Weekly toll

In this report, workers died tree-trimming incidents, grain bin, falls, drowning, electrocution, shootings and vehicular incidents. On average, over 100 workers are killed every week in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work. More than 20 times as many die from occupational diseases, many due to exposure to hazardous substances many years before they died. 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. Nevertheless the accounts below gave you a taste of the preventable carnage occurring in workplaces across the country every day.

Waste Management Employee Dies on the Job

Millcreek Township, PA — A Waste Management employee has died from injuries he suffered while picking up trash in Millcreek Township, according to Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. Deveon Hubbart, 32, of Ripley, N.Y., died from penetrating blunt-force trauma to the lower extremity. His death has been ruled as accidental. The incident happened Monday on Glenridge Rd. Hubbart was on top of a garbage truck when he apparently jumped down and landed on a snowplow steak, Cook told Erie News Now. He was taken to UPMC Hamot where he underwent emergency surgery and later died.

Worker Missing For Two Weeks Found Dead In Grain Bin

Bruning, Ne — The body of a man who went missing from Bruning, Nebraska, has been discovered in a grain bin at his place of work. Jamie Balluch, 43, was last seen on February 2 at his workplace, Bruning Grain and Feed Company. The Thayer County Sheriff’s Office asked for public assistance in locating Balluch as preliminary searches of the grain and feed company location proved unsuccessful. The County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol on February 15. In an earlier statement, the Nebraska State Patrol said that Balluch was missing under “suspicious circumstances.” On February 16, Nebraska State Patrol found Balluch’s body inside one of the grain bins at the Bruning Grain and Feed Company, 14 days after his disappearance.

Construction worker dies in accident in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) — A construction worker died Monday morning when a construction vehicle backed over him, police say. Fort Wayne Police Department was called to a fatal motor vehicle accident about 11:38 a.m. Monday at 3426 Wells St., the address of the Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream factory. Witnesses told investigators that the construction worker was on his phone and unaware of the moving construction vehicle, according to a news release from the police department. The worker has been identified as 53-year-old Todd Ort, of New Haven.

Truck driver killed in train collision that resulted in major derailment

Houston, TX — Authorities in Texas say that a truck driver did not survive a Monday morning collision with a train in Montgomery County. The crash occurred around 7:30 a.m. on February 13 near Houston, Texas. The East Montgomery County Fire Department reports that a train vs. truck crash occurred at Highway 59 and Midline Road. When first responders arrived on scene, they found multiple railcars derailed as well as a truck with major damage. Michael Flora, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene, Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat said Tuesday. “The 18-wheeler was destroyed completely,” Wieghat said.

Worker dies after falling from 18th floor of high-rise project, reports say

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB/Gray News) – Police in Florida say a 21-year old construction worker has died at the site of a condominium project. The Sarasota Police Department reports a worker fell from a Bayfront high-rise tower that is currently under construction. According to WWSB, nearby workers believe the victim was painting a lanai balcony roof on the 18th floor of the tower when he fell. A construction manager at the scene reportedly said the worker was taken away by ambulance. Sarasota police later confirmed the worker’s death. Officers said they are continuing to interview witnesses and examine the construction site. The condominium tower, Bayso, is located in the Quay Sarasota waterfront district. Authorities did not immediately identify the worker killed.

Family mourns Escondido father of 4 killed in tree trimming accident

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Loved ones are mourning a North County father of 4, killed in a tree trimming accident Monday. “We can’t believe it. You can’t describe it in words,” said Rosario Martinez. Two days later, an Escondido family is reeling. “Our whole family is heartbroken. It was so unexpected,” said Martinez. Martinez says her brother-in-law, 39-year-old Bardo Bautista, was on his second tree trimming job of the day on Monday morning along Bonita Verde Drive in Bonita when the accident happened. Martinez says a friend had hired Bautista, with more than 13 years of experience, as part of a four-person team. Chula Vista Fire officials say he was about halfway up a 100-foot-tall palm tree when dead palm fronds fell on him, trapping him. Fire crews climbed up to him, found him unconscious, and lowered him to the ground, but he died before he could be taken to a hospital. “Firefighters called it a tragic accident,” said Martinez.

Truck Driver Killed in Dual Truck Accident in Alpine, CA

Alpine, CA — February 13, 2023, two semi-tucks crashed on I-8 near Tavern Road, resulting in a vehicle fire and one truck driver’s death in Alpine. According to officials, around 6:30 p.m. a Kenworth semi-truck allegedly rear-ended a Peterbilt truck hauling a full car carrier. The collision occurred on Interstate 8, west of Tavern Road. Authorities aren’t yet sure what caused the crash but report that the Kenworth truck caught fire and its driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Peterbilt truck was reportedly uninjured. Authorities have not released the identities of either truck driver and the circumstances of the crash are still under investigation. No further information is currently available.

Tree Trimmer Killed On The Job In Plantation

PLANTATION, FL – Danger on the job Tuesday for a South Florida tree trimmer who lost his life when a tree fell on him. Police say a tree trimming company was clearing a vacant lot when the fatal accident took place. It happened at 11201 SW 1st Street in Plantation. Plantation Police and Fire Rescue units have been on the scene, finding the victim deceased when they arrived. The body was found near a canal at the rear of what appears to be a large double lot.

Officer dies after fall from bridge in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fountain police officer and Air Force veteran Julian Becerra died of his injuries Saturday night after falling from a bridge in Colorado Springs more than a week earlier. Becerra was a part of the department’s K-9 unit. He fell 40 feet from a bridge in Colorado Springs on the night of Feb. 2 while pursuing a a carjacking suspect.

Search for barge worker’s body called off because of high winds; will resume Thursday morning

NATCHEZ, MS — The search for the body of Donny Mitchell, 50, who fell into the Mississippi River while working on a barge during the early morning hours on Tuesday, was suspended today at about 2 p.m. because of increasingly brisk winds. Robert Bradford, Adams County Emergency Management director, said the search would resume on Thursday morning. On Tuesday morning, Mitchell was attempting to leave the barge via a ladder to make his way to a walkway above at Buzzi Unicem USA’s terminal on L.E. Berry Road in Natchez when he fell into the river. Witnesses worked to try to save him, tossing him a life preserver ring and trying to grab him with a drag hook, but were not successful.

Body of missing man found in Mason County after long search

MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS) — Workers at a plant in Mason County said the body of a missing plant worker was found Friday afternoon. Crews had been searching the pond at the ICL plant in Gallipolis Ferry after a man fell into the pond last Friday, Mason County Sheriff Corey Miller said previously. The body was recovered about 1 p.m., workers said.

Worker electrocuted in Friendship

FRIENDSHIP, ME — A worker died Tuesday afternoon after being electrocuted while working on a project.The U.S. Department of Labor confirmed Feb. 9 that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the electrocution of an employee at a worksite at 15 Main St. in Friendship. The workplace death was reported to Knox County Regional Communications at 2 p.m. Feb. 7. The Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical services responded. OSHA said it has opened an inspection of employer Pacific Construction Services, Inc. of Framingham, Mass. OSHA did not release information on the man who died. The company could not be reached for comment.

Richmond Hill Caesarstone employee dies after workplace accident

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) – A Caesarstone Technologies employee was killed last Monday after what officials are calling an accident at the company’s manufacturing plant in Richmond Hill. Mr. Tivon Holmes, an employee of Caesarstone in Richmond Hill, was pronounced dead at Memorial Health in Savannah on Monday, Feb. 6, according to Bryan County Corner Bill Cox. “It appears that some quartz slabs accidentally fell on Mr. Holmes while they were moving them,” said Cox. Caesarstone Technologies specializes in countertops for homes worldwide and specializes in quartz countertops.

Paterson, NJ – Walter Mercado McWhorter, 66, Killed in Workplace Crash at Covanta Sanitation Company

Paterson, NJ – A man from Paterson lost his life after he was hit by a vehicle at work on Saturday, February 4. Information provided by local officials shows the incident occurred on Fulton Street shortly before 9:00 a.m. The man, identified as Walter Mercado McWhorter, 66, was hit by a truck at the Covanta Sanitation Company. He succumbed to his injuries at the scene, sources said. Police in Paterson are investigating the details of the crash.

City worker killed in crash while helping stranded driver in Wisconsin

PRESCOTT, Wis. (KARE) – Friends of a public works foremen in Wisconsin are remembering him as someone always ready to help those in need. Officials say Doug Whaley died while trying to help a mother and her 3-week-old baby who were in a car stuck in the ditch. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened on Highway 35 just outside of Prescott. Coworkers say Whaley was on call Monday night, and he got the call to come in and lay down some salt and sand, because the roads were icy in town. On his way in, he came across a young woman and her baby stuck in the ditch and decided to stop and help. The sheriff’s office says Whaley was hit by a box truck on the highway after he stopped to help another driver Monday night. He died a short time later at the hospital.

Town of Tarboro employee killed in crash after dump truck flips in front of cemetery

TARBORO, N.C. — A town of Tarboro employee died Tuesday afternoon after a dump truck he was driving flipped, Mayor Tate Mayo said. It happened near 1805 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in front of Eastlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Mayo said. Mayo said there is an investigation into what led to the crash. He said the truck was the only vehicle involved in the crash. The town did not immediately identify the employee killed.

ExxonMobil employee dies after being rushed to hospital from Baytown plant, had strong chemical smell

BAYTOWN, Texas — The emergency room at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital resumed normal operations Friday afternoon, hours after the threat of a chemical exposure shut it down. The Baytown Fire Department said it started when they rushed a man from the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant to the hospital. They said he was in cardiac arrest, had a strong “chemical odor” and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Because of the odor, HAZMAT crews were called in and the ER was shut down as a precaution “to ensure the safety and well-being of the public.” Ambulances were diverted to other hospitals. ExxonMobil is ruling out a chemical exposure playing a role in a Baytown worker’s death Friday, despite a hospital limiting access as the person was admitted.

Garland bike shop employee found murdered inside store, police say

GARLAND, Texas – Police believe a Garland bicycle shop employee killed his co-worker and then turned the gun on himself. On Thursday morning, an employee at Don Johle’s Bike World on Broadway Boulevard called the police saying he arrived to open the business, but found the internal metal gates were left open. Police said the doors were locked and there was no sign of forced entry into the building. But when they went inside, they found the body of 40-year-old James Kencheloe, who worked at the store. “It appeared that he had been shot and left for dead,” said Lt. Richard Maldonado, with the Garland Police Department. Detectives found security video that helped them identify 58-year-old Wesley Don-Johle as the murder suspect. His mother owns the bike shop and he worked there with Kencheloe, police said.

KCPD identifies officer killed in traffic crash Wednesday night

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Police Officer James Muhlbauer and his partner, K-9 Officer Champ, were killed in a two-vehicle crash, which also left a pedestrian dead, around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday near Truman Road and Benton Boulevard. Chief of Police Stacey Graves announced the names of the two slain KCPD officers at an emotional news conference Thursday afternoon.

Worker killed at State Farm Stadium after being dragged by ATV, police say

GLENDALE, Ariz. – While the Super Bowl LVII logo was coming down at State Farm Stadium, crime scene tape was going up. “Death is a tough thing, especially when it’s someone younger,” Beverly Graves said. Glendale Police confirmed on Feb. 18 a man working to take down Super Bowl materials around the stadium was unknowingly dragged by another worker in an ATV for several hundred feet. Police said the unidentified man was taken to a hospital for his injuries but later died. The driver of the ATV did not show any signs of impairment and is working with authorities.

SUV crashes into car, fatally hits car wash employee before driving off in the Bronx

MORRISANIA, The Bronx, NY — A 24-hour car wash employee in the Bronx was killed in a hit-and-run early Sunday morning. Police say the driver of an SUV barreled into a car early Sunday morning at the car wash on Webster Avenue between 167th and 168th Streets just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The driver of that vehicle was hit and suffered minor injuries, but the car wash employee, identified as Felix Thomas Bontia, 47, who was just wiping down the windows, took the brunt of the impact and was killed. Police say they are looking tor two women who ditched their banged Ford Escape and ran away after the collision.

Officials identify driver killed in crash, chemical spill on I-10 in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) – Officials have identified the driver who died in a crash that resulted in a chemical spill on Interstate 10. The driver, 54-year-old Rick Immel of Nevada, may have experienced a medical issue before the crash, officials said. Intoxication was not a factor, they said. Interstate 10, from Kolb to Houghton in Tucson, is open again after being completely closed for more than a day. Immel was hauling liquid nitric acid for Landstar System, Inc. He was headed to Theodore, Ala. Arizona DPS said its investigation is ongoing into how the crash happened. The nitric acid leak caused evacuations for anyone within a half-mile radius of the site. As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, that order was rescinded. A shelter-in-place was also ordered Tuesday, but it was lifted as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Truck driver killed in morning crash on I-459 in Irondale

Irondale, AL — A truck driver is dead following a Thursday-morning crash on Interstate 459 in Irondale. The crash happened about 8 a.m. near Liberty Parkway and Grants Mill Road. Assistant Fire Chief Brad Doss said the tractor, which did not have a trailer attached, left the roadway, and went down a ravine. First responders had to cut trees and brush to get to the driver. The victim died on the scene just before 9 a.m. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Sherman Louis Mann. He was 56 and lived in Dallas, Georgia.

FedEx driver dies in collision with Amtrak train outside Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol said one person died Tuesday in a crash involving an Amtrak train and a FedEx truck. The patrol identified the FedEx truck driver killed in the crash as Patrick Metz, 34, of Kansas City, Mo. The patrol said via Twitter the collision between the passenger train and truck happened at the South Hereford Road crossing near Smart Road west of Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Metz died at the scene.

Pa. Police Officer Killed, Another Wounded in Shooting

McKeesport , PA — A McKeesport police officer was killed and another was wounded Monday afternoon when a man involved in a domestic dispute opened fire on the officers. McKeesport Police Chief Adam Alfer on Monday night identified the slain officer as Sean Sluganski, 32, who joined the department in January 2020 and was promoted to full time in January 2021. Chief Alfer said Officer Charles Thomas, Jr., 35, was the injured officer. He said he is a four-year member of the force and added he has been discharged from the hospital “and is at home recovering with his family.”

JBS employee killed at Louisville plant

LOUISVILLE, KY. — A JBS employee was killed during a shooting in the parking lot of the company’s Louisville plant on Feb. 3 in the Butchertown area of the city. Information rom the Louisville Metro Police Department said they responded to multiple calls of a shooting at the JBS facility at 3:18 p.m. After officers arrived at the scene, they found that a woman died from an apparent gunshot wound. Arrest citations and local reports identified the victim as 26-year-old Zachee Imanitwitaho.


Newton, MS — A man has died at the Biewer Sawmill in Newton this morning after workers reportedly found him unresponsive. Newton County Corner Rebecca Burton said the 53-year-old man was pronounced dead shortly before 7 a.m. at the scene. “He appeared to die of natural causes,” Burton said. “Coworkers saw that he was unresponsive and not breathing. They initiated CPR immediately and called for an ambulance.”

Milwaukee officer, robbery suspect killed during pursuit: officials

MILWAUKEE, WI — A Milwaukee police officer chased down a robbery suspect and was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire early Tuesday. The suspect also died from a gunshot wound, police said. Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said officers located the 19-year-old suspect when they arrived at the robbery scene about 1:15 a.m. on the city’s south side. The man ignored their commands and fled on foot. Norman said one officer caught up with the suspect and a struggle ensued. Both men fired their weapons. The wounded officer, 37-year-old Peter Jerving, with more than four years with the Milwaukee Police Department, died at a hospital, he said.

PSE&G worker killed by former employee in murder-suicide in New Jersey, authorities say

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PIX11) — Investigators in Somerset County, New Jersey, are still searching for a motive after a former PSE&G employee shot and killed a current employee before taking his own life, authorities said. In a statement, the company called the events “tragic.” Authorities said 51-year-old Russell Heller, a senior distribution supervisor who had been with the company for 11 years, was shot dead outside his car at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Heller was shot dead first thing in the morning, authorities said. The call originally went out as a search for an active shooter, but officers quickly located a silver Mercedes in a parking lot near TD Bank Ballpark in neighboring Bridgewater. The body of 58-year-old Gary Curtis was found inside. Authorities said that Curtis, a former PSE&G employee, appears to have shot himself after killing Heller.

‘Lost a Hero’: Veteran Pembroke Pines Police Officer Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Pembroke Pines, FL –The Pembroke Pones Police Department remember a motorcycle officer who was killed in a crash. NBC 6’s Niko Clemmons reports. The South Florida law enforcement community was in mourning after a veteran Pembroke Pines police motorcycle officer was killed in a crash Thursday. The crash happened in the area of 184th Avenue and Sheridan Street, where footage showed the motorcycle down in the middle of the street with debris scattered across the roadway. The officer was later identified as 54-year-old Charles “Charlie” Herring, a 22-year veteran of the department. He’s the first officer who died in the line of duty in Pembroke Pines history.


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