Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekly Toll

A partial list of American workers killed in the workplace over the past two weeks.

Ractrack Closes To Honor Worker Killed By Horse

Farmington, NY - The Finger Lakes Race Track will be closed Monday and Tuesday in memory of a long-time track worker. Saturday, Leon Reed was helping a horse into the starting gate when it kicked him in the chest. He later died at Strong Memorial Hospital. Reed had worked in the stable area at the tracks for 20 years. Track manager Chris Riegle said, "Leon was well-known on the backside. His family works here. His brother works here. His brother-in-law is one of our leading trainers, so it's a tough loss, felt not just by a select few, but really by almost everyone at the racetrack."

Road construction worker killed on Katy Freeway

Houston, TX -- A traffic construction worker was killed instantly today when an unidentified motorist veered off the Katy Freeway lanes and struck him, police said.

Accident investigators have no description of the vehicle or the motorist, who fled the scene.

The victim, 46-year-old Ismael Parra of the 10000 block of Tolman Street, was working with a crew painting road stripes in the 7000 block of the Katy Freeway when the incident occurred at about 1:15 a.m., police said.

Witnesses at the scene told police that Parra was hit in the face with the vehicle's right rearview mirror. The incident remains under investigation.

Mexia school officer killed during training exercise

Eddy, TX - A Mexia School District police officer was shot during a training exercise Tuesday and later died. The Limestone County Sheriff says 31-year-old Sgt. Scott Neal was taking part in a training exercise in Mexia Tuesday afternoon with six other officers when he was accidentally shot in the head by one of the officers.

Man dies while working in cement mixer

Charleston, SC -Two employees of a ready-mix concrete company were working inside a mixer Monday when the drum began turning, killing one of the men. Robert Burgess, 64, of North Charleston died at 3:45 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, Berkeley County Coroner Glenn Rhoad said. Burgess had worked for the Van-Smith Concrete Co. for 25 years. Burgess and another employee of the business at 103 Belknap Road were replacing a dust seal in the mixer when it began turning about 1 p.m., Rhoad said. The mixer is about 13 feet off the ground and combines rock, sand, cement and water to make concrete, production manager Glenn Wolfe said. He didn't know what made the mixer start while the men were inside. The mixer holds about 12 cubic yards of material but was empty.

Mittal employee dies of burns. Steelworker burned on more than 50 percent of his body

East Chicago, IN- Northwest Indiana's steel industry was hit with its first fatality of 2005 Sunday when Mittal Steel USA employee Daniel Spencer died of injuries suffered at its Indiana Harbor East mill on Friday. Spencer, 54, of Merrillville, was critically burned while he was working in a banding area of the 84-inch hot strip mill at about 9 a.m. Friday, said Mittal spokesman David Allen. The fire, which is under investigation, occurred in the basement below where Spencer was working.

Golf course worker found dead in canal

Palm Beach, FL - A golf maintenance worker drowned Monday morning in a canal at the Gleneagles Country Club west of Delray Beach. Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue workers pulled Armoncel DuPrenat from the canal near the third green on Legends Way about 10:40 a.m. after a Bell South employee working in the area spotted a golf cart and a hat floating in the water, authorities said.

Man Killed In Plymouth Industrial Accident

Plymouth, Minn -- A 21-year-old man, Troy Dennis Nelson, 21, , was killed Tuesday in an industrial accident in Plymouth, Minn., public safety officials said.The accident happened at Amerilab Technologies on the 2700 block of Niagara Lane, authorities said.The man was operating a forklift when the top of the machine hit a crossbeam and tipped over, public safety officials said.The man was trapped underneath the machine and crushed to death, authorities said.Officers were called to the scene just after 10 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.Public safety officials said the victim was new employee who had been working at the company for about a month.The man's identity has not yet been released.

Driver dead as dump truck tips

Pompano Beach, FL -- An Arkansas truck driver was killed and a co-worker was injured Wednesday morning when a dump truck rolled onto its side as hurricane debris was being unloaded at a landfill. J.D. Lott Jr., 53, of Hatfield, Ark., was crushed by the truck, according to investigators. Sherry Vandermay, 49, of Deerfield, Ill., was conscious and alert after the accident, but was taken to North Broward Medical Center for evaluation. "It was a tragic event, especially happening so close to the holidays," said Margate spokeswoman Kery Venezia. Lott and Vandermay had been collecting debris from Hurricane Wilma in Margate, she said, and the incident led stunned city workers to stage an impromptu memorial service at the scene of the incident.

Officer dies while transporting prisoner

PORTSMOUTH, VA - A 49-year-old Portsmouth police officer died of natural causes Wednesday morning while driving a prisoner from an earlier pursuit to police headquarters. Officer Richard Spaulding was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, police said. About 6 a.m., Spaulding started pursuing a vehicle in Portsmouth after the driver refused to pull over.

Morning Commute Brings Accidents Across N.J. - Some Caused By Black Ice From Dropping Overnight Temperatures

Fot Lee, NY -- In Fort Lee, the driver of a tractor-trailer was killed when the big rig caught fire on I-95 this morning, backing up traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. The tractor-trailer collided with a bus and caught fire southbound on I-95 just after exit 72 at around 3:00 a.m. The driver of the tractor-trailer was killed. Local lanes were closed for cleanup, causing substantial delays from the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. In Warren Township, several vehicles collided on eastbound Interstate 78 just after 7 a.m. The crash closed eastbound two lanes. It was not immediately known how many people were injured.

Union County worker killed in wreck - County worker killed when his van strikes tractor-trailer

Monroe, NC - A Union County employee died Monday in an auto accident, Monroe police reported. The wreck killed Ralph Billman, 71. He was driving a county transportation services van on U.S. 74 when police say the van struck a tractor-trailer. The van did not have any passengers. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.Police said Billman was headed west at 9:50 a.m. when the van hit two other vehicles, crossed the median, and collided with the eastbound tractor trailer. The accident slowed traffic on the highway for about four hours.

Two who were avoiding driving drunk, plus cab driver, killed by suspected drunk driver

Albuquerque, NM - Two men who took a taxi so they wouldn’t drive drunk were killed Thursday morning after a suspected drunk driver broadsided the cab. The crash killed Ray Martinez, 50, his cousin Kenneth Martinez, 36, and cab driver Daniel Magnuson, 46. Police say Gabriel Gurule, 21, ran a red light at Lomas and Juan Tabo, broadsiding the cab. Gurule and his passenger – 21-year-old Waylan Riboni of Tijeras – are in critical condition at an Albuquerque hospital.

The life and death of Maria Laticia Fonseca-Quintero

Lodi,CA - On an August night, a young woman from Mexico fell under a grape harvester near Lodi and was crushed to death. She is among many workers who have died in the farmlands of California. Some say more can and should be done to reduce fatalities in the fields. Maria Laticia Fonseca-Quintero lay face down and motionless in the vineyard under the night sky, blood pooling in a halo around her head. That late August night was her first sorting chardonnay grapes on a harvester. And her last. At about 10 p.m., while culling debris from the bunches of grapes streaming down the conveyor belt at the rear of the roughly 14,000-pound harvester, Quintero somehow fell to the ground.

St. Albans farmer killed while sitting on tractor

ST. ALBANS, Vt. --Vermont's third hunting fatality of the year took the life of a St. Albans Town farmer as he sat on a tractor on his own property, police said. Rejean Lussier, 60, was hunting from the cab of a tractor and was shot between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Lt. Robert Lutz of the state Fish and Wildlife Department. Lussier was found by friends at about 7:30 p.m. after he didn't return home, Vermont State Police said. Lutz said four people who were hunting together nearby came forward Thursday and were cooperating with investigators. "It appears to have been negligence on the part of the shooter," Lutz said, adding that the shooting was a tragic accident. The four hunters, whose names were not released Thursday night, knew Lussier, Lutz added. Initial indications were that the shot that hit Lussier, who was sitting on a red tractor in dark clothing, came from about 250 yards away, Lutz said.

County worker killed when his van strikes tractor-trailer

MONROE, NC - A Union County employee died Monday in an auto accident, Monroe police reported. The wreck killed Ralph Billman, 71. He was driving a county transportation services van on U.S. 74 when police say the van struck a tractor-trailer. The van did not have any passengers. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.Police said Billman was headed west at 9:50 a.m. when the van hit two other vehicles, crossed the median, and collided with the eastbound tractor trailer. The accident slowed traffic on the highway for about four hours

Chris Reeves, Catoosa County News

RINGGOLD, GA — Catoosa detectives are investigating what they say is an apparent double murder and suicide at a Three Notch Road residence outside Ringgold. According to Sheriff Phil Summers, detectives discovered three bodies at 1838 Three Notch Road near Ringgold late Monday night. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the address after a missing person report was filed with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department Monday regarding Pizza Hut delivery driver Doyle Dean Stier, 54, of 106 Shaw St. in LaFayette, Summers said. On Monday afternoon Stier had returned to the 1838 Three Notch Road address in regards to a bad check for a pizza he had delivered Monday morning. Summers said around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers entered the residence and blood was found in the living room area. Officers found Stier’s body in the bathroom of the home. West had previously told an employee of the Pizza Hut on Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe that he had cash to take the place of the bad check and to send Stier back for the payment after Pizza Hut threatened to contact authorities, the sheriff said. Summers said an apparent altercation occurred between West and Stier when Stier returned to the home and the suspect beat Stier to death with a hammer.

Day Worker Killed Working Solo

Brooklyn, NY - A day laborer working alone at a garage in Brooklyn on Thanksgiving was crushed to death when a concrete wall collapsed on him. A co-worker found the body of 33-year old Frederick Lopez Friday afternoon on East 32nd Street in Flatbush, nearly 24 hours after the deadly collpase.A department of buildings spokesperson says the owner of the garage did not have a permit for the demolition work.

Metro Worker Dies After Being Hit By Train - Employee Death Is Transit Agency's First Since 1997

WASHINGTON, DC -- A Metro worker hit by a train earlier this month has died. Michael Waldron of Riverdale, Md. - was doing some track work near the Braddock Road Metro Station on Oct. 1 when he was hit by a train. Waldron died of his injuries on Saturday. Metro is investigating the accident. Waldron had been a Metro employee for the past three years. He worked on bridges, tunnels and other structures. It was the first death of an employee on the job since 1997, when a track worker was accidentally electrocuted.

Shot in heart, officer dies after chasing gunman - Suspect allegedly linked to earlier police shooting

NEW YORK, NY -- A police officer who was shot in the heart early Monday during a car chase ignored the wound and helped try to catch the gunman before dying later at a hospital, authorities said. Dillon Stewart, 35, died despite wearing a bulletproof vest. One round entered his left armpit, missing the protective plating "by no more than a quarter of an inch," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Stewart, who was married with two children, "showed remarkable tenacity and courage in pursuing his assailant," Kelly said.

Pizza deliverer dies in accident

CARRBORO, NC -- A man returning from delivering a pizza Saturday night died in a head-on collision west of Carrboro. Francis Christopher Machita, 39, of Durham, died at the scene of the accident about three miles west of Carrboro on the Old Greensboro Highway, said Sgt. James Sessoms of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Deadly Industrial Accident

Dunmore, PA - A man from Lackawanna County was killed while working at a job site in Monroe County Wednesday morning. The Monroe County coroner said Michael Mashurak, 52, of Dunmore was killed while working with a crew installing fencing at the Sanofi Pasteur facility in Swiftwater. According to the coroner, Mashurak got caught in an auger that was drilling post holes for the fencing. Mashurak was the owner of Mashurack Fences, Inc. in Dunmore.

Farmer dies in accident three days before cancer claims daughter

Bridger, Montana - The elderly Montana sheepman was just back from a visit with his terminally ill daughter, in Michigan, when his life ended in a bizarre farm accident. Three days later the daughter was gone, as well. Mourners will gather in the farm community of Bridger on Wednesday to remember Gilbert "Tick" Brown, 84, found dead on Thanksgiving Day, and his daughter Elaine Adams, 56, felled by cancer on Saturday. A ram attacked Brown at his farm near Bridger, about 90 miles northeast of Yellowstone National Park, on Wednesday and he sought protection beneath a truck, fatally striking his head on part of the vehicle, Carbon County Coroner Tom Rieger said. Adams died at her home in Berrien Springs, Mich.

Maintenance Worker Is Killed in Freak Accident

Laguna Niguel, CA - A freak industrial accident killed a 67-year-old maintenance worker at Chapparosa Park on Tuesday. Authorities did not release his name. The accident occurred about 1 p.m. as two employees of True Green Maintenance, a company contracted to work at the park, drove a John Deere Gator vehicle described by a sheriff's spokesman as similar to a golf cart but used for maintenance hauling. When the vehicle got a flat tire, spokesman Lt. Larry Abbott said, the 67-year-old got out to fix it while the other man stayed at the wheel. He inadvertently backed up over his head and chest and crushed him," Abbott said.

Authorities say Minnesota man died of carbon monoxide poisoning

MOORHEAD, Minn. - An autopsy has confirmed suspicions that carbon monoxide poisoning was the likely cause of death for a farmer found dead near Felton, authorities said. Lawrence Arndt, 75, was found dead in a shop on his farm Tuesday. He had lost power to his home and was using a generator to keep warm. Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the Ramsey County medical examiner ruled that carbon monoxide probably killed Arndt. Felton is about 17 miles northeast of Moorhead.

Phoenix officer dies after car crash

Mesa, AZ - A rookie Phoenix police officer from Chandler died Tuesday after his patrol car went off the road, rolled and struck a utility pole. Paul Salmon, 22, died about 8:40 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix shortly after he was taken off life support, a Phoenix police spokesman said. The South Mountain Precinct officer’s cruiser was found overturned about 1 a.m. Monday in the 3100 block of West Baseline Road about five minutes after he notified dispatch he was responding to a domestic violence call, police reported.

Worker killed at DMR-Cortez man, 40, crushed while working at ski area parking lot

Durango, CO - A 40-year-old Cortez man died Wednesday at Durango Mountain Resort after falling debris crushed him while he worked at a ski area parking lot. The accident occurred at 11:31 a.m. in the Columbine No. 1 parking lot, uphill from the resort's entrance. The worker, whose name will be released today pending notification of family, worked for Rocky Mountain Earthmovers Inc. of Durango, said Rick Brown, an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. "At this point it appears accidental," he said. "No foul play." The resort contracted the company to work on construction projects in the resort's lower parking lot. The man was digging at the time of the accident, Brown said. Representatives from Rocky Mountain Earthmovers did not return calls Wednesday.

Worker dies after 80-foot fall from GWB's west tower

FORT LEE, NY - A worker removing scaffolding from the west tower of the George Washington Bridge died Wednesday after falling 80 feet onto a platform. Emil Rios, whose hometown was not available, died at 7 p.m. at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan, a Port Authority official said.

Worker Killed At QVC Warehouse Near Rocky Mount

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- Local and state authorities are investigating the death of a worker at one of Edgecombe County's largest employers. The worker, a technician service contractor for FKI Logistex, was working with a crane Thursday morning at the QVC warehouse near Rocky Mount when he was in an accident. His identity was not immediately released, pending notification of next-of-kin.

Truck driver dies in fiery crash on 43

Jackson, AL - A State Line, Miss. man was killed early Monday morning when the tanker truck he was driving ran off Highway 43 between Grove Hill and Thomasville and caught fire. According to Clarke County EMA Director Roy Waite, the truck wrecked about 5:30 a.m. The cab was pinned beneath the tank, which had been loaded with 30,029 gallons of 93 percent sulfuric acid. The driver, Oscar Lee Walley, 56, was driving for Safeway Trucking out of Louisiana. He had left AKZO Noble in Axis with the sulfuric acid and headed north to GEO Specialty Chemicals in Demopolis.

Retired farmer killed in livestock accident in Mitchell County

ORCHARD, IA --- A 65-year-old man died Sunday when cattle crushed him against a wall or fence while being loaded into a truck. Howard Hoisington of Orchard died at his son Brian's cattle farm in rural Osage, said the family's pastor, the Rev. Bruce Kaltwasser of Trinity Lutheran Church. The incident happened at about 3:30 p.m., and the Mitchell County Regional Healthcare Center Ambulance Service responded, Kaltwasser said.

Wiggins officers each shot twice in slayings; funerals scheduled

WIGGINS, Miss. - The two Wiggins police officers killed Sunday while responding to a domestic disturbance were each shot twice, says Stone County Coroner Mike Lott. Lott said Tuesday that both Brandon Breland, 23, and Odell Fite, 48, died at the scene of the crime after being shot with a .40-caliber handgun.

Worker killed in campus construction accident

CLEVELAND, OH - A retaining wall collapsed Monday, killing one worker and injuring another at a parking garage construction project at Cleveland State University. Chalmer Taylor, 43, of Cleveland died at the scene around 11 a.m., according to Cuyahoga County Coroner Elizabeth Balraj. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, she said.

Triple Shooting Leaves Two Dead - Teenager In Stable Condition

BROOKLYN, NY - A father and son were shot inside the family's Brownsville tire shop on Sunday evening. Investigators say a third victim, an employee, was gunned down outside Gary's Tire Emporium in front of a display of expensive custom wheels. Shot in the head, the employee was pronounced dead at the scene. The father, shot once in the chest, died at Brookdale Hospital. His 17-year-old son was the only survivor, and is recovering at Kings County Hospital from gunshot wounds to his leg and arm.

Store owner shot, daughter killed

Chicago, IL - A man with an automatic handgun walked into a Robbins convenience store Friday night, shot the store owner and killed his 27-year-old daughter. Shortly after 8:20 p.m. Friday, a man wearing a black ski mask entered Frank's Food and Liquor, in the 3600 block of West 139th Street, and shot the store owner in the stomach, Robbins Police Chief Johnny Holmes said. The gunman then jumped over the counter and fatally shot the storeowner's daughter in the stomach, police said. Ghada Ellayan, 27, of the 13600 block of Howe Drive, Orland Park, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Worker Dies, Firefighter Hurt in Building Blaze

Anaheim, CA - An employee of a food distribution warehouse died and a firefighter suffered minor injuries late Thursday when a blaze swept through the building, officials said. John Macht, 46, of Anaheim, who occasionally stayed at the business, was asleep on the second floor of the Arena Foods warehouse in the 1100 block of Blue Gum Street when the fire began about 10:30 p.m., officials said. A firefighter was treated at Anaheim Memorial Medical Center for heat exhaustion, officials said. The fire appeared to be accidental, but an investigation is continuing, authorities said.

OSHA says it’s ‘much too early’ to rule on contractor’s death

Scranton, PA - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will release details of its investigation of the accident that killed a Dunmore contractor at Sanofi Pasteur’s Monroe County facility only after the probe is complete, a spokesman said Thursday. Aside from confirming aninvestigation is under way, OSHA area director Andrew Hedesh said he was not at liberty to discuss what the agency had learned about the death of Michael Mashurak Jr., owner of Mashurak Fences Inc. Mr. Mashurak, 52, was killed Wednesday morning when he was caught in an industrial auger drilling fence post holes at Sanofi Pasteur’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Swiftwater.

Subway motorman death sparks probe into delay

Bronx, NY - Authorities are investigating the sudden on-the-job death of a subway motorman and whether the right steps were taken to get him medical assistance. A co-worker found Lewis Moore, 34, a father of two young children, on the floor of a work train at the Jackson Ave., Bronx, station about 5:05 a.m. Thursday morning, authorities said. The co-worker called a Transit Authority dispatcher, agency spokesman Charles Seaton said. The worker, also a motorman, drove the train seven stations north, to E. 180th St. The Fire Department, which dispatches ambulances, said it was called at 5:27 a.m., about 20 minutes after the TA was first notified, with a report of an unconscious worker on a train at E. 180th St., FDNY spokesman Jim Long said.

Pinellas Park man, 39, dies when loader bucket falls

PINELLAS PARK, PA - A Pinellas Park man died Friday when the bucket of a small loader he was operating fell on him. Richard S. Will, 39, was using the Bobcat loader to install a palm tree at about 12:30 p.m. in the front yard of a house in the 6100 block of 88th Avenue in Pinellas Park. Will, owner of Artistic Landscaping & Maintenance, apparently stepped out of the loader to adjust the position of the tree. The loader's bucket was raised overhead.

Man killed, co-worker hurt in shipyard accident

Charleston, SC -- A 19-year-old man was killed and a co-worker was injured in an accident Thursday afternoon at Detyens Shipyard. The men had been working on a supply ship at the North Charleston facility. Rescuers and investigators remained on the scene for several hours to remove the body and secure the area. "About 4:30 this afternoon, we responded to a report of an employee trapped inside a sewer tank area" of the ship, said North Charleston public safety spokesman Spencer Pryor. The Charleston County Coroner's Office identified the worker as Matthew Williamson of Summerville. Officials weren't immediately sure what caused his death, whether he fell or had already been inside the tank. "We don't know the circumstances quite yet," said Deputy Coroner Dottie Lindsay late Thursday. "They haven't been able to get in there and figure anything out yet."

Local Construction Worker Killed in Hit & Run

Lansing, MI - A hit-and-run accident in Ionia County kills a construction worker, but thanks to an anonymous tip, the sheriff's department was able to track down the person they believe is responsible. Martin Stott had only been working as a construction site flagman for about a week. It's a job the 54-year-old Holt resident got through a temp agency. Georgena Shaw, victim's sister: "He was having a hard time finding work and he needed to do what he needed to do." Just before 6pm Friday night, Stott and the rest of the crew were getting ready to wrap up work at the site on M-21 in Ionia County when Stott was hit by a car traveling west on M-21. Ed Kline was first to reach Stott and called 911, but he knew it was already too late.

Autopsy: SEPTA worker was shot before hit by train

Philadelphia, PA - A SEPTA worker's body was found on the regional rail tracks in Southwest Philadelphia early Thursday morning, but according to an autopsy performed yesterday, three gunshot wounds to his head indicated he was already dead before a train hit him. Police said Pete Cummings, a SEPTA regional rail engineer, was operating the R3 Media/Elwyn train through Angora Station, 58th St. near Baltimore Avenue,in Southwest Philadelphia, when he saw a body laying partly on the tracks at 12:19 a.m. The train was unable to stop in enough time to avoid running over the body. After the train had stopped, Cummings notified Philadelphia police. During the autopsy, Dr. Bennett Preston of the Medical Examiner's Office discovered "at least" three gunshots to the victim's head and ruled the death a homicide. Police said that 10 minutes prior to the discovery of the body, they received phone calls reporting gun shots at 54th Street near Willows, a few blocks from Angora Station. "That's kind of far away, but we're still investigating it," said Police spokesman Cpl. Jim Pauley. The victim, John R. Jones, 23, of Yeadon, had been employed by SEPTA since July as a "traffic checker." Jones counted riders getting on and off the transit system at particular locations.

U.S. 98 crash leaves 1 driver dead

St. Petersburg,FL - The collision closes the highway for hours and results in the 30th traffic fatality in Hernando County this year. Along a wooded stretch of two-lane highway, where Lake Lindsey Road crosses U.S. 98, two white trucks collided Friday, leaving one of the drivers dead. Calvin L. Starks, 41, of 307 Cherry St., Brooksville, was driving a Chevy pickup with a trailer for Cliff's Septic Tank Service. Headed west, he stopped at the stop sign on Lake Lindsey Road, then pulled across the highway in front of a southbound Mack truck driven by Anthony J. Holley, 35, of Brooksville, according to Trooper Larry Coggins Jr., spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol.

Report pending on death of Regional Enterprises employee

Richmond, VA - Hopewell authorities are awaiting a medical examiner's report to learn how a Regional Enterprises Inc. employee died Sunday at the company's plant on Water Street. David Widner, 35, was found slumped over the top of a tractor-trailer tank car containing turpentine about 10:30 a.m., said Hopewell police Chief Rex Marks. Employees and city fire department paramedics attempted to revive Widner without success. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nashville trench collapse kills construction worker

Knoxville, TN - Officials in Nashville say a trench collapsed this afternoon on a construction worker, killing him before rescuers could dig him out. Assistant Fire Chief Lee Bergeron said several workers were in a trench on the side of Elm Hill Pike just east of downtown when a big section of the earth cleaved off around 4 pm.Bergeron said that when firefighters got there, there was a ton of earth and rocks on top of the worker. Bergeron said rescuers could only get access to the worker's hand, but there was no pulse. At that point, it became a body recovery mission. Bergeron said that the worker was 25-years-old and this was his first week on the job. Angie Martin with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said the construction work was being handled by the Rogers Group. Bergeron said that the victim actually worked for a subcontractor, although the company was not identified.

Road worker killed while filling potholes - Danbury man loved his job, time outdoors

Concord, NH - Danbury man who loved fishing and camping died yesterday after he was hit by a van while on the job for the New London Highway Department. Ryan Haynes, 20, was working alone filling potholes behind a pickup truck owned by the town on a dirt portion of Old Main Street shortly before 8 a.m., the state police said. John Harding, 37, of New London ran into Haynes with his van, pushing him against his one-ton truck. Haynes was taken to New London Hospital, where he died of his injuries. The state police said in a press release that a lack of signs and other warning devices about the road work, as well as the angle of the sun at that time of day, might have led to the accident.

Island Pilot Killed In Airplane Crash

Edgartown, MA - Vineyard residents this week mourned the loss of James Rogers of Oak Bluffs, who died when his self-built aircraft crashed shortly after noon Sunday in the Manuel F. Corellus State Forest in West Tisbury. Mr. Rogers, 55, had just taken off from Runway 6 at the Martha's Vineyard Airport when his Lancair 360 single-engine airplane banked toward Runway 15 and then came down in the nearby state forest. Acting Vineyard airport manager Sean Flynn said Mr. Rogers did not survive the impact.

Fired Employee Fatally Stabs Co-Worker

San Francisco, CA - A 22-year-old man was stabbed to death this morning by his co-worker, who had just been fired from the sushi restaurant where they both worked. Police say Angel Martinez was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital shortly after the 11 a.m. stabbing at Sushiya restaurant. Police have not released the identity of the assailant, who fled the scene after the attack. No one else was injured, and the restaurant was closed for business at the time.

Man kills pizza delivery man, grandmother, then himself

RINGGOLD, Ga. -- A Catoosa County man strangled his 83-year-old grandmother and beat a pizza delivery man to death with a hammer before taking his own life, authorities said Tuesday.

Joshua Linebarger West, 23, killed Bonnie Land and hid her body in a closet, and beat Doyle Dean Stier after he returned to the home Monday afternoon to get paid in cash for a bad check West had written earlier for a pizza, Sheriff Phil Summers said.

Summers said officers started looking for Stier, a 57-year-old Pizza Hut delivery driver from Lafayette, after a missing persons report was filed with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department. The bodies were discovered at Land's home around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After killing Stier, the sheriff said, West took the driver's car into the garage and took his own life by carbon monoxide asphyxiation.

Three Fatally Shot in Ala. Robbery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Three people were killed during a Thanksgiving motel robbery and the robbers escaped with a cash drawer and safe, police said.

The shootings at the Airport Inn were captured by a security camera, police said. Police had the tape, but no arrests had been made Saturday.

Police Capt. Herman Hinton said the men may have killed the three victims to eliminate witnesses. The dead included the front desk clerk, a Texas truck driver staying at the motel and a woman who may have arrived to check in.

"This is a heinous crime," Hinton said.

Motel manager Rufus Carroll said that the video showed the two robbers entering the lobby about 3 p.m. They approached the truck driver first and shot him before he had a chance to stand up, according to the video. The clerk was shot when she attempted to flee, Carroll said. The third victim was apparently shot before the men went behind the front desk to grab a drawer filled with $300 in cash and the safe.

Two who were avoiding driving drunk, plus cab driver, killed by suspected drunk drive

Albuquerque, NM -- Two men who took a taxi so they wouldn't drive drunk were killed Thursday morning after a suspected drunk driver broadsided the cab.

The crash killed Ray Martinez, 50, his cousin Kenneth Martinez, 36, and cab driver Daniel Magnuson, 46.

Police say Gabriel Gurule, 21, ran a red light at Lomas and Juan Tabo, broadsiding the cab.

Truck driver dies after veering off road

SPRING HILL, FL -- Al Martucci and his son, Joshua, were landscaping a yard Thursday afternoon at the corner of Pike Avenue and Landover Boulevard when they heard what sounded like lumber falling off a truck.

They turned around to see a truck, loaded with wood, driving off the left side of Landover. It snapped through telephone poles "like toothpicks," said Al Martucci, and came to rest only after smashing into a pine tree. Downed power lines set fire to the grass. The driver was pinned down in a crushed cabin.

The driver, Cory Ramsdell, 26, of 6415 Massachusetts Ave., Lot 8, New Port Richey, was dead at the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Troopers were investigating the cause of the crash.

Truck driver dies in crash at exit ramp

FOUR OAKS, SC -- An early morning crash near I-95 killed a truck driver from South Carolina.

Elight Vorde, 59, of Orangeburg, S.C., died instantly when a bread truck slammed into his driver's door, state Highway Patrol Sgt. C.S. Taylor said. Vorde failed to stop at the sign at the end of an 1-95 exit ramp at U.S. 701 shortly before 6 a.m.

Vorde was on his way back from Florida, where he picked up a moving truck for Trucknology, a New York-based moving company.

Two dead at Cordova care center; Police shocked at bodies overcome by buffer fumes

Memphis, TN -- Memphis police officers patrolling a Cordova business park about 2 a.m. Sunday got a shock when they looked into the window of La Petite Academy.

A woman sat motionless in a chair behind the front desk of the day care center at 330 Walnut Bend, and a man sat on the floor, slumped in a corner.

The officers forced their way in, carried the two outside and called the Memphis Fire Department rescue squad. The victims, believed to be husband and wife, were pronounced dead at the scene of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

They were contractors polishing the floor of the business with a propane-powered buffer at the time they were overcome. The buffer was still running when police got inside the building, homicide Lt. Joseph Scott said.

Police did not disclose the name of the victims or their company. Their van was found outside the Walnut Bend address.

Firefighters tested where the victims were found, and discovered carbon monoxide levels three times higher than what is considered safe, Scott said.

Arkansas Firefighter Dies After Surgery

Little Rock, AR -- An Arkansas firefighter died early this month from complications associated with surgery performed for a line-of-duty injury suffered more than one year ago.

North Little Rock Fire Department Captain Michael J. Bevans, 59, died on Nov. 6 after going into cardiac arrest, which was the result of arthroscopic shoulder surgery complications.

Bevans strained his left shoulder on June 6, 2004 while loading a patient into an ambulance. Since then, he had been on light duty for the department.

Truck driver killed in Route 80 accident

New York -- A New York truck driver was killed early Thursday morning after losing control of his tractor-trailer, which overturned in the middle of Route 80 in Allamuchy, New Jersey State Police said.

Milton Dela Cruz, 41, of the Corona section of the New York City borough of Queens, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:15 a.m., approximately 90 minutes after the accident, police said.

He was trapped in the vehicle and wasn't wearing as seatbelt.

Kentucky Firefighter Killed in Accident

Paintsville, KY - A rural volunteer fire department in Kentucky is not running calls for the next few days to give members a chance to grieve for a fallen comrade.

Charles McKenzie, 75, was struck and killed late Wednesday night by the tanker he drove to a house fire, said West Van Lear Fire Chief Bill Robinson.

Construction worker dies in fall

Athens, GA -- A construction worker died Friday after a fall from the third floor of a condominium at Bay Hill Marina, said Assistant Coroner Andy Jackson.

Douglas Howard Searcy, 38, of Muscle Shoals was pronounced dead at the scene, Jackson said.

Searcy was working on the third floor of a condominium on an extension ladder when the ladder fell, taking him with it, according to Jackson.

Traffic collisions fatal for two men

LANCASTER, CA - A workman was killed when he was hit by a cement truck, and another man died in a separate collision - between two vehicles - Wednesday afternoon.

The workman, identified as 21-year-old Michael Belle of Lancaster, was working with a survey team on 60th Street West in front of a housing tract under construction when he was hit by the cement truck.

Sheriff's officials said they aren't sure about details. California Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials were called in to investigate the cement-truck incident.

Fallen Bus Kills Tow Truck Driver

LINTHICUM, Md. -- An out-of-service interstate bus which was being hooked to a tow truck fell and crushed the truck's operator Wednesday, according to Maryland state police.

The accident between the Parkway and the Baltimore County line closed westbound Interstate-195 at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The tow truck operator was in the process of towing the bus when it unexpectedly rolled over on him, according to WJZ-TV reports.

Forklift operator killed at Wal-Mart

CRANSTON, R.I. -- A forklift operator was killed Thursday morning at a Wal-Mart store here in an apparent accident, police said.

Ronald A. Lopez, 29, was found unconscious on the forklift by another worker who was helping to move inventory, police said.

Lopez, who had worked for Wal-Mart for about 6 years, became pinned between the operator's cage of the forklift and its lifting mechanism, police said.