Weekly Toll

How workers died last week. Electrocutions, tow trucks, railroad, falls, coal pile collapse, traffic, shootings….. 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.

Utility worker electrocuted by power lines Thursday identified

DEKALB COUNTY, IL — The utility worker tragically killed in rural DeKalb County Thursday has been identified. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 36-year-old Nicholas Bliss, of Montgomery, Ill. Bliss was killed after he was electrocuted by power lines on Malta Rd. north of Twombly Rd. Thursday. The investigation into his death remains ongoing

Cemex Knoxville employee killed after coal pile collapsed in ‘tragic industrial accident,’ KPD says

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Cemex employee died after a large pile of coal collapsed on top of them, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Police said officers responded to the Cemex plant on Cement Plant Road around 7:45 a.m. Saturday after employees found the victim’s body underneath a large pile of coal. Police said it took several hours for Knoxville Fire Department crews to excavate and recover the man’s body. KPD identified him as Thomas Mitchell, 21, of Blaine. “All signs indicate that the death was the result of a tragic industrial accident,” KPD said. A Knoxville Police Department spokesperson said the person has been identified as 21-year-old Thomas Mitchell of Blaine, Tennessee.

Man dead after industrial accident in Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. — A Logansport man is dead after an industrial accident in Kokomo Friday morning. Police said 32-year-old Seth Russell Badger died after an injury at Haynes International. Medics transported Badger to St. Vincent Hospital in Kokomo where he later died. The death is being investigated by the Kokomo Police Department, Howard County Coroner’s Office, and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Construction worker dies after falling from roof of Orient home

Orient, NY — A construction worker has died after falling off the roof of a home in Orient on Wednesday, police say. Southold Town police say Salomon Cruz-Jimenez fell about 13 feet off the roof of a home on Orchard Street. The Shirley man was rushed to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. Police are calling the fall accidental, but the matter has been turned over to OSHA.

City worker dies after being electrocuted in basket of cherry picker at Harris Co. polling location

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Crews were working to recover the body of a worker who died in the basket of a cherry picker at a polling location in north Houston. Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that the man was an employee for the City of Houston. SkyEye flew over the scene at the Melrose Park Community Center at the intersection of Canino and W. Hardy roads just before noon on Tuesday. The Melrose Park Community Center is a Harris County polling location for Election Day. Houston fire officials said the man died at about 11:30 a.m. while working for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. It appeared that the cherry picker was extended near a flood light pole at the community center. Authorities said the cause of death is suspected to be electrocution. Jorge Osorio, 64, was an electrician who loved his job, according to his family.

Tow-truck driver killed in tractor-trailer towing accident in Twentynine Palms

Twentynine Palms, CA — A tow truck driver was killed in Twentynine Palms on Tuesday, November 8, at around 5 p.m. According to a Sheriff’s report, Michael Micheletti, 42, was attempting to tow a semi-tractor near the corner of Oasis Ave and Two Mile Rd. As Micheletti secured the tractor trailer to the tow truck, the tractor slid off the tow truck’s lift, rolling backwards and trapping him under the tractor. Micheletti was then dragged approximately 50 feet before being dislodged from under the tractor. The tractor trailer stopped in the middle of Two Mile Road. Deputies arrived at the location, found him unresponsive, and began life saving measures. San Bernardino County Fire Engine 44 arrived and continued life saving measures. Morongo Basin Ambulance responded and transported the Micheletti to Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree where he succumbed to his injuries.


Windom, MN – The State Patrol has identified the driver of a Peterbilt Semi-truck, who was killed in a two-vehicle crash in southwest Minnesota Friday evening. The state crash report, updated Saturday night, indicates 72-year-old James Feltman of Round Lake MN was driving the truck north on Hwy. 71 when it was struck by a southbound pick-up truck heading south. The collision caused the semi to roll into the ditch around 6:15 p.m. Feltman was pronounced dead at the scene. The deadly crash occurred at the intersection of Hwy. 71 and County Rd. 11, which is about 25 miles north of Windom.

Gas station employee killed in shooting stemming from argument, NOPD says

NEW ORLEANS, LA – A man was fatally shot in the 5100 block of St. Claude Ave. Thursday (Nov. 10) morning, according to the NOPD. The shooting happened inside the LA Express gas station after an argument between two men around 7:48 a.m., according to officials. Police say the victim, who will remain unidentified until the parish coroner notifies family members, was an employee of the gas station. The Lower 9th Ward gas station has been the scene of violent crimes in the past.

Poinciana tow truck driver killed in early-morning Turnpike crash in Orange County

Ocoee, FL –Two men were killed in a crash on Florida’s Turnpike in Orange County Thursday morning, including a tow truck driver from Poinciana, when another car left the roadway and struck him, Florida Highway Patrol reports. The report stated the man, a 42-year-old, was standing outside his truck in the inside shoulder of the southbound Turnpike at mile marker 266, near Ocoee. He, also with an FHP cruiser, were responding to a previous single vehicle crash; both the cruiser and tow truck had their lights activated. For an unknown reason — although that time was the height of Tropical Storm Nicole moving through the Orange County area — the driver of a 2000 Isuzu Hombre, headed southbound, lost control and swerved towards the inside shoulder, and the left side of the Isuzu struck the tow truck, which then struck the driver. Both the Isuzu driver, a 53-year-old Groveland man, and the tow truck driver were pronounced dead on scene. A passenger, a 51-year-old man from Clermont, was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the FHP report said.

Second rail maintenance worker dies in four days

Dodge City, KS — A railroad track worker for BNSF died in southwestern Kansas on Wednesday, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local 2405 confirmed on social media. The worker’s name was Michael Poushyk, a trackman headquartered in Dodge City. Michael was a 49-year-old husband and father of three, who had only hired on in August, according to the railroad. Michael was the second maintenance of way worker to die in the US railroad industry in the space of four days. On Saturday, a worker died north of Houston, Texas in a fuel explosion.

Truck Driver Killed In Crash That Closed Route 1 For Five Hours

Dover, DE — Delaware State Police are investigating a fatal motor vehicle collision that occurred in Dover this morning. On November 10, 2022, at approximately 8:09 a.m., a Freightliner Tractor pulling a loaded flatbed cargo trailer was traveling southbound in the right lane of Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway (SR1) south of the Exit 104 ramp. Delaware State Police have identified Antonio Dejesus, 45, of Bear, Delaware, as the victim who died in a fatal motor vehicle collision. For unknown reasons, the tractor traveled off the west edge of the roadway and down a grass embankment before striking several trees. The tractor was operated by a 45-year-old Delaware man, who was not properly restrained. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision.

Groton dump truck driver killed, passenger hurt in crash

GROTON,CT — Police say a dump truck driver died and a passenger was seriously hurt after crashing on Fort Hill Road Monday morning. Groton police identified the driver as 69-year-old James Turner. Around 10:55 a.m. Monday, dispatchers received 911 calls for a motor vehicle crash on Fort Hill Road near Vergennes Court, police said. At the scene, officers found a dump truck, “which had struck a tree on the south side of Fort Hill Road just east of Vergennes Court,” Groton police said in a statement. Police said their investigation determined the dump truck had been driving on Fort Hill Road west of Central Avenue, when the vehicle veered “sharply” to the left and accelerated across the eastbound lane. It then went off the road, coming to rest after colliding with a large tree, police said.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash on East Broad Street in Blacklick, OH

Blacklick, OH — November 1, 2022, a truck driver died and two people were injured in a crash on East Broad Street in Blacklick. Authorities say the incident happened around 11:50 a.m. along the 7700 block of East Broad Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a Peterbilt semi-truck was traveling west on the roadway when the driver may have lost control or attempted an unsafe lane change. The truck entered the same lane as a nearby Honda Civic and pushed it off the north side of the road. The truck continued a short distance west before it ran off the road and crashed into a tree. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The Honda’s two occupants were treated for minor injuries at an area hospital.

Truck Driver Killed In Maspeth By Driver That Lost Control

NEW YORK, NY – A tractor-trailer driver who was standing outside his truck in Queens early this morning was killed by a driver who lost control of his vehicle. The New York City Police Department reported the 49-year-old man was struck and killed on Grand Avenue near the intersection of 57th street. According to witnesses, a Chevy sedan crossed the double yellow line and struck him. He suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Worker falls off equipment, dies at rice milling facility, officials say

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT/Gray News) – Police in Arkansas are investigating a death at a rice milling facility that happened shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday at Riceland Foods in Jonesboro. Sally Smith, the public information specialist for the Jonesboro Police Department, said a worker lost their footing on a piece of equipment and fell. Kevin McGilton, a spokesperson for Riceland, said workers found the employee “unresponsive” and immediately called local first responders. An incident report from JPD later identified the victim as 64-year-old Stanley Etheredge House of Jonesboro. “The cause of death has not been determined at this time, and we are working diligently with local authorities to determine the cause,” McGilton said.

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