Weekly Toll

Last week workers were died of heat stroke, were ingested into an airplane engine, killed in explosions, falls and traffic incidents, electrocuted, shot,  and suffocated in a grain bin.  And really bad week in Texas. 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.

Airport worker fatally ingested into engine at San Antonio International Airport

SAN ANTONIO, TX – An airline crew member at the San Antonio International Airport died after an accident occurred on Friday night. Airport worker fatally ingested into engine at San Antonio International Airport. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the incident happened on Friday at around 10:25 p.m. when Delta Flight 1111 arrived at the San Antonio International Airport from Los Angeles and was taxiing to the gate on one engine. That’s when a worker was ingested into the engine. The NTSB is actively investigating this incident. An airport worker who died in an accident at the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama last New Year’s Eve also was ingested into the engine of an aircraft, the NTSB said in a January statement. That aircraft, an Embraer 170 operated by regional carrier Envoy Air, was “parked at the gate with the parking brake set when a ground support personnel was ingested,” said the agency. “Proper training and enforcement of safety procedures could have prevented this tragedy,” OSHA Area Director Jose A. Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama said about the Dec. 31, 2022 incident. “This incident is a tragic reminder that safety measures must be in place even for a routine assignment.”

Utility lineman dies while helping restore power to Texas residents following storms

MARSHALL, Texas – Officials say a utility lineman from West Virginia working to restore power in Texas has died. KLTV reports that the 35-year-old lineman, Cory Foster,  died in Marshall, Texas on Monday, June 19. According to Appalachian Power, Foster was 35-years-old and from the Milton, West Virginia, area., was working with Appalachian Power to restore electricity to the Marshall area after last week’s storms. According to Harrison County Justice of the Peace John Oswalt, the worker’s death has been attributed to heat-related causes. Oswalt said the man had been working with his crew in the heat on Monday and told the group that he wasn’t feeling well once they returned to their motel. The worker received medical attention and a shower to cool down but was later found collapsed on the floor in his room that night, according to Oswalt. The 35-year-old was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Many residents in East Texas are currently still without power, and thousands of linemen are continuing their work to help restore electricity in the area.

Postal worker collapses, dies while working during excessive heat warning

DALLAS , TX – A Postal Service worker has died in Texas while delivering mail during an excessive heat warning. KWTX reports that 66-year-old Eugene Gates died on Tuesday while out working for the U.S. Postal Service. Gates reportedly collapsed in the front yard of a home, and a neighbor performed CPR on him. However, the 66-year-old did not survive. The Lakewood area is a neighborhood located about eight miles outside of downtown Dallas. According to the National Weather Service, the Dallas-Fort Worth area was under an excessive heat warning on Tuesday as the heat index was as high as 112 degrees.

Grocery store worker is killed when ex-husband shoots her and himself

North Olmsted, OH — An employee at an Ohio grocery store was shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide involving her ex-husband, police say. The shooting happened around 9:35 a.m. Sunday, June 25, inside a Giant Eagle supermarket in North Olmsted, Police Chief Bob Wagner said in a news briefing streamed by WJW. Police responded to the store within a minute, and officers found the bodies of the victim and shooter.

Worker dies after semi explodes at ammunition facility: ‘This is a tragedy’

EAST ALTON, Ill. (KMOV/Gray News) – A worker was killed Thursday in Illinois after the truck he was driving exploded. KMOV reports that Oscar “Zeke” Bettorf, 60, died in an explosion at the Winchester Ammunition facility. Officials said Bettorf was driving a tractor-trailer filled with shotgun shell primers that exploded while he was transporting the items at the ammunition facility. Bettorf was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary autopsy indicated that the 60-year-old suffered trauma to his head, neck and chest.

Worker dies after falling nearly 20 feet at Dearborn construction site of Ford Central Campus building

DEARBORN MI – A 53-year-old construction worker has died after falling at a construction site in Dearborn, according to records filed with the Michigan Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The incident happened Wednesday at the Ford Central Campus building on Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn.  The worker was “performing fire-proofing activities to structural steel while wearing fall protection,” but they were not physically tied-off to an anchorage point, according to the MIOSHA website. During the work operation, the victim fell approximately 18 feet to the concrete below, MIOSHA officials said.

Worker Dead After Explosion at North Carolina Plant

WADESBORO, N.C. (AP) — One worker is dead after an explosion at a North Carolina plant, according to a county official. Firefighters called to the Darling Ingredients rendering plant in the Wadesboro area around 9 p.m. Thursday found a plume of smoke, Anson County Emergency Services Chief Rodney Diggs said. After air monitoring determined that there wasn’t a threat, one employee was found dead, Diggs said. The explosion involved aluminum chloride and an investigation into the blast is ongoing, he said. There’s no threat to the community, Diggs said. The explosion was at an ancillary building at the site, Darling Ingredients spokesperson Suann Guthrie said, and the rendering plant, where otherwise unusable parts of slaughtered animals are turned into usable products, has been shut down during the investigation, Darling Ingredients spokesperson Suann Guthrie said.

DTE worker dies after coming into contact with live wire

DETROI, MI — A man died Saturday afternoon after coming in contact with a live wire while working as a DTE contractor. A spokesperson for DTE told 7 Action News that this happened near Fort Street and West Outer Drive.

Ware County firefighter dies in rollover fire truck crash

WARE COUNTY, Ga. – A firefighter with Ware County Fire Rescue died Thursday when the fire truck he was riding in overturned in a crash. A message from Fire Chief Dee Meadows on the WCFR Facebook page identified the firefighter as Bobby “Blue” Smith. According to Georgia State Patrol, troopers responded at 12:40 p.m. Thursday to Manor-Millwood Road near Manor Waresboro Road in Ware County for a single-vehicle deadly crash. The crash investigation determined that a firefighter was driving the county fire truck south on Manor-Millwood Road and the truck traveled off the roadway onto the west shoulder and lost control. The truck then spun counterclockwise as it flipped across the roadway before hitting a tree and landing on its passenger side in the ditch. Smith, who was the front-seat passenger, died at the scene.

Woman who shot Uber driver in West Texas charged with murder after man dies

EL PASO, Texas (KWTX) – Police charged Phoebe D. Copas, 48, with murder after the Uber driver she shot, 52-year-old Daniel J. Piedra Garcia, died as a result of the gunshot wounds he suffered when Copas fired a gun at him when she wrongly assumed she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico, investigators said. Copas, of Kentucy, was visiting El Paso on June 16 when she called for the Uber ride. The woman allegedly told police she became frightened when she noticed road signs for Juarez, Mexico while she was traveling south on U.S. 54 with the Uber driver. According to court documents obtained by KFOX-TV, Copas called her boyfriend after the shooting, instead of authorities. “At some point during the drive, Copas thought she was being taken into Mexico and shot Piedra,” police wrote in a news release. “The investigation does not support that a kidnapping took place or that Piedra was veering from Copas’ destination.”

Construction worker, passenger dead after Collin County crash

Nevada, Texas — Two people died Thursday morning following a crash involving construction workers in Collin County, authorities say. A Dodge Durango at about 10 a.m. ran a stop sign at the intersection of County Road 543 and County Road 593, near Nevada, Texas, and was struck by a Dodge Caravan, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. After crashing into the Durango, the Dodge Caravan spun, exited the roadway and hit two construction workers, one of whom died, authorities said. Texas DPS identified the pedestrian who died as Hilario Alvarado, 35, of Dallas. The other construction worker was not injured, according to authorities.

Woman dies in Luzerne County plastic factory accident

WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, PA — Luzerne County Coroner Jill Matthews says a woman died in a plastic factory accident earlier this week. According to coroner Matthews, the office investigated an incident that occurred at i2M, located in Wright Township in the Crestwood Industrial Park. Eyewitness News has learned the incident occurred on Monday morning when a woman, identified as Iris Adams, was crushed while working at the plant. An autopsy was conducted Wednesday that determined the victim’s death was caused by blunt abdominal trauma and ruled accidental. i2M is a manufacturer, designer, and printer of advanced, flexible plastic films. Eyewitness News has reached out to i2M for comment and they have yet to respond.

Truck driver killed in Parley’s Canyon crash identified

PARLEY’S CANYON, Utah — The Utah Highway Patrol has released the identity of the truck driver killed Monday night when his semi rolled eight miles up Parley’s Canyon. “On Monday, June 19, 2023, at approximately 9:26 pm, a Freightliner semi-tractor with an attached trailer was traveling westbound on I-80 at Lambs Canyon, milepost 136,” the UHP said in a Wednesday press release. “The driver failed to negotiate the curve and lost control. The tractor/trailer rolled onto the driver’s side and slid down the roadway to the right. The vehicle came to rest on the driver’s side, blocking multiple right lanes, facing east. The 29-year-old male driver was partially ejected and sustained fatal injuries.” He was identified as Vincent Hakizuwera from Rosharon, Texas.

Texas truck driver killed in I-80 crash

PARLEYS CANYON, TX — A truck driver from Texas was killed in a crash near Lambs Canyon on Monday. About 9:30 p.m., a semitrailer and tractor headed down I-80 was near Lambs Canyon when “the driver failed to negotiate the curve and lost control. The tractor trailer rolled onto the driver’s side and slid down the roadway to the right,” according to the Utah Highway Patrol. Vincent Hakizuwera, 29, of Rosharon, Texas, was partially ejected and killed.

One man dies after logging accident in Knott County

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. – One man died after a tree fell on him while logging in Knott County. Knott County Coroner Corey Watson told WYMT that Lowie Hall, 63, of Kite, died in a logging accident Tuesday afternoon. The incident occurred on Blackhawk Road in the Kite community.

Grain bin accident victim identified

Porter, MN — The man killed in a Yellow Medicine County grain bin accident Tuesday was 26-year-old Jonah Dovre. Dovre and a 62-year-old man fell into the grain bin at Dovre’s farm near Porter Tuesday morning. The 62-year-old man survived, but Dovre was trapped in the grain, and by the time rescuers removed the grain from the structure it was too late.

Man killed in workplace accident while inspecting possible storm damage to facility, reports say

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – A man is dead after a workplace accident in Toledo, reports say. According to our media partner the Blade, Daniel Petro, 49, died while operating a lift at the Electro Prime facility, an auto supplier, the coroner’s office said. The accident happened Tuesday afternoon. Petro was reportedly a longtime technician at the Electro Prime. The coroner’s office told the Blade he was inspecting cables that may have been damage in last week’s storms. He was on the lift’s platform when he moved the wheeled machine in reverse without looking down, causing the lift to fall off the edge of the loading dock and the machine fell.

Garrison Gonzalez of Leominster killed in Rhode Island crash, police say

Cranston, RI — A Leominster man died after two vans crashed into each other in Cranston, Rhode Island, on Monday, police said on Facebook. At around 8:49 p.m. on Monday, police said two white work vans collided head-on on Scituate Avenue in the eastbound lane, according to a statement from Cranston police. One van was a 2015 Ford Transit Van and was carrying compressed oxygen for use in health care. Three occupants between the two vehicles were involved in the crash, police said. The health care van driver, Garrison Gonzalez, and a passenger both had to be pulled from the vehicle due to the amount of damage sustained in the crash. Gonzalez, 61 of Leominster, died at Rhode Island Hospital, police said. The injuries of the passenger and other driver were considered not life-threatening.

Ancram firefighter dies on emergency call

ANCRAM, NY — A 21-year veteran of the Ancram Volunteer Fire Company died while responding to a call Thursday night. Stuart Hunt was among the firefighters dispatched to a motor vehicle emergency scene in Ancram when he suffered a medical event while performing his duties, Columbia County Fire Coordinator George Keeler said. Hunt was 37. Keeler said that Hunt was a “well-liked young man,” with a close family connection to firefighting. His father William Hunt had previously served as the Columbia County Fire Coordinator.

Chesterfield truck driver killed in I-64 crash in Hampton

HAMPTON, VA – A tractor-trailer driver from Chesterfield County was killed early Tuesday when his rig wrecked on an exit ramp from Interstate 64, state police said. Antoni Allen Boston, 55, of the 11000 block of Parrish Creek Lane, died around 5:20 a.m. in the crash on the ramp to Hampton Roads Center Parkway. According to reports, Boston was westbound on I-64 and was exiting when the truck, a 2017 Kenworth, ran off the road and into a wooded area at the top of the ramp. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Houston rapper Big Pokey dies at 48 after collapsing during performance in Beaumont

Beaumont, TX — Houston rapper Big Pokey collapsed while performing Saturday night in Beaumont, video circulating on social media showed, and he died on Sunday, according to a statement from his publicist. Big Pokey, whose given name was Milton Powell, had been performing during a Juneteenth-themed show at Pour09 Bar. The video showed Powell, 48, with a microphone in hand when he suddenly appeared to faint or pass out, falling backward and landing on his back. It also showed people rushing over to him to offer aid. Min Dai, Pour09 owner, said Beaumont police were onsite and able to render aid “instantly” before emergency responders rushed Powell to a local hospital. A Beaumont officer had been at the bar working an extra job, Beaumont Police spokeswoman Haley Morrow said.

Worker dead, two injured after fire breaks out at Liberty Collegiate Academy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A construction worker died and numerous students and staff members were checked out following a Friday morning fire at a Nashville charter school. The Nashville Fire Department (NFD) tweeted shortly before noon on Friday, June 9 that crews extinguished a fire at Liberty Collegiate Academy in the 3500 block of Gallatin Pike. 1 killed, 1 injured in Thompson Lane crash, Metro police say The fire reportedly started on the second floor, where a four-person crew was doing construction work. According to NFD, three of the workers escaped the building, but one worker — who was found face down and unresponsive — was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with CPR in progress, in critical condition. That worker was later pronounced dead at the hospital, deemed “a fire fatality” by officials.

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