Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekly Toll: Death In The American Workplace

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

Tree gives way, killing trimmer

PINE VALLEY, CA – A tree trimmer was killed Wednesday when a 75-foot pine tree he was attached to broke, hit a power line and dropped him about 55 feet, authorities said.

Abraham Gutierrez, 32, of Vista was among a crew of four from The Oaks Tree Service of Bakersfield that had been hired as part of a San Diego County program, said Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating the death.

FR tree trimmer dies after accident

SWANSEA, MA - Part of a fallen tree cut down during a tree-trimming operation struck a worker's head Wednesday afternoon, where he later died from his injuries. Swansea Police responded to a 911 call at 2:11 p.m. Wednesday to 89 Stoney Hill Road, where they found the victim, identified as Michael Croteau, 41, of 386 Durfee St., Fall River, on the ground and unresponsive.

Dept. Chief Robert Furtado said the accident occurred while Croteau was working for his brother Russell's tree company, Trees R Russ of Fall River. According to the police report, Russell Croteau was in a basket truck, trimming and cutting down part of a tree that was approximately 30 to 40 feet high. "[Russell] was topping the tree, piece by piece, and dropping the logs onto the ground," said Dept. Chief Furtado from the police report. "His brother [Michael] was bending over while the chipper was going. The log struck him in the head."

Trencher ruptured high-pressure pipeline

MOUND VALLEY, KS - Authorities say a pipeline explosion that killed an Oklahoma man happened when a work crew digging a trench hit a high-pressure natural gas line.

Double J Pipeline Construction, Baldwin City, was replacing old pipe in the area of 11000 and Harper Road Friday morning, according to Labette County Emergency Management Director Jim Cook.

A Double J employee died in the blast. His identity has not been released. Labette County Sheriff William Blundell said the 70-year-old man was from Holdenville, Okla., but he would not name the man until his remains have been positively identified.

Fountain Inn textile worker killed while operating machine

GREENVILLE, S.C. - A textile worker has died while operating a large machine, authorities say. The man was killed around 6 p.m. at Delta Woodside Industries' Beattie Plant in Fountain Inn, Greenville County deputy coroner Homer Rose said.

His name was not released because his family hasn't been notified. An autopsy was planned, Rose said. The deputy coroner called the death "an industrial accident" and said investigators were still trying to determine what happened or if there were any witnesses. The man was operating a bale press, which is a machine big enough for an adult to walk into, said Doug Thackston, human relations manager for the plant.

2 found dead after robbery attempt

Cumberland Gap, TN -- Authorities continued their investigation Thursday into a double homicide during an overnight armed robbery attempt at a liquor store near the Tennessee-Kentucky line. Unidentified employees were found dead Wednesday night in the Tunnel Two-Way Package Store in Cumberland Gap off Highway 58.

Claiborne County investigators believe the workers were killed between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents are assisting in the case.

Worker killed in accident at Akron Canton Airport

Akron, OH -- A 60-year-old Medina was killed in a construction accident this morning at Akron Canton Airport. The man was identified as Frank Seibert, an employee of Kenmore Construction, the lead contractor on an ongoing project there.

Airport assistant director Rick McQueen said the accident happened around 10 a.m. today in the airport's aircraft de-icing collecting project. The project involves the construction of a concrete pad where airplanes go to be de-iced. Sources at the scene said the man was caught beneath the right front tire of a masonry truck.

Asphalt worker killed on the job

SNEADS FERRY, NC -- 41-year-old Castle Hayne man was killed in Sneads Ferry on Thursday after a pickup truck filled with asphalt ran over him.

Hard Top Asphalt, a company from Castle Hayne, was pouring an asphalt parking lot at Born Again Baptist Church off N.C. 210 in Sneads Ferry. At about 3:05 p.m., Manuel Antonio Rivera, who worked for the company, inadvertently walked behind a dump truck filled with asphalt and was hit, said Trooper Thomas McKoy of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Construction Worker Electrocuted

CLAY COUNTY, FL -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office and the Clay County Public Safety Department are on the scene of an electrocution of a construction worker.

Gerald Andrews, 24, was in a hole working at Oakleaf Village Parkway and Oakside Drive when he was electrocuted. The site is where construction of a new middle school is taking place. Andrews worked for Simoneau Electric.

Tempe officer killed in Loop 101 accident

Officer Kevin L. Weeks, a 28-year-old officer who served in Tempe for seven years in patrol and the traffic bureau, was killed after he struck a railroad tie on Loop 101 at 4:15 a.m. Thursday.

The state Department of Public Safety is looking into how Weeks, called a cop's cop by his friends, was killed and what part, if any, construction played in the accident.


New York, NY -- A 19-year-old construction worker fell 11 stories to his death yesterday after he tumbled off a ledge and crashed onto a scaffold surrounding the building, cops said.

José Luis Melendez- Gutierrez, of The Bronx, was standing on a 12th-floor setback at 800 Second Ave., home to the Israeli consulate, at about 9 a.m. when he tried to move a hanging scaffold used for masonry work on the façade and lost his balance. The immigrant from El Salvador was wearing a harness, but it was not secured to anything, and he fell 11 stories before hitting a scaffold where others were working.

Maintenance worker killed in fall at church

Aurora, CO -- A maintenance worker fell to his death Wednesday at the church that hosted the funeral Tuesday for slain Aurora Detective Michael Thomas.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said the 30-year-old man was replacing lights in the sanctuary of the Heritage Christian Center, 9495 E. Florida Ave., shortly before noon when he fell more than 30 feet through a false ceiling to the floor.

Florida police officer killed in shooting

LAKELAND, Florida (Reuters) - A massive manhunt was under way in central Florida on Thursday for a man who killed one police officer and wounded another after a traffic stop. A police dog working with the slain officer was also killed, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters.

Judd said the man was stopped by a deputy for speeding shortly before noon. He fled into a wooded area and was chased by the deputy and another deputy with the police dog before they were shot.

Armored Car Guard Shot, Killed In Oakland Robbery

OAKLAND, CA -- He had turned away from gangs and drugs, but now a U.S. Marine veteran and Brinks armored car guard lies dead, killed Friday morning during a kidnapping and robbery ambush, Oakland police said.

Anthony Quintero was shot and killed after his armored truck was robbed of an unknown amount of cash, said Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren.

Worker dies after being struck by forklift

Fargo, ND -- An American Crystal Sugar Co. worker in Fargo died from injuries suffered when she was struck by a forklift in Moorhead, Minn., carrying a 1,000-pound load, police say.

Larae Murch, 50, of West Fargo, died late Sunday morning at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo.

Police Lt. Jim Nielsen of Moorhead, said the forklift was carrying a half-ton box crusher that measured 4 feet wide, tall and deep. The driver was about to make a left turn when the forklift struck Murch about 11 p.m. Saturday, Nielsen said.

"We've got no indication that she was in a place she wasn't supposed to be," he said, adding that the forklift was carrying a large load so the driver's view was somewhat limited.

Man killed unloading construction vehicle

Novi, MI -- A man was killed unloading a construction vehicle at the Michigan Cat tractor facility in Novi early Sept. 21. Ronnie Stockton, 59, was thrown straight up in the air and landed back in the construction vehicle when its rear wheels fell in a gap between the transport truck and the ramp around 7 a.m.

Novi police think the truck rolled forward when the construction vehicle tried to get on the ramp, which was slightly higher than the truck. Stockton, of Belleville, worked for Varsity Towing Inc.

OSHA looks into man's death in silo

Warsaw, NC -- Workers at Nash Johnson & Sons Farms were interviewed Tuesday by a N.C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigator as officials begin the process of determining how an employee died inside a grain silo on N.C. 117 near Warsaw in Duplin County.

William Luther "Bill" Jones, 73, died Sunday in the silo, which has a capacity of 80,000 bushels of grain. Jones, of Willard in Pender County, worked for Nash Johnson Farms since 1999 and had more than 45 years of experience in the grain industry. His body was recovered Monday.

Police ID man killed at port

ELSINBORO TWP., NJ -- A Salem man has been identified as the dock worker killed when a crane fell at a shipping yard here earlier this week, officials said Tuesday.

Robert D. Jennings, 30, died Monday at the Mid-Atlantic Shipping and Stevedoring Inc. shipping yard when a crane boom collapsed on top of him, state police Public Information Officer Stephen Jones said.

Jennings was working on the Bermuda Islander cargo freighter and giving directions to the crane operator as to where to lower a shipment of cargo. At that point, an apparent mechanical malfunction caused the crane boom and the cargo to fall, with the crane boom landing on Jennings, according to Jones.

Worker dies in three-story fall

Mobile, AL -- A 54-year-old man died Tuesday after he fell three stories off a forklift at the Hampton Inn in Mobile, police said.

Larry Harrison of Mobile was installing plate glass around 10:30 a.m. when the accident occurred, said Mobile Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Steve Huffman.

Harrison was on an extension ladder inside a three-sided wooden box atop the boom-style forklift near the third story of the Interstate 65 service road hotel when something caused the box to fall, Huffman said. Harrison, the box, the ladder and the plate glass all crashed to the ground, and Harrison was trapped underneath the rubble, Huffman said.

Construction Worker Electrocuted In South Jordan

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- Police are reporting a man is electrocuted in an accident at a construction site in South Jordan Tuesday afternoon. Police tell us a 23-year-old man was electrocuted when a track hoe touched an overhead power line.

The man is an employee of RDJ Construction. Police say he was securing a chain from the track hoe to a 20” water pipe. As the pipe was lowered into the ground the track hoe contacted the power line, sending electricity into the man.

Road Worker Killed near Richardton

Richardton, ND -- A Mandan man working on a road at the Red Trail Energy ethanol plant at Richardton was killed this morning. The Highway Patrol says the packing machine the man was operating went off the dirt road and rolled over on top of him.

The 63 year old`s name hasn`t been released. The Patrol says he was working for a subcontractor that is building the private road into the ethanol plant.

A Police Officer Is Killed In the Line Of Duty

Houston, TX -- Funeral services for a Houston police officer killed in the line of duty are set for 10 Wednesday morning at Grace Community Church at I-45 Gulf Freeway. Officer Rodney Johnson will be laid to rest today at Earthman Resthaven Cemetery on the city`s north side. Johnson was killed by a prisoner in the back of his patrol car after a routine traffic stop, police say. The veteran officer was the 40-year-old father of five. Authorities have charged 32-year-old Juan Leonardo Quintero, an illegal immigrant, with capital murder in connection with Johnson`s killing.

Worker killed on freeway

Phoenix, AZ -- A landscaper died Wednesday morning when a vehicle struck him on the Santan Freeway at Gilbert Road.

Oscar Ruiz, 23, of Mexico, was working near a conveyor belt that sprayed crushed granite onto the sides of the freeway.

An eastbound vehicle reportedly drove into the rear of a trailer that was being pulled by a pickup truck, said Sgt. Harold A. Sanders of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. After hitting the trailer, Sanders said, the vehicle veered to the right and drove onto the shoulder of the road, striking Ruiz. Ruiz was working for Sunbelts Conveyered Aggregate Delivery, a landscaping subcontractor under M. Anderson Construction Corporation, Sanders said.

Backhoe kills worker, 26, from Perry County

Columbus, OH -- A construction worker was killed on the Far East Side early yesterday when a backhoe crushed him. Charles M. Bailey, 26, of Somerset in Perry County, died about 8:20 a.m. at the job site on E. Broad Street east of Waggoner Road, Columbus police said.

"The construction worker was attempting to walk between the backhoe and another piece of equipment when the operator moved the backhoe," Smith said. "He did not realize that worker was walking behind him."

A company statement said that Bailey was out of the operator’s sight when he walked behind the hoe. When the operator rotated the hoe, Bailey was pinned against a gravel box, a large iron container that resembles a trash bin.

Aurora cop killed; guards tackle suspect

Aurora, CO -- Aurora police are investigating the shooting death of a plainclothed detective, who was gunned down this afternoon in the intersection of Montview Boulevard and Peoria Street as passersby frantically called 911. The officer was identified as Michael D. Thomas during a news conference at police headquarters today.

Initial reports indicate that the officer was sitting in his car when at least one shooter approached him and fired. The detective had been with the department for 24 years and at one time worked undercover in the vice unit.

Tree falls, kills man

Tacoma, WA -- A tree fell and killed a man shortly before noon Thursday in rural Pierce County, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department reported. The death was being investigated as an industrial accident, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Worker dies filling in for traffic guy

Brooklyn, NY -- A machinist for a Brooklyn scrap metal company who was asked to direct traffic was run over and killed yesterday by a dump truck driven by a co-worker, police and relatives said.

Carlos Salazar, 44, was pronounced dead shortly after the 7:15a.m. accident on an East New York block that teems with industrial trucks throughout the morning.

"He was a machine operator, but the traffic guy didn't come to work today, so the boss told Carlos to do the traffic job," said the victim's brother Julio Salazar, 46, of Queens. "He was stopping traffic to let the truck out."

State employee dies in accident

PINE BLUFFS, MT - A state employee died Wednesday after the grain bin he was standing on tipped over and pinned him against an auger at a fertilizer plant here, police said. The incident happened at about 8:45 a.m. at the Farmers Elevator Cooperative Fertilizer Plant.

Quince R. Olsen, 42, of Carpenter was on top of the bin doing scale measurements when it tipped, pinning him against the auger, police said. He died at the scene.

Worker falls to death in justice complex atrium

TRENTON, N.J. -- A Department of Law and Public Safety employee fell to his death in the atrium of the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The man was identified as Mark Raughley, 56, an administrative analyst for the state police.

David Wald, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, said Raughley fell from the seventh floor at about 11:30 a.m. An investigation is being conducted, Wald said.

Construction Worker Impaled On Rebar

Philadelphia, PA - A construction accident along the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia has left one man dead. And the construction company responsible has been cited for a lack of safety prevention in the past.

Action News has learned that Fabi Construction, which does concrete work and is the company for which the victim worked, was cited by OSHA in July for not having adequate fall protection at the site. That citation is just one of several connected to the Egg Harbor Township company.

Relatives of the victim wept as they left the Symphony House Condo construction site. The general contractor, Driscoll Intech, tells Action News no one saw 25-year-old Jeff Martin fall from the 5th floor. Apparently a co-worker found him impaled on a steel rod on the 2nd floor.

Martin worked for Fabi Construction, a subcontractor on the project. This is not the first time the company has been connected to deadly workplace accidents. In October 2003, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, cited Fabi in connection with the Tropicana Garage collapse that killed 4 workers. In that case, OSHA found several willful and serious violations.

Employee killed in nursing home shooting

CORINTH, MS - A domestic dispute turned violent and public Tuesday afternoon when a Walnut woman died of multiple gunshot wounds while working at Mississippi Care Center in Corinth.

Corinth Police Chief David Lancaster said Irene Simmons was shot and killed by her estranged husband, 39-year-old Andre P. Simmons of 110 CR 277 in Walnut.

OSHA probes oilfield death

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating an oilfield fatality in Midland County. Jose M. Barajas, 26, was pronounced dead Wednesday at Midland Memorial Hospital following an oilfield accident at a Key Energy site.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said he believes the death was accidental.
“He had something off a pulling unit fall on him and hit him in the head,” Painter said.

46-year-old man killed, wife stable after tank truck rolls over

Santa Maria, CA -- An owner of a Santa Maria-based asphalt company was killed Monday morning after the truck he was driving overturned on a private road near Nacimiento Lake, according to the CHP.

Steve Lietz, 46, of Lompoc was pronounced dead after being ejected from his tank truck when it veered off Gage Irving Road and tumbled down an embankment, the CHP reported.

City's longtime plumbing inspector dies at work

Poughkeepsie, NY -- The City of Poughkeepsie's longtime plumbing inspector died on the job Monday morning, the city said.

Harold Cain Jr., 75, began working as a part-time city plumbing inspector in 1976 and was hired full time in 1992. He served as acting building inspector several times.

Cain was pronounced dead at Vassar Brothers Medical Center after being treated for cardiac arrest. He was described as a popular employee renown for his knowledge of the city's plumbing and code issues.

Worker killed in manhole accident

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — The construction worker found dead Monday in a manhole in Suwanee has been identified as 40-year-old Jose Nicholas Cortez.

The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office was still trying to determine the cause of death on Tuesday. Firefighters speculated Cortez either fell 12 to 16 feet into the manhole or succumbed to lethal levels of methane gas after entering the underground chamber.

Cortez was reportedly in the manhole looking for a piece of laser equipment that was used at the site last week. The Gwinnett County Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team used an atmospheric probe to monitor gas readings when it responded to the scene Monday. It found a high concentration of methane and a low oxygen concentration inside the manhole, said department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge.

Worker dies from tower fall

Pensecola, FL The man who fell inside a water tower Sunday at the University of West Florida has died, said university spokeswoman Janice Cooper Holmes. Richard Allen Catoe, 17, was from Toccoa, Ga., she said.

Catoe was putting up communication equipment on the tower off Campus Drive near the WUWF radio station. He was contracted with David Telecom, a company based in Perry, Ga., she said.

Man dies at Blue Flint Ethanol plant in Underwood

Laredo, TX -- A man died after falling 120 feet from the top of a silo he was working on, police said. Jesus Guerrero, 67, of Loredo, Texas, died Friday morning of injuries relatied to the fall, McLean County Sheriff Don Charging said.

Guerrero was wearing a safety belt and a helmet, but was not tied off while pouring concrete for a silo at the Blue Flint Ethanol Plant in Underwood, Charging said.

Truck driver killed when crane hits overpass

Phoenix, AZ - The driver of a commercial truck died in an accident on Interstate 17 near Pinnacle Peak Road shortly past noon on Tuesday. Jose Sandoval, 41, of Phoenix was dead at the scene.

He was driving a truck carrying a crane that apparently came unfastened and raised, hitting the overpass at Pinnacle Peak and causing the truck to roll, said Officer William Duff with the Department of Public Safety.

Dump truck driver killed in crash

LEWIS, N.Y. -- A Plattsburgh man was killed today after the dump truck he was driving careened down an embankment then flipped on top of him.

Police say 48-year-old Michael Broe was ejected from the truck when it went off the road, overturning down a wooded area and crashing into several trees. Police say the truck landed on top of Broe.

Construction worker dies at Selma paper mill

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a construction worker who apparently collapsed at International Paper Co.'s Riverdale Mill in Selma.

John Blue, 28, who is believed to have lost consciousness Wednesday while elevated on scaffolding, was pronounced dead by Dallas County Coroner Alan Dailey at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Blue was employed by Pettyline Construction and worked in the No. 2 Bleach Plant.

Taylor welder killed in explosion

TAYLOR, TX — A Taylor man was killed Tuesday afternoon when a tanker truck that he was welding exploded. Casey Allen Teague, 52, was standing on top of the tank about 5 p.m. when he welded through to the inside of the tank, igniting fumes, said Detective John Foster of the Williamson County sheriff's department.

Foster said he did not know what kind of fumes were inside the tanker but said the tanker was not full. vThe force of the explosion blew Teague off the top of the tanker and killed him instantly, Foster said. "Everything looks like this was just a real tragic accident," he said. Teague, a licensed welder, was performing routine maintenance on the truck at Fuel Blenders Inc., at 15218 FM 1660, southwest of Taylor.

Plant worker dies on the job

Fayetteville, NC -- State safety officials are investigating the Monday death of a worker at Carolina By-Products. Joseph Leo Howard, 51, of Hope Mills, died about 10 p.m., said Heather Crews, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Labor.

A preliminary report indicates Howard may have been electrocuted as he was resetting a circuit breaker, she said. The Department of Labor is investigating. The business has been cited for safety violations, according to records on the U.S. Department of Labor's Web site. The company has paid $3,161 for violations since March 2005, records show. Both violations were listed as serious, which can result in fines up to $7,000, Crews said.

Semi Driver Burned Alive In Toll Plaza Crash

Osceola County, Fla. -- The driver of a tractor-trailer was burned alive early Wednesday when he crashed head-on into a toll plaza in Osceola County, Fla., according to police. Florida Turnpike toll booth workers said they said they saw the big rig barreling out of control and then slamming into the toll plaza just after midnight Wednesday.

"The vehicle immediately became engulfed in a fire," Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. George Delahoz said. "The driver was killed inside the tractor-trailer. He never got out. We don't know if he fell asleep, if there was a medical condition or what caused the driver not to be able to react to the plaza." Police identified the driver as Isaac Leon Lane of Orlando.

MDOT worker killed in Lisbon

LISBON, ME — A Maine Department of Transportation employee died Monday after being struck by a pickup truck while working on Upland Road earlier that morning. Mark Peterson, 50, of Hollis, was working as a member a two-person surveying crew. Town Manager Curtis Lunt said the section of road where the incident occurred is hazardous because it has no shoulders and limited visibility. "It's a short little hill, it's sharp so you can't see over the top of it," he said.

Peterson and another MDOT surveyor had worked on Upland Road since 8 a.m. Monday and both were wearing reflective vests. At the time of the Stevens' vehicle hit Peterson, the two surveyors were standing along the side of the road, talking with each other.

Worker falls to his death from St. Pete construction site

St. Petersburg, Florida - A construction worker fell 10 stories to his death at a St. Petersburg construction site. The 31-year-old man was performing some stucco work with two other men when he fell off the scaffolding. Parmedics treated the man at the scene but he died a short time later at a near-by hospital. Emergency crews say the man worked for Commercial Plaster Incorporated. The company is helping complete the new Mangove Cove Condominiums at 10699 Gandy Boulevard.

Richard F. Anthony

WILLIAMSTOWN, VT – Richard F. Anthony, 64, of Weir Road, Williamstown, died Sept. 21, 2006, as a result of an industrial accident in Newbury.

Concrete Worker Killed On The Job In Anderson

Redding, CA -- Friday was a tragic day at a business in Anderson where a man was killed on the job. It happened before 2pm Friday afternoon. A worker at American Concrete Pumping apparently got caught in a conveyor belt. The accident happened on Banigan Road just off of Highway 273 in Anderson. The victim is identified as 35-year-old Larry Scott Franck of Redding. Franck was transported to Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead just after 2pm Friday. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Inexperienced worker dies when part of tree falls on him

Tacoma, WA -- A section of a tree fell and killed a 20-year-old Tacoma man (Jared Carter) shortly before noon Thursday, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department reported. The man was working for a tree removal company at a home in the 3800 block of West Tapps Highway. It was his second day on the job and he was assisting a more experienced worker using ropes to pull down the top sections of the 80-foot tree, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

“The experienced guy ran the right direction, the new guy ran the wrong direction,” Troyer said. “The tree landed on him and killed him. He died instantly.”

Man dies in tractor accident

York, PA -- A Shrewsbury Township farmer was killed Thursday afternoon when the tractor he was driving rolled over, police said. Eugene Austin Tome, 62, of Keeney Sunset Drive, was taken to York Hospital following the 1:55 p.m. accident, and was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley.

According to state police, Tome was driving his 22-horsepower garden tractor on Keeney Sunset Drive, hauling a trailer filled with a large amount of apparent dirt.

Man killed in roof collapse at Alamodome identified

San Antonio, TX -- Medical examiners have identified a man who was killed Thursday when a roof he was working on collapsed inside the Alamodome.
Andres Duran, 20, died when he was struck by heavy wood and tile. Another man in his early 20s was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center. The men had been tilling the roof of a building featured in the upcoming Builders Showcase Expo at the Alamodome.

Ozona worker dies in accident

Ozona, TX -- A 19-year-old Ozona man died Sunday morning after a compressor he was working on blew up. Felipe Perez, a Texas Energy worker, was working on a compressor in the back of a truck at about 7:40 a.m. on Highway 163 when the compressor blew up, police said.

Semi driver's death likely due to medical condition

CEDARBURG, Wis. -- Ozaukee County sheriff's authorities say the semi driver that crashed into a house in the Town of Cedarburg likely suffered a heart attack. Forty-four-year-old Scott Haag was driving a semi loaded with corn on county Highway 'I' yesterday when the rig drifted off the road and hit a home.

Semi-Truck Driver Killed on Lexington Co. Road

Lexington County, SC - The Highway Patrol is investigating an accident in Lexington County which killed the driver of a semi-truck.

Lexington County Coroner Harry Harmon says 45-year-old Darrel Burnham of Orangeburg was driving down the road in his Sara Lee company semi when he collided with two cows. The truck then left the road, crossed the shoulder and hit two pine trees.

Fiery crash kills trucker

Lebanon, PA -- A 43-year-old Pottsville man died yesterday morning when a dump truck he was driving slammed into a tree and burst into flames along Route 422 in Jackson Township.

John Joseph Howells II of 555 Terry Way was driving a 1996 Freightliner dump truck west on Route 422 around 9 a.m. when, just before reaching Ramona Road, he suddenly braked, causing the truck to slide out of control, state police at Jonestown said. The truck initially slid sideways before running off of the north side of the road and striking an oak tree, police said.

KC truck driver killed in crash identified

Kansas City, MO --The Missouri Highway Patrol has identified the truck driver killed in a crash Wednesday afternoon as William A. Hamlett, 63, of Kansas City. Also killed in the crash was Rebecca L. Breedlove, 48, of Rogersville, Mo., a passenger in a 1995 Dodge Intrepid driven by Kevin Ramsey of Springfield, according to the crash report.


TOWN OF PERRY, WI -- An 85-year-old farmer from the town of Perry was killed in a tractor accident Wednesday afternoon, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to a report of a man found collapsed about 3 p.m. in a field at 1477 Sutter Road, about 30 miles southwest of Madison. The farmer had been mowing hay when it appeared his tractor ran him over, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity isn't being released until his family is told of his death.

Two killed when firefighting plane crashes in Tulare County

SPRINGVILLE Calif. -- A pilot and firefighter were killed Wednesday when their California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection plane crashed as they worked to battle a blaze in remote Tulare County foothills, authorities said.

The victims were identified as George Willett, 52, a Hanford pilot contracted to help battle the fire, and CDF Battalion Chief Robert Paul Stone, 36, of Visalia.

Deputies seek witness in pawnshop owner's death

Greenville, SC - About the time a pawnshop owner was shot to death, a suspect stepped outside the store to tell someone in a white pickup that the shop was closed, a Greenville County sheriff's office spokesman said Sunday.

No arrests have been made in the shooting death of Timothy Dewey Henderson, who was found at his White Horse Road store, Fast Cash Pawn Shop, on Saturday afternoon, Lee said.

Firefighter killed when tanker crashes en route to fire

BRAZIL Ind. -- A southwestern Indiana firefighter died when the tanker truck he was driving crashed while en route to a fire, State Police said. Errett Miller, 43, of Staunton, assistant chief of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, died Monday after he lost control of the tanker truck on a sharp curve on a county road, and the vehicle rolled several times, ejecting him, police said.

Tree-trimmer killed in accident ID'd

Tulsa , OK -- Police released the name Wednesday of the man who died during a tree-trimming accident Tuesday. Truman Alston, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident in the 1600 block of South Gary Avenue, authorities said. Alston operated Alston Tree Services of Tulsa.

The accident happened just after 12:20 p.m. Tuesday while Alston was trimming trees from the bucket of a boom truck, Fire Capt. Larry Bowles said. The bucket became detached from the boom and fell, hitting the tree on the way down. Alston fell about 25 feet.

Deli owner killed in robbery; Two teens suspected in University Heights slaying

Buffalo, NY -- A University Heights deli store owner was gunned down in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon by two teenage robbers, Buffalo homicide detectives reported.

Ziad Kassim Nasser, 36, of West Ferry Street, the proprietor of the M&F University Grocery and Deli at Englewood Avenue and Eley Place, was shot in the abdomen at about 2:30 p.m. He died a short time later in Erie County Medical Center.

Nasser was apparently held up by two teenage males who shot him and then fled west on Englewood, homicide detectives said. There is little information about the holdup because Nasser was alone in the store, said Homicide Sgt. James P. Lonergan.

Man dies running forklift

Idaho Falls, ID -- An Idaho Falls man died Thursday, a day after he was injured while operating a forklift at the Basic American Foods plant on Sunnyside Road. Antonio Castaneda, 43, was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after the accident, which was reported to police at 4:25 p.m. Wednesday. OSHA estimates there are about 85 forklift fatalities per year, 34,900 serious injuries and 61,800 nonserious injuries.

OSHA investigating Workers say colleague dies at construction site

Las Vegas, NV -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a Friday morning accident at a construction site that workers said resulted in the death of a colleague.

The Clark County coroner's office was called to the scene at the construction site at Canyon Run Drive and Rampart Boulevard . Reports were that a worker died after falling off a four-story roof about 7:45 a.m., police said. OSHA declined to provide any other details.


Ghent, KY --Two men were killed yesterday after the roof panel they were standing on gave way at a plant in Northern Kentucky. Rickie D. Dilts Jr., 29, of Vevay, Ind., and Matthew P. Collins, 21, of Williamstown, were tack-welding roof panels in the melt shop at the North American Stainless Plant at the time of the accident, according to Steve Sparrow with the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Administration office. Sparrow said the men fell approximately 80 feet. Dilts and Collins were employees with United Group Services Inc., based in Cincinnati, according to Kevin Sell, director of employee development for the company. North American Stainless Plant, which makes stainless steel products, sits on 1,100 acres in Carroll County.

Worker hit by car in construction zone

Pittsburgh, PA - A worker stenciling the word "SLOW" on a road in Findlay Thursday morning was struck by a car turning from a side street.

The worker, Tom Bayly, was hit sometime between 10 and 11 a.m. when a man driving a Lexus sedan was motioned on by a flagger but then turned right and into the Cliff Mine Road work zone without looking both ways, said John O'Neal, Findlay director of public works.

Truck driver killed crossing East Bay Drive

LARGO, FL – An Ohio truck driver was killed Sept. 11 while crossing East Bay Drive with breakfast in his hands. Largo police Sgt. George Edmiston said Thomas Mercure parked his car-hauler semi in the eastbound curb lane of the six-lane highway, near Keene Road to get breakfast at a fast-food restaurant. He said Mercure, 68, left his son asleep in the truck.

Edmiston said it was shortly after 6 a.m. when Mercure walked across East Bay Drive to the McDonald’s Restaurant where he bought breakfast food. As the victim returned to his truck, he was struck by a car in the center westbound lane, according to Edmiston.

Fall kills former Gainesville man

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A former Gainesville man, who spent most of his life here, will be buried Friday after falling to his death in Florida last week in a work-related accident. Willie Wesley Pethel, 58, of St. Augustine, worked for the St. John's County school system.

According to the St. Augustine Record, Pethel was pressure washing the roof of a school building when he lost his footing and fell through a skylight onto the floor of the two-story building.

Novice railway switchman is crushed between trains

St Louis, MO -- Family members said Mardie Oden had found his dream job as a switchman with Alton & Southern Railway six months ago, but it ended tragically Sunday. The Federal Railroad Administration along with Alton & Southern and East St. Louis Police are investigating an accident in which Oden was fatally crushed between two trains. Railroad officials said the accident happened at 11:30 p.m. Sunday while Oden was switching locomotives from one track to another.

Switchman is one of the most dangerous railroad jobs, according to Steve W. Klum, director of public affairs for Federal Railroad Administration. Klum said his agency's investigation could take several months. If any federal safety violations are found, the railroad could face civil penalties.

Fall at church kills Laurel man

Laurel, MS -- A Laurel man died Tuesday after falling from a makeshift lift device Monday at the Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, 2420 Hardy St., Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict reported.

Kenneth Jordan, 56, was taken by ambulance from the scene of the 3:15 p.m. Monday accident to Forrest General Hospital where he died from head trauma at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Benedict said.

Victims of fatal wreck in Johnston identified

Johnston, NC -- The state Highway Patrol has positively identified the two migrant farm workers who died from injuries they suffered in a car crash Sunday morning.

Eliceo Jimenez Santis, a 16-year-old from the village of Las Margaritas in southern Mexican, died at Pitt Memorial Hospital a day after a fellow farm worker took a curve too fast and flipped a large passenger van into a ditch. Moises Velasco Hernandez, 28, from the same town, died instantly in the accident.

The men and more than a dozen fellow laborers headed out Sunday morning to visit a flea market in Smithfield. The men had driven in the same blue Econoline van from the Mexican border weeks earlier to secure jobs at a farm outside Benson.


Greenwich Township, NJ -- A 33-year-old Easton man was killed Wednesday when the dump truck he was driving on Richline Road in Greenwich Township, Warren County, was struck by a train. Township Police Chief Rich Guzzo said Henry C. Schucker, of 1045 W. Wilkes-Barre St., was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident occurred at 11:51 a.m. as Schucker traveled south on Richline Road and onto the railroad tracks as a Norfolk-Southern train reached the crossing. Guzzo said there are no lights or gates at the crossing, just two signs. He said Schucker's truck was loaded with topsoil. The truck is owned by Nemeth Trucking in Stewartsville, N.J.

Pa. truck driver killed in Dinwiddie

Richmond, VA -- Virginia State Police yesterday identified a truck driver killed Tuesday in a Dinwiddie County crash as Thomas Garfield Frech, 50, of East Berlin, Pa. Frech was hauling insulation from Mebane, N.C., to Pennsylvania when he drove off Interstate 85 about 3:40 p.m. near the Gatewood Road overpass and hit several trees, police said. Although Frech was wearing a seat belt, the force of the crash threw him from the truck, police said.

Suspect in killing of gas station attendant arrested

MOUNT HOLLY N.J. -- A man sought in the fatal stabbing a 70-year-old gas station attendant during a robbery this week has been captured.

Damian Jaspar, 19, of Burlington City was arrested at 4:20 p.m. Thursday at the Toll Gate Condominiums in Florence Township, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi said.
Jaspar is charged in the death of Kulbir Singh, a Burlington City resident, who was stabbed multiple times in the chest and abdomen.

Task force investigates murder of Merrillville restaurant owner

MERRILLVILLE Ind. -- A newly formed task force of veteran detectives from 17 police departments is investigating the slaying of a restaurant owner well-known throughout northwest Indiana. Employees found Naseeb Abdul Jabar Mohammed, 60, owner of Aladdin Pita Restaurant and Store, unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound Saturday morning at the store, where he later was pronounced dead. An undetermined amount of cash was taken from the restaurant, police said.

Murfreesboro police captain dies after rescuing boy

Murfreesboro, TN -- A Murfreesboro police captain died after saving a boy from drowning in a pool Saturday. Capt. Byron Motley was attending a family reunion in Brentwood when he noticed the boy in trouble and rescued him but lost his life. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. Motley, 58, was recently promoted as captain after 28 years of service. He supervised the department's training program. Police Chief Glenn Chrisman said it was fitting Motley gave his life to save a child.

Two guards dead at prison; Shooting at Chillicothe facility leads to lockdown

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. -- Two guards at a women's prison died Sunday in a shooting that authorities are investigating as an apparent murder-suicide. People witnessed the shooting, but no one other than the two guards was hurt, officials said.

The guards involved, identified only as a man and a woman in their 30s, joined the staff of about 120 correctional officers this summer. They were both on duty when the shooting occurred, said Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse.

Tree-trimmer falls, dies in Brandermill

Richmond, VA -- A member of a tree-trimming crew was killed yesterday when he fell from a tree being taken down in Chesterfield County's Brandermill community.

Richard Moran, 48, of Chesterfield fell to his death about 6 p.m. in the 3100 block of Quail Hill Drive, Chesterfield police Capt. Jim Stanley said.

Moran had climbed to the top of the tree, which was leaning, to cut branches, Stanley said. He said Moran fell when the tree's root ball gave way, causing the tree to fall.

Driver in fatal semi crash ID'd

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The truck driver who died Sunday after losing control of his semi-trailer truck on northbound Interstate 380 near the Cedar River Bridge was identified today as Hal Steven Preacher, 47, of West Des Moines. Cedar Rapids police say Preacher apparently lost control of the truck at around noon Sunday. The truck, which was owned by West Side Transport Co., struck the inside guard rail and jacknifed, coming to rest with the cab pinned between the trailer and the guardrail, and caught fire.

Lodge owner trapped by lawnmower dies of exposure

ANCHORAGE Alaska -- The owner of a remote Alaska river lodge died of exposure after his riding lawnmower overturned and trapped him, Alaska State Troopers said Friday. Andrew Piekarski, 61, owner of King Bear Lodge, was found Thursday near his lodge at Mile 44 of the Yentna River, which dumps into the Susitna River about 30 miles northwest of Anchorage. Investigators determined that Piekarski drove off a small hill and onto the beach in front of his lodge, Wilkinson said. His John Deere riding lawnmower landed on his legs. Investigators said that when Piekarski could not free himself, he unsuccessfully attempted to take the lawnmower apart using a multipurpose tool. "He couldn't get if off his legs and he couldn't get out from under it and he died from exposure, from hypothermia," Wilkinson said.

Worker dies in fall at construction site

SAN MARCOS, CA – A man installing overhead cable fell to his death off a 25-foot lift at a strip mall under construction on South Las Posas Road and Via Vera Cruz yesterday.

Richard Michael Salazar, 24, of La Mirada suffered head injuries after falling from the scissor lift, said a Medical Examiner's Office investigator. It was unclear what caused the fall.