crashed about 4:30 p.m. in a rice field 5.5 miles west of Colt, said Gene Wingo, chief deputy for the St. Francis County sheriff's office. The aircraft, which was destroyed, was registered to Hamlin Flying Service of Wynne.


Worker killed at Tilden Mine Falls through roof

ISHPEMING, MI — A 49-year-old Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. employee was killed Wednesday afternoon after a fall while working at the Tilden Mine pellet plant. According to a CCI press release, Carl Rintamaki of Ishpeming was working on the roof of the mine’s pellet plant at about 1 p.m. when he fell through the roof, falling approximately 30 feet.

“It’s too early in the investigation to make any speculations into the cause of the incident,” CCI spokesman Dale Hemmila said. “It appears as if Mr. Rintamaki was performing routine maintenance when the accident occurred.”

The death was the third fatality recorded at a Marquette County iron mine facility in less than nine months. On April 2, Kim G. Nicholls, 51, of Marquette died after apparently falling from an iron ore pellet rail car at the Tilden Mine in National Mine. A preliminary state police investigation showed that Nicholls, a conductor and engineer with L.S. & I., fell off the rear of a train that was backing up in the Tilden stockpile area.

In the other accident, Empire Mine employee Chad Michael Weston, 28, of Ishpeming died Nov. 6 at the Palmer mine’s pelletizing plant. He died after becoming trapped in machinery.


Toledoan hurt earlier in fall through roof dies

Toledo, OH -- A Toledo man died Thursday in Medical University of Ohio Medical Center from injuries sustained earlier this month when he fell through the roof of a Gypsum, Ohio, industrial plant, authorities said.

Kyle Hunlock, 22, of 2620 Westmar Ct., who worked for Hazcorp Environmental Services in Toledo, was on the roof of the U.S. Gypsum Co. June 14 when he stepped over a protective railing to take a material sample, Ottawa County sheriff's deputies said.

He stepped onto a piece of fiberboard that was covering a hole in the roof. It did not support his weight, and he fell about 33 feet, hitting pipes and other materials as he fell. He landed between a wall and a small Dumpster, deputies said.


Pennsylvania man killed in industrial accident

VERNAL, UT -- A 23-year-old man was killed Monday afternoon in an industrial accident at an oil field location 45 miles southeast of Vernal.

David Anthony Vickers, Jr., of Export, Pa., was resting in the shade between the tires of a large forklift when a co-worker climbed onto the forklift without seeing him to unload a truck, according to the Uintah County Sheriff's Department. The co-worker drove forward, running over and crushing Vickers' chest.


Man dies after being crushed by forklift

CASTILE N.Y. -- A county transportation worker was killed Tuesday morning when he was crushed by a forklift he was loading onto a tractor-trailer, state police said. Robert Batt, 56, of Varysburg, drove a tractor-trailer to collect the forklift around 8 a.m. in Castile, about 55 miles south of Rochester, police said.

Batt was a Wyoming County Department of Transportation employee. The forklift apparently rolled over on Batt and crushed him as he was loading it onto the tractor-trailer, Trooper Rebecca Gibbons said. The forklift was not turned on, but it remained in reverse gear because its parking brake was not activated, she said.


Driver in dump truck crash dies; DA's office reviewing fiery accident

WORCESTER -- Authorities investigating last week's dump truck accident in the Forbes Street area met with a Worcester assistant district attorney yesterday to review the case in the wake of the truck driver's death on Saturday.

Worcester police Sgt. John J. Fallavollita of the traffic division said the assistant district attorney from Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte's office will review the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Malaquias, 29, of Springfield.

Mr. Malaquias, a married father of two, died in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, police and a Ludlow funeral home said. He suffered severe burns and cuts when the dump truck he was driving went over an embankment and caught fire on Paine Street on June 19.

The company Mr. Malaquias worked for, Borges Construction Co. of Ludlow, has been cited by Worcester and state police, both of whom are investigating. Worcester traffic division investigators found that faulty brakes were the reason the 14-wheel dump truck went out of control on Forbes Street. Members of the state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section then pulled two of the company's other trucks out of service last week. The two trucks pulled off the work site had steering and other problems. The company was hired by the city to do sewer work in the Forbes Street area.


Laid-off mine worker shot by Nevada officer

LAS VEGAS, NV -- A recently laid-off miner was shot and killed Friday by a Nevada Highway Patrol officer after the man returned to the mine pit, hijacked a dump truck and drove it on a destructive rampage, authorities said Saturday. Police did not released the name of the 33-year-old man, who died at the Overton-area mine, or identify the NHP officer involved in the shooting.


Worker found in machine died of asphyxiation

HEATH, Ohio -- A worker who apparently fell into a machine used to blend dry plastics material died of asphyxiation when her chest was compressed in the machine, according to preliminary autopsy findings from the Licking County coroner's office.

A co-worker found Julia Arick, 42, of Newark, in the blending bin at Polymer Technologies and Services on Thursday. Authorities said she died before medics and police arrived.


Upstate worker dies after falling from tree

SPARTANBURG S.C. -- A worker from Cherokee County cutting a tree has fallen 20 feet and died, authorities say. Cecil Eugene Blackwell, 49, fell shortly before noon Friday and died about an hour later at the hospital, said Robin Forrest, chief investigator with the Spartanburg County Coroner's Office. Blackwell was working for Blackwell Tree Service when he fell, authorities said.


Funeral Saturday for Hampton man found dead in his business

Hampton, VA -- Hampton Police Friday said they won't release results of a preliminary autopsy done following the death of a popular Hampton businessman

The body of Charles S. "Dick" Hopkins, 82, was found in his business, Hop's Place, Inc. on West Pembroke Avenue near downtown. According to court papers, Hopkins body was found "inside a vat of cleaning solvent" inside the business.


Farm accident claims life

NEWBERRY, MI — A Luce County man died Wednesday night after falling from his tractor in a Lakefield Township hayfield. According to police Clifford French, 67, was towing a rake or a cutter for hay when he fell from the tractor he was operating and under the implement being towed.

“It ran across his chest,” said Luce County Undersheriff Mike Jago, who was among the ambulance personnel responding to the incident reported to dispatchers at 6:45 p.m.


Plane Crash in Maine Kills 4

NEWRY, Maine -- A light plane carrying a pilot and three passengers on an introductory flying lesson crashed Thursday on a remote western Maine mountainside, killing everyone aboard.

Emergency crews reached the wreckage of the Cessna 172 on Barker Mountain near the Sunday River ski area at dusk and confirmed that there were no survivors.

Twin Cities President Nate Humphrey said the pilot was a 24-year-old certified flight instructor with more than 900 hours of flight experience.


Victim in crash with train identified

EPWORTH, Iowa -- Police identified Matthew D. Lake, 27, of Dyersville, as the man killed in an accident Monday when the agricultural sprayer he was driving collided with a freight train just east of Epworth.

Lake hit the engine car of the train as the sprayer he was driving crossed the tracks while headed north on Mozena Road at about 7:15 a.m., according to the Iowa State Police.

Lake failed to yield to the oncoming Canadian National Railway train when crossing the tracks and was ejected from the vehicle after the collision, according to a crash report filed Tuesday by Jon Stickney, of the Iowa State Patrol.


Petersburg man arrested in cab driver's death

Petersburg, VA -- A Petersburg man was arrested in Chesterfield County yesterday in the shooting death and attempted robbery of a Petersburg cab driver Monday night.

He is accused of fatally shooting the cab driver, whose name was being withheld until his relatives could be notified. The driver lived in Petersburg but was a native of West Virginia, said Petersburg police spokesman Sgt. T.E. Young.

The driver, 61, worked for Unique Cab Co. for about three years and was a reliable employee, said owner Anthony Montgomery. "He worked everyday. He was very kind-hearted."


Truck driver killed in I-95 collision

Richmond, VA -- A truck driver was killed early yesterday when his rig slammed into the rear of another tractor-trailer that had stopped in a Interstate 95 work zone in Hanover County.

The victim's identity was being withheld by police until his relatives could be notified. He lived in Ontario, Canada.

The fiery crash occurred just after midnight in the northbound lanes of I-95, north of Sliding Hill Road.


New Mexico Firefighter Dies In Crash

Maxwell, NM -- A wildland firefighter from Ranchos de Taos was killed early Wednesday when a truck he was driving overturned and ejected him on Interstate 25 near Maxwell. Ralph Aguilar, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 6:45 a.m. accident, State Police spokesman Lt. Jimmy Glascock said.

Aguilar was southbound, driving a Ford F-350 wildland firefighting truck when he drifted onto the shoulder and overcorrected, causing the truck to roll. Glascock said Aguilar was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the truck.


Man dies from injuries suffered in factory blast

BELLWOOD , IL -- A Chicago man who was critically injured in an explosion last week at a manufacturing plant in Bellwood died Saturday, authorities said.

The man was identified as Noe Leiva, 41, of the 4100 block of West Fletcher Street, said a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner. He was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Bellwood fire officials said the explosion occurred after fumes built up in a chemical storage area at Universal Form Clamp, 840 25th Ave. Leiva, a truck driver who was making a delivery to the plant, was burned on more than 90 percent of his body, and a worker at the factory was burned on more than 50 percent of his body.


Authorities ID truck driver killed Sunday night on I-75

Macon, GA -- The truck driver who died Sunday night when his 18-wheeler hit a support beam at Sardis Bridge on Interstate 75 has been identified as Ronnie F. Jones of Monroe.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said Monday it has not been determined whether Ronnie Jones, 58, died before or after the crash. An autopsy will be performed, the coroner said.

The truck burst into flames upon striking the support about 9:30 p.m. Traffic on both sides of I-75 was shut down for nearly an hour.


Worker Dies After Falling From Aerial Lift

Union Township, OH -- The Occupational Health and Safety Administration was called to the scene of a deadly accident in Clermont County Monday morning.

An employee of ABC Professional Tree Services was tethered to the bucket of a "cherry-picker" truck when it fell over. Co-workers said the lift had almost reached its maximum height when the bucket tipped and the victim fell to the pavement.

Union Township Police Lt. Scott Gaviglia said Carlos Flores, 21, was in the basket at the end of the fully extended boom when it plummeted 20 feet to the ground.


Two electrocuted, three injured in farm accident

Camilla, GA-Two migrant workers were killed and three more were seriously injured when the corn harvester they were aboard struck a 4,600-volt transmission power line on Wednesday, June 14, in Hopeful.

Lucious Alcius and Planti Racius, who were unresponsive to treatment at the scene of the incident, died shortly after their arrival at Mitchell County Hospital. Stephen St. Fluer, Dieufete Racius and Lumene St. Fluer, who suffered electrical burns, were transported to Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville. Due to the severity of their injuries, the burn victims were then transported to the Joseph Still Burn Center in Augusta. The five men are all Haitian migrant workers from Belle Glade, Fla., employed by McNeil Harvesters.

The incident apparently occurred as the exhaust stack on the corn harvester came into contact with active power lines. Witnesses at the scene told investigators that the driver of the harvester was backing up when he struck a line that anchors the power pole. As the driver attempted to move the harvester forward, the harvester began to pull down the pole to which the line was connected, causing the lines to land on top of the harvester.


Scarville man killed in tractor accident

SCARVILLE, IA -- A farmer was killed in Winnebago County when the tractor he was operating tipped over while he was mowing on a hill, officials said.

Keith Krull, 61, of Scarville, was mowing his property west of Scarville when the tractor tipped over on top of him Saturday afternoon, officials with the Winnebago County sheriff's office said.


Man working on roof electrocuted

PORTSMOUTH, ME -- A Maine man was killed yesterday morning when he accidentally came in contact with a high voltage wire while working on a roof at the Frank E. Booma Post 6 American Legion on Islington Street.

Emergency workers were on the scene within minutes of receiving the report of an electrocution but the victim, William O. Woodward, Jr., 33, of North Berwick, had already succumbed to his injuries.

According to police, he was in and operating a lift, attaching a tarp to the front of the building, when he came into contact with high voltage transmission lines.


Thruway accident kills bus driver

Bronx, NY -- One man was killed and another injured yesterday in Tuxedo in an accident involving a box truck and two buses carrying adult Special Olympians. State Police are continuing to investigate the accident, which happened on the southbound New York State Thruway just over the Rockland border in Orange County.

The accident happened about 10:50 a.m. when the box truck veered into a disabled bus, one of two stopped on the shoulder. Ephraim Williams of the Bronx, the driver of one of the buses, was between the buses trying to repair a mechanical problem, said Investigator Albert Drake of the New York State Police Troop F in Monroe. Williams, 42, was crushed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


Pilot killed, co-pilot injured as plane hits Tampa home

TAMPA, Fla. -- A plane releasing sterilized Mediterranean fruit flies skidded off a runway, crashed into a home and exploded, killing the pilot, officials said. Steve Huisman, 41, of Bradenton, was killed in the crash Monday, and co-pilot Sean Launder, 25, of Sarasota, was severely burned, Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Wade said. Both were employees of Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater, Va.


Longtime market fixture dies in fire: Neeses man was sleeping in his truck when blaze engulfed vehicle, vendor

Columbia, S.C. -- An employee awakened Bryan Williams around 12:15 a.m. Friday in his improvised bunkhouse for truck drivers at the State Farmers Market, warning him about a fire. As Williams emerged from the shed, he saw the van where neighboring vendor Heckle Zimmerman Jr. slept engulfed in flames. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts tentatively identified a body found in the van as the 63-year-old Zimmerman, pending test results. He said the man died of carbon monoxide poisoning and burns.


Trooper killed on I-495 in Wrentham when cruiser hits truck

WRENTHAM, Mass. --A State Police trooper was killed early Thursday when his cruiser drifted into the breakdown lane of Interstate 495 and struck a parked dump truck.

Trooper Paul Barry, a 39-year-old father of seven children, died from injuries in the crash, which occurred before sunrise in Wrentham.

State Police Col. Mark Delaney said the preliminary investigation showed Barry was driving north on I-495 when his cruiser drifted into the breakdown lane, hitting an unoccupied truck.


Grocery store owner slain in robbery by two gunmen

Houston, TX -- The beloved owner of a northwest Houston grocery was shot to death in front of his wife and young son by two men who ambushed the community store early Thursday, police said. Thi Viet Nguyen died from a gunshot wound to the chest about 10:30 am. Thursday, after the two men robbed the Happy Food Mart at 8935 Veterans Memorial. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


2 officials of N.H. company dead in Va. plane crash

CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. -- Two officials of a New Hampshire-based land preservation and development company, one from Connecticut, were killed Wednesday when their single-engine plane crashed in Virginia, a company official confirmed Thursday. The six-seat Beech crashed shortly before 11:30 a.m. about a mile southeast of the private Bundoran airport while trying to land in a field in fog and rain, said Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.


Deputy killed; suspect surrenders and releases hostage

RIVER RIDGE La. -- A man suspected in the early Friday shooting death of a sheriff's deputy surrendered to police at midday, releasing an elderly man he had taken hostage.

John Lee Cheek, 31, who was also suspected in several Texas thefts, walked out of the home of the hostage, Cliff Lala, after about 20 to 30 minutes of negotiations, authorities said. Cheek is a suspect in the death of Cmdr. Octavio Gonzalez of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office. Gonzalez was gunned down early Friday.


TRUCK DRIVER DIES IN CRASH ON I-81


Roanoke, VA -- A California man died when his tractor-trailer overturned on Interstate 81 Tuesday afternoon. The crash happened about 12:15 p.m. on Exit 94A, a Pulaski service road exit off northbound I-81. Virginia State Police Sgt. Dirk Compton said the driver apparently didn't slow down sufficiently to maneuver the exit.


Firefighter dies after rooftop fall

West Babylon, NY --
A West Babylon firefighter died Friday night after he fell from a restaurant roof in Lindenhurst where he was removing a tarp left there from a fire on Tuesday, officials said. Firefighter Michael Greene, 43, of Babylon, was on the one-story roof of Long Island Cheeseburger on Montauk Highway at about 7:45 p.m. when the accident happened. The precise cause of his death was unclear Friday night. Witnesses said that his body never hit the ground but was hanging halfway through an overhang, tangled with electrical wires.


Driver killed as lumber truck plunges into Blue Lakes


BLUE LAKES, CA -- The driver of a truck tractor and trailer was killed shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday as he lost control of his rig and drove off Highway 20 down a steep embankment. The tractor trailer dumped its load of lumber into Blue Lakes as it landed on its roof and became engulfed in flames. Moments later, the truck slid into Blue Lakes and quickly became submerged. The name of the truck driver is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

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