Weekly Toll

Trench collapses, falls, shootings, building and bridge collapses, vehicle incidents.

On average, 14 workers are killed every day in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work. That’s almost 100 every week.  Ten times as many die from occupational diseases, many due to exposure to hazardous substances many years before they died, or from COVID-19 acquire at work.  The few narratives below (gathered from almost 100 Google News searches) do not come close to capturing the full toll that work takes on the working people of this country — even in normal years, much less during the COVID pandemic. Nevertheless the accounts below gave you a taste of the preventable carnage occurring in workplaces across the country every day. 

Employee dies at Sacramento auto business after workplace accident, police say

Sacramento, CA — An employee at an auto business died after a workplace incident Saturday afternoon, according to the Sacramento Fire Department. Department officials said in a social media update just before 3:45 p.m. that a man had been pronounced dead at the business on the 5600 block of Franklin Boulevard. Fire officials said that the man was found dead “after an accident involving a vehicle he was working on.”

Two state workers killed in St. Louis work zone

St. Louis, MO — Two Missouri Department of Transportation employees were killed Thursday morning when they were struck while working on striping operations on Telegraph Road over Interstate 255 in south St. Louis. A third employee was transported to the hospital, in serious condition. Authorities say it appears a motorist drove through construction cones and struck the workers. James Brooks, 58, and Kaitlyn Anderson, 25, were killed during the incident. Brooks, a senior maintenance worker, worked for the department almost nine years. Anderson, an intermediate maintenance worker, worked for the department for two years. She was also 6 months pregnant with her first child. MoDOT says the area was marked with flashing lights and construction cones.

Guerra-Mejia hit at business on Atando Avenue

CHARLOTTE, NC- Jose Guerra-Mejia sadly died on Friday, Nov. 19 when he was struck by a semi-truck in a parking lot on Atando Avenue in Charlotte. Jose Guerra-Mejia sadly died on Friday, Nov. 19 when he was struck by a semi-truck in a parking lot on Atando Avenue in Charlotte. According to a police report, Guerra-Mejia was run over by an 18-wheeler operated by Silvio Ocampo. Investigators said that Ocampo arrived at the business to deliver a trailer, and after detaching the trailer, he moved the tractor to the opposite side of the business to attach another trailer for delivery. Once Ocampo arrived at the second trailer, he began to back the tractor up to the trailer and struck Guerra-Mejia, who was removing a security device underneath the trailer. Authorities said that Ocampo did not know Guerra-Mejia was in the area or underneath the trailer. Guerra-Mejia was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

LMPD officer shot, construction worker killed on I-264 in Shively

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A construction worker was killed and an LMPD officer was hurt when a suspect opened fire on I-264 in Shively early Friday morning. It happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. at Dixie Highway. The construction worker, Fred O’Bannon, died at the scene. His employer, worked for Louisville Paving and Construction, said he leaves behind a fiance and children, and was a “highly respected and committed member” of their team. The officer was rushed to UofL Hospital and is expected to survive. Councilman Anthony Piagentini says the officer was shot in the face and has a bullet lodged in his neck. LMPD Chief Erika Shields says the officer was there for traffic control while road work was underway. For some unknown reason, a man walked up to the construction site and shot and killed one of the workers. That man then allegedly walked over to the patrol car and shot the officer.

Deadly industrial accident near Security-Widefield under investigation

SECURITY-WIDEFIELD, Colo. – A worker, Maceo Mason, was killed late Tuesday morning when he was crushed by construction equipment at a commercial site near Security-Widefield. Several people witnessed the accident, said Sgt. Jason Garrett with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office received a call at about 11:45 a.m. and the worker died at the scene. According to the sheriff’s office, the person who died had been “run over” by a vehicle.

TVA contractor dies at Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant

Spring City, TN — A contract worker died at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant near Spring City on Thursday. Tennessee Valley Authority spokesperson Jim Hopson said the contractor was found unconscious at the plant early Thursday morning “and, despite the immediate medical attention provided by onsite and offsite personnel, the individual could not be revived.” Hopson said the fatality does not appear to be work-related, but he said an investigation is underway “to develop a comprehensive understanding of all of the facts.

Blair County corrections officer killed by friendly fire during struggle with prisoner

ALTOONA, Pa. — Blair County corrections officer Rhonda Jean Russell, 47, died Wednesday when she was inadvertently shot by a police officer who was attempting to defend her from a prisoner who had grabbed her gun during a struggle, state police in Hollidaysburg said. Christopher James Aikens, 54, a prisoner at Blair County Jail, was to appear in Central Court, Fourth Street, Altoona, for a 3:15 p.m. hearing when he assaulted Russell and grabbed her gun, troopers said. An Altoona officer in the court building responded and fired one round at the prisoner, but struck Russell. Russell was taken to UPMC Altoona and was later pronounced dead.

SLC Airport construction worker killed in industrial accident

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — A construction worker, Andrew Hamilton, 46, was killed early Wednesday in an industrial-related accident at Salt Lake City International Airport. Police were alerted to the accident at approximately 8:39 a.m., receiving information that a worker was injured. When first responders arrived at the airport, they were able to confirm the worker had died on the scene. SoNev Construction said maintenance was being performed on equipment when the accident occurred.

22-year-old Home Depot employee died after incident involving semi-truck and forklift

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. — An employee at Home Depot, 22-year-old Elijah James Chute, died in an accident Tuesday, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Alomia was painting the bridge’s Manhattan side around 2 p.m. when he unhooked from his tether and switched positions. The sheriff’s office said, “There was an accident that caused the death of a young man.” The accident happened at the store in Fleming Island, located in the Fleming Plaza off County Road 220. The report stated James was injured in an incident involving a semi-truck and a forklift.

Construction Worker Falls to His Death From Manhattan Bridge

BROOKLYN, NY – A construction worker, David Alomia, fell to his death Wednesday while painting on the Manhattan Bridge, police said. The man was painting something on the Manhattan side of the bridge at about 2 p.m. when he fell, a police spokesperson said. He landed on the ground near the FDR Drive in lower Manhattan.

Beauty Supply Store Employee Shot And Killed During Robbery At Mesquite Strip Center

MESQUITE, Texas – A beauty supply store employee was shot and killed during a robbery in Mesquite Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 17. Police said it happened at Victoria’s Beauty Supply in the 1800 block of North Galloway Avenue in a strip shopping center around 1:40 p.m. The victim, a man, was rushed to an area hospital, but could not be revived. The victim, 55-year-old Sajan Mathew, was taken to the hospital where he later died. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, one of which got married in a large ceremony two months ago.

1 Killed, 1 Rescued In Trench Collapse At Housing Development Site Near Breckenridge

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – 20-year-old Marlon Diaz of Honduras, was killed and another was rescued after a trench collapse in the Breckenridge area on Tuesday afternoon. Two people were involved in the collapse at a site along Sallie Barber Road in unincorporated Summit County. A contractor was installing utilities for a new housing development that overlooks the Breckenridge Ski Area. Rescue efforts were underway into the night Tuesday.

Man shows up for first day on the job, gets killed by co-worker, Alabama cops say

Pinson, Alabama — A man working his first day on the job was fatally shot multiple times by a co-worker in Pinson, Alabama, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. John Eric Cole, 29, of Birmingham was identified as the victim by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. The cause of the killing remains under investigation. It happened shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The company has been identified as Samuel Associated Tube Group by media outlets. A business website describes it as a “metals and industrial products manufacturer.” “This was the victim’s first day on the job. The circumstances surrounding the reason for the shooting are still under investigation.”

Worker dies after fall at former N.J. psychiatric hospital

Monmouth County, NJ — A worker died in a fall Wednesday at the abandoned Marlboro State Hospital site in Monmouth County, police said. Cristian Velez-Hurtado, 33, of Paterson, 33, was found deceased inside the building of the former Marlboro State Hospital about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Velez-Hurtado was working on the roof and fell inside the building, according to Sgt. Alejandro Goez, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police. “This has been deemed accidental and non-suspicious,” Goez said in an email.

Man pinned between truck and tree dies after helping co-worker park, Oregon cops say

Portland, OR — A 52-year-old man was killed in Oregon after he became pinned between a truck and a tree, police said. Jose Romero-Ramirez, of Milwaukie, Oregon, was helping direct his co-worker park their work truck on Monday, Nov. 15, Portland Police Bureau said in a news release. At some point in the process, the truck backed into him and pinned him to the tree. An ambulance passing by spotted the scene and pulled over to provide medical assistance to the injured man, police said. The emergency medical workers performed CPR on the man on the sidewalk, police said, but he died shortly after additional officers arrived on the scene.

OSHA investigates death of Pensacola car dealership employee

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Pensacola car dealership is currently facing an investigation from the sheriff’s office and a federal inspection of the work site, after an apparent workplace accident killed an employee, Cleaveland Fountain. OSHA says they have launched an inspection of the Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM car dealership in Pensacola. The dealership told Channel 3 they’re shocked and in complete sadness following the death of their employee Monday. The investigation continues into the death of the car dealership technician, after the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says a heavy-duty truck slipped off a ramp and pinned him. It’s the second work-related death reported to OSHA this year in Pensacola.

Two men charged with killing armored truck guard, then fatally shooting accomplices in ‘murderous spree’ on South Side

Chicago, IL — Two men have been charged with killing an armored truck guard and critically injuring another, then fatally shooting two accomplices in a “murderous spree” through the South Side on Monday morning. The guards had been loading an ATM at a Bank of America branch in the 200 block of West 83rd Street around 10:20 a.m. Monday when four people approached in a car and three of them — including Montgomery and Jennings — got out, demanded cash and opened fire, police said. LaShonda Hearts, 47, was struck six times and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she died. The other guard, 46, was shot twice and taken to the same hospital in critical condition, police and fire officials said.

Deputy dead after one car accident while on duty, sheriff says

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. — According to the Independence County Sheriff’s Department, one of their patrol deputies died in the line of duty on Thursday morning, Nov. 18. Patrol Deputy Frank Ramirez died after being involved in a one vehicle accident. Ramirez died due to his injuries sustained in the accident. The Independence County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook post said Ramirez was married with two young children.

39-year-old Billerica firefighter dies from occupational cancer

Billerica, MA — The Billerica Firefighters Local 1495 union announced Tuesday the death of one of their own, 39-year-old firefighter Patrick Corbett. Corbett passed away Tuesday from occupational cancer, the union said.

Air Tanker Pilot Dies in Crash Battling CO Wildfire

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Fire Aviation pilot Marc Thor Olson was killed in an air tanker crash while battling a wildfire on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. The pilot killed in a plane crash near Estes Park while battling the Kruger Rock fire has been identified as Marc Thor Olson, according to Colorado Fire Aviation, the company that owned the aircraft. The plane Olson was piloting went down near the south end of Hermit Park just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Southern Pine Electric Co-op mourns death of longtime employee

COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) – An electric cooperative in south Alabama is mourning the loss of one of its lineman, who died while on the job over the weekend. Southern Pine Electric Co-op confirmed the death of Chad Morris, who was employed as a serviceman in its Evergreen district. Morris, 41, of Red Level, died on Sunday. He’d been with the power company for 16 years. No further details were released.

1 dead in a workplace accident Thursday

ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) – The Eldridge Police Department is reporting one person dead in a workplace accident Thursday. The Eldridge Police Department and Eldridge Fire Department and Medic responded to KE Flatwork for an injured employee,27-year-old Dylan Kaczinski of Camanche, on Nov. 11 at approximately 2:37 p.m at 501 E Blackhawk Trl, Eldridge. The Eldredge Police said in a media release when medical crews arrived with Medic and Eldridge Fire lifesaving measures were performed on the 27-year-old employee but were unsuccessful. The victim was pronounced deceased on the scene at approximately 3:00 PM.

Man injured in fire at Attleboro manufacturing facility dies

ATTLEBORO, Mass. — A man who was seriously injured in a fire at an Attleboro manufacturing facility last week died, according to authorities. Mayor Paul Heroux told NBC 10 News that 26-year-old Nathan Collito died Monday at Rhode Island Hospital.

One Dead in Workplace Accident at Local Lumber Company

Limestone County, Alabama — Local authorities say a person was killed early Monday morning in a workplace incident. The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call around 7:42 a.m. regarding a forklift accident at Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation off Alabama 127. LCSO said there was one fatality, a female, and a death investigation has been opened. Cassandra Hill, 45, was killed in the accident.

Construction Worker Killed After Building Collapse In Bound Brook

BOUND BROOK, NJ — A construction worker has died following a partial building collapse in Bound Brook. After arriving on scene, officers said they were directed to the third floor of the project where they found a 45-year-old man under a pile of cement cinder blocks. Police said the blocks dropped when the structure’s elevator shaft fell into the site, striking the worker.

Worker killed when part of Access Road bridge collapses

COVINGTON, Ga. — A worker, Demario Battle, an employee of the B&D Concrete Cutting Inc, died tonight when part of the Access Road bridge collapsed that he and two others were working to remove. The victim and two others fell into the Yellow River as they worked to remove the decades-old bridge as part of a project to replace it, the sheriff’s office said. Sheriff’s office spokesperson Caitlin Jett said at approximately 5:27 p.m., a portion of the Access Road (Frontage Road) bridge collapsed while construction workers were dismantling the bridge, causing three of the construction workers to become submerged in the Yellow River. The workers were rescued and received medical attention but one fatality was reported, Jett said.

TOW TRUCK DRIVER KILLED AFTER SCHOOL BUS CRASH ON LITTON AVENUE

COLTON, CA – A school bus crash on Litton Avenue kills one tow truck driver last Tuesday afternoon. The incident occurred around 1:08 p.m. in the area of South La Cadena Drive and West Litton Avenue. Upon arrival, officers discovered three vehicles involved in the crash including a Colton Joint Unified School District bus and a white tow truck. In addition, officials located the tow truck driver unresponsive but later died at the scene.

Off-duty police officer getting haircut shoots 38-year-old man suspected for Saturday shooting spree that left two dead

Baltimore, MD — An off-duty police officer getting a haircut Saturday afternoon shot and killed a 38-year-old man who police say burst into the East Baltimore shop and shot a barber to death. On Monday morning, police identified Carlos Ortega as the man who fatally shot the barber. After Ortega allegedly committed the other two shootings Saturday, he entered the barbershop and fatally shot 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers, authorities said. The off-duty Baltimore police sergeant was getting a haircut from another barber. The officer, who was armed while off duty and in plain clothes, responded quickly “and with great bravery produced his firearm” and fatally shot Ortega, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

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