Weekly Toll

Last week: Three killed in trench collapses, Ohio public employee (with no OSHA coverage) dies in wastewater treatment plant, firefighter crushed in building collapse, workers suffocate in grain bin. shot and electrocuted.  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.

CLW employee who died at water treatment plant identified

Columbus, OH — A Columbus Light and Water Department employee died on the job Saturday, according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant. Johnny Will Prude, Jr., 54, was found dead at the CLW’s wastewater plant off of Yorkville Road, Merchant said. CLW General Manager Angela Verdell, in an email to The Dispatch, said the employee had not been responding to calls. “At approximately 9:30 a.m., an employee of Columbus Light and Water was performing usual tasks at one of our water facilities,” Verdell said. “After time passed when the employee failed to respond to calls from co-workers, emergency protocols were implemented to determine the employee’s whereabouts.” Police Chief Fred Shelton said that police were called around 2 p.m. “They hadn’t seen or heard from their employee, so we helped them search the plant,” he said. The cause of death was not immediately apparent, Merchant said. The body was sent to the state crime lab for autopsy.

Construction truck driver killed in rollover crash in Gross Reservoir

Boulder, CO — A construction worker was killed in a crash at Gross Reservoir. Boulder County emergency responders were called to the site overnight Saturday. Police said a dump truck hauling 7,000 lbs. of rock and stone veered off the road and rolled into the reservoir. Divers located the driver’s body in the cab of the truck in waters 43 feet deep. The driver has not been identified yet. Construction to expand the reservoir has been underway since March with work lasting until 2025.

Emergency responders recover body of worker killed in Brighton trench collapse

Denver, CO — Authorities received a 911 call about the collapse on Peregrine Drive, according to police. Work was being done on a sewer line when the trench collapsed, according to the fire department. Trench rescue experts from several agencies attempted to free the 35-year-old worker. At about 5:15 p.m., his body was recovered. Police and firefighters are working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the investigation. Multiple fire departments in the north metro area responded. “Our hearts are with the victim’s family,” police said on Twitter. The worker was not identified Saturday.

Tennessee OSHA investigating worker killed at Church Street construction site

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee OSHA is investigating an incident that lead to the death of a construction worker on Friday along Church Street. OSHA received information about the death at a construction site located at 900 Church Street. The investigation is ongoing and to ensure the integrity of the investigation, “TOSHA does not release any preliminary information regarding the incident, including the name of the employer.”

Truck driver killed in crash on Route 15 at Trout Run

TROUT RUN, PA — One man was killed and another suffered minor injuries when a southbound box truck went over an embankment and overturned on Route 15, just north of the interchange here, about 9:45 a.m. Saturday, state police said. The driver, Travis Fedoriw, 26, of Williamsport, who died in the crash, failed to negotiate a curve, causing the truck to go down a 15-foot embankment and flip onto the driver’s side, police said. The truck then slid about 125 feet, landing along the west berm of the northbound lanes, police said. Jerold Ross, the county’s chief deputy coroner, pronounced the Fedoriw dead at the scene of blunt force trauma injuries.

Death investigation underway following workplace accident in Cape Coral

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A death investigation is underway following a workplace accident at Ideas Granite Designs in Cape Coral. The incident happened at the site located at 1130 Pondella Road. According to the victim’s co-workers, the man was taken away from the site on a stretcher after a piece of granite fell on him. No further details are available at this time. We will provide updates as more information is released.

Building collapse after fire kills 1 firefighter; 5 injured

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A building caught fire and later collapsed in Philadelphia, killing one firefighter and injuring five other people, two critically, after all became trapped early Saturday, authorities said. The fire was reported just before 2 a.m. Saturday in the building in north Philadelphia, eight occupants were safely evacuated and the fire had been declared under control, officials said. At 3:24 a.m., the building collapsed, Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said. Lt. Sean Williamson, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene after he and another firefighter were freed from the rubble hours after the collapse. Three other firefighters and an inspector with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections had been freed quickly. One firefighter jumped from the second story to avoid being caught in the collapse, Murphy said. Two firefighters were listed in critical but stable condition at Temple University Hospital while the other three victims were treated and released, officials said.

Deputy killed in Marshall County shooting identified; Calloway Sheriff releases statement

MARSHALL COUNTY, KY (WSIL) — The deputy killed in the officer-involved incident at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Monday has been identified. Kentucky State Police identified him as Calloway County Chief Deputy Jody Cash. Before working for the sheriff’s office, Cash worked for Kentucky State Police from 2011 until 2018 when he retired at the rank of Sergeant. Funeral arrangements at the Imes Funeral Home are incomplete at this time. On Monday, officers responded to the parking lot of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office around 2:10 for an officer-involved shooting. A subject was transported to the hospital and later died. Deputy Cash was also wounded and taken to a local hospital. He died from his injuries.

2 workers killed after construction trench collapses in St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Two workers, Bob Brandtjen and 66 year old Jeff Jeanetta, were killed Friday afternoon when a construction trench collapsed in St. Paul. The St. Paul Fire Department says the collapse happened around 3 p.m. in a construction zone on the 700 block of Mount Curve Boulevard, near the Mississippi River in the Highland Park neighborhood. While fire crews responded quickly to the scene, it was too late to secure the trench and save the workers who’d been buried underground. “We feel horrible for the victims when anything like this happens,” said Assistant Fire Chief Matt Simpson. “We train for this every single day … Unfortunately, time was not on our side to make that difference today.” Lahens St. Fleur watched as dozens of first-responders flooded the street near his home. He and others were heartbroken for the workers and their families. “I’m just very, very sad that this happened,” he said. “My heart really goes out to those people.” Fire officials say that the first victim was recovered around 9:30 p.m., and the second at 2:30 a.m. (More here.)

Worker electrocuted, dies while trimming tree in Fridley

FRIDLEY, Minn. — A man is dead after being electrocuted while taking down a tree in Fridley Thursday night. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office says Fridley police were dispatched to a home on the 5200 block of Buchanan St. NE just before 8:30 a.m. Upon arrival they learned that an employee of a private tree company was in a lift and in the process of removing a tree when his chainsaw made contact with a powerline. The lift was lowered and first responders immediately began lifesaving measures. Unfortunately they were not able to revive the man, and he was declared dead on the scene. Sheriff’s officials identified the man as 51-year-old Johnny Lee Coleman Cotton of Minneapolis. Officials say the fatal incident remains under investigation by the Fridley Police Department, Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.

Explosion kills Cumberland man working on truck in Gloucester County, police say

HARRISON TWP., NJ – A Cumberland County man was killed in an explosion Wednesday morning at a local welding shop on Route 322. Bruce A. Cheeseman, 47, was a resident of the Cedarville area of Cumberland County. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, according to a statement late Wednesday afternoon from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office. Emergency responders and HAZMAT crews responded to Timberlane Services, a welding shop at 413 Swedesboro Road (Rt. 322) close to Tomlin Station Road, around 10:40 a.m., according to county Chief of Detectives Thomas Gilbert. Gilbert did say police believe Cheeseman was working on a truck when the explosion occurred. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Gilbert said.

Owner, employee fatally shot inside 7-Eleven in Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News police are investigating a double homicide after a 7-Eleven owner and an employee were fatally shot inside the store Wednesday evening. According to police, officers responded to a reported suspicious situation around 11:50 p.m. last night in the 1400 block of Kiln Creek Parkway. This is near the Fairway Plaza Shopping Center. When police arrived, they located two men with gunshot wounds. They were pronounced deceased at the scene and later identified as 52-year-old Preyas Patel, of Yorktown, and 35-year-old Logan Edward Thomas, of Newport News. Patel was the owner of the store, an employee named Wolf told WAVY.

Employee Dies In Grain Bin Accident At Hope Crystal Valley Co-Op

Hope, MN — An employee died in a grain bin incident Thursday evening at Crystal Valley Cooperative in Hope, which is located in Steele County. Emergency personnel responded to the Co-op around 9:20 p.m. and immediately began rescue efforts. A press release from Crystal Valley says the employee became fully engulfed in a grain bin while loading a train, leading to his death. First responders removed the man, 36-year-old Paul Jasper Frantum of Pemberton, from the grain bin. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation into the man’s death is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said. Historically, Minnesota ranks third in the nation in documented agricultural-confined space-related accidents, which include grain entrapment cases. According to Purdue University, there were 212 Minnesota cases from 1962-2020.

Iowa deputy killed in crash with harvest combine

FREMONT COUNTY, Iowa — The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is mourning a deputy who died Tuesday in a crash involving a harvest combine, KETV reported. Deputy Austin “Melvin” Richardson, 37, was driving his patrol car when he collided with a combine traveling from the opposite direction, according to KETV. A report from the Iowa State Patrol determined the combine was wider than the lane on Highway 275. The combine’s front left tire was “to left of center in the northbound lane” when Richardson hit it, causing the deputy’s vehicle to “skid sideways and roll several times,” the report said. Richardson began his law enforcement career in 2007 and joined the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in 2015, according to the Des Moines Register. The

Truck driver killed at Conley Terminal in South Boston

BOSTON, MA – A worker was killed in an accident in the Port of Boston Wednesday morning. State Police say a 41-year-old truck driver from Billerica was hit by another vehicle pulling a trailer. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was a 72-year-old from Revere. The incident remains under investigation.

Highway construction worker killed in fall from box truck on Route 55

Vineland, NJ — A man working on a South Jersey highway construction project died after falling from a truck early Tuesday. Oligario Rocha Dos Santos, 45, of Elizabeth, was in the back of a box truck that was towing a large air compressor in a closed construction zone on Route 55 northbound in Vineland when he fell from the back of the truck shortly after 1:30 a.m., according to a New Jersey State Police spokesman.

Forklift operator dies in ‘tragic accident,’ Tempe police say

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A woman is dead after an accident involving a forklift in Tempe early Thursday morning. Shortly before 5 a.m., Tempe Fire Medical and Rescue crews and police officers were called to United Southwest Components, where a woman had reportedly been hurt while operating a forklift. Emergency responders arrived at the business near Broadway and McClintock roads and found a woman in her 20s who had died from her injuries. There are few details available, but Tempe police say the woman was a certified forklift operator in compliance with all safety measures and that this appears to be a tragic accident. Her name has not been released.

South Brunswick School District Employee Killed on Georges Road

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A South Brunswick School District employee was killed yesterday while working on Georges Road. Dean Battaglia, age 53, was struck by a vehicle and later pronounced dead at the scene, according to the police. Battaglia was a long-time maintenance worker for the district. He was spraying weeds along a curb at Crossroads North Middle School on Georges Road when he was struck. Police and EMS arrived at the scene and attempted to save his life. The driver of the car stayed at the scene as well.

Police ID dump truck driver killed in fatal crash

ASHLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Wednesday, at about 1:34 p.m., the Greene County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a dump truck that struck an empty house at the intersection of West Settlement Road and State Route 23. Workers attempted to rescue the unidentified driver of the truck but were driven back by heat and flames coming from the house. Police said the driver of the dump truck, Chasondra McGill, 37, of Schenectady died as a result of the crash. An initial investigation had determined that the dump truck was traveling Southbound on West Settlement Road, down a steep grade, when the driver allegedly lost control. The truck was unable to stop at the intersection of State Route 23 they said. The dump truck crossed over State Route 23 at a high rate of speed, leaving the roadway and striking the house which immediately caught fire. According to a report, the fire spread to an adjacent house which was also completely destroyed. The intense heat of the fire also caused damage to the siding of a third house across the street. A firefighter from Ashland Fire Department was taken to Albany Medical Center for smoke inhalation after trying to rescue the driver.

1 Dead In Long Island Truck Crash

LEVITTOWN, NY — One person is dead following a crash between two trucks that shut down part of Jerusalem Avenue in Levittown for hours Wednesday. According to police, at 10:13 a.m., a 23-year-old man driving a FedEx delivery truck was involved in a crash with a 2017 Hino box truck being driven by a 58-year-old man. Both trucks were heading south on Jerusalem Avenue, near the intersection with Hempstead Turnpike. The driver of the box truck and his passenger, a 56-year-old man, were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the FedEx truck, who police have not named, was taken to a local hospital, but was pronounced dead at 10:38 a.m.

North Carolina man driving dump truck killed in rollover wreck

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A 68-year-old man from Vale was killed in a rollover wreck Tuesday morning in Catawba County, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The fatal accident happened at 11:40 a.m. on Startown Road near West Maiden Road. 3 teens wanted in Hickory murder captured, 1 still on the run, police say
Troopers said a 2007 Volvo dump truck was traveling north on Startown Road, ran off the road to the right, crossed back over the centerline and overturned on the roadway. The truck was hauling a load of gravel. The driver, 68-year-old Billie Douglas Gambill, was critically injured and transported to a local hospital, where he died, troopers said. He was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The initial investigation indicates driver overcorrection as a contributing circumstance, troopers said.

LCSO releases identity of man killed in work accident near Bonita Springs High School

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The Lee County Sheriff’s Office revealed more details surrounding a man who died as the result of a job site accident last week. Investigators revealed the identity of the victim, 78-year-old Carl Leroy Glidden Jr., who they said was trapped inside a skid steer that became completely submerged in a small access pond. The incident happened June 9 just after 2 p.m. on Imperial Pkwy., near Bonita Springs High School.

2 workers killed, 2 injured in construction accident in Georgia

FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. (CNN) — At least two workers were killed in a construction accident in Georgia Tuesday. Floyd County police haven’t released many details yet about how it happened. They did confirm that an excavator’s brakes failed, which caused the excavator to slam into a truck loaded with asphalt. The men have been identified as John Lane Hunter, 21, of Kingston and Cody Hauser, 19, of Cartersville, according to the Floyd County Police Department. The workers were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other workers were injured and were taken to a local hospital.

2 dead after industrial accident in Edmond

EDMOND, Okla. — Two people are dead after an industrial accident in Edmond. On Tuesday, Edmond Fire was called to rescue two people in a manhole near Midwest Boulevard and Covell Road. According to authorities, the two subcontractors were working on a sewer line. Once officials arrived on the scene, it was determined to be a recovery. The bodies of two males have been recovered. An investigation is underway.

Two Southern California police officers killed, suspect dead, officials say

LOS ANGELES, CA — Two Southern California police officers were fatally shot after responding to a motel on a report of a stabbing, and the suspect was also killed, officials said. The deadly encounter happened around 4:47 p.m. in El Monte, a city east of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. El Monte police responded to a motel on a report of a possible stabbing. When they contacted the suspect at the motel room there was a shooting that involved police, sheriff’s homicide Capt. Andrew Meyer said. The suspect then fled the motel room and there was a second shooting also involving police in the parking lot, Meyer said. The two officers who were wounded were taken to a hospital, where they died Tuesday evening, Meyer said. The suspect was also shot and died at the scene, he said.

Teen employee killed at Colorado Walgreens; coworker arrested

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV/Gray News) – A teenager killed at a Colorado Springs Walgreens allegedly expressed concerns for a year about the man accused in her death. According to arrest papers obtained by KKTV Tuesday, then-16-year-old Riley Whitelaw told store managers in 2021 that coworker Joshua Johnson was making advances towards her and she was uncomfortable. A year after she first made the complaint, Whitelaw was dead and 28-year-old Johnson was in custody on first-degree murder charges. Police said they received a 911 call just before 7 p.m. Saturday. The man on the line said a body had been found in the break room at the Walgreens off Centennial and Vindicator.

Fremont County, Iowa deputy killed after crash involving combine

FREMONT COUNTY, Iowa — On Tuesday at approximately 12:38 p.m. in Fremont County, Iowa, Austin “Melvin” Richardson, 37, was headed northbound on Highway 275 near 260th Street when he collided with a southbound combine in the area. Richardson, a deputy with the Fremont County Sheriff’s office, was killed as a result of the collision with the combine driven by 64-year-old James Groff. The combine was traveling southbound on Highway 275 and the tires on the combine were wider than the width of the southbound lane, according to an accident report supplied by the Iowa State Patrol. The left front dual tire was “to left of center in the northbound lane.” According to the accident report, Richardson’s vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 275 and collided with the front dual tire. The vehicle “skid sideways and rolled several times.” Sheriff Kevin Aistrope confirmed that the deputy was on duty in his patrol car at the time of the accident, and the crash remains under investigation.

‘Never got an opportunity to get his gun out’: Sheriff’s deputy dies after being shot in the line of duty

Wicomico County, Maryland — A sheriff’s deputy has died in a shooting in Wicomico County, Maryland, about 2 hours by car outside of Washington, D.C. The sheriff’s office said Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard was shot and killed trying to arrest a man who reportedly had multiple felony warrants. Hilliard was a 16-year veteran of the force. The sheriff’s office said Deputy Hilliard spotted a suspect coming out of an apartment complex around the coastal Maryland town of Pittsville. That’s about 20 miles away from Ocean City, Maryland. After a brief chase, Hilliard was shot. The sheriff’s office says Hilliard would have celebrated his 42nd birthday next Wednesday, June 22.

Red Robin employee killed inside Arizona restaurant during suspected robbery, police say

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KTVK/KPHO/Gray News) – An employee at a Red Robin in Arizona was killed inside the restaurant during a suspected robbery, according to detectives. Salt River police said detectives found the employee’s body inside the restaurant Sunday. Officers said they received a call from an employee in the morning who said one of the doors to the restaurant had been broken into. When police arrived around 9:30 a.m., they entered the restaurant and found a body inside. Investigators have not clarified if the employee who called them is the same employee who was found dead. The victim’s name has not yet been released. David Stovall, a service technician who was fixing the restaurant’s broken doors after the slaying, said glass from the doors was sent 20 feet into the parking lot. “I don’t know if it was a bullet, hammer, rock, but something with force,” Stovall said. “I fix a lot of doors every day, and this is pretty messed up. Most of the stuff I fix is just wear and tear, but this was damage, physical damage.”

Dewy Rose man bushhogging in Madison County killed when tractor rolls over on him

Madison County, WI — A 45-year-old Dewy Rose man was killed recently in Madison County when officers said his tractor rolled over on him while he was bushhogging. The accident occurred sometime on the early afternoon of June 8 in a field off Logger Head Lane north of Danielsville along U.S. Highway 29, according to a Madison County sheriff’s report. Henry Adams Jr. was working the property with a bushhog when it appeared the tractor hit a steep mound of dirt with the driver’s side tire, causing it to roll over, according to the report.

Security guard killed in double-murder suicide tried to help

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A security guard who tried to intervene during a domestic dispute was fatally shot by a man who then shot and killed the mother of his children before turning the gun on himself, police said Monday. All three were pronounced dead Sunday at the scene after police were called about 1 a.m. to an apartment complex on reports of a couple fighting in the parking lot, the San Jose police said. The security guard, whose name hasn’t been released, worked at the apartment complex and was not part of the argument but tried to intervene when he was shot, San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said.

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