weekly toll

This week: Fires, falls, machinery, shootings, vehicles, forklift. 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.

Employee dies in Vicksburg industrial accident

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Lawrence “Gooch” Gobson, Jr., 47, was killed in an industrial accident this morning at the rock yard on Dorsey Street in Vicksburg. Just before 9 a.m., a call came into the Vicksburg Warren 911 of an accident at the rock yard. A worker became trapped between two pieces of equipment and was unable to escape. He died on the scene. A large piece of equipment was being loaded onto a barge and Gibson was somehow trapped between that piece of equipment and the barge. Since the barge was on the water the Coast Guard was called in to investigate and will head up the investigation.

Employee killed in Tacoma pot shop robbery

TACOMA, Wash. – Another pot shop robbery has turned deadly after police in Tacoma said an employee was shot to death on Saturday night. This is at least the third deadly incident in our area since Wednesday. FOX 13 News talked with people who heard the shots and are hoping something will stop these dangerous encounters. A neighbor told us there have never been issues at the World of Weed on Portland Avenue, but he also worried with so many pot shop robberies happening, it was only a matter of time. “It was ‘pop, pop, pop.’ Three times in a row, like, ‘bang, bang, bang’,” neighbor Charles Traversie said. That sound startled Traversie right out of bed on Saturday night. It was the sound of what Tacoma police said was an armed robbery turned deadly shooting at the World of Weed.

Firefighter Dies When Truck Overturns on Way to Fire

FAIR GROVE, Mo. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter has died in southwest Missouri when the truck he was driving overturned, officials said. Dustin Brandhorst, 36, died Friday evening while he was responding to a fire at an abandoned structure north of Springfield, KOLR-TV reported. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the firetruck Brandhorst was driving went off the road and overturned at an intersection in Fair Grove. He died at the scene. Brandhorst was a volunteer firefighter with Ebenezer FPD for three years.

Bourbon Street bar worker killed by stray bullet, woman arrested, NOPD says

NEW ORLEANS. LA (WVUE) – A Bourbon Street nightclub employee was killed early Sunday (March 20) by what New Orleans police said was a stray bullet fired by a woman standing outside his bar. The 46-year-old victim, identified by a friend and former co-worker as Charles Spencer Hudson, was from Georgia and had worked at the French Quarter karaoke bar Cat’s Meow at 701 Bourbon St. for at least 10 years, his friend told WVUE-Fox 8. Police detained and later arrested a 24-year-old woman accused of firing the fatal shot, which struck Hudson in the chest at about 2:05 a.m. as he worked inside the bar crowded with a wedding party and other patrons.

Worker Dies After Accident At Town Of Newburgh Strip Mall

Newburgh, NJ — A 36-year-old construction worker was killed in an industrial accident while working at a strip mall in the area. The incident happened in Orange County around 3:15 p.m., Thursday, March 17 in the Town of Newburgh. Police responded to 1431 Route 300 at the Marshalls Plaza for a report of a man injured in an industrial accident. When officers arrived on the scene they found Lungo Oleg, of Brooklyn, dead, pinned in a knuckle boom that was being used to offload steel beams from a truck, said Lt. Peter G. Talarico, of the Town of Newburgh Police.

Firefighter dies as wildfires continue in southwest Oklahoma

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — A firefighter has died in one of several wildfires that broke out Sunday in a county in southwestern Oklahoma, authorities said. The name of the firefighter who died in the wildfire in Comanche County was not immediately released. Lawton, the county seat, is located about 90 miles (144.84 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City. Amy Hawkins, the spokeswoman for Comanche County/Lawton Emergency Management, said that as of late Sunday afternoon, there were two major wildfires still burning in the county and some evacuations had been ordered. “It’s pretty much been all hands on deck all day,” Hawkins said. She said the wildfire in which the firefighter died had been contained by late Sunday afternoon and was considered out. She said because a firefighter died, the state fire marshal would be investigating that fire.

Officer killed, another injured in Bonne Terre motel shootout

BONNE TERRE, Mo. – One officer was killed, and another was injured in a Bonne Terre motel shootout. Bonne Terre Police responded to a disturbance call at a Motel 6 off Highway K a little before 12:30am this morning. Missouri Highway Patrol Cpl. Dallas Thompson said that when officers approached a room, the suspect identified as James Emory came out and opened fire. Both officers were hit but were able to return fire, killing Emory. Officer Garrett Worley, who was shot in the leg, was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital. He is 28-years-old and has been an officer for 7 years. Officer Lane Burns, shot multiple times, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He later died from injuries. That officer was in his early 30’s and had been on the force for about 5 years. Officer Burns leaves behind a fiance, Shannon Chasteen, and a 9-year-old daughter.

Construction worker dies after being hit by truck during pavement project in Mandarin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A construction worker was killed Friday after being run over by another construction worker during a pavement project in Mandarin, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The two worked for the same construction company, Preferred Materials. “The operator of the construction vehicle was backing up in the same lane where he was standing and didn’t see him and ran him over,” JSO Traffic Homicide commanding officer, Nassim Mana, said. JSO says the incident occurred at Old St Augustine Road and Princess Labeth Court sometime around 9:45 a.m. Police say the man who died was working as a flagman in one of the lanes of traffic that was closed. In the construction industry, a flagman guides traffic in a construction zone. JFRD says the man died at the scene.

$500K bond set for man accused of killing boss in Greenway Plaza office building

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The man accused of shooting and killing his boss in an office building in Greenway Plaza appeared before a judge for the first time Thursday morning. Montavius Wright, 26, is charged with first-degree murder. He’s accused of shooting and killing his own boss. His bond was set at $500,000. The workplace shooting sparked a scare in the middle of the workday on Wednesday in the 3800 block of Cummins. Investigators said Wright showed up to his work at Cedar Gate Technologies on the 10th floor of the 20 Greenway Plaza building around lunchtime with a loaded gun and allegedly shot and killed his boss. The shooting sent panic through the building, with other employees frantically calling 911 and barricading themselves inside rooms to stay safe. Wright then reportedly left the building, sparking an intense manhunt to find him. According to new details revealed in court, investigators found 9mm bullet casings around the victim, who was identified as 48-year-old Doran Kelly, after he was shot.

Texas deputy killed while ‘trying to save people from the horrible fires’

EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Eastland County Deputy was tragically killed while trying to save citizens from devastating fires overnight. The Cisco Police Department confirms Deputy Barbara Fenley died during the fires. They say, “she was a special servant and an attribute to our profession. We will kneel in prayer for her family, friends and colleagues as they mourn.” ‘This is a first’: Autauga County deuties ‘arrest’ goats after breaking into church Deputy Fenley’s friends and family remember her as a beloved mainstay at the Eastland County Courthouse, providing much-needed security. It’s unclear when or where Deputy Fenley died, but KTAB and KRBC are working to get additional information. So far, Deputy Fenley is the only confirmed death in the aftermath of the Eastland County Complex Fires, which have burned nearly 45,000 acres and are only 2% contained.

Angry’ dental patient shoots, kills 2 doctors in east Texas

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Smith County officials identified the two doctors killed in a shooting at a dental clinic on Wednesday. Both men shot on Wednesday passed away not long after the shooting. They were identified as 59-year-old Dr. Blake G. Sinclair and 75-year-old Dr. Jack E. Burroughs, both of Tyler. Steven Alexander Smith, 40, of Tyler, was a patient at the clinic. He was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and capital murder of multiple persons. His bonds total $3 million. The sheriff’s office received a call around 2:45 p.m. about a shooting at Affordable Dentures on 3081 Highway 31 East near Tyler. When deputies arrived they saw two men had gunshot wounds. According to an investigation, Smith got angry at clinic staff and went to his pickup truck. He later came back to the lobby area of the clinic, took out a handgun, and shot two doctors inside, said the sheriff’s office.

Greene County firefighter dies in firetruck crash

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A firefighter has died after his vehicle crashed while attempting to respond to a structure fire outside of Springfield.
With the Ebenezer Fire Protection District, Dustin Brandhorst, 36, was en route to the fire at about 8:48 p.m. on Friday, March 18, with emergency equipment activated. At the intersection of A Highway and Angler Lane in Fair Grove, the firetruck he was operating traveled off the right side of the roadway and overturned, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report. Brandhorst was pronounced dead at the scene. He worked as a volunteer firefighter with Ebenezer FPD for three years.

Community mourns death of deputy killed during SWAT operation

TACOMA, Wash. — Friends, family and the law enforcement community are mourning the death of a Pierce County deputy who was killed in the line of duty. Deputy Dominique “Dom” Calata died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma on Wednesday, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was 35. Calata was one of two deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department who were wounded in a shooting on Tuesday. Calata was shot in the head. A second deputy, Sgt. Rich Scaniffe, was shot in the leg and continues to recover. Both deputies were members of a SWAT team serving a warrant at a mobile home park off Pacific Avenue in Spanaway. They were shot when a suspect opened fire. The suspect was shot and killed by deputies.

Box truck driver killed in crash on Walden Avenue

ALDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A driver was killed in a crash on Walden Avenue in Alden Thursday morning. Shortly after 3 a.m., the commercial box truck driver, who has not been named by law enforcement, left his lane, hit a utility pole and stopped on the bank of Ellicott Creek. This was witnessed by a correction officer who was on perimeter patrol at the time. It’s believed that a medical-related event may have led to this.

Covington police officer killed in Monday’s shooting served as a Marine and Roanoke-area EMT

COVINGTON, Va. – Authorities have confirmed the identity of the Covington police officer killed during Monday’s shooting. Officer Caleb Ogilvie, 35, died while responding to the domestic shooting incident at Covington Farm & Fuel, according to Covington Police Chief Christopher Smith. “His engaging personality, dedication to serving others and a great sense of humor, quickly endeared him with the Covington Police Department family and our community,” said Smith. “This is a senseless loss that’s being felt by so many today and will as days come.” He is the first Covington Police Officer to die in the line of duty, according to Smith.

Construction worker dies when concrete stairwell fell, police say

ATLANTA, GA – An Atlanta construction worker died after a concrete stairwell reportedly fell and damaged a gas meter in northwest Atlanta. The Atlanta Police Department said the man was pronounced dead Tuesday at 1220 Gun Club Road. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department responded to the scene and found the man wasn’t breathing when they arrived.

Longtime maintenance worker killed in shooting at Normandie Hotel in Detroit, police say

DETROIT, MI – Detroit police have located the person suspected of killing a longtime maintenance worker at the Normandie Hotel in Detroit, according to authorities. A 46-year-old man was shot and killed around 11:20 a.m. Monday (March 14) at the hotel, which is located in the 11600 block of Woodward Avenue. Witnesses told Local 4 they believe another tenant shot and killed the beloved maintenance worker. “I knew him and everything,” one resident said. “He was a good guy.”

Lehigh Valley Worker Killed In Forklift Accident

Upper Macungie, PA — A 61-year-old worker was killed Monday, March 14 in a forklift accident at a Lehigh Valley facility, authorities said. Russell Molter, of Zionsville, was working at the Home Depot distribution center in the 8000 block of Willard Drive in Breinigsville when two forklifts collided, seriously injuring Molter’s leg, Upper Macungie Police Lt. Peter Nickischer said.

Former employee arrested after worker killed at Fort Lauderdale’s Shooters Waterfront

Fort Lauderdale, FL — A Tuesday argument between an ex-employee and a current employee at Shooters Waterfront restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway ended with the current employee shot dead, Fort Lauderdale police said. Wednesday, police identified the victim as Weston’s Jordan Siddiq, 35. Fort Lauderdale resident Angel Candelaria, 33, was arrested on a premeditated murder charge around 6 p.m. Tuesday at Commercial Boulevard and Federal Highway. Detective Ali Adamson said when Candelaria was arrested, he had a gun on him, but police weren’t sure yet if it was the gun used in the shooting 100 minutes earlier and about three miles away. Police say Siddiq showed up for his shift at Shooters, which has been at 3033 NE 32nd Ave. for 40 years, around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday. Candelaria arrived, an argument ensued and, police say, Candelaria shot Siddiq around 4:18 p.m. on the outside patio.

Employee dies in Vienna Twp. transmission shop fire

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM) – Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson is reminding residents to check their fire alarms following the death of a man who was trapped in a structure fire. A fire broke out at a transmission shop in the 1200 block of N. Saginaw Street in Vienna Township on Feb. 25. A 59-year-old man who works at the shop was trapped inside the building, according to Swanson. The owner of the business used his own vehicle to strike the garage door to help free the trapped employee, Swanson said. When firefighters removed the 59-year-old man they learned he perished in the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

9 dead in crash involving U. of the Southwest golf teams

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Nine people have died in a fiery, head-on collision in West Texas, including six New Mexico university students and a coach returning from a golf tournament, as well as a 13-year-old boy, authorities said. Those killed in the Tuesday evening crash included University of the Southwest students from Portugal and Mexico. Two Canadian students were hospitalized in critical condition. A pickup truck crossed the center line of a two-lane road in Andrews County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of the New Mexico state line, and crashed into a van carrying members of the university’s men’s and women’s golf teams, said Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The state agency later identified the deceased as: Golf coach Tyler James, 26, of Hobbs, New Mexico; and players Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.

Man dies after fall at construction site in Shooting Star

Jackson Hole, WY — A construction worker died March 8 after falling off an icy roof while working on a job site in Teton Village. Ricardo Gomez, 44, died from blunt trauma to the abdomen, said Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue. The manner of death has been deemed accidental. Gomez was an employee of the Driggs, Idaho-based company MSU Construction and was working on the rooftop of a house in Shooting Star when he slipped and fell around 2 p.m. Teton County Sheriff’s deputies headed to the scene for a medical call. “The man was conscious and alert after falling,” Deputy Chad Sachse said. “He landed on his side and was complaining of his elbow and shoulder hurting. He was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.” Manuel Susano, the owner of MSU Construction and manager on-site that day, said all of the necessary safety equipment was in place. “It’s my priority to keep my guys safe,” Susano said. “We ensure security on-site and unfortunately we came from lunch and he forgot to clip [his harness] into the safety rope.” Sachse’s investigation confirmed Susano’s finding. “[The site] had safety ropes in place, and it appears so far that he did not clip the safety rope to his harness,” Sachse said. He expects OSHA will conduct an investigation.

Ex-boyfriend charged in horrifying killing of woman at St. Paul workplace

St Paul, MN — Workers at a St. Paul warehouse watched in horror Tuesday morning as a fellow employee was killed by her former partner. Patrick M. Simmons was charged Wednesday in Ramsey County with second-degree murder in the grisly killing of Kelli Ranning Goodermont. Authorities had said the 44-year-old mother-of-three was reported on fire at 1700 Wynne Ave around 9 a.m. that day. Simmons was arrested shortly after, with police saying he’d left the murder scene to set his Bloomington home on fire. An autopsy found Goodermont died from multiple stab wounds to her face, neck and shoulder.

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