Workers killed

This week: Explosions, falls, shootings, electrocution, vehicle-related incidents, drowning. Never short of different ways for workers to die on the job. On average, almost 100 workers are killed every week in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work.   Over 20 times as many die from occupational diseases, many due to exposure to hazardous substances many years before they died, or from COVID-19 acquired 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. 

1 killed in apparent workplace incident in Chesterfield County, sheriff says

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — One person has been killed in an apparent workplace incident Friday morning at a plant off of Highway 52 North in Chesterfield County, according to Chesterfield County Sheriff James “JD “Dixon.

AAA independent tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run on HWY 290 in NW Houston, company confirms

HOUSTON, TX – A tow truck operator was hit and killed while helping a stranded driver on the side of Highway 290 near Pinemont in northwest Houston on Saturday morning.
According to a spokesperson from AAA, one of their independent operators was hit around 2 a.m. as he stood on the side of the highway, loading the stranded driver’s vehicle onto his tow truck. Law enforcement officers said the driver that hit the operator left the scene immediately afterward. Authorities have not released any information on that person. The stranded driver was not injured during the incident.

Deputy shot, killed in Harris County

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas- A Houston-area police deputy was shot and killed during an apparent traffic stop. Harris County Precinct 5 says the shooting happened early Sunday morning after midnight. Police say 47-year-old corporal Charles Galloway had pulled over a newer model white, four-door Toyota Avalon, when a man got out of the car and started shooting and then drove off. A witness told police the man used an assault-type weapon. Galloway was a 12-year-veteran of the department, who trained and mentored numerous officers.

HCSO sergeant killed in hit-and-run by suspected intoxicated driver while directing traffic in NE Harris County, deputies say

HOUSTON, TX – An off-duty sergeant with Harris County Sheriff’s Office has died after authorities said he was struck by a suspected intoxicated driver in northeast Harris County early Monday. It happened around 12:30 a.m. on East Sam Houston Parkway N. at Tidwell. According to deputies, the sergeant, who has been identified by Sheriff Ed Gonzalez as Ramon Gutierrez, 45, was on an extra job doing traffic control for a convoy of oversized machinery when he was struck by a female driver, who was later identified as Lavillia Spry, 40. The deputy was off his motorcycle and directing traffic when the incident happened, investigators said.

One Killed, One Critically Injured in Explosion at Construction Materials Manufacturing Plant in Hampshire

Hampshire, IL — Police, firefighters and paramedics from Hampshire responded about 10:45 a.m. Friday, January 21, 2022 to a report of an explosion in “Building P” of the W.R. Meadows Inc. manufacturing complex, 300 Industrial Drive in Hampshire. The first Hampshire fire units arrived within three minutes and discovered first that the building sustained significant damage. The building’s fire suppression system was activated automatically and knocked down the fire before firefighters arrived. There was no active fire. There were two employees in the portion of the building where the explosion occurred. One patient was pronounced deceased at the scene, and another patient was extricated and transported to Sherman Hospital in Elgin. The deceased worker was 55-year-old Wuilmer Gavigia.  According to the company’s website, W.R. Meadows manufactures flashing membranes, air barriers, waterproofing, vapor barriers, and other concrete-related products for the construction industry.

34-year-old City Gear manager murdered on the job remembered as loving father

HOUSTON, TX – Homicide detectives from the Houston Police Department said the situation that unfolded on Houston’s southwest side was a shoplifting attempt that turned into a murder investigation. As they work to locate those responsible, the victim’s best friend tells KPRC 2 he is hoping for answers. “I’m devastated,” said Ryan Robinson. “That’s my best friend.” Robinson is speaking about the 34-year-old father of two, Ezenna Ukachukwu, who he identified as the man police say was gunned down at a City Gear clothing store located in the 11000 block of Fondren. The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. Investigators said the suspects tried to shoplift from the store, and during a confrontation with the manager, one of the suspects pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds.

Worker killed inside Dillard’s store at Stony Point Fashion Park

RICHMOND, Va. — A man died after he fell down an escalator shaft inside the Dillard’s store at Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond on Wednesday morning, according to a Richmond Fire spokesperson. The victim, whose name has not yet been released, was reportedly a maintenance technician working on the escalator at the time, according to fire officials. The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also investigate to determine what happened.

One N.Y.P.D. Officer Killed, a 2nd Critically Wounded in Harlem Shooting

New York, NY — One New York City police officer was killed and another was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire on them inside a Harlem apartment on Friday, the police said. They were the third and fourth officers to be shot in the line of duty this week, according to the police. The police initially reported that both officers had been killed, but later said one was in critical condition at Harlem Hospital. The police said the officer who was killed was Jason Rivera, 22, who joined the department in November 2020. The critically injured officer was identified as Wilbert Mora, 27; he joined the department in 2018.

Tesla worker dies while on plant’s powertrain line; state investigating

FREMONT, Calif. – A production associate working on a powertrain line at Tesla in Fremont collapsed and died early Wednesday morning. Now the state agency that oversees workplace safety is investigating into what happened. Cal-Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Peter Melton said that the car manufacturer notified his agency about the death and state investigators are in the process of gathering more information to determine the work-relatedness of this event and whether to conduct an inspection. A powertrain is an improved motor, inverter and gearbox, according to Tesla’s website. The 47 year old employee’s name was Rodrigo Villanueva. This death comes about a month after Anthony Solima, 29, a Tesla employee allegedly waited for his coworker to get off work, before fatally shooting him in the head in the factory’s parking lot, prosecutors said.

Warner Robins convenience store clerk killed in armed robbery

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Houston County deputies are investigating after a group of men robbed a dollar store and killed the store clerk early Tuesday morning. According to a news release, it happened at the J&J Dollar Store (also known as the Knodishall Gift Shop) around 12:15 a.m. Deputies were sent to the store for an armed robbery and call of a person shot. When they got to the store, they found a woman with a gunshot wound to the chest. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died. She was identified as 43-year-old Sabrina Renee Dollar, and she was an employee at the store. Witnesses said three men with guns came inside the store and began robbing the clerks and one customer. During the robbery, one of the suspects shot the clerk and hit her on the head with a gun.

‘Tremendous Loss’ Violence Prevention Worker Killed In East Baltimore Mass Shooting

BALTIMORE, MD — A young father who worked for a violence prevention program was among three killed in a mass shooting Wednesday night in East Baltimore. Rapid gunfire that witnesses said sounded like it came from an automatic weapon rang out just before 7:30pm at Monument and Port Streets. In all, four people were shot. WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren confirmed that DaShawn McGrier was among the deceased. He is a violence interrupter who was on duty with the Safe Streets program at the time. Safe Streets uses people in the community to mediate disputes before they turn violent.

Traverse City man dies in Great Lakes freighter accident

Traverse City, MI — A Traverse City man died while working aboard a Great Lakes freighter on Monday, Jan. 17, off the shore of Gary, Ind., BoatNerd News reports. Richard Gray, the second mate, was working aboard the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., a 1,000-foot freighter, when he died, the report said. The vessel was anchored and readying to go in and unload. Gray is survived by his wife and three children, the report said.

MAPCO employee killed in shooting at Memphis gas station, company confirms

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A MAPCO employee died after gunfire at the Memphis gas station, according to a statement from the company. The shots rang out at a MAPCO in East Memphis at 5009 Park Ave. around 11 p.m. Tuesday night, according to the Memphis Police Department. Police said one man was shot at the gas station and rushed to Regional One Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. FOX13 later learned from the victim’s family that he had died. The family identified the man as Kevin Sharp.

1 dead, 1 injured in electric shock incident at Somers Cove in Crisfield

Crisfield, MD — One person died and another was injured after suffering electric shocks while worpolking to restore power to a housing complex in Crisfield, according to police. The Crisfield Police Department and emergency medical personnel responded to the Somers Cove housing authority around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for a report of an “industrial accident.” Two subcontractors were working on a power failure within Somers Cove when they suffered electric shocks, according to police. One of the workers is being treated for burns to the lower part of their body, while the other was pronounced dead at TidalHealth McCready Pavilion.

Crash on East Shelby Drive takes life of on-duty, Memphis police officer and one other

Memphis, TN — Two individuals, including an on-duty Memphis police officer, are dead following an overnight collision on East Shelby Drive and Pleasant Hill Road in Southeast Memphis. The fallen officer was identified by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland as Corille Jones on Thursday afternoon. The name of the other victim has not yet been released.Police said the accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. According to police narrative, the officer was headed east on East Shelby Drive when they were struck by an individual headed north on Pleasant Hill Road.

Man killed in forklift accident in Dundee marks Michigan’s first workplace fatality of the year

DUNDEE, MI – A steel worker in Dundee was killed in a forklift accident marking the first workplace fatality in Michigan for 2022. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, MIOSHA, issued a notice Friday, Jan. 14 announcing it is investigating a workplace fatality that occurred Jan. 11 in Dundee south of Milan in Monroe County.

ARDOT worker struck, killed while putting up construction signs on I-30 in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) — The Arkansas Department of Transportation said Tuesday that a worker died after being struck while working on Interstate 30. Winfred Petty, 69, of Hensley, was crossing the westbound lanes near Scott Hamilton Road putting up construction signs, state police reported. Around 8:15 p.m., he was reportedly struck by a black SUV. State police said the SUV left the scene after the crash.

Baraga man dies in workplace accident

BARAGA, MI— Deputies are investigating a workplace death in Baraga. The Sheriff’s Office says it happened around 10:00 Monday morning at Besse Forest Products. Raymond Bellaire, 61, of Baraga had been working on a piece of heavy equipment when he became pinned between the loader arms and the frame. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Baraga Village Police Department, Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police Department, Baraga Fire Department, L’Anse Fire Department and Bay EMS.

22-year-old dies after enclosed golf cart plunges into canal, California cops say

Indio, CA — A 22-year-old golf course employee died after crashing into a canal inside an enclosed golf cart, police in California told news outlets. The maintenance golf cart became submerged on its side in a canal at the Terra Lago golf club in Indio on Monday, Jan. 17, the Riverside County Fire Department said. The golf cart had a cage surrounding it, which is common to keep golf balls from hitting the driver, Indio Police public information officer Ben Guitron told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. Fire officials said there was one victim inside the cart. Firefighters pulled the golf cart from the canal, and the man was dead inside, according to the fire department.

Truck driver killed Tuesday in Miami County crash

SPRING HILL, Kan. (WIBW) – A truck driver was killed Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in Miami County, authorities said. The crash was reported at 9:57 a.m. on US-169 highway, just south of Ten Mile Creek. The location was about three miles south of Spring Hill. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2016 Freightliner semitrailer was southbound on US-169 when it went off the left side of the road, across the median and across the northbound lanes. The semi then went off the right — or east — side of the northbound lanes and into the ditch, where it came to rest against a tree. The driver, Edward J. Danford, 59, of Iola, was pronounced dead at the scene. The patrol said Danford, who was alone in the vehicle, wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

Elsie firefighter dies while assisting others in collision

ELSIE, Mich. (WILX) – Officials from the Elsie Area Fire Department announced that 20-year-old firefighter Zachary Miller was killed in a collision Tuesday morning. According to department officials, the firefighter was struck while assisting others involved in a crash just before 7:30 a.m. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened on M-21, just west of US-127 in Bingham Township. Authorities said 20-year-old Beronica Duttenhaver was exiting the MDOT parking lot to pull onto M-21 and stopped due to traffic, where she was struck by a westbound pickup truck driven by Miller. After the initial collision, authorities said Duttenhaver and Miller were exchanging information and checking for injuries when a westbound vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old from Ovid, struck Miller and a bystander. The bystander had minor injuries, but Miller was unresponsive and was transported to Sparrow Clinton Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Man, 49, Dies At CenterPoint Way: Coroner

JOLIET, IL — The Will County Coroner’s Office announced that a 49-year-old Darien man died while working on the Union Pacific railway on Saturday morning. Artur Englart was pronounced dead at the St. Joe’s hospital emergency room at 11:10 a.m. The incident happened at CenterPoint Way in Elwood. “Apparently Mr. Englart was struck by a falling object,” Coroner Laurie Summers announced. “The Joliet Police Department and OSHA are investigating the incident.” Sunday’s preliminary autopsy report showed multiple injuries due to an industrial mishap.

A Third Man Dies From Shawano County Explosion

TOWN OF LESSOR, WI- A third person has died as a result of an explosion Friday, December 31. in Shawano County. Shawano County Sheriff Officials say 60-year-old James Moon of Keshena died at the hospital on Saturday after being flown there along with 45-year-old Brandi Spang of Keshena. Two others were found deceased at the scene and have been identified as 52-year-old Timothy Cook of Oshkosh and 49-year-old Kenrick Larson of Neenah. Sheriff Officials were called to the scene on Highway 45 at 12:45 pm on Friday in the Town of Lessor. The explosion took place at an auto repair shop and is believed to have started after a pressurized container was punctured.

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