How workers died last week: falls, shootings, vehicles, tree work, electrocution, dog attack. 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.
Roofer dies when metal trim touches live electrical line in northern Macomb County
Richmond, MI — A roofer died last week after he suffered a fatal shock while working on a project in northern Macomb County, according to state safety officials. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials reported on Aug. 23 that it received notification a 46-year-old crew leader died as the result of a work related injury in Richmond. The victim’s name and company were not released.
According to MIOSHA’s initial report, the roofer and crew leader climbed a secured ladder while carrying a 10-foot piece of metal trim that came into contact with a live electrical line, causing him to fall from the ladder approximately 18 feet to the ground. No further information was available. The fatality marks the 30th incident were workers have died from injuries sustained on the job, including four in Macomb County, according to MIOSHA.
Enkei worker dies in plant accident early Thursday morning
COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Bartholomew County Coroner’s office confirmed that an Enkei America employee in Columbus died in a work-related accident on Thursday. Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said Miguel Angel Juarez-Ramariz, 42, Seymour, was pronounced dead at the Enkei America plant, 2900 W. Inwood Drive, Columbus at 12:57 a.m. Thursday. His family has been notified of the accident and his death, Nolting said. An investigation into the accident is continuing, and Nolting said toxicology results on the victim are pending. Enkei produces custom after-market wheels for the automotive industry.
Family grieves 22-year-old Colorado shop worker found killed
Greeley, CO — A woman found raped and killed after going missing from her family’s smoothie shop in Greeley, Colorado, has been identified as 22-year-old Angelica “Angie” Vega. “We’re broken and I don’t know how to pick up pieces for my family,” aunt Candi Gonzales wrote on Facebook. “I would give anything to have you back.” Police responding to reports of a break-in at Noco Nutrition found “a large amount of blood” and disarray inside. Marcos Vallejos, 24, was arrested on charges of murder and sexual assault, police said.
Addition Arena employee dies after being hit by vehicle in UCF parking garage
Orlando, FL — An Addition Arena employee died after a vehicle struck him in one of UCF’s parking garages on Thursday. UCF Police Department and Seminole County Fire Rescue responded to a 911 call around 3 p.m. describing a scene where a man was pinned underneath a student’s vehicle on the first to second floor ramp of Garage F, according to the traffic crash report. The unidentified man was extracted from under the vehicle and transported to the Orlando Regional Medical Center where he later died of his injuries, UCF Public Information Officer Courtney Gilmartin said. Gilmartin said the driver was traveling up the ramp looking for a parking spot when the vehicle hit the employee, who was walking down the ramp.
Four people killed, including constable, at Tucson apartment complex
TUCSON, AZ — The Tucson Police Department has confirmed four people, including a constable, were killed in a shooting Thursday morning. One of the victims was Pima County Justice Precinct 8 Constable Deborah Martinez-Garibay, appointed to the vacant position by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year in March. Police say Martinez-Garibay and an employee of the complex, 28-year-old Angela Fox-Heath, were serving an eviction notice to a tenant when the shooting happened. According to police, the eviction notice was being served against 24-year-old Gavin Lee Stansell. When the two contacted Stansell, Fox-Heath was shot and killed by him. As police responded, Martinez-Garibay was eventually found inside an apartment shot and killed
Plant worker’s death under investigation after reported train accident in Plaquemine
PLAQUEMINE, Louisiana – A plant worker died after he was reportedly struck by a train at a chemical plant. Sources say a WATCO employee was hit by a train inside the Dow Chemical plant in Plaquemine around 2 p.m. Thursday. Reports said the worker died later that same day.
Security guard shot, killed near downtown L.A. movie set
Lost Angeles, CA — A man who was working as a security guard was fatally shot near a downtown Los Angeles movie set Thursday night. The shooting occurred in the 1900 block of Bay Street, near Alameda Street, around 11 p.m. when, according to detectives, a man in his 30s was shot in an alley. His family identified him as 34-year-old Jairo Ortiz. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the incident was not related to the movie production and did not involve any cast or crew members. No suspect description was available. The victim’s family told KTLA he was a security guard who worked in the area. They said the suspect was trying to break into cars when the victim approached the suspect and was shot in the head.
Family identifies security guard killed in shooting at Capitol Casino in Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The man who was killed in an early morning shooting at the Capitol Casino in Sacramento was identified by family as 27-year-old Sean Bernal. Family told KCRA 3 he was working as a security guard inside the casino when shot, and leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter. A memorial is set for the casino Saturday at 5 p.m. Police had responded to reports of a robbery at the casino Monday morning. As a man with a gun tried to rob someone, another man confronted him, according to police. They said the robber then shot and killed the man who intervened. The gunman tried to make a run for it before being arrested.
Police searching for suspect wanted for fatally shooting security guard in Berks County
MORGANTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Police in Berks County are searching for a man wanted for killing a security guard. The deadly shooting happened on Saturday, Aug. 6 in Morgantown. Investigators believe the man was stealing catalytic converters when he shot a private security guard in the area of Quarry Road and Mineview Drive.
Electrical worker killed at Keene wastewater treatment plant
SWANZEY, N.H. — A sub-contractor helping replace a backup generator at the Keene, N.H., wastewater treatment plant was killed during an industrial accident on Wednesday morning. According to information from the city of Keene, the employee of Hamblet Electrict sustained a fatal injury around 8 a.m. OSHA and the town of Swanzey, where Keene’s treatment plant is located, are investigating the incident. The name of the deceased has not yet been released. Response efforts included using an AED and performing CPR. The Hamblet employee had been working on city projects for a few years, states the information from the city of Keene.
Man killed in Fort Worth while delivering furniture
FORT WORTH, Texas – Fort Worth police arrested a man with an extensive criminal history for the carjacking and murder of a furniture delivery driver. The crime happened earlier this month while the victim was on the job. Isabel Juarez told FOX 4 about the east Fort Worth carjacking that left her husband’s grandmother terrified and unable to sleep. On Friday Aug. 5, the 62-year-old was home alone waiting for a delivery when she heard a knock at the door. Juarez says the two employees with the Dallas-based Canales Furniture unloaded the mattress and placed it on the porch. “She was out here helping the movers move the plants, hold the door open for them,” she said. “And then all of a sudden, she just heard the truck take off.” According to Fort Worth police, Valdez got inside of the delivery truck and sped off. But 30-year-old Fabricio Rivera-Perez, a Canales Furniture employee, was still inside it. “At that point, the victim either jumped out or fell off the truck, landed in the middle of the street, where he was pronounced deceased,” said Fort Worth Officer Daniel Segura.
Female NYPD Officer Killed in ‘Unprovoked’ Attack
New York, NY — A New York City police officer was shot and killed while sitting in her police vehicle in the Bronx early Wednesday morning. A suspect allegedly approached without warning and shot her through the car window at about 12:30 a.m. “This is absolutely an unprovoked attack,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. Miosotis Familia, 48, a 12-year veteran, was rushed to a nearby hospital but could not be saved in surgery. The suspect was killed just one block away by two other officers, police officials said. One bystander was reportedly shot in the stomach during the attack, and is in stable condition.
Truck driver killed in mountain accident
Mosier Gulch, WY — For the second time in two months, a semitrailer lost control on the way down the mountain on U.S. Highway 16 West and plunged into Mosier Gulch. This time, the driver was killed. Javier Cardoso-Reyes, of Katy, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene after his truck rolled over the guardrail along a stretch of road commonly known as Deadman’s Curve. The truck skidded down the embankment and stopped near Clear Creek, according to Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Erik Jorgensen. The trailer separated from the cab on the way down, and the engine compartment broke away from the cab, catching fire and igniting a small blaze near the wreck. Authorities put it out soon after. Witnesses reported that Cardoso-Reyes, hauling a load of oilfield drill pipes, was having difficulty braking as he traveled down the mountain, reaching speeds of over 50 miles per hour and taking up the entire highway, Jorgensen said. Cardoso-Reyes bypassed the catch net, which is a series of cables designed to stop runaway trucks. Jorgensen did not know why. At the beginning of July, another semitrailer driver failed to negotiate the same stretch of road and crashed. He bailed out seconds before the truck careened into Mosier Gulch, suffering only minor injuries.
Florida Postal Worker Killed by 5 Dogs While Delivering Mail: ‘How Did It Get So Far?’
Putnam County, FL — A U.S. Postal Service carrier died after she was attacked by five dogs in Florida when her official vehicle broke down on the job. Pamela Jane Rock died at a hospital Monday around 7:30 p.m. after the attack, which happened Sunday in Putnam County, Florida, in an Interlachen Lakes Estates neighborhood, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to PEOPLE. The area is about 65 miles south of Jacksonville. Rock, 61, was waiting for assistance with her postal vehicle when the dogs broke through a fence, escaped and mauled her, according to NBC News, citing Putnam County Sheriff’s Col. Joseph Wells at a Tuesday news conference. Neighbors and the animals’ owner helped pull the pets away from Rock after they heard her screams. (More here.)
Construction worker killed in fall at Palo Alto job site
PALO ALTO, CA – A construction worker died after falling down a shaft at a 15-story office building in downtown Palo Alto on Wednesday morning, according to police. The incident was reported at 12:34 a.m. at 525 University Ave., where overnight construction work was taking place, the Palo Alto Police Department said in a news release. Officers and personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department provided medical aid to the worker. The worker was then taken to an area hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police described the worker as a man in his 40s.
Tenn. Trooper, Sheriff’s Deputy Killed in Helicopter Crash
Marion County, TN — Two Tennessee law enforcement officers died in a helicopter crash in Marion County on Tuesday afternoon, officials said .Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Lee Russell and Marion County Sheriff’s Detective Matt Blansett were identified as the officers in a Bell 206 helicopter owned by the Tennessee Department of Safety that crashed Tuesday in Marion County, according to officials. Russell was the pilot, and Blansett was the passenger. The helicopter struck a power line around 3 p.m. Tuesday on Aetna Mountain near Whiteside, Tennessee, officials said. The collision caused the power lines to fall across Interstate 24 at mile marker 163, shutting down eastbound traffic while officers searched for the wreck. The highway has since reopened.
Worker dies during Boulder Creek tree work
BOULDER CREEK, CA — A tree worker working to clear branches was killed Wednesday while working on Bear Creek Road. The Boulder Creek Fire Department responded with two engines to the scene shortly after noon to an area between Little Bear Lane and Mayfair Road for reports of a man in his 40s in need of assistance. The man was not responsive to firefighters calling up to him, Boulder Creek Fire Chief Mark Bingham said. “Due to the unique circumstances of the tree, the very steep ground and the hanging over the river, we didn’t have a safe way of accessing (him) through our traditional ground ladders or rope that the fire department carries for day-to-day rescues,” Bingham said. Santa Cruz Fire Department was called to provide a ladder truck, while Cal Fire’s CZU unit provided staffing for a rope rescue system to remove the man from the tree. Unfortunately, Bingham said, the worker appeared to have died from an injury related to the work he was doing in the tree. The man’s identity and cause of death were not immediately available Wednesday from the Santa Cruz County Coroner’s Office.
Employee Killed In Warehouse Accident
Fowlerville, MI — A worker was killed in a warehouse accident in Fowlerville on Monday. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration or MIOSHA reports that the incident involved a shipping/receiving handler at RheTech Compounding. The employee was operating a Hilo in a warehouse and moving pallets of nylon socks containing pellets that weighed approximately 2,200-2,300 pounds when one of the pallets fell on top of him. The 31-year-old man was said to have been discovered by co-workers, who found him unresponsive on the ground. The employee was declared dead at the scene.
Utility Worker Killed In Fall From Bucket Truck In Huntington Station
Huntington Station, NY — A 40-year-old utility worker has died after falling from a bucket truck during a job on Long Island. Emergency crews in Suffolk County were called just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, with reports that a worker had fallen in Huntington Station, along Park Avenue near East 5th Street. The man, identified as Edis Rene Maldonado, of Copiague, fell approximately 20 feet from an extended bucket truck while trimming trees around utility lines, Suffolk County Police said. Maldonado was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Worker Killed in Maryland Garbage Truck Crash
Anne Arundel County, MD — A garbage truck rolled over in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Tuesday morning, crushing and killing a worker. Francisco Javier Madero, of Glen Burnie, was killed, county police said. He was 54. The truck was headed east on Broadwater Road and making scheduled pickups “when it encountered a wide-bodied dually pickup truck heading westbound,” police said in a statement. “This section of roadway is narrow with no shoulders. Both the dually and trash truck attempted to pass each other safely when the two right wheels of the trash truck left the roadway’s edge, dropped, and sank in the mud. This, in turn, caused the trash truck to trip and roll onto its right side,” police said. Madero and another person were working on the back of the truck. The other person was able to jump off and was not injured. Madero “was unable to free himself,” police said. The truck landed on its right side and onto him.
Oklahoma County deputy killed, another injured in OKC shooting
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Authorities arrested a suspect who opened fire on Oklahoma County deputies serving an eviction notice Monday afternoon at a home in southwest Oklahoma City. The two deputies were taken to an area hospital, where one was pronounced dead. Authorities identified the slain deputy as Sgt. Bobby Swartz. Sheriff Tommie Johnson said the two deputies were serving “lock-out papers,” which is part of the eviction process, when one of the deputies went to the back door of the home and was shot. The second deputy was shot as he attempted to pull the first deputy to safety, Johnson said.
Astoria Man Shot, Killed On The Job At Bronx Park
ASTORIA, QUEENS, NY — An Astoria man was fatally shot while taking a break near the Bronx public housing complex where he worked, according to police and news reports. Nelson Mattocks, 49, was shot in the face in broad daylight Friday afternoon in Saint Mary’s Park in the Bronx, police said. According to the Daily News, Mattocks was eating lunch in the park, which sits across from the NYCHA complex where he worked as a maintenance man, when two people on a scooter fired a volley of gunshots. Mattocks was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Roadside assistance worker killed in Ohio Turnpike crash
NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio (WJW) – A roadside assistance worker was killed in a crash along the Ohio Turnpike Monday afternoon. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, a semi-truck was broken down on the side of road on I-80 Westbound, east of I-71. Investigators say a service vehicle pulled up to help. The roadside assistance worker was next to the truck when another semi heading westbound struck him. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Semi driver killed after crashing into bridge columns on I-5 near Tumwater
TUMWATER, Wash. – A semi-truck driver was killed after crashing into the support columns of a bridge Monday morning on Interstate 5 near Tumwater. According to the Washington State Patrol, southbound I-5 was closed just before 8:00 a.m. at milepost 97 near 113th Ave SW. The left lane reopened just before 10 a.m., but the backup on I-5 South had grown to seven miles. Troopers said the driver may have suffered a medical emergency as the semi veered off of the road and into the bridge support columns. The semi was leaking diesel and the overpass needs to be inspected. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.