Weekly Toll

Last week: Workers die in machinery-related deaths, electrocution, traffic incidents, falls, shootings. Just a few of the ways workers died last week….On average, over 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.


Worker killed after being ‘impacted’ by machine at manufacturing plant in Gurnee

Gurnee, Ill — A female worker was killed early Thursday morning after she was “impacted” by a large machine inside a manufacturing plant in Gurnee, authorities said. The Gurnee Fire Department and Gurnee Police Department responded around 1:04 a.m. Thursday to the 1900 block of Swanson Court in Gurnee. Gurnee Police Department Public Information Officer Shawn Gaylor told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that officers were called to assist the fire department with a death investigation. The incident occurred at Miracapo Pizza Company at 1910 Swanson Court, according to the fire department dispatch. Gaylor said the initial findings revealed a 29-year-old worker was inside the facility. The woman was cleaning an area on the production floor. While cleaning, she was “impacted by a large machine” which caused her death, Gaylor said. Newton said the machine was believed to be some type of pizza oven conveyer. An autopsy was performed Thursday on Leily Lopez-Hernandez, 29, of Waukegan, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

Worker killed in Troy industrial accident

TROY, Ala. (WSFA) – An employee at a Troy business has died after being injured on the job. According to the Troy Police Department, the incident happened Wednesday at Rex Lumber on County Road 7714. Authorities said the victim, 20-year-old Evan Kilpatrick, of Troy, died after injuries he sustained while working on a piece of machinery.

One dead in industrial accident at composting facility

Dos Palos, CA — A man died Wednesday in an industrial accident at a composting facility in Dos Palos, according to authorities. Few details were available Thursday. At about 11:17 a.m., Merced County Sheriff deputies responded to Central Valley Composting located in the 13700 block of Harmon Road for a report of an industrial accident, according to Deputy Alexandra Britton. Britton said deputies located the man, identified as 55-year-old Martin Lee Elrod of Dos Palos, who was reportedly crushed beneath a tractor. Authorities said the Division of Occupation Safety and Health known as Cal/OSHA, was notified of the fatal accident.

Utility worker killed while restoring power during winter storm, officials say

LAWRENCE COUNTY, OHIO  – Officials say a utility worker has died in Ohio while working to restore power during Friday’s winter storm. According to Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative, Blake Rodgers, a 22-year-old apprentice lineworker, was killed in the incident just after 10 a.m. Rodgers was reportedly working in Lawrence County, about 140 miles outside of Cincinnati.

Employee killed while confronting shoplifter taking ammunition

HALLS, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – Tennessee authorities say a store employee has died in a robbery Thursday morning. According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a Rural King retail store regarding a shooting at about 10:30 a.m. Authorities said the shooting occurred after a man was attempting to take ammunition and other items from the store when an employee intervened. WVLT reports the alleged shoplifter and employee got into a struggle with the suspect shooting and killing the worker. Authorities said the suspected shooter took off from the scene after the shooting. The sheriff’s office did not immediately identify the employee who died but said he was 23 years old.

WY EMT Killed, Another Hurt in Ambulance Crash

Saratoga, Wy –One EMT was killed and another was hurt when their ambulance was struck by another vehicle on Route 80 in Wyoming, officials said. Wyoming Highway Patrol identified 29-year-old Tyeler Harris of Saratoga, Wyoming, as the victim of the crash. The driver of the tractor-trailer has been identified as Saviol Saint Gean, of Brooklyn, NY. Authorities are looking into if “driver inattention” was a contributing factor of the crash. Both EMTs were employees of Memorial Hospital of Carbon County. Their identities were not immediately released. The crash happened early Wednesday morning responding to a request for assistance within Sweetwater County on Route 80 between mile marker 195 and 197, according to the hospital.

Worker dead after falling out of tree on FM 346 in Smith County

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) – A worker is dead after falling out of a tree in Smith County. According to Sgt. Larry Christian with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened in the 6300 block of FM 346 east. The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. Christian said the tree trimmer was working when he fell out of the tree. Christian said EMS was sent to the location on an injury call but determined the individual was deceased at the scene.

Industrial accident leads to man’s death in NW DC

WASHINGTON DC — A man has lost his life following an “industrial accident” on Tuesday. Police said he was washing windows on a building when he fell to his death. The accident happened sometime before 10 a.m. when DC police were called to the scene at the 1400 block of Newton Street, Northwest. The man, who has been pronounced dead, appeared to have suffered injuries from a fall and was initially found unconscious, not breathing. Police identified him as Mario Sorto, 60, of Hyattsville, Md.

Worker killed in ammonia leak at food processing facility in Norwood

NORWOOD,MA – One man is dead, and another is in the hospital after an ammonia leak at a food processing facility on Morgan Drive in Norwood.Truck driver Jarret Bennett could smell the ammonia while he was parked out back, making a delivery to Home Market Foods Monday morning. Once he heard the fire alarm and saw a man run out of the building, he knew something was wrong. “Strong, strong, strong odor,” Bennett said. “He was on his knees, vomiting blood. His shoulder is messed up, seemed like he fell off of something.” That man was rushed to the hospital and is now at Mass General Hospital getting specialized care. Another man was wheeled out on a stretcher, pronounced dead from the ammonia leak at the facility. The man who died has been identified as 68-year-old Richard Arguin of Dighton. “It was very dangerous. We had to pull our people back. They tried to get to the victim that was left in there for quite a while,” Norwood Fire Chief David Hayes said. Home Market Foods said the incident involved HVAC contractors. “As they were working, it appears an ammonia pipe was severed. One of the contractors was able to escape with injuries. Tragically the second contractor did not make it out and he died. Our hearts go out to his family. It is just so sad and horrific,” the company said in a statement.

Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Hamilton killed responding to Christmas Eve domestic violence call

Okaloosa County, FL — A Florida community is mourning the loss of a sheriff’s deputy after he was shot and killed by a domestic violence suspect on Christmas Eve. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announced Cpl. Ray Hamilton, a five-year veteran of the department, was fatally injured when 43-year-old Timothy Price-Williams allegedly opened fire on him from inside his residence. Williams was shot in the arm during the gunfire exchange, but is expected to be OK. Hamilton, who served on the Special Response Team, died shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Walton Beach – Destin Hospital.

Governor Gordon Orders Flags At Half Staff On Friday For Firefighter Bruce Lang

Pine Haven, WY — Governor Mark Gordon has ordered both the U.S. and State of Wyoming flag be flown at half-staff statewide on Friday, December 23 in honor and memory of Bruce Lang, a volunteer firefighter and Training Officer with the Pine Haven Volunteer Fire Department. Lang died Thursday (December 15th) when the utility task vehicle he was riding on plunged into open water while he was attempting to assist another individual who had fallen through ice on Keyhole Reservoir. “Jennie and I send our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Lang,” Governor Gordon said. “We recognize that this loss impacts the entire community of Pine Haven.” This week an Emergency Medical Technician from Carbon County was also killed while on duty.

Truck driver killed by car after trying to cross five lanes of traffic on foot

Redmond, Or — Police in Redmond, Oregon, are investigating a passenger vehicle versus pedestrian crash that claimed the life of a semi truck driver on Monday night. The incident occurred at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 19, 2022, on southbound Highway 97, just north of the SW Yew Ave exit (mile marker 124), in Redmond, according to the Redmond Police Department. Police say that the driver of a semi truck stopped on the shoulder of northbound Highway 97, and, “for unknown reasons,” attempted to cross five lanes of traffic on foot. The truck driver was struck by a passenger vehicle in the right lane of southbound traffic. First responders made attempts to save the life of the truck driver, but they were not successful.

Pulaski Co. semi-truck driver killed in crash

MILLER COUNTY, Mo. — A Pulaski County man was killed when the tractor-trailer unit he was driving jackknifed and crashed. Barry W. Wisdom, 70, of Dixon, was driving a 1992 Peterbilt 357 tractor-trailer unit on Missouri State Highway 17 near Airport Road in Miller County. At 5:43 p.m. on Dec. 20, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers began an investigation of an accident involving Wisdom’s semi. The crash investigation shows that the Peterbilt traveled off the right side of the road, returned to the road and started to skid. This caused the semi to jackknife and separate. The Peterbilt struck a guard rail, fence and tree, overturning in the process. Wisdom was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m.

Garrett sheriff’s deputy killed in I-68 crash

FROSTBURG, MD — A Garrett County sheriff’s deputy died Tuesday night in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 68 west near Frostburg, Maryland State Police said.
Corey Douglas McElroy
, 31, of Friendsville, was pronounced dead early Wednesday at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter. Police said McElroy’s police-issued Ford Explorer struck the rear of a tractor-trailer near the Route 36 exit about 7:25 p.m. Troopers said the impact sent McElroy’s unmarked vehicle into the next lane, where it was struck on the driver’s side by a Ford F-350 truck.

Truck driver killed at water fill site in Cascade Township

TROUT RUN, PA — The Lycoming County Coroner’s Office has completed its investigation into the death of a Bradford County man who was run over by his own water tanker truck at a secured fill site off of Rose Valley Road in Cascade Township earlier this month. County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said Donald Maus 74, of Troy, was killed instantly when he was run over by his water tanker truck on Vargis Lane about 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 9. Although no one witnessed the crash, a neighbor heard it and called 911. Investigators believe that after filling his tanker truck, Maus was getting ready to pull out onto Rose Valley Road, but before leaving, he got out of the cab to close a security gate to the fill site, Kiessling said. The entrance to the site is on a slight incline, and Maus failed to apply the truck’s emergency brake before getting out of the cab, Kiessling said. This allowed the tanker truck to roll backwards onto Maus as he was getting ready to secure the gate, Kiessling added. The truck ran over Maus and continued another 50 to 100 yards, crashing into a utility pole and becoming entangled in overhead powerlines before going off the side of the road and getting stuck in mud, he said.

3 aboard downed medical transport flight

HONOLULU, HI – A candlelight vigil and three minutes of silence were held statewide on Thursday for the three people still missing and presumed dead after an air ambulance plane crash a week ago. One of the victims became a paramedic after he needed a med-evac flight years ago. Longtime friends and coworkers identified him as Gabe Camacho, a father of three from Kailua. Friends and loved ones are remembering one of the victims of the medical transport plane crash off Maui. Colleagues have identified the victim as medical flight nurse Courtney Parry. Parry and two others were on the plane that went missing last Thursday while enroute to a patient in Waimea on Hawaii Island.

Former Taos mayor’s son killed in logging truck crash

TAOS, N.M. — The family of a former Taos mayor is mourning the loss of his son who was killed Monday in a logging truck crash, nine miles east of town. Around 2 p.m. Monday, Taos County deputies responded near mile marker 265 of U.S. Highway 64, regarding a logging truck that had rolled on its side. Deputies arrived and found 36-year-old Daniel Barrone Jr., who was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation found Barrone was driving the truck alone, westbound toward town, when it turned over on its side while going through a sweeping lefthand curve.

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