Last week, two workers killed in a trench collapse, 19 year old killed in tree trimming incident, others killed in falls, crushed by machinery, firefighting 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.
2 Construction Workers Dead After Trench Collapse at JFK Airport
New York, NY– Two workers were killed at Kennedy International Airport on Monday when they were buried under construction rubble inside a trench while moving utility lines as part of a broader overhaul at the airport, officials said. The police received a report that the workers were trapped under the debris shortly after 11 a.m., according to officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. Emergency services workers from the Fire Department joined the Port Authority police in responding to the scene and in removing the workers from the trench, officials said. Both construction workers were declared dead at the scene, officials said. The workers were identified by the Port Authority as Francisco Reyes, 41, and Fernando Lagunas Pereira, 28. No additional details about them were provided. At the time the men were trapped, they were moving the utility lines near a power plant at the airport, a Port Authority spokeswoman said. The task was connected to an $18 billion improvement project at J.F.K. that includes the expansion of two existing terminals and the construction of two new ones.
Weddington man killed in workplace accident
Gaston County, NC — A man was killed in an accident at a business in Dallas, the Gaston County Police Department said. Joseph Carl Marrone Jr. of Weddington died shortly after noon on Tuesday at Hooper’s Used Auto Parts, police said. In a 911 call, a worker said that someone had been run over by a piece of equipment. “He’s no longer with us. He’s not responsive,” the caller said, adding that other workers pulled Marrone out from underneath the equipment that hit him. The operator asked if there was any serious bleeding. “Ma’am, he’s deceased. He’s no longer here,” the worker said. The Gaston County Police and the Gaston County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident, along with safety inspectors from the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration Division, the state agency that investigates workplace fatalities.
Construction worker who fell off bridge into Suncook River died, Allenstown police chief says
ALLENSTOWN, N.H. — A person who was pulled out of a river Monday at a construction site has died, the Allenstown police chief said. Police said a worker fell through a portion of a bridge that was being demolished. The incident happened near Brookside Terrace at a construction site on the Pinewood Road Bridge, which crosses the Suncook River. Witnesses said the person was pulled from the Suncook River and put in an ambulance. They were taken to Concord Hospital where they died. Department of Transportation officials said the person was a contractor on the project working for Evroks Corp.
DTE worker killed on the job after struck by falling equipment in Oakland County
CLARKSTON, MI – A 61-year-old DTE worker was killed in northern Oakland County Tuesday evening after a piece of equipment fell on top of him, authorities say. According to the latest report from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), the fatal incident occurred on April 4 just after 7 p.m. at an electrical substation in Clarkston. The report states the electrical maintenance journeyman from Milford was working with several other people to dismantle a transformer when a radiator assembly came loose and struck him, causing fatal injuries. Authorities with the Independence Township Fire Department responded to the scene and found the employee lying on the ground. They immediately started life-saving procedures, but the 61-year-old was pronounced dead a short while later at a local hospital. According to MIOSHA, this is the seventh workplace-related death so far this year. In 2022, there were 43 MIOSHA-related fatalities. The latest fatality comes less than a week after a 39-year-old emergency medical technician was struck and killed by an oncoming car when he stopped to help an Oak Park woman who had crashed on I-75.
Man killed after fall at construction site of new Hall school
Gainesville, GA — A man working Tuesday, April 4, at the new Hall County school construction site on Ramsey Road died after a fall from the scaffolding, according to the coroner and the construction company. Deputy coroner Kevin Wetzel said Javier Sanchez, 57, fell from the scaffolding at the future site of the Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School. The deputy coroner said Sanchez’s body will be sent to the DeKalb County medical examiner for an autopsy. Hall County Schools spokesman Stan Lewis confirmed the information regarding the fatal fall but did not have any other details to share. Carroll Daniel marketing director Angie Kennedy said Sanchez was employed by a masonry subcontractor. Kennedy said the man fell around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday while working on the first floor. Sanchez was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and pronounced dead.
Chicago firefighter dies during house fire response
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago firefighter died Tuesday after he and two other firefighters were injured battling a predawn house fire on the city’s South Side, authorities said. Firefighter Jermaine Pelt, 49, had served with Chicago Fire Department since 2005, Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said. He is survived by two children, a 6-year-old and an adult daughter he recently walked down the aisle for her wedding. Pelt’s daughter was informed of her father’s death while on her honeymoon, the commissioner said. Pelt was working a hose line when conditions worsened and all firefighters were told to get outside, Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said. The circumstances of Pelt’s death remain under investigation, and she said “there was no explosion and Pelt was not trapped inside the building.”
Chicago firefighter dies while battling blaze in high-rise apartment building
Chicago, IL — A 26-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department died while responding to a blaze in a high-rise apartment building on Wednesday morning, the second firefighter to die in the city in as many days, officials said. Lt. Jan Tchoryk, a 55-year-old Navy veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital. Firefighters responded to the blaze on the 27th floor of the high-rise in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood shortly after 7:00 a.m. Images released by the department show flames and black smoke billowing out of an apartment’s balcony. With no sprinklers on the 27th floor and the elevators shut down, first responders had to climb all 27 stories to get to the blaze. Tchoryk “went down” on the 11th floor, at which point other firefighters started performing first aid and transporting him out of the building.
Officials ID Lehigh County teen killed in tree-cutting accident
NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. – Officials in Carbon County have identified the Lehigh County teenager killed in a tree-cutting accident Thursday morning. The coroner says 19-year old Ryan Schock was working for a company, cutting down trees near Route 895, by the intersection of Stone Mountain Road and McCool Lane. One branch fell about 90 feet and struck him in the head. State Police in Lehighton are continuing to investigate.
One Chetek, one Cameron police officer killed on the job
CAMERON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating after two police officers were killed in the village of Camron. In a release, the Wisconsin DOJ DCI says an officer from the Chetek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Saturday, April 8, around 3:38 p.m. During the traffic stop, gunfire was exchanged. One Chetek police officer and one Cameron police officer were pronounced dead at the scene. The “involved individual” was taken to the hospital where they later died.
Construction worker killed near Spokane International Airport
SPOKANE, Wash. — A construction worker died while doing maintenance on an excavator just south of the Spokane International Airport Friday night. The incident happened at 9624 W. Harlan Lane. Chief Cody Rohrbach from Spokane County Fire District 3 says they aren’t sure yet what the construction project was, but they did confirm that there were no indications of foul play. Rohrbach says they are working with law enforcement on an investigation. This is the second Spokane construction worker who has died in a month. Carpenter Ana Vetter was killed while working at the Spokane Tribe Casino on March 7.
Semi Truck Driver Killed In Fiery 2-Vehicle Q Bridge Crash Sunday
NEW HAVEN, CT — State police are investigating after the driver of a semi truck was killed in a fiery crash on the Q bridge Sunday night The fatal crash happened at around 8:30 p.m., on Interstate 95 northbound on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, just a half mile south of exit 50 in New Haven, according to the state police report. A 2008 Mazda, with a driver from Trumbull, was disabled with a flat tire on the right-hand shoulder of the highway when a Freightliner, registered to a Virginia man, collided with the Mazda, the report reads. The tractor trailer then slammed into the concrete traffic barrier and a fire was ignited while it traveled across four travel lanes and collided with the concrete traffic barrier in the left median. The semi was by now fully engulfed by fire, the report reads. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.
NY Truck Driver Killed By NY Teen On Shoulder Of I-95 In Abington, State Police Say
Abingdon, Maryland — A pair of New Yorkers were involved in a fatal crash on I-95 in Harford County overnight, according to Maryland State Police. Rajwinder Singh, 22, of Hicksville, was killed on Wednesday, April 5, when he got out of his disabled tractor-trailer on the side of the interstate in Abingdon and was struck by Roosevelt resident Abbas Zaheer, 19, who police say lost control of his Toyota Camry. At the time of the crash, Singh was parked on the shoulder of I-95 with his hazard lights on, they noted.
Construction worker killed by suspected DUI driver in Stockton
Stockton, CA — A construction worker was killed after being hit by a vehicle on Highway 4 in Stockton late Thursday night, according to the California Highway Patrol. A 21-year-old Stockton woman was driving a silver Honda Accord westbound on Highway 4 just after 11 p.m. when she drove into a construction zone in the two far right lanes. Work crews were pouring concrete in the third and fourth lanes, restricting access to northbound and southbound Interstate 5, CHP stated. Almost immediately after entering the construction zone at around 65 miles per hour, the woman struck the construction worker, identified as a 34-year-old man from Lone Pine. The construction worker died at the scene. The man was working with Caltrans as a contractor, authorities said.
Walmart employee dies after being struck by car while returning carts to the store
Loveland, CO — Police in Loveland are investigating a deadly crash between a pedestrian and a driver. The crash happened Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Walmart located at 250 West 65th Street in Loveland. When officers arrived they found a 27-year-old man trapped under a 2016 Chevrolet sedan. The driver of the vehicle, an 83-year-old female from Loveland, stayed on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police said that rescue attempts were unsuccessful and the man died. The deceased man was a Walmart employee and was returning carts to the store when he was struck.
Deputy killed when suspect rams squad car during negotiations
Thibodaux, LA — A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy was killed when a suspect broke off negotiations and drove his vehicle straight into the deputy’s car, according to the Louisiana State Police. The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office identified the deputy as Detective Sergeant Nicholas Pepper, 44, who joined the department in 2007. Investigators say the suspect survived the crash and remains in custody. It happened around 5 a.m. April 2 on Louisiana Highway 1 near Klienpeter Road in Thibodaux, state police said in a news release. Thibodaux is about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans.
Employee dies after heavy beam tips over at Spartanburg Co. workplace
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office announced that one person died Monday afternoon after a large heavy beam tipped over on a Tindall Corporation employee. Officials said the victim was working at a site along North Black Stock Road when the beam tipped over and severely injured him. According to officials, the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. However, he later passed away from his injuries at 1:35 p.m. The Coroner’s Office identified him as 37-year-old Jacob Hughes of Spartanburg. The Coroner’s Office is investigating this incident alongside the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Employee killed, coworker charged with murder at Durham Dollar Tree
Durham, NC — One Dollar Tree employee shot another before the store opened Monday morning in northeast Durham, police said. Byron Gainey, 35, was killed and Saquan Evans was charged with murder and taken to the Durham County Jail. Both Gainey and Evans worked at the store at a shopping center near the intersection of Glenn School Road and Geer Street and are Durham residents. Police said the shooting occurred inside the store. The two men were arguing when Evans shot Gainey, according to police.
Tow truck driver killed on Downtown Connector
ATLANTA, GA – For the second time in less than a month, a metro Atlanta tow truck driver was killed on the job. This deadly crash happened right near the Downtown Connector in Midtown and investigators say the other driver was under the influence. The victim has been identified as Troy Simon. His fiancée tells FOX 5 his death devastated the entire family. Investigators say Simon was in the process of loading a vehicle when they say a driver under the influence hit a police car than him. Simon was an Atlanta area tow-truck operator. Investigators say he was struck on the job on Monday of last week, just after midnight near the Downtown Connector. Medics rushed Simon to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died the next day.
Migrant worker killed when bus hits big rig head-on
PLANT CITY, Fla. — One person has been killed in a Florida accident involving an 18-wheeler and a bus carrying migrant laborers. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the bus, which was carrying 38 people, veered over the centerline at around 6 a.m. on Monday, April 3, along U.S. 98, crashing head-on into an 18-wheeler. One person on the bus died, authorities said. Multiple injured workers, along with the truck driver, were taken to an area hospital for treatment. The workers were on their way to harvest strawberries at Plant City, Florida.
Man dies after being injured on the job in Franklin County
Franklin County, PA — Franklin County man died after being injured on the job last month at Franklin Logistics. Gary Shearer, of Chambersburg, died March 25 at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He was 65. Shearer was injured on March 24 while working at Franklin Logistics, 900 Kriner Road, Chambersburg. The company provides warehousing and fulfillment services in a building just off Wayne Road in Guilford Township. His death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Dauphin County coroner. The death was ruled accidental.
Landfill employee killed after being hit by truck
Memphis, TN — A woman was killed after being struck by a vehicle at the Shelby County Landfill in Memphis, Tennessee. As reported by WMC, the incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. on March 30. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. According to Phoenix-based Republic Services, which owns and operates the site, the victim was an employee of the South Shelby Landfill. The company says she was fatally injured by a third-party truck.