Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Weeky Toll: Fathers Day Edition

Lots of children growing up without fathers, fathers who will bury their sons.

Coroner: Chicken Plant Deaths From Heat, Heart Disease

Perry, GA -- Authorities say one of two men who died on the roof of a Perdue Farms chicken procession plant suffered a heat stroke, while the other died of heart disease.

Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin says 48-year-old Willie Gray -- an employee of Premium Roofing Services -- died Thursday of heat stroke while working on a re-roofing project for the plant.

He says 57-year-old Larry Bryant -- a safety supervisor for Perdue Farms -- died the same day of heart disease after he climbed on the roof and ran to Gray, who had collapsed.

One Officer Killed, Another Hurt in Standoff

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A 20-year Navy veteran who received a medical discharge three years ago told his parents this week that they would never see him again. Two days later, Timothy Joe Irwin was dead after shooting two police officers who had gone to a Wal-Mart parking lot to check on a blue camper-style van that he was in.

Sgt. Gregory Hunter, 54, died Friday, but Officer Bruce Seix managed to fire a few rounds before he was wounded, and those shots killed Irwin, said Grand Prairie detective John Brimmer.

Electric shock kills 1 worker, hurts another at plastics plant

FREMONT, OH - An employee at a Fremont plastics plant was killed and another worker was hurt by electric shock yesterday as they worked on a piece of equipment, authorities said. Matthew von Eitzen, 31, of Fremont died at Fremont Memorial Hospital, where he was taken after the accident at Plastics Group Inc., 2101 Cedar St.

Fremont fire Capt. Marvin Wagner said the men were shocked by about 480 volts."They were working on changing the lower part of a mold and a top section fell out," he said.

Captain Wagner said a metal platform the men were standing on apparently became electrified during the incident. Fremont fire Capt. Marvin Wagner said the men were shocked by about 480 volts.

"They were working on changing the lower part of a mold and a top section fell out," he said. Captain Wagner said a metal platform the men were standing on apparently became electrified during the incident.

Construction worker killed at SeaTac Airport

A 52-year-old worker was killed yesterday in a construction area of the third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The Bellingham man, whose name was not released, was killed about 5:30 p.m. when a brush-cutting machine threw a piece of debris through the operator's shield, striking him in the head, said Bob Parker, airport spokesman.

Sheet Metal Worker Killed In Fall

Those who knew Ricky Sugg say they will always remember his winning smile, his caring way and, most of all, his pride in his family.

Sugg, 44, of 206 Nottingham Rd. in Dickson, was killed Tuesday when he fell about 70 feet at the TVA Fossil Plant in Cumberland City.

He was a sheet metal worker for NPS, a subsidiary of Day Zimmerman, when the accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to TVA spokesman Gil Francis.

Tennessee Police Officer Killed

Authorities in Jackson are preparing murder charges against a 20-year-old man who police say shot and killed a veteran city officer.

Fifty-two-year-old Sergeant Andy Bailey was fatally shot in the parking lot of a dry cleaning business at the end of a police chase yesterday.

Great America Employee Dies Of Ride Injuries

GURNEE, Ill. -- An employee of Six Flags Great America has died of injuries suffered on a ride at the theme park May 29.

Jack Brouse, 52, was from Zion, Ill. He had been a ride mechanic at the amusement park for six years.

A Six Flags security report said Brouse apparently "stepped into the path of one of the cars in an attempt to get to the other side" of the tracks, and a speeding roller coaster car hit him in the head.

More here.

Two miners killed in pair of incidents

After badly burning his hands in a coal-mining accident earlier this year in Perry County, Edwin Pennington said he was finished with mining work, but he returned for the money, his father said yesterday.

On Wednesday night, Pennington, 25, of Harlan County, was crushed to death in a rock fall at a Bell County Coal Corp. mine — one of two underground mining deaths hours apart in Eastern Kentucky.

Eric Chaney, 26, of Pike County, was crushed in a roof collapse early yesterday at a Dags Branch Coal Corp. mine in Fedscreek in Pike County, officials said.

The deaths were the second and third fatal mining accidents in Kentucky this year, and the first underground fatalities. Nationally, 14 miners have died in accidents this year.


Bill Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, an industry group, said the two deaths were unavoidable accidents. "We don't want things like this to happen, but they will," Caylor said. "Mining is very safe, but you have to be careful because you're working around big pieces of equipment."

3 Police Officers Shot to Death in Ala.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Three police officers were fatally shot at an apartment house as they tried to serve a warrant on a man who lived there.

The officers were killed Thursday when they went to the apartment house with a fourth officer to arrest Nathaniel Lauell Woods on a misdemeanor domestic assault warrant, said Police Chief Annetta Nunn. The fourth officer was not injured.

The deaths marked the third time in just over a year that two or more police officers have been gunned down in Alabama.

Chief deputy coroner Jay Glass identified the slain officers as Harley Chisholm III, 40; Charles Robert Bennett, 33; and Carlos Owen, 58. Owen had been on the force for 26 years.

Chisholm and Owen were found dead in the rear of the house, Glass said, and Bennett's body was outside the front of the home. All three officers were shot multiple times.

Landfill worker killed by truck

San Antonio -- An 18-year-old worker was killed Tuesday afternoon after the sweeper he was driving was struck by a trash truck.

David Torres, an employee of BFI Waste Systems, was sweeping the road to the Tessman Road landfill in the 7000 block of Interstate 10 when his sweeper was hit from behind. The driver of the Texas Waste Systems truck said dust kicked up from the sweeper obscured his view.

The sweeper went into a nearby ditch — throwing Torres into the road — and the truck driver told police he couldn't stop before running over the man.

2 Die in Tractor-Trailer Collision

Traffic was snarled for several hours yesterday on Interstate 81 south of Martinsburg, W.Va., after two tractor-trailers collided, exploded and caught fire, killing two people, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said.

The collision occurred about 8:15 a.m. when a tractor-trailer heading south crossed the median into the northbound lane and struck the other vehicle, Cpl. Willie Johnson said. The names of the victims were not immediately released.

Construction worker killed by falling slab

A Los Angeles construction worker died Thursday after a slab of concrete fell on him during an office renovation project in Oxnard, authorities said.

Jose Martinez, 53, was walking inside an office building in the 1900 block of Williams Drive near Gonzales Road about 11:30 a.m. Thursday when a 3-by-7-foot slab of concrete being cut by a co-worker from the outside fell on him, Oxnard police Sgt. Tim Lumas said. The slab's thickness and weight were not available Thursday.

Woodbridge construction worker killed by train

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A 47-year-old construction worker was killed early Wednesday when a piece of construction equipment was hit by a train that was testing the tracks, Amtrak said.

The accident occurred about 3:45 a.m. on the tracks about three miles east of Union Station in New Haven, according to Vernae Grahm, a spokeswoman for Amtrak.

The train was a Connecticut Department of Transportation test train with an Amtrak conductor and engineer on board.

The victim was identified as Gregory Roberts of Woodbridge.

The train struck a piece of construction equipment that was involved in a repair project on the nearby Interstate 95 overpass.

Hudson mechanic killed in explosion at his auto repair shop

HUDSON, MA -- A local mechanic died in an explosion at his repair shop Tuesday evening when a blowtorch he was using to cut sheet metal apparently ignited vapors from an empty drum of motor oil, officials said.

John Nelson, 48, sustained massive trauma to his head and neck and was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital just after 8 p.m., about 90 minutes after the blast, police said.

Hudson police Captain David Stephens said Nelson was alone at the time of the accident. Paramedics found Nelson unconscious but with a faint pulse.

Stephens said Nelson's welding flame seemed to have cut through the top of the 55-gallon drum that the sheet metal was resting on, sparking the blast. It is unclear whether the pressure of the sealed drum or oil residue caused the explosion, Stephens said. More here.

One Dead At Jim Walter Mine In Alabama

Second Death At Mine In Past Two Months

BROOKWOOD, Ala. -- A veteran miner was killed Wednesday while working underground at Jim Walter Resources' Mine No. 7 in Brookwood, the second death at the mine in two months. Kenneth D. Battles, 45, of Vance, was near an underground coal storage area when he died at 9:50 a.m. Preliminary reports indicate he became trapped between a steel beam and a rail car used to transport coal, the company said in a statement.

Battles began working for Jim Walter Resources in 1981. He is survived by his wife, Deborah, and two sons. Co-workers who knew Battles best said they would miss the man they nicknamed "Son-in-Law."

Another fatality occurred at the mine two months ago. Gary Wayne Keeton, 57, of Nauvoo, was found dead April 23 after being carried to the surface of the mine by a conveyor, passing through a section that breaks down coal.

Hospital Worker Dies from T-B

Chesapeake, Virginia -- A hospital worker in Virginia has died of tuberculosis. State health officials said they're trying to reach people who may have come in contact with the Virginia Beach woman. She worked at Chesapeake General Hospital's orthopedic surgical unit from October 2003 through April sixth of this year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, T-B is a disease caused by a bacteria and spreads through the air from one person to another when a person with T-B coughs or sneezes.

Health officials say several hundred people may have been exposed to the disease. So far two of the woman's relatives and two hospital employees have tested positive for T-B.

Worker Dies After Fall From Second-Story Window In Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Federal safety officials are investigating the death of a construction worker who fell from a second-floor window at an unfinished house Tuesday morning.

Police declined to identify the worker.

The man was working near a window at the front of the unfinished stone mansion at about 10:30 a.m. when he fell about 20 feet and struck his head, police told the Greenwich Times.

Injured worker dies

Albany, NY -- A worker severely burned in an explosion in Malta last month has died.

Steven Comorski of Mechanicville died Sunday afternoon. He and three other employees of the Wright-Malta Corporation were dismantling a warehouse on May 17 when a torch they were using set off an explosion. They were taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center.

State police said the men were using the torch to cut through a pipe that was believed to have contained wood grain alcohol residue. More here and here.

1 worker dies, 1 injured after fall at Radford pump station

RADFORD - One construction worker was killed and another injured Monday night when the pair fell at a Radford wastewater pump station.

The workers, whom authorities have not identified, were running new electrical cabling at the Peppers Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority's Radford pump station when the accident occurred. They worked for Greensboro, N.C.-based Bryant Electrical Co., whose officials declined to comment on the incident Tuesday afternoon. Authorities in Radford said it would be up to the company to release the victims' names.

The men fell an unspecified distance from the first floor of the pump station into the basement, which houses its pumps, according to wastewater authority director Clarke Wallcraft. Electrical companies are required to meet a variety of state safety regulations that cover everything from testing the air's oxygen content in confined spaces to maintaining and wearing proper fall protection equipment, according to Jim Mann, regional director of the labor and industry department

Steamroller accident kills worker

A state park worker is dead after the steamroller he was driving, rolled over. It happened Tuesday morning in Black River, Jefferson County.

While crushing stones into a new trail a steamroller got caught on the edge and rolled over pinning and killing the driver, 52-year-old Richard Parker. Now the Sheriff's Department is trying to figure out how the accident happened.

Man killed by train

EAST HAVEN, Conn. -- A construction worker was killed early Wednesday when his crane was hit by a train that was testing the tracks, Amtrak said.

The accident occurred about 3:45 a.m. on the tracks about three miles east of Union Station in New Haven, according to Vernae Grahm, a spokeswoman for Amtrak. Grahm said the train was a Connecticut Department of Transportation test train with an Amtrak conductor and engineer on board. The train struck a crane that was involved in a repair project on the nearby Interstate 95 overpass.

Worker dies in Wilder meat plant

NAMPA, ID -- A Homedale man died Monday morning at a food processing plant located on Highway 95 north of Wilder.

Police reported 31-year-old Florentino Sanchez died shortly after 7 a.m. Monday in an incident involving food processing equipment. The worker suffered fatal injuries when his body was caught in machinery at the plant.

Canyon County Coroner Vickie DeGeus-Morris examined the body Monday afternoon. She said Sanchez' death was the result of him being pinned in such a way that he could not breathe. Sanchez also suffered several cuts to the legs, back and back of the head.But DeGeus-Morris said some of those wounds were inflicted after Sanchez had already died.

An auger is a large cutting device used to channel meat in an upward motion from one area to another. It is set inside a half-tube about 18 inches wide and is placed at about a 30-degree angle. Meat is cut up as it is transferred.

Aquila Worker Electrocuted In St. Joseph

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A worker with Aquila Inc. was killed Monday when he came into contact with a live power line, according to the power company. The incident happened around 3 p.m. in the 4200 block of Huntoon Road, where crews were working to restore power lost in recent storms.

The Aquila employee, Kit Randel, 32, had been with the company since 2002.

Officer killed on job praised

GRAPEVINE -- A Grapevine police officer who was hit and killed by a suspected drunken driver was remembered Monday as a man deeply committed to keeping the roads free of impaired drivers.

Darren Medlin's
death was captured on videotape just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday by a camera in his patrol car. Medlin was standing beside a Ford Mustang he had pulled over in Euless, near the Grapevine border, when he was hit by a car driven by Roy Alvin Adams Jr., 27, authorities said.

Medlin, the first Grapevine police officer killed on duty since the department was formed in 1956, was thrown about 50 yards and later pronounced dead.

Machinist Killed by 2-Ton Bearing

PHILADELPHIA - A two-ton bearing broke loose and struck a machinist at a northeastern Philadelphia plant, killing him, police said.

Officials said the 46-year-old machinist, whose name was being withheld, was cutting the bearing at Kingsbury Bearings Inc. shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday when it broke loose from the cutting machine, striking him on the chest and legs.

The victim was taken to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:42 a.m., police said.

Worker dies after falling into furnace

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- A worker at a Laurens County plant has died after he fell into a furnace while he was tossing in scrap wood to burn.

Raymond Lowman, 77, of Clinton, died Saturday morning after he fell into a furnace that powers steam machines at Anderson Hardwood Floors, Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said.

An autopsy Sunday indicated Lowman may have blacked out and suffered a heart attack before falling into the furnace, Nichols said.

Construction Worker Killed In Freak Accident

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A construction worker was killed Friday in a freak accident while he was on the job.

The crew was working on private property at the 6000 block of San Jose Boulevard Friday morning when a truck got stuck in mud. Workers used a tractor to pull the truck out, and in the process, the truck was somehow pulled over the victim.

State And Federal Agencies Investigate Fatal Construction Accident

Rescue workers on the scene said they spent as much as 45 minutes trying to save William Shearn, who was pinned underneath the 1,500 pound bucket of a backhoe that was digging out the trench. The work was being done there to build new water pipe for Cincinnati water works.

Early Thursday afternoon, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration admitted it was looking into two major aspects of the accident.

"One would be whether the bucket came off the excavator. The other issue is whether the trench was adequately shored and sloped in accordance with OSHA regulations," said Richard Gilgrist, Safety and Health Administration.

Shearn was one of six men working on the trench for the water pipe. Indications are the backhoe's bucket somehow fell off and hit Shearn in the back, pinning him in the trench. OSHA said it is worried about the backhoe bucket becoming detached for some time even issuing special advisories about the problem. "Across the United States, there have been a number of fatalities in that past 3 to 5 years, that have involved separation of the bucket from the excavation arms," said Gilgrist.

A check of OSHA records from 1999 finds the company involved, Reynolds Complete Industrial of Orleans, Indiana has been fined thousands of dollars for numerous serious violations on its trench operations. More here.

Grader operator dies in Sandusky mishap

SANDUSKY - A 45-year-old northwest Ohio construction worker died after he was run over by the grader tractor he was operating at the new Cold Creek Crossing subdivision Wednesday evening.

Todd M. Jones, an employee of Underground Utilities Inc. in Monroeville, Ohio, jumped off the tractor to try to restart it after it stalled, according to Sandusky Police Chief Robert Runner.

But the tractor was still in gear and when it started, it felled him and passed over his chest, Dr. Tom Nesgoda, Erie County coroner, said.

Two fatal industrial accidents in two weeks

Harrisburg, PA -- Two men have died in industrial accidents in York County in the last two weeks and the Harrisburg office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the deaths, said Bob Fink, the area director.

The first industrial death this year in York County was May 26, when Bradley Dean Hahn, 43, of York, fell more than 30 feet onto a concrete floor at the site of a William Penn Senior High School construction project in York. He was a mason for Caretti Inc. of Camp Hill.

The second was Wednesday when William Oberdick III, 40, of North Codorus Township, was crushed in a conveyor system at W.R. Meadows of PA, Inc., in West Manchester Township.

The out-of-county death was at a Reading automotive battery manufacturing plant. A man there was splashed with sulfuric acid and died after a lengthy hospital stay, Fink said.

Television station employee dies

Funeral services will be Friday for a photojournalist for a Bryan-College Station television station who was electrocuted while covering a story about a gas well explosion.

Matt Moore, 23, of Temple, was setting up for a live shot about 6 p.m. Tuesday in Hearne when he was killed.

Moore ran up the mast on the TV van and it apparently came into contact with a power line, according to Hearne police.

Worker dies in 40-foot fall from Abilene billboard

ABILENE, Texas - A man died after falling about 40 feet from a billboard on which he was working in Abilene.

Relatives said strong winds probably contributed to Monday's death of Lonnie Jowers, 41, of Buffalo Gap. David Breneman, his brother-in-law and co-worker, said Jowers was working on a narrow catwalk at the time of the accident.

Cape construction worker killed by power saw

CAPE CORAL, FL — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to investigate the death of a Cape Coral construction worker.

Cape Coral police say 45-year-old Dale Alan Erb was killed Tuesday afternoon when his power saw bounced off a hard object and jerked back, slicing his neck.

Migrant workers' van flips, kills two on I-95 at Port St. Lucie

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Two migrant workers were killed and another was critically injured when an overcrowded van with 11 people rolled over on Interstate 95, the Florida Highway Patrol said. It was the second fatal crash involving an overcrowded farm van in Florida in the last two months.

Two men died at the scene, while another was flown to a Melbourne hospital with critical injuries, Frith said. A fourth man was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon at an area hospital. Frith said one of the men who died was thrown from the van, while another was apparently dragged from the wreck by other passengers when they thought the van might catch fire.

None of the men had driver's licenses and only a few had any identification. U.S immigration authorities will help sort out the men's identities. Most were from Guatemala but lived and worked in Palm Beach County, picking peppers and doing other agriculture work, Frith said. The victims' names were not released.

The accident came two months after a van rollover crash in nearby Fort Pierce killed nine migrant farmworkers on their way home from work in citrus groves. In that crash, a 15-passenger van with 19 men rolled over and ejected every passenger. Driver Salvador Leon was arrested May 20 by the Florida Highway Patrol on a charge of driving with a suspended license.

Construction Worker Killed in Train Collision

A highway construction worker is dead after he reportedly drove his truck into the path of an oncoming train at a rural crossing in Noble.

Twenty-seven-year-old Scotty Jason Gaskin, of Converse, was pronounced dead at Sabine Medical Center about an hour after the 6:19 a.m. accident Tuesday.

He suffered massive head trauma. Gaskin worked for Gilcrease Construction Company, which is doing highway construction in the area.

He reportedly was leaving the work site and traveling back to the company's office in Converse when the accident happened.

Funeral Service Wednesday For CHP Officer Killed In Crash

LOS ANGELES -- A memorial service is scheduled Wednesday morning for a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer killed last week in a traffic crash in Redlands, Calif.

A huge crowd is expected as police agencies from across the state honor Officer James Goodman.

Goodman died after colliding head-on with a minivan in a Redlands intersection while pursuing a witness in a crash he was investigating.

DANGEROUS WORK TURNS DEADLY: Tree trimmer dies from injuries in accident

A tree-trimming contractor for Middle Tennessee Electric was pronounced dead on the scene Monday after he fell from a bucket truck and landed on a forked tree limb.

“Something gave way in the boom and the bucket toppled,” said Chief Deputy Dusty Rhodes of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department. “He was wearing a safety harness and he was caught in the fork of the tree. That’s what kept him from falling all the way to the ground.”

The man, whose name has not been released, was working in a crew of three to cut several tree limbs that had grown too close to power lines near a group of four homes just off Clovercroft Road. The crew — which included the man’s younger brother, Tyrone — was employed through Seelbach and Company Inc. out of Lawrenceville, Ga.

Worker killed on Holly Springs construction site

A construction worker was killed Tuesday morning at a sewer project in Cherokee County, authorities said.

Emanuel Fuentes, 25, of Cumming, died in an accident about 8:30 a.m. on Old Highway 5 near Sixes Road, said Cherokee County sheriff's Deputy Nicole Combs.

"The City of Holly Springs is doing construction to lay a sewage line, and at the construction site, they have big excavators," Combs said. "One of excavator's claws dropped on the worker," Combs said.

Worker killed at construction site

New York -- A construction worker was killed in Elmhurst yesterday when a trench he and other workmen were digging collapsed, burying him under a mound of sand and crumbling concrete, authorities said.

Three other laborers were hospitalized.

Jennifer Givner, a spokeswoman for the city's Building Department, said the workers were digging a trench along a 6-foot-high foundation when the wall fell on top of them.

Building inspectors issued a violation to the owner and developer of the site, Yong Fa Chi, for failing to provide shoring, sheeting and bracing during an excavation, Givner said. She said the site had no previous violations. The owner could not be reached for comment.

Officer Shot In Line Of Duty Laid To Rest

MYERSTOWN, Pa. -- Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday for the funeral of a slain Reading policeman.

The funeral for Patrolman Michael Wise was held Tuesday at Grace Bretheren New Beginnings Church in Myerstown, Lebanon County. Wise, who was the son of a retired Lebanon police officer, who was shot in the course of his work Friday night and died early Saturday.

Local worker electrocuted

OPP, AL -A local Gallion resident was killed by electrocution on Thursday shortly before 7:50 a.m., while on the job in Opp, Alabama. William Charles Watt, 31, of Gallion was working with a company that was building a 350-foot cellular telephone tower when he was killed.

Investigator Junior Anderson of the Opp Police Department said Watt was working with a company called Webb Tower, who was in the process of building a new cellular telephone tower near the North Jackson Street extension.

"He was one of the men in a crew that was pulling some copper wire, when it struck an Alabama Power Transmission line delivering over 46,000 volts killing him instantly," Anderson said.

Officer killed in ambush

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — A city police officer died Saturday, hours after he was struck by a shotgun blast as he sat in his car, authorities said.

Police had identified a suspect but didn’t know why Officer Mark Sawyers was shot, police Chief Barnett Jones said at a news conference in this Detroit suburb. No one had been arrested by midday Saturday.

“It was a very bold, calculated and cold murder,” said Capt. David Vinson.

Sawyers, 30, had just finished investigating a traffic accident Friday evening and had parked at a shopping center to complete his paperwork when a man fired a shotgun at him from another vehicle, Lt. Michael Reese said.

Man dies from Globe explosion

Selma, AL - Tony Bradley died Friday morning due to injuries sustained in an explosion at Globe Metallurgical last week.