Weekly Toll

Last week workers were killed in falls, explosions, fire, logging incidents, shootings, vehicle crashes, construction incidents, a grain silo collapse and confined spaces. 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.

Construction worker dies after fall in manhole shaft in northern Pickaway County

Harrison Township, OH — A man died Monday after reportedly falling back into a 30-foot manhole shaft in Pickaway County.  A Fairfield County man died Monday after reportedly falling back into a 30-foot manhole shaft in Harrison Township in northern Pickaway County, authorities said. Terry L. Miller Jr., 34, of Amanda, an employee of Rock River Construction of Lancaster, had been working on a sewer line when the incident occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. off Rickenbacker Parkway near the intersection with Thoroughbred Drive, the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Department said. Steve Sabine, spokesman for Harrison Township Fire Department., said Miller had climbed to the top of the 30-foot manhole shaft and apparently fell back in. Sabine said township firefighters dropped an air monitor into the manhole and determined there was a low level of oxygen at the bottom of the shaft, so they had to wait for firefighters from other departments with the right equipment to arrive.

2nd person dies after explosion at Dine Company warehouse near Shively

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has released the names of two people who died from injuries sustained in a workplace accident. The incident happened Tuesday around 3 p.m. at Dine Company warehouse in the 3800 block of Fitzgerald Road. Deputy Fire Chief Colonel Joseph Bowman with PRP Fire said crews were called to respond to what was reported as a medical incident involving two people who suffered head trauma. Multiple first-responding crews arrived and found 60-year-old Christopher Baril and 55-year-old Hugh Doty Jr. in critical condition. Both were taken to the University of Louisville Hospital. Baril died from his injuries later that Friday. The coroner said Doty died from his injuries on Saturday. According to Major Kevin Fletcher of the Louisville Metro Arson Bureau said the men were working on commercial oven equipment when a small explosion happened.

Sharon man killed in logging accident

SHARON, VT — Residents are grieving the death of a 64-year-old Sharon man killed in a logging accident Saturday while cutting up a tree he had felled. John K. Sears was known not just for his auto repair shop but for his many good deeds around Sharon, from helping with projects and problems at Camp Downer to teaching children at Sharon Elementary School how to cross-country ski. Sears, also an experienced logger, was cutting up a tree at a private residence on O’Donnell Farm Road on Saturday afternoon when the safety system on a winch cable securing a log malfunctioned, releasing the tension on the cable, Vermont State Police said in a news release on Tuesday. The log rolled and struck Sears in the head and torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene. State police launched an investigation and said the death appears accidental and was not considered suspicious.

Posey County worker killed in construction zone incident

POSEY COUNTY, Ind. (WEVV)— The identity of the construction worker who died in a construction zone crash on Friday has been released. Posey County authorities were called to a construction zone at SR 66 and Springfield Road. According to authorities, an investigation shows 52-year-old Sherry Gentry of Holland, Indiana, was backed over by a dump truck while working in the area. The driver of the truck was identified as 54-year-old Jerry Williamson of Evansville, Indiana. The Posey County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police are investigating the incident.

Lake County tree removal worker dies following on-the-job incident

PERRY, Ohio — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office confirms a tree removal worker is dead following an on-the-job incident Monday afternoon in Perry Township. Deputies and fire crews were called to the scene on Lane Road around 1:51 p.m. amid reports of a man “who was seriously injured while operating tree removal equipment.” Authorities have not released any information regarding how the victim was hurt. The 40-year-old Painesville Township resident later died from his injuries at University Hospitals Tripoint Medical Center. His name has not been made public.

Flagger, 23, Killed in N.C. Work Zone Crash

Charlotte, NC — A 23-year-old flagger was struck and killed by a driver and another flagger was injured in a North Carolina highway work zone near Charlotte. The two flaggers were on N.C. 150 moving traffic cones at about 3:30 p.m. June 26 when the driver of a 2019 Chevy Equinox hit them, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. The flagger who was killed was identified as 23-year-old Ryan Scott Tanner of Valdese. Another flagger was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Troopers said the work zone was marked with cones to alert drivers. Another flagger holding a stop sign motioning drivers into the lane away from the flaggers moving the cones was almost struck. The driver of the Equinox failed to follow the rest of the traffic that was being diverted into another lane. Tanner was the lead flagger on the project and was working for his mother’s company, Quality Traffic Safety, according to his obituary. Tanner is the second road worker to die in a work zone in North Carolina this year.

Employee killed while servicing ride at Smith County Fair

SMITH COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — An employee was killed while servicing an amusement park ride at the Smith County Fairgrounds Thursday morning. The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. at the fairgrounds at the Smith County Arena on Ag Center Lane in South Carthage. The James Gang Amusement Company LLC of Andalusia, Alabama reported there was an “unfortunate accident” involving the employee, who was servicing the “Gravitron” ride during routine weekly maintenance. The ride was not in operation at the time of the incident and poses no danger to the general public, according to James Gang Amusement Company LLC.

Worker killed in Tynan grain elevator collapse identified Wednesday

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The 37-year-old man killed in a grain elevator collapse Tuesday was identified on Wednesday. Bee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ronnie Jones said Sergio “Jason” Alvarez is the grain elevator worker whose body was recovered shortly after 7 p.m. Ben Mengers and Andres Martinez are the men who were injured in the incident. The collapse in the Tynan area sent two people to the hospital with injuries Tuesday after two grain silos ruptured and reportedly collapsed onto two 18-wheelers and another vehicle. First responders took one person to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline by ambulance, and another person to the hospital by HALO-Flight. The status of their injuries is currently unknown.

19-year-old Vt. police officer killed, 2 others injured in crash chasing burglary suspect

Rutland, VT — Jessica Ebbighausen, a 19-year-old officer with the Rutland Police Department, was killed in a crash with a man being chased after allegedly trying to break into a home, Vermont State Police said A teenage police officer in Rutland, Vermont, was killed in a crash with a suspect officers were chasing Friday afternoon. Vermont State Police say 19-year-old Jessica Ebbighausen had joined the Rutland Police Department May 23 on a part-time basis. Ebbighausen was among the officers pursuing 20-year-old Tate Rheaume, who was accused of trying to break into an East Washington Street home, state police said. Shortly before 3 p.m., state police say Rheaume fled from a Rutland officer in his vehicle. Other units, including Ebbighausen, responded to assist. Ebbighausen was driving with a supervising officer in the passenger seat when state police say Rheaume crossed the center line and hit her cruiser. Police say the damage to both vehicles was “catastrophic.” Ebbighausen was pronounced dead at the scene, while two other Rutland officers and Rheaume were all hospitalized.

NYPD on hunt for 2 suspects who fatally shot Staten Island deli clerk during attempted robbery

Staten Island, NY — A pair of thieves shot and killed a Staten Island deli clerk during a stick-up Saturday night after they failed to enter a smoke shop they had first targeted down the road, police said. Authorities released footage Sunday of two suspects believed to be involved in the slaying of 35-year-old Bassam Khateeb who was working at Manor Deli and Convenience when he shot in the chest around 8 p.m. Khateeb, who co-owned the deli and was a father of two, was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center, cops said.

Lyft driver who died in shooting had fled Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON  DC  – D.C. police are searching for the suspects who shot and killed a Lyft driver that escaped the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. They released a video of the incident that shows four people running away from the scene Monday, shortly after 31-year-old Nasrat Ahmad Yar was shot. The Lyft driver was found inside his vehicle with a gunshot wound. and later died at the hospital. According to a GoFundMe page, Ahmad Yar was working an extra shift at the time of the Monday shooting.

Tow truck driver killed by drunk driver

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities are investigating a deadly crash in Forsyth County. Forsyth County Sheriff officials said on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., deputies received reports of a head-on crash on Parks Road west of Burrus Mill Road. According to the investigation, a red Dodge Ram 2500 truck, driven by 24-year-old Yamilet Sanchez Pagan of Gainesville, was traveling west on Parks Road when her vehicle crossed the eastbound lane, hitting a gray F-150 head-on. Authorities said the F-150, driven by 48-year-old Salvador Cervantes Bernal of Cumming, was towing a landscaping trailer. Deputies confirmed that Bernal was pronounced dead at the scene. Pagan was taken to the hospital. Authorities determined that Pagan was under the influence of drugs during the crash.

1 dead after ‘industrial accident’ in far East El Paso

EL PASO, Texas – One person is dead after an “industrial accident” Wednesday, July 5 in far East El Paso, according to El Paso Police Department. Police say officers responded to a welfare check at the 12300 block of Mercantile near Rojas Dr. The call came in at 4:38 p.m., according to police.

Drunk Mercedes Driver Slams Into NYC Truck In QNS, Worker Killed: NYPD

QUEENS, NY — A drunken Mercedes Benz driver crashed into a city truck in Richmond Hill Thursday afternoon, knocking the vehicle over and killing a city worker inside, police said. Errick Persaud, 24, slammed a Mercedes Benz C300 into a Environmental Protection department truck near Atlantic Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard about 2:30 p.m., police said. The city vehicle rolled over and a 38-year-old-worker was thrown from his seat and pinned underneath the truck, police said. The worker, whose name was not released, later died at Jamaica Hospital, officials said. Another city worker, the 40-year-old driver, sustained minor injuries, police said.

Crisp County deputy killed in shooting

Macon, GA — Monroe County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man wanted in the fatal shooting of a Crisp County deputy after a chase on Interstate 475 early Wednesday morning. At about 3:40 a.m., a Crisp County deputy later identified as Tyeee Brown, 26, pulled over a car and ran its plates, according to the Facebook post. The deputy learned the car was stolen and that the driver, Cross, was wanted for “numerous burglaries,” according to a video from Crisp County. When Browne approached the car, Cross allegedly shot him and stole his patrol car before leading police on the chase, the post said. The deputy later died from his injuries at a local hospital. A later GBI statement also said that other deputies shot at Cross as he fled the scene.

Worker killed after getting hit by vehicle in Walnut Creek

WALNUT CREEK, CA — A man died after being hit by a car that jumped a curb and hit him Monday afternoon in Walnut Creek, according to police. The collision was reported at about 1:21 p.m. on Ygnacio Valley Road east of Lennon Lane, Walnut Creek police said. When officers arrived, the man was conscious but had significant injuries. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Police said it appears that the car drifted to the right on Ygnacio Valley, hopped the curb and hit the man while he was doing maintenance at the location. The driver, who wasn’t injured, stayed at the scene and was cooperating with police.

Georgia deputy shot to death during traffic stop; suspect stole patrol car, deputies say

CRISP COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia deputy has died after they were shot by a suspect during a traffic stop, according to the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office. Just after 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a Crisp County deputy performed a traffic stop and got out in the middle of the roadway on Highway 280 in Cordele. The suspect then shot the deputy and stole the patrol car, according to officials. The suspect then left the scene and led law enforcement on a chase through multiple Georgia counties. Eventually, the suspect was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office on Interstate 475. Crisp County officials did not share the identity of the deputy, who died at a local hospital.

How 2 Firefighters Died in a Blaze They Were Ill-Equipped to Face

Port Newark, NJ — The 9:30 p.m. call for help came from a place where firefighters from Newark are seldom sent: Port Newark, one of the busiest shipping hubs in the country, and one that operates largely as a world unto itself. A fire had erupted late Wednesday on an Italian cargo ship carrying 1,200 new and used automobiles headed for West Africa. Firefighters who raced to the scene from Engine 16 quickly learned that their standard, 2.5-inch hose lines would not connect to the equipment on the European-built ship, the Grande Costa d’Avorio. They were forced to use the vessel’s one-inch firefighting hoses. The first mayday call came from Augusto Acabou, a nine-year fire department veteran known for his big heart and brawny hugs, Newark fire officials said. Soon after, Wayne Brooks Jr., a 49-year-old with 16 years on the job, sounded a second call for help. Neither man would survive the blaze that eventually spread to three decks of the towering ship. The fire was still burning Thursday evening, and the sky was filled with heavy smoke.

V.I. Police Detective Shot, Killed in Line of Duty;

St. Thomas, VI – V.I. Police detective is dead after he was shot with a high-powered assault rifle while on duty Tuesday morning in the Hospital Ground area of St. Thomas, the V.I. Police Department reported. A suspect is in custody. Detective Delberth Phipps Jr., 42, was responding to a 911 call of a man carrying a firearm and wearing a bulletproof vest in the vicinity of Hospital Ground near “Jah Yard” just before 8 a.m. when he was shot, according to the V.I. Police Department. “Upon officers’ arrival, the suspect fired upon them with a high-powered assault rifle,” the VIPD release stated. “Responding officers immediately engaged the suspect.” During the exchange of gunfire Phipps, a seven-year veteran of the police force, and the suspect were both injured, according to the release. Both were transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center for treatment but Phipps succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Investigators release name of tree trimmer killed in tragic Jasper County accident

Jasper County, TX — The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of a tree trimmer killed Monday in a tragic accident. Investigators say Billy Wayne Grizzle Sr. was killed in the accident near Buna. The sheriff’s office tells our media partner, KJAS, that Grizzle was on a ladder and trimming a tree south of Buna. A large limb knocked him to the ground, killing Grizzle at the scene, according to investigators.

Two dead in tractor-trailer crash in Fairfield County

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — A single-vehicle crash in Fairfield County on Friday left two people dead. Lance Corporal William Bennett with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the crash happened a quarter mile south of Monticello on Secondary Highway 215, also known as Monticello Road. Bennett said a 2010 Peterbilt truck was heading south when it left the road to the right, hitting a sign and a ditch before overturning. First responders pronounced both occupants of the truck dead at the scene of the crash. The Fairfield County Coroner’s Office will release the names and other information about the victims after notifying their families.

Coroner identifies 56-year-old semi-truck driver killed in Highway 58 multi-vehicle crash

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.  — The Kern County Coroner’s Office has identified the man killed in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 58 as 56-year-old Felix Allen Martin of Bakersfield. Multiple vehicles, including an Amazon delivery truck and a trailer hauling vegetables, are seen involved in a crash that left at least one person dead on Highway 58 near Edwards AFB, Friday evening, June 30, 2023. According to the California Highway Patrol website, the crash happened just after 6 p.m. on Friday, June 30 on Highway 58 near Edwards Air Force Base. The coroner’s report said Martin was driving a semi-truck when he hit another semi-truck.

Tree trimmer killed while working at Marion County golf course

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) – A man was killed in Marion County while working on trees at a golf course on State Road 200. Marion County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responded to the scene at Royal Oaks Golf Club in Ocala on Monday morning. The golf club is located off Southwest 69th Circle.  Witnesses tell TV20 the tree trimmer was working for Bob’s Tree Service on hole 10 at the time of the incident. The 58-year-old employee had been with the company for about 10 years.

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