Two trench deaths last week (on top of three the week before and three the week before that). 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.
Truck driver killed in fiery rollover crash on I-70
PUTNAM CO., Ind. (WEHT) — A semi-truck crash along an interstate highway claimed the life of a one individual Sunday morning. Indiana State Police say they responded to the area of I-70 westbound near the thirty-six-mile marker for the accident around 8:25 a.m. Investigators revealed that the semi tractor-trailer was traveling westbound when for an unknown reason, the driver lost control and slammed into a guardrail. Police believe the impact from the accident caused the semi to flip over and catch on fire, leaving the driver with fatal injuries. Man flees crash scene on skateboard in Dubois County
According to an Indiana State Police press release, no other people were in the semi during the time of the accident. Police state the driver’s name won’t be released until they confirm identification and contact the family.
Hotel Employee Gunned Down After Man’s Entry to Nightclub Denied: Police
Miami Beach, FL — Police in Miami Beach, Florida, say that a man shot and killed a hotel employee early Friday morning after he was denied entry into a nightclub .The shooting took place at the Clevelander Hotel where police found the 50-year-old victim, Dion David Moore, a front desk employee, lying in a pool of blood, NBC 6 reported, citing an arrest report from the Miami Beach Police Department. According to the report, the suspected shooter, 29-year-old Brandon Kortez Burris, had been allegedly attempting to sneak into a nightclub at the hotel. After he tried a few times, Moore asked Burris to leave the premises. After getting into an argument, Burris allegedly attempted to punch Moore, and later pulled out a gun and opened fire, NBC 6 reported.
Bodega employee fatally stabbed man in Harlem: sources
HARLEM, Manhattan, NY — A 35-year-old man died Friday night after being stabbed in a Manhattan bodega, police said. Jose Alba, 51, allegedly stabbed Austin Simon three times during the attack. He’s charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The attack took place about 11:07 p.m. When police arrived, they found Simon with several stab wounds. He was taken by EMS to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead. According to police sources, the Alba is an employee at that store. There was no information on what led to the altercation.
Bicyclist, fireworks stand worker killed by pickup truck in NE DC: Police
WASHINGTON DC (7News) — Police say both a bicyclist and a man working at a fireworks stand died late Saturday afternoon after a driver who it appears was having a medical emergency hit them in Northeast Washington. At 5:30 p.m., a pickup truck was traveling north on Minnesota Avenue, according to police. Two men are dead after a pickup truck struck a pedestrian and crashed into a fireworks stand in Northeast D.C. Saturday evening, D.C. police said (7News/Tom Roussey). The driver of the truck ran a red light and struck a bicyclist in a crosswalk before careening off the road and crashing into a fireworks stand that was set up at the corner of Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave Northeast and Minnesota Avenue.
UPS driver dies in Pasadena after collapsing inside delivery truck day after his 24th birthday
PASADENA, Calif. – Esteban Chavez had worked at UPS for four years. His family says he had dreams of moving up in the company, perhaps getting into management. But sadly at the age of 24, he died suddenly while on the job. One day after celebrating his 24th birthday, Chavez collapsed on a driveway in Pasadena while delivering packages on June 25. “It’s a tragedy that you don’t want any of your kids to go through, as a parent as a tía, or as a family member,” said Gloria Chavez, Esteban’s aunt. She says the family believes her nephew may have died from heat stroke. Gloria Chavez is Esteban’s aunt. She says the family believes her nephew may have died from heatstroke, saying that delivery drivers have little to no ventilation in their trucks. On the day Chavez suddenly collapsed and died, temperatures in Pasadena were in the upper 90s. The coroner’s office has not yet released a cause of death.
3rd police officer killed in Kentucky by suspect with rifle
ALLEN, Ky. — A third officer has died after a shooting in the US when police tried to execute an arrest warrant on a man accused of domestic violence. Jacob Russell Chaffins, a police dog handler and army veteran, had been rushed to hospital following the shooting in Kentucky but did not survive, his department said. Officers had encountered “pure hell” as they attempted to serve a court-issued warrant on Thursday night, local sheriff John Hunt said, with deputy William Petry and captain Ralph Frasure also killed. “They had no chance,” Mr Hunt added. A police dog – K9 Drago – died and five other officers were wounded during the stand-off at a property in the small town of Allen. Suspect Lance Storz surrendered after several hours following negotiations which involved his family members, Mr Hunt said. The Kentucky Police Department hailed the dead officers as “heroes”, saying Captain Frasure had served in law enforcement for 39 years “with honour and glory up until the last second when you did not go down without a fight”.
Worker dies after industrial accident at Huron County steel plant
HURON COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – An investigation is under way after a worker died at a Thumb-area steel plant following an accident. The accident happened at Blue Diamond Steel Casting on Sturm Road in Pigeon on Friday. Investigators say 48-year-old Kenneth Strahan of Kinde died while he was doing maintenance on the fresh air system. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Strahan was removing bolts to take down a section of air ducts while using a forklift for support. The weight of the ducts caused the forklift to tip over and crush him. The Huron County Sheriff’s Office says the air ducts likely weighed about 4,000 pounds. Coworkers attempted life-saving measures on Strahan until an ambulance arrived. He was rushed to Schreur Hospital, where he died about an hour later, according to the sheriff’s office. Blue Diamond released a statement saying Strahan was a dedicated and hardworking team member for 12 years and will be missed by many.
Fatal industrial accident reported at Paso Robles Truck Center
Paso Robles, CA — A man was crushed under the weight of a vehicle and died in an industrial accident near Paso Robles on Thursday afternoon, according to Cal Fire San Luis Obispo and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. Cesar Rivera Villegas, 40 of Paso Robles, was preparing a truck to be moved at the Paso Robles Truck Center on Monterey Road just after 4 p.m. on Thursday when it rolled forward and killed him, according to San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla. The accident was reported just after 4 p.m. on Monterey Road near Paso Robles, according to Cal Fire spokesman Adan Orozco. The man’s head was smashed by a vehicle, Orozco said.
Sub-contract worker dies at Harris Equipment
Cordele, GA — A subcontractor working at the Harris Equipment facility in Cordele on June 29, was killed while performing demolition services in support of an in-process building renovation project, DJ Van Deusen, President and General Manager of Harris Equipment said in a press release. “In conjunction with the project General Contractor and Sub-Contractor, we are cooperating with various agencies, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as they conduct their procedural investigation following such an incident.” Van Deusen said.
Worker’s death at site of new Ohio AES substation near Tipp City under investigation
Tipp City, OH — An investigation is ongoing into the death last week of a contract worker who landed head first into a hole 10½ feet deep at the site of an Ohio AES substation under construction. The victim was identified as 36-year-old Bradley Fritz of Winchester, Indiana, by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office. His cause of death is pending. Deputies and medics were called around 1:30 p.m. June 21 to 1870 Gingham Frederick Road in Monroe Twp. near Tipp City, according to the incident report. Crews were digging holes for the substation’s infrastructure when an earth augur became clogged. After it was brought to the surface to be cleared, it possibly knocked the victim into the hole, said deputy Warren Edmondson. Workers tied a slip knot around the victim’s foot and hoisted him out of the hole using machinery and started CPR. Deputies used a defibrillator before medics took him to Kettering Health Dayton, where he died of his injuries, Edmondson said.
Yard worker killed when riding mower rolls down rock wall
RIVERDALE, UT — A lawn worker was killed Thursday when his riding mower tumbled down a rock wall, Riverdale police said. “It appears that he was close to the edge and he and the mower went over and fell quite a distance,” Assistant Police Chief Casey Warren said. The 47-year-old man was dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending notification of relatives. Police are investigating the death, but there was “nothing suspicious,” Warren said. The man was a member of a landscaping crew working for a homeowners’ association when the incident occurred at about 11:36 a.m. Police were called to an address in the 5400 block of 575 West. Warren said the man suffered a severe head injury as he tumbled down the terraced wall. “It is very vertical, like a small cliff,” he said.
‘Brad Johnson was a hero’: Bibb Co. Sheriff’s deputy shot in line of duty dies
BIBB COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) – Bibb County District Attorney Michael Jackson has confirmed Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson has died. Jackson said his End of Watch was 3:18 p.m. on June 30, 2022. Earlier Thursday, Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade spoke about the two deputies who were shot in the line of duty Wednesday afternoon. Wade asked everyone to continue to remember Deputy Brad Johnson’s family. At 1:45 p.m., Wade said Johnson is going through the final processes to continue to save lives. Sheriff Wade said, “It’s been said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but a hero but one. Brad Johnson was a hero.”
‘We lost a community servant’: Killed Yavapai County Sgt. Lopez remembered
CORDES LAKES, Ariz. — Sergeant Richard Lopez, or ‘R-Lo’, as his friends called him is remembered as a beloved father, husband, and colleague. After 14 years with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, he was shot and killed by a suspect on Tuesday. “We lost an incredible member of the YCSO family,” Sheriff David Rhodes said. “We lost a friend, we lost a mentor, we lost a father, we lost a husband, we lost a community servant.” The Sergeant served as a detective and negotiator in the SWAT team. A deputy who worked under Lopez told 12 News “he was everything you wanted in a supervisor.”
Virginia firefighter dies during training on Nantahala
Swain County, VA — On Saturday, Alicia A. Monahan, a firefighter from Virginia died during a training on the Nantahala River while teaching a swift water rescue course. Monahan was an 11-year veteran with Chesterfield County Fire and EMS in Virginia and also a member of the Virginia Search and Rescue Dog Association. Monahan reportedly suffered a “catastrophic accident” while teaching students during a course on the Nantahala. No additional information is available at this time. Swain Emergency Management Director David Breedlove said Swain County Emergency Responders did not get the 911 call, as it went to Macon County where EMS and Nantahala Fire Department responded. “She was taken to Swain Community Hospital where resuscitation attempts were made, but she ultimately succumbed to her injuries,” Breedlove said. She was 41 years old and a mother of two.
Prison employee dies from self-inflicted gunshot at Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville
WOODVILLE, Texas — Officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are investigating after an employee was fatally shot this week at a prison near Woodville. An employee of the Gib Lewis Unit just, east of Woodville, died Monday, June 27, 2022, from a self-inflicted gunshot according to a statement from a TDCJ spokesperson. The TDCJ is working with officials to investigate the employee’s death according to the spokesperson’s statement via email. The statement did not say if the employee was a correctional officer or where at the facility the shooting happened.
Amtrak train was below speed limit before fatal crash
MENDON, Mo. (AP) — An Amtrak passenger train was going about 87 mph (140 kph) when it collided with a dump truck at a rural Missouri railway crossing, killing four people, an official with the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday. The speed limit is 90 mph (145 kph) at the crossing where the collision occurred Monday in western Missouri, NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said. The Southwest Chief was traveling about 89 mph (143 kph) when it began blowing its horn about a quarter mile (400 meters) from the collision site, she said. The crossing, which had no lights or other signals to warn about an approaching train, is “very steep” and Homendy acknowledged area residents had expressed concerns about it before the crash. The truck driver, 54-year-old Billy Barton II, of Brookfield, Missouri, died in the collision, the Chariton County coroner said.
Pizza delivery worker killed as he tries to help 76-year-old under attack, CA cops say
Stanton, CA — A pizza delivery man who police believe may have stopped to help a 76-year-old man under attack was shot and killed in California, officials said. When deputies arrived on scene, they found Juan Cristalinas, 49, and a 76-year-old man “in the street with gunshot wounds” on Tuesday, June 28, in the 7000 block of Lessue Avenue in Stanton, a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. Both victims were transported to the hospital, where Cristalinas, of Santa Ana, was pronounced dead, police said. “This is a tragic incident,” Sgt. Todd Hylton told NBC4. “It appears that the pizza delivery man, Mr. Cristalinas, was trying to be a good Samaritan and lost his life trying to assist another person.”
VDOT worker dies after hit-and-run involving tractor-trailer on I-81 North in Roanoke Co.
Roanoke County, VA — Virginia State Police are searching for a tractor-trailer following a hit-and-run that took the life of a VDOT contractor in a Roanoke County work zone early Tuesday morning, leading to hours of detours and delays on I-81 North. According to police, at approximately 2:38 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28, a worker was exiting a piece of construction equipment that was being loaded onto a lowboy trailer at mile marker 142 of I-81 and was hit by a tractor-trailer, which continued north on the interstate. The worker — identified by authorities as 54-year-old Matthew C. Frazier of Clifton Forge, who was wearing a traffic vest — died at the scene of the incident.
Bodies of 2 men recovered following trench collapse in Jarrell
Jarrell, TX — Emergency crews on Wednesday recovered the bodies of two men from a collapsed trench in Jarrell. The bodies of two men who died in the collapse of a sewer line trench in Jarrell on Tuesday were recovered early Wednesday morning, officials said. 20-year-old Jimmy L. Alvarado and 39-year-old Jose Vargas Ramirez both from Florence, Texas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Williamson County sheriff’s office are investigating the cause of the accident. The body of the first man was located at 4:10 a.m., said Mark McAdams, chief officer with Emergency Services District #5, also known as the Jarrell Fire Department. The body of the second man was located at 7:18 a.m., McAdams said at a news conference on Wednesday in Jarrell. The trench was more than 20 feet deep and 2 feet wide.