Weekly Toll: Falls, shootings, explosions — and two more tow truck drivers

Man found dead, pinned underneath Bobcat in York County

OSHAPARADISE TWP., PA — A New Oxford man died Monday afternoon after being pinned underneath a piece of construction equipment. Shane Hockensmith, 30,  was found unresponsive — and determined dead — under a Bobcat in the first block of Beaver Creek Road around 4:12 p.m., according to the York County Coroner’s Office. The coroner’s office adds that the male had been operating the equipment by himself since approximately 12 p.m.

Farmer Dies In Tragic Equipment Accident: Police

JAMESPORT, NY — A beloved local farmer died in a tragic accident Thursday, police said. According to Riverhead Town Police, a 911 call came in that Lyle C. Wells, 62, was found trapped in a piece of farm equipment at his farm, the Wells Homestead Acres Farm on Sound Avenue in Jamesport. When officers arrived, Wells was found deceased, police said. He apparently became trapped in a spreader while working on the farm, police said.

25-Year-Old Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty Leaves Behind 9-Month-Old Son

Detroit, MI — A young Detroit police officer has been killed in the line of duty, leaving behind a 9-month-old son.  Glenn Doss Jr., 25, was shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call on Wednesday. During a press conference Sunday, the department announced he had died from his injuries. Glenn’s father, a 19-year police veteran, said he didn’t tell his son to become an officer. “He fell in love with the job and he died doing something he loved,” Gross Sr. said during the conference. The shooting occurred as officers responded to a home following a report that a man arguing with his wife had fired gunshots. The man opened fire on officers outside the home and Doss was shot as he got out of his patrol car.

Tow-truck driver killed in apparent hit-and-run crash

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA – A Philadelphia man is in custody after allegedly hitting and killing a tow truck driver on the Schuylkill Expressway in Lower Merion Township Sunday night, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Emmanuel Doxy, 35, of Philadelphia, is facing charges of felony homicide by vehicle, felony accidents involving death, reckless driving, failing to report the accident to police, and related crimes, court records show. Doxy is accused of hitting and killing Michael House, 32, of Montgomery County, as House was assisting a disabled vehicle in his job as a tow truck operator on Interstate 76 near the Belmont Avenue exit in Lower Merion at about 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, state police said.

“There’s no need for this,” Oklahoma tow truck driver killed in crash

ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma man’s death sent a shock wave through a local community. Around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 26, emergency crews were called to the Will Rogers Turnpike following an accident. Investigators say a vehicle was broken down on the shoulder and a large wrecker was attempting to tow the vehicle. Officials say all of the drivers were out of their vehicles when a semi-truck swerved onto the shoulder, hitting 43-year-old Jonathan B. Taylor. Taylor, who was the driver of the wrecker, was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say the cause of the crash is still under investigation. 

Authorities identify truck driver killed in sand pit accident

Dunlap, IA — Authorities have recovered a body from the truck found submerged in a sand pit near Dunlap on Thursday. The driver was identified as Christopher McMullen, 38, from Madeila, Minnesota. He died in the truck after it entered an icy sandpit. Authorities were called to the scene at Hallett Materials, located 2 miles south southwest of Dunlap on the east side of U.S. Highway 30, at 5:11 a.m., after a dump truck reportedly had gone into a pond. Employees of the company found the truck.

Adams County Sheriff Deputy Heath Gumm killed in the line of duty

Adams County, CO — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office – and the state of Colorado – lost a devoted public servant the night of January 24, 2018. Deputy Heath Gumm, 31, was shot and killed while searching for a suspect related to an assault call. He is survived by a wife, Natasha. The sheriff’s office says it got a call about the assault just before 7 p.m.  When deputies arrived, they learned the assault suspect had left and they began a search for him. When they found someone matching his description, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office says he ran from deputies, leading them behind a house. The suspect then turned and fired on them — hitting one deputy in the chest, the sheriff’s office spokesperson said. Gumm was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

OSHA investigating death of worker at Green Bay metal plating firm

Green Bay, WI — The death of a worker at a Green Bay factory is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency spokesman said Thursday. Peter M. Fiedler Jr., 34, of Abrams, died on Jan. 18 following what the Brown County Medical Examiner said was a workplace accident at Ultra Plating, a metal finishing plant on Green Bay’s near west side. An Ultra Plating representative declined to speak about the death, saying the company is still trying to determine what happened. OSHA has cited Ultra Plating for safety violations once in the past 10 years, agency records show. The company paid $1,800 in a settlement after being cited in 2013.

Two construction workers die in a single day

New York, NY — A 26-year-old construction worker fell to his death in Queens on Tuesday just hours after an earlier fatal accident in Manhattan. The worker was renovating a bathroom and other parts of a co-op unit on the sixth floor of 62-98 Saunders St. in Rego Park when he fell out of a window, according to the city’s Department of Buildings, which noted that the work was being done without a permit. Despite that, the DOB has declared it an official construction death. The owner of the unit was issued violations for doing unsanctioned renovations and failing to safeguard the workers. The man, John Davie, was working with his father and within sight of his mother when the accident occurred, according to a report in the Daily News. Both parents witnessed the fatal plunge and were taken away by ambulance. Hours earlier in Manhattan, a 33-year-old man named Ju Cong Wu fell nine stories down an elevator shaft while working on a hotel project at 111 East 24th St., which is being developed by Sam Chang’s McSam Hotel Group. It is the second death to occur on a McSam project in the last five years.

Worker killed by falling column at Montana construction site

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone County authorities have released the name of a 39-year-old man who died after he was hit by a falling concrete column at a construction site in Billings. Assistant coroner Richard Hoffman said the victim was David Shepard of Billings. Hoffman said an autopsy was being performed. Fisher Construction Inc. co-owner Brent Sumner told The Billings Gazette it wasn’t clear how the horizontal concrete beam broke away from the building’s exterior Tuesday morning. Sumner said it swung down and struck Shepard in the head.

Remains of 5 workers found after explosion at drilling rig in Pittsburg County

QUINTON, OK — Authorities have released the names Tuesday of the five workers killed in an oil drilling explosion Monday in Pittsburg County. Killed were Josh Ray, 35, Fort Worth, Texas; Matt Smith, 29, of McAlester, Cody Risk, 26, Wellington, Colorado; Parker Waldridge, 60, Crescent, and Roger Cunningham, 55, Seminole, the Pittsburg County Emergency Management Agency reports. The explosion Monday was near Quinton, about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa. More here.

Georgia truck driver killed in I-459 crash identified

Bessemer, AL — Authorities have released the name of a Georgia man killed Friday in a rush-hour crash between two 18-wheelers on Interstate 459 in Bessemer. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the victim as Justin Lee Wheeler. He was 28, and lived in Douglasville. Bessemer police Lt. Christian Clemons it appears traffic was slowing down from an earlier vehicle fire when one 18-wheeler began to brake or stop because of that. Wheeler, the driver of a second tractor-trailer, apparently didn’t notice that was happening and crashed into the back of the first 18-wheeler. The force of the impact crushed the cab of the second 18-wheeler. Wheeler was pronounced dead on the scene.

One dead, one injured in shooting at Warner Robins Barberitos

Warner Robins, GA — Warner Robins Police have identified the victim in Sunday night’s fatal robbery as 23-year-old Parker Moore, of Kathleen. A preliminary investigation shows the suspect entered the restaurant from the back door and confronted the three employees demanding money. While trying to get the money, an unidentified 21-year-old male employee was shot in the head and is recovering at the Medical Center, Navicent Health. He was able to give his story to investigators.  After getting the money, the suspect fired the fatal shot that killed Moore.

Weekly Toll

1 Comment

  1. My son, Research Technician, was killed 12/13/2011 at his employer, PulverDryer, Springfield, MI, via Electrocution by a proprietary centrafluge machine used to dry waste products for use as alternative fuels.

    Michigan’s OSHA, reduced the Employer fines drastically, and admitted to me, his
    Mother, that only very large companies of particular industries are inspected infrequently to check on safety practices.

    My son was working in an Alternative Energy Business on a proprietary machine that could dry refuse which could subsequently be used as a fuel instead of fossil fuel. Aaron L. Lankford was 29 years old with a bright future ahead and a moral commitment to research ways to create alternative, non-pollutant fuels, recycling waste. He had a degree from WMU in airplane mechanics and was recently promoted within Pulverdryer to represent the employer at prominent firms such as Tyson and Waste Management who were testing PulverDryer equipment to create alternative fuels and foods from waste.

    I do not understand how employers are allowed to operate without independent inspections of safety conditions for workers.
    Nor how the penalties are so small so as not to deter compliance with establishment and rigorous enforcement of Safety rules, Training.

    How does the federal OSHA delegate this responsibility to Michigan without any oversight?
    What incentive do states have to assist companies to create safer work spaces and prevent deaths and injuries?

    In this case, no procedures were in place to have more than one worker with my son when repairing a machine capable of Electrocution. No “Lockout, Tagout” procedures were followed, nor training.

    Are the states and OSHA just window dressing? Or can these departments be revisited and funded only if they are functioning and preventative?

    Do companies have greater rights than hard working employees?

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