This week: Mining incident, falls, machinery, shootings, forklifts, 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.
Vehicle delivery worker killed by pickup truck falling on him in Eugene
Eugene, OR — A vehicle delivery worker was killed Saturday night after he was pinned by a pickup truck that fell on him from a trailer in Eugene’s Bethel neighborhood, according to Eugene Springfield Fire. Emergency personnel responded to the 4000 block of Souza Street at about 8:25 p.m. Saturday, according to emergency call logs, with the first fire engine arriving within a minute and a half, Battalion Chief Rod Cullen said Sunday. Firefighters found the pickup truck halfway off the trailer, with the back axle pinning the man, who was in his 20s, Cullen said. The trailer had a handful of other vehicles, and the out-of-state delivery worker and another person had been making stops in the area, he said.
1st Sterling firefighter dies in line of duty while responding to Rock Falls house fire
STERLING, Ill. (WLS) — Lieutenant Garret Ramos became the first Sterling firefighter to die in the line of duty Friday, said Sterling City Manager Scott Shumard. Ramos, a 38-year-old father of two, responded to a call of a house fire in Rock Falls around 11:04 p.m. on Dec. 3, Shumard said. In the early hours of Dec. 4, Ramos was inside fighting the house fire at 10031 Ridge Road when the floor collapsed beneath him, prompting a rescue operation.
Kentucky coal miner killed in accident at underground mine
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say Kentucky coal miner has died in an accident at an underground mine. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says 48-year-old Lester Daugherty Jr. suffered critical injuries while performing maintenance at a 16,000-foot deep River View mine in Waverly. The state Division of Mine Safety sent investigators to the mine Saturday. Mining operations were shut down during the site inspection and the mine was closed for the investigation. Daugherty, of Sturgis, was a mechanic with 16 years of experience. Officials say the Division of Mine Safety last inspected the mine in October.
Employee dies after falling out Long Island hotel window; Homicide detectives, OSHA investigating
HAUPPAUGE, Long Island — A hotel employee died after falling out of a window at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge Saturday night. Police say David Lerner was working at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge around 7:30 p.m. when he fell from an upper floor window to the ground. The 41-year-old from Holbrook was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.
Ace Hotel valet worker shot, killed after argument with customer
NEW ORLEANS, LA — An Ace Hotel valet worker was shot and killed Saturday night after an argument with a customer. The argument at the Carondelet Street hotel, between the two, ended in the two pulling guns on each other. Investigations revealed the possibility that the valet worker was the aggressor in the situation.
Probationary FDNY firefighter dies during training exercise
New York, NY — An FDNY probationary firefighter died Friday after suffering a medical episode during a training exercise, the fire department said. Firefighter Vincent Malveaux, 31, may have had a seizure at the FDNY Training Academy on Randall’s Island at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. He was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where he died early Friday with his parents by his bedside, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Malveaux, of Brooklyn, was sworn in as a probationary firefighter on Oct. 25. He was in week six of his 18 week training course.His passing is being considered a line of duty death, FDNY officials said.
Police Officer Killed After Shootout in Mesquite Parking Lot
Mesquite, TX –A Mesquite police officer, Richard Lee Houston II, died Friday afternoon after being fatally wounded in a shootout that stemmed from a disturbance outside a grocery store parking lot, the department says. Mesquite Police Chief David Gill confirmed the wounded officer died while undergoing treatment at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Dallas. The shooting happened after 1:40 p.m. in the parking lot of an Albertsons grocery store in the 1500 block of South Beltline Road, where the officer was called to a report of a disturbance involving two women, said Mesquite Police Capt. Stephen Biggs. At some point a man got out a gun, leading to a shootout with the officer, Gill said. The officer was struck twice, Gill said. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.
Man killed in industrial accident in Brooksville quarry, sheriff’s office says
TAMPA, Fla. — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal industrial accident in Brooksville. A worker at the Cemex Brooksville Aggregates Quarry on Camp Mine Road has died as a result of injuries received in an accident at the site, according to the sheriff’s office. New details from HCSO on the accident said the worker had been working in the “pit” at the Cemex site, where they use heavy machinery. It was in the pit that tragedy occurred. “For unknown reasons, the victim became entangled within the equipment,” HCSO said. “Mine workers worked diligently to separate the victim form the equipment.” The Cemex employees administered first aid after pulling him out, but when emergency services arrived, HCSO said the victim was pronounced dead. The Medical Examiner and Mine Safety Health Administration are now conducting their own investigations into the fatal accident.
Man killed in forklift accident
BREMEN, GA — A staff member of the Bremen Food and Clothing Bank was killed on Thursday when a forklift he was driving fell on top of him. Haralson County Coroner Patty Hutcheson said the 29-year-old man was killed immediately and she pronounced him dead at the scene about noon. She was not releasing his name until the family was notified.
1 St. Louis County officer killed, 1 injured in car crash
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County police say a detective has died and another has been injured in a car crash. Police say the accident happened Wednesday afternoon in north St. Louis County, near the intersection of Bellefontaine Road and Crete Drive. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Antonio Valentine, who had been with the department since 2007, died and another detective was treated for minor injuries and released.
Wilcox County deputy pronounced dead in Pensacola following Alabama shooting
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Wilcox County deputy shot and flown to a Pensacola hospital for their injuries was pronounced dead Wednesday night. The victim has been identified as Madison “Skip” Nicholson, according to the Eufaula Alabama Police Department. Nicholson worked for the sheriff’s office for over 30 years as a deputy. Once he retired, he was rehired by Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office as a Process Server. A second deputy was shot and taken to a nearby Alabama hospital for his injuries. His condition is currently unknown. The two deputies were shot as they attempted to help a victim of domestic violence, according to Pensacola Police.
Truck driver killed in predawn rollover crash in Walker County
Jasper, AL– A truck driver was killed Thursday when his tractor-trailer veered off a Walker County bridge. Alabama State Troopers identified the fatality victim as Danny S. Ashe. He was 50 and lived in North Carolina. The wreck happened at 3 a.m. on Interstate 22, about seven miles northwest of Jasper. Troopers said Ashe was driving a 2004 Peterbilt tractor-trailer that left the roadway, struck a guardrail and then a bridge. The truck then traveled off the bridge and overturned. Ashe was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Worker falls 25 feet to his death in Cranbury, NJ warehouse
CRANBURY, New Jersey — A worker fell to his death inside a warehouse late Thursday morning. Cesar Torres, 34, of Hackensack, suffered a severe head injury in the fall at the warehouse housing Delta Apparel at 5 Santa Fe Way, according to Cranbury police. Torres was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where he died. Police said Torres was an employee of WA Installation of Passaic and was installing warehouse shelving racks at the time of the fall. Torres was married with two teenage children, according to Will.
Dispatcher fatally shot while trading firearms at 911 center
PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a 911 dispatcher at a county call center in Kentucky was killed Friday when a weapon he and another dispatcher were trading accidentally discharged. Police said in a news release that 23-year-old dispatcher Kyle Garrett of Frakes was shot around 1 a.m. and pronounced dead at a hospital. The release said Garrett and another dispatcher were inside the Bell County 911 center trading firearms when the weapon discharged.
Clarksville manufacturing facility employee death considered ‘industrial accident’
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) – An employee died of an industrial death at a manufacturing facility in Clarksville at on Wednesday morning. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Hankook & Company ES America Corporation, which is formerly Hankook Atlas BX, in Clarksville around 8 a.m. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said the male employee was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead and his body was turned over to the Tennessee Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy.
Worker at Fragrance Manufacturing Company Dies After Industrial Tote Container Struck Him
Pennsauken, NJ – An industrial accident occurred at a fragrance manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. An industrial tote container with 330 gallons of liquid inside struck an employee. Emergency services received a call to respond to the injured worker. Upon arrival, the first responders took the man to the hospital. The 43-year-old employee died that afternoon shortly after 3 o’clock. The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the accident.
Four, including police officer, killed in shootings in Georgia neighborhood
Atlanta, GA — A police officer was killed by an armed suspect while responding to a domestic violence call late Tuesday in suburban Atlanta, authorities said. Three others, including the suspected gunman, died in related incidents. The Clayton County Police Department received multiple calls about possible gunfire, domestic violence and people injured at a residence near the 3600 block of Jervis Court in Rex at 8:40 p.m., Chief Kevin Roberts said during a press conference early Wednesday. Officers at the scene were met by a 12-year-old boy who was shot in the face and led them to the home, which is about 18 miles south of Atlanta. Upon arriving at the residence, “they were immediately engaged by a male suspect who was armed with a handgun and fired upon them,” Roberts said. The officers took cover and the suspect fled to the rear of the residence, where he was met by tactical units. According to police, the suspect opened fire, striking two officers. Clayton County Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was killed and Officer Alex Chandler was shot in the hand, the department said in a press release. The suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement, Roberts said.
Roofer working atop New Orleans’ Saulet apartments falls to his death
New Orleans, LA — A roofer working atop the Saulet apartment complex in the Lower Garden District fell to his death Wednesday morning, authorities said. The roofer fell from the top of the three-story luxury apartment complex in the 1400 block of Annunciation Street about 9:55 a.m., New Orleans police said in a statement. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office didn’t immediately release the worker’s name Thursday. But a spokesman for the company in charge of the roof renovation identified the worker as Jonathan Zuniga.
Suspect, deputy killed; another deputy hurt in Wilcox County
YELLOW BLUFF, Ala. — A suspect and a sheriff’s deputy are dead after a domestic call in Alabama erupted in gunfire Wednesday, authorities said, adding another deputy was injured. The shooting broke out shortly before 5 p.m. in the town of Yellow Bluff in Wilcox County, the county district attorney, Michael Jackson, told news outlets. The district attorney initially said a deputy and a chief deputy were injured in the confrontation, but he later told The Associated Press in a text message that one of the officers had died. Jackson said the deputies were responding to a domestic call when a woman ran out of a home. He said a man followed her, firing shots and that one of the deputies was struck in the neck. The other deputy’s injuries weren’t clear, but both had been airlifted to hospitals. Jackson identified the deceased deputy as Madison Nicholson and said the suspect who died was Billy Bizzell. He did not immediately identify the injured deputy.
Moses Kur, 37-year-old auto parts worker, dies in industrial accident at Ventra’s Grand Rapids plant
Grand Rapids, MI — Last Wednesday morning, 37-year-old Moses Kur of Kentwood, Michigan died in an industrial accident at the Ventra auto parts plant in Grand Rapids. Family and friends created a GoFundMe page to support Kur’s family. Ventra is a subsidiary of Flex-N-Gate, owned by billionaire Shahid Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise. Flex-N-Gate produces metal bumpers, plastic interior and exterior parts, lighting, signals and metal assemblies at 64 manufacturing plants around the globe employing 24,000 people. Ventra made $574 million in global parts sales last year. Kur suffered his fatal injuries while adjusting a sensor on a plastic welding machine, causing the machine to cycle while he was reaching through the access door, crushing him. Whether this account, which appears to lay the blame on a mistake made by Kur, is entirely accurate remains to be seen. Regardless, the accident is not the product of individual error but of an unsafe environment which has persisted for years at the auto parts maker, the product of continuous speedup long working hours that are common throughout the industry.
Security guard killed at work in Richmond double shooting
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A double shooting in Richmond’s Northside leaves one person dead and another hurt. 8News has learned that the victim was working security at Thirst Bistro & Bar when the crime occurred. Close friends and co-workers have identified the man killed as Shevan Rochester, a security guard who had a passion for keeping people safe and died doing just that. Richmond Police confirmed Rochester, 32, as the person killed in a release on Wednesday. The Medical Examiner’s Officer is determining an official cause of death. Rochester had worked security for years throughout Richmond, standing guard at numerous events, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
El Paso truck driver killed in 7 vehicle pileup on I-10 near Van Horn
VAN HORN, Texas — An El Paso truck driver was killed in a seven-vehicle pileup along Interstate 10 in Culberson County, state troopers said Tuesday. The victim was identified as 63-year-old Juan Lopez Martinez. Martinez died in the chain-reaction wreck that occurred as traffic was merging into a single lane as it approached a construction zone along I-10, about a mile east of Van Horn on Sunday. Eight others were injured in the pileup, with most being treated and released at Culberson County Hospital. Troopers said Martinez caused the chain-reaction collision when he failed to reduce his speed and his semi-truck crashed into another semi-truck.
Pizza delivery man dies when customer’s porch collapses
CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Police say a pizza delivery driver died after a porch collapsed while he was making a delivery in eastern Indiana. Connersville Police Department officers on Saturday night found that 45-year-old William Fields of Connersville had fallen through what appeared to be a collapsed porch. Fields had been pinned by heavy debris and was motionless when officers found him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. Police say Fields was working as a delivery driver for Pizza King and was delivering to the address at the time of the collapse. The death has been ruled an accident.
Wisconsin Truck Driver Killed In Carver County Rollover Crash
WATERTOWN TOWNSHIP, Minn. (WCCO) — A Wisconsin truck driver was killed in a crash in Carver County Monday night. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the truck was going through a roundabout on Highway 7 at County Road 10 when it rolled over, killing the driver. He was a 62-year-old from Maiden Rock, Wisconsin.
Photo by Earl Dotter www.earldotter.com