Silo suffocation, refinery fire, highway construction, wildfire, electrocution — all the ways that workers died last week.  n 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.

Goodyear employee killed in incident at Topeka tire plant

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A 59-year-old male employee was killed at the Topeka tire plant on Saturday morning, according to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office. A news release from Sheriff Brian Hill says that deputies were dispatched shortly after 8 a.m. to a medical call at the Goodyear Plant in the 1900 block of NW US 24 Highway. Deputies arrived to find that the man sustained life-threatening injuries while on the job. The Soldier Township Fire Department and American Medical Response also responded. The victim was taken by AMR to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff’s office says the incident remains under investigation.

Landscaper fatally shot while on job in Northeast Washington

Washington DC — A landscaper working along a residential street in Northeast Washington was fatally shot in the back Thursday afternoon after he confronted a man he saw trying to break into a truck, according to D.C. police. The victim, identified as Bacilio Villatoro, 57, lived in Silver Spring, Md., with one of his two adult sons, and had a wife and grown daughter in El Salvador, according to his brother-in-law. Police said Villatoro was shot about 12:40 p.m. in the 3000 block of Adams Street NE, in a neighborhood that has a mix of industrial buildings and private homes and is lined by New York and South Dakota avenues. Dustin Sternbeck, a D.C. police spokesman, said that Villatoro saw a man tampering with a truck and began to argue with him. Sternbeck said the man pulled out a gun and Villatoro turned and began to run. Sternbeck said Villatoro “tried to flee and was shot in the back.” Villatoro died at the scene and police said the gunman drove off in a black Chevrolet Impala.

Niko Niko’s worker killed: Woman led investigators to other 2 suspects, investigators say

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — A 16-year-old, who was working one of her two jobs in west Houston before her lifeless body was dumped in Liberty County, was shot twice, including once in the head, law enforcement officials told reporters. A news conference Friday marked the first organized briefing since three people were arrested after Emily Rodriguez-Avila’s body was discovered, still in a Niko Niko’s restaurant uniform, on a rural road in Liberty County on Sept. 4. Rodriguez-Avila was murdered after being picked up from her shift at Niko Niko’s restaurant on I-10 and the Beltway on the night of Sept. 3.

S.C. officer dies after suffering medical emergency during SWAT training

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia Police Department is mourning the death of one of its officers. Master Police Officer Tyrell Owens-Riley died Saturday, police said in a news release. “It was with a heavy heart that Columbia Police Chief (Skip) Holbrook shares the passing of a dedicated police officer,” the release said. Owens-Riley suffered a medical emergency while participating in a Columbia police SWAT assessment, according to the release. During the physical fitness training portion of the assessment, Owens-Riley got sick and was taken to a hospital in downtown Columbia where he suffered cardiac arrest and could not be revived, police said.

13-year-old girl arrested in NYC taxi driver’s death

NEW YORK, NY — Police arrested a 13-year-old girl on Tuesday in connection with the death of a New York City taxi driver. The girl, charged with gang assault and theft of service, is the fourth person arrested in the case. Police previously arrested a 15-year-old girl and two 20-year-old men. The most serious charges were filed against Austin Amos, who’s accused of manslaughter, gang assault, assault and theft of services. Kutin Gyimah, 52, was killed while chasing after passengers who jumped out of his cab without paying, police said. When Gyimah caught up to the group, they allegedly surrounded him and began punching and kicking him. He collapsed to the ground at one point and suffered a fatal head injury, according to officials. Gyimah leaves behind four young children and a widow.

Truck driver killed in central Illinois accident

Springfield. IL — Illinois State Police say a truck driver failing to slow down as he approached a construction zone was the cause of Thursday afternoon’s fatal crash on Interstate 55, south of Springfield. As a result, the northbound lanes of I-55 were closed for about five hours. Troopers say 67-year-old Frank Amendola of Somonauk Illinois died from his injuries. The other driver was not injured. Amendola’s truck ran into the back of another truck as it was stopping for the work zone.


ROBBINSVILLE, NJ — A construction worker has died at a Hindu temple that was raided by the FBI last year and accused in a lawsuit of human trafficking and labor violations. The 57-year-old man from Hillside was dead when first responders arrived at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir shortly before 4 p.m. on Friday, according to Robbinsville police. An investigation found that a construction accident had occurred at the rear of the property where curbing was being installed. Police were withholding the victim’s identity until they notified his next of kin. BAPS North America told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement that it would fully cooperate with law enforcement.

Albuquerque church security guard killed while on the job; suspect in custody

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A security guard was killed in the parking lot of the church he served in Friday night, and police have arrested a suspect in connection to it. Police arrested 35-year-old Marc Ward Saturday afternoon as a suspect in the murder case of 61-year-old Daniel Bourne. Bourne, a security guard with Calvary Church, was killed while on the job. Albuquerque police responded to the church at Osuna near Jefferson Friday shortly before 11 p.m., where they found Bourne dead in a nearby arroyo and noticed indications of him being dragged. According to police, they said he was checking on a suspicious vehicle, but before all this, Bourne had sent his supervisor photos of a suspicious truck, including the license plates. Police tracked down Ward and took him into custody.

One person dies in Harrison County industrial accident

MARSHALL, TX — One person was killed Wednesday in an industrial accident on an oil well site in Harrison County, the sheriff’s office said. The death has been ruled accidental, and the sheriff’s office said it would not be releasing the victim’s name at the employer’s request. Officials also did not release more information about the nature of the accident.

BP Refinery Fire in Ohio Kills Two Workers

Toledo, OH — Two workers were killed in a fire at the BP-operated BP-Husky refinery in Toledo, Ohio late Tuesday evening, and the facility remains indefinitely shut in. Family confirmed that the two men killed in the BP-Husky Toledo oil refinery explosion Tuesday are brothers. Max and Ben Morrissey died early Wednesday at a University of Michigan medical facility in Ann Arbor, family in Oregon said later in the afternoon. Max Morrissey was 34 and Ben was 32, Max’s wife, Darah Morrissey said. Few details about the fire have been released, but images captured by local media showed large columns of
flame and smoke emanating from the refinery, while eyewitnesses reported rumbling sounds from the area. There is also no official word on how the fire started. A source told Reuters on Wednesday that leaking fumes from a crude unit may have been responsible.

Worker was dead in Belk department store bathroom for 4 days

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A 63-year-old worker died in the public bathroom of a South Carolina department store, but her body was not discovered for four days, authorities said. Bessie Durham, a janitor at the Belk at Columbiana Centre, was found dead Monday in a bathroom stall, Columbia police said. Her cleaning cart was outside the restroom. Durham was last seen Thursday at work and her body was found shortly after her family filed a missing person report, Columbia Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly, told WIS-TV. The Lexington County Coroner’s Office said there are no signs someone killed Durham or that she was using drugs. An autopsy is planned to determine her cause of death.

Hendricks County highway worker dies after stepping behind excavating equipment

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — A Hendricks County Highway Department employee died on Wednesday morning after being struck by a large piece of excavating equipment while working on a job site. According to the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred around 9:45 a.m. near a rural intersection at County Road 450 South and 675 W, just east of Coatesville on a road commonly called Amo/Coatesville Road. The deceased was identified by authorities as 61-year-old David Appleby of Clayton. Investigators said the highway department was working near the rural intersection using a large piece of equipment commonly used for excavating draining ditches along roadways. Appleby was working as a safety flagger, investigators said, but for an unknown reason he reportedly stepped behind the piece of equipment as it was slowly backing up. Appleby was struck and killed by the equipment, the sheriff’s department said.

Wife of truck driver killed in fiery Allen crash says she’s ‘broken and lost

DALLAS, Texas — The family of a Dallas truck driver who died Tuesday afternoon when his tractor-trailer flew off of U.S. 75 and burst into flames is asking for anyone with video of what led up to the fiery crash to come forward. Investigators with the Allen Police Department say 71-year-old Gustavo Gomez collided with another car on the highway before hitting the 32-inch highway barrier and crashing onto the service road below. Dash camera video caught the big rig plummeting to the ground. The video shows its fuel tanks igniting and then landing upside down, where the 18-wheeler goes up in flames.


Seabrook, NJ — A man’s death at a food processing facility in Cumberland County has prompted an investigation by federal labor inspectors — as the company has said there was a workplace accident that caused the fatality. State Police said troopers responded before 8 a.m. on Monday to a report of an unresponsive person at a site on Parsonage Road in Upper Deerfield Township. A 63-year-old man was found inside of a kettle cooker, according to police. Dale Devilli, of Millville, was pronounced dead shortly after.

Father and his two sons dead after being trapped in silo on Penns Valley farm

Penns Valley, PA — Three people died Wednesday after they were trapped in a silo on an Amish farm in Potter Township, pushing the number of accidental deaths at the homestead this year to four. Andrew Beiler, 47, and his two sons — a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old whose names were not released — died of asphyxiation due to silo gases, Centre County Deputy Coroner Jason Brooks wrote in a statement. Their deaths were ruled accidental. “Silo gas is a dangerous thing,” Centre County Farm Bureau President Dave Fetterolf said. “There’s no warning. It happens quick.”

Man dies after falling from scaffolding in Edinburg

Edinburg, TX — The Edinburg Police Department is investigating the death of a 57-year-old man who fell from scaffolding Monday morning. In a news release, police said officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of South 25th Street just after 9:30 a.m. in reference to an unresponsive man. When they arrived, they found the unidentified man dead inside the building. “There is no sign of foul play as it appears this was a construction work related accident where the male appears to have fallen from some scaffolding,” the release stated.

Cox worker killed after hitting power line in Fairfax County

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Police had part of a roadway shut down in McLean Monday after a worker in a bucket truck hit a power line and died. The Fairfax County Police Department tweeted about the investigation shortly before 2:15 p.m. The tweet said the incident happened on Georgetown Pike near Langley Fork Lane. The man died at the scene. The man was a Cox Communications technician.

Teen girl and truck driver both killed in Lexington County crash

West Columbia, South Carolina — A teenager and a truck driver were killed in a crash that sent another person to an area hospital, the Lexington County Coroner’s Office said Monday night. Paris S. Franklin, a 16-year-old Lexington resident, and Alton Ray Keisler, a 56-year-old from Gilbert, died at the scene of Sunday night’s wreck in West Columbia, Coroner Margaret Fisher said in a news release. Franklin was a passenger in an SUV that collided with a tractor trailer being driven by Keisler at the intersection of U.S. 1/Augusta Road and 12th Street, according to the release.

Truck Driver Killed in Fiery 18-Wheeler Crash on I-285 West

Sandy Springs, GA — September 19, 2022, one person died in a fiery tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 285 West in Sandy Springs. Authorities say the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. along I-285W near Riverside Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests a big rig was traveling down the highway when it rear-ended another 18-wheeler, carrying scrap metal and magnesium, for unknown reasons. The impact caused the fuel aboard the striking truck to explode and set the truck ablaze; the fire also spread to the other truck’s trailer. The striking truck’s driver died in the accident.

Indiana officer dies 5 weeks after she was shot at traffic stop

RICHMOND, Ind. – An Indiana police officer has died five weeks after she was shot in the head in the line of duty at a traffic stop. Richmond Police K9 Officer Seara Burton died surrounded by her family at Reid Health at 9:59 p.m. Sunday, Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt announced in a prepared statement overnight. Burton was 28 years old and joined the police department four years ago. She was gunned down Aug. 10, just nine days before she was supposed to get married.

Drakesville Man Killed In Workplace Accident

DRAKESVILLE, IA – A southeast Iowa man has died following a workplace accident Monday morning near Drakesville. In a press release from Davis County Sheriff Dave Davis, the Davis County E-911 Communication Center received a 911 call Monday morning that a male was unresponsive after being crushed by a bundle of steel pipe at Countryside Welding in rural Drakesville. The victim, 23-year-old Dwayne L. Yoder of rural Drakesville, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Construction worker killed while working in Golden Gate Estates

NAPLES, Fla. — A construction worker in Golden Gate Estates was killed today after a wall fell on him while he was working alone. The worker was found by family members some time later, according to the Greater Naples Fire Chief. Greater Naples Fire and EMS responded to the scene. The worker was found by family members some time later, according to the Greater Naples Fire Chief. Greater Naples Fire and EMS responded to the scene.

47-year-old Collinsville man killed in accident

CHEROKEE Co., Ala. (WBRC) – A 47-year-old man was killed in a single-tractor trailer accident in Cherokee County early Friday morning September 16, 2022, according to Alabama State Troopers. Christopher Scott Mullins, 47, of Collinsville, was killed when he drove off the roadway and his truck overturned, according to trooper. Mullins died at the scene.

Road construction worker struck, killed Florida deputy before fleeing scene

TAMPA, Fla. — Two road construction workers are facing charges after one allegedly ran into a Pinellas County deputy with a forklift, killing him, and fled the scene. The collision occurred just after 11 p.m. Thursday in the area of Interstate 275 and Roosevelt Boulevard. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Deputy Michael Hartwick, a 51-year-old father, was in a construction zone, working a traffic detail when he was struck by a front end loader with a forklift. Hartwick had parked his cruiser to block two inside southbound lanes and was standing on the shoulder of the road, facing north when he was hit. Gualtieri said the front end loader, which was used to lift concrete barriers, was traveling at about 20 mph. Hartwick died instantly.

Wildland Firefighter Dies at Moose Fire in Idaho

Salmon, ID — A veteran wildland firefighter was killed earlier this week while battling the Moose Fire in Idaho. Gerardo Rincon, of North Reforestation Inc. suffered a medical emergency on Sept. 20, according to a statement from Charles Mark, Forest Supervisor of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Rincon is the third person killed at the Moose Fire.

Abilene truck driver killed in one-vehicle crash in Mitchell County near Colorado City

COLORADO CITY, TX − An Abilene truck driver hauling hazardous material was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 near here early Tuesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a news release. Herndon Kenith Wayne, 53, was westbound in a 2001 semi-tractor truck that was towing a tanker. At about 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 20 near the State Highway 208 exit when the vehicle drifted into the inside lane, the release said.  The tractor-trailer then traveled into the center median and between the west- and eastbound overpass, falling to the ground from the overpass and striking a column. The vehicle caught fire, and hydrochloric acid leaked from the cargo tank, DPS said.

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