How workers died last week: trench collapse, explosions, electrocution, falls, vehicle incidents, shootings. 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.
OSHA Called in to Investigate Worker Death in Random Lake
Random Lake, WI — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been called in to investigate the death of a worker at Advance Cast Stone in Random Lake last week. The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office started the investigation, and they say a man was working on a lift during the overnight shift Wednesday when he fell and hit his head. The yet unnamed man died from his injuries. The Thursday morning crew found his body when they reported for work Thursday morning. Investigators have stated that the man was not using a harness at the time of the accident. The Sheriff’s Office is now working with OSHA on the investigation.
Death at Loco Coco’s Tacos in Kittery: Construction worker falls
KITTERY, Maine — Police are investigating an accidental death at Loco Coco’s Tacos, stating a man fell while doing construction work. Kittery Police Chief Robert Richter said his department received a call at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday reporting the fall at the 36 Walker St. eatery. Richter said the man’s identity was not being immediately released to allow authorities time to notify his family. Police respond to investigate at Loco Coco’s Tacos in Kittery, Maine, Monday, July 17, 2023. A man died after falling at the restaurant, according to police. Richter said more details will be available following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Contractor fatally injured at Bedford Park freight yard
Bedford Park, IL — A Roseland man was killed early Saturday morning when he was crushed between two metal chassis at the CSX railyard in south suburban Bedford Park, officials said. Officials said the death occurred around 12:30 a.m. at the CSX Bedford Park Intermodal Yard near the 7000 block of West 71st Street, according to a spokesman from the freight rail company and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The medical examiner’ office identified the victim as Jacory Ceaser, 24. An autopsy determined that Ceaser died as result of being crushed between two “intermodal chassis” and his death was ruled an accident. Intermodal chassis are wheeled metal carriers used to move large shipping containers in railyards. Ceaser was a working as a contractor at the facility when he was injured, officials said. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the contractor’s loved ones,” said CSX spokesman Bryan Tucker.
Waterloo city employee dies in incident at wastewater treatment facility
WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) – An employee at a wastewater treatment facility in Waterloo died in an incident at the facility earlier this week, city officials confirmed Friday. City staff said John Hyman died in the incident. He worked for the city for 18 years. “Our thoughts are with his wife, Janet, and his coworkers at this difficult time,” city staff said in a statement. Details about the incident remain sparse. The city reported an incident requiring medical attention at the facility on Tuesday. No additional details have been released.
One dead after trench collapse in South Knox County
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — First responders were at the scene of a fatal trench collapse in South Knox County Monday afternoon, according to Rural Metro Fire. One man died at the scene. Emergency personnel responded to a report of a man trapped in a trench at an excavating site off Berry Road around 12:15 p.m. Rural Metro Fire spokesperson Jeff Bagwell said that crews arrived to find the man deceased and buried in a partial collapse. Bagwell said workers were laying utility lines in a trench about 10 feet deep. He said it continued to collapse as workers at the site attempted to excavate around the site to try and get him out. “Our guys arrived on the scene [and] found the gentleman was in fact buried in a partial collapse up to the waist and deceased at that time,” he said. “He was obviously deceased before we got here.” The victim’s body was excavated from the trench at 6:29 p.m. The identity of the victim has not been released.
Patient kills surgeon Benjamin Mauck in shooting at suburban Memphis clinic, police say
Memphis, TN — A patient at a suburban Memphis clinic shot and killed an orthopedic surgeon in an exam room Tuesday afternoon, police said. Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the suspect was taken into custody within five minutes of the shooting at Campbell Clinic in Collierville, Tennessee, a town of just over 50,000 residents. The suspected shooter was identified by police as Larry Pickens, 29, of Memphis. Pickens has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault, and bond was set at $1.2 million, police said. The surgeon killed was Dr. Benjamin Mauck, the clinic said. “It’s horrific, it’s terrible,” Lane said at a news conference Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Investigation begins in reported industrial accident death of Denka employee
LAPLACE, La. (WGNO) — A woman is dead after an apparent industrial accident in LaPlace Thursday, July 13 sources say. Sources told WGNO, the incident happened at the Denka plant on La. 44 in LaPlace. Family members have identified the woman as Jade Lashawn Taylor. The circumstances surrounding the accident have not been released but a source close to the investigation says it appears Taylor was crushed between two train cars.
One dead after explosion at factory in Russell County
RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. (WCYB) — One person is dead after an explosion at a factory Wednesday morning in Russell County, according to authorities. According to the emergency management director, it happened at Samuel Pressure Vessel just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Officials say a recently manufactured tank was being pressure tested when it blew up. One employee was killed by the blast. No other injuries were reported.
Tow truck driver killed on the job in North Lauderdale crash
Fort Lauderdale, FL — A tow truck driver was struck and killed outside of his truck in North Lauderdale Saturday night, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. A little before 9 p.m., the man was outside of the driver’s side of his tow truck in the 6100 block of West McNab Road in a safety vest, operating the flatbed, according to a Sheriff’s Office media release. The truck was stopped in the right through-lane with the emergency lights on. Tawanda Hanberry, 38, of North Lauderdale, was driving a Lincoln SUV eastbound down the 6300 block of West McNab Road, approaching the tow truck driver. As she approached, Hanberry lost control of the Lincoln. The car slid, rotating clockwise before crossing southbound toward the driver, striking him with its front side, then continuing to rotate before coming to a final rest.
N.J. worker killed after scissor lift hits power lines, cops say
Middletown, NJ — A 58-year-old man doing work for a private company on a motorized scissor lift outside a Middletown shopping center was killed Tuesday after the lift made contact with power lines and he fell 20 feet, authorities said. Kevin McAdorey was working on the lift at the shopping center at 1040 Route 35 when he tumbled to the ground just before 12:30 p.m., Middletown police said. McAdorey, of Brick, was brought to an area hospital where he died of his injuries. Authorities aren’t sure if he died of electrocution, the fall or a combination. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Middletown police are investigating.
Schlitterbahn worker dead after being trapped under bus, authorities say
New Braunfels, TX — A 72-year-old Schlitterbahn maintenance worker died after he was trapped under a bus at a New Braunfels maintenance facility, according to authorities. New Braunfels police responded to a call at a Schlitterbahn bus maintenance facility on Gruene Road, according to a written statement from New Braunfels spokesman David Ferguson. Officers found Bardomiano Ramos pinned under a bus he had been working on, according to Ferguson’s statement. They were able to move the bus off Ramos, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation found no sign of foul play. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the workplace incident, according to the city. Founded in 1979, Schlitterbahn is a 70-acre water park and resort facility located on the Comal River in central New Braunfels. The park has more than 1,000 employees, accord to the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation’s website.
The body of a worker was found inside a townhome under construction by his son in southeast Houston
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Investigators are looking for the person who shot and killed a worker after his body was found by a family member inside a home under construction early Saturday in southeast Houston. The Houston Police Department said the victim’s son found his father at a townhome on Alice near Sidney at about midnight after not hearing from him. That’s when the son flagged down an officer in the area who was on a traffic stop. “Our officers actually found out about it, they were here on a traffic stop, and the son who found his father ran over here and got their attention. And that’s when we found out about the homicide,” Lt. R. Willkens with HPD said. It’s unclear when the shooting exactly happened, but officers started working on the case after the body was discovered.
Teenage restaurant worker killed on the job in Dekalb County
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 16-year-old male suffered ‘life-threatening injuries’ in a shooting at a DeKalb County IHOP on Saturday morning, according to police. DeKalb County police responded to the IHOP on Panola Road in Lithonia in reference to a person shot. When officers arrived, they found a 16-year-old, Jacob Johnson, with a gunshot wound to the head. Officers told Channel 2 Action News the victim later died. Police said their initial information indicated that the victim and the suspect knew each other and had been ‘engaged in an ongoing dispute’.
One officer shot dead, 2 more critically injured in Fargo; suspect also killed
Fargo, ND — One police officer was killed and two others were critically injured after a suspect began shooting on a busy street in Fargo, North Dakota, on Friday afternoon, police said. Fargo police officers returning fire killed the suspect during the shooting that occurred before 3 p.m. Friday. Police did not provide details regarding how she was shot. Fargo police identified the officer who was killed as 23-year-old Jake Wallin, who had only been sworn in as an officer in April. He had also served in the Minnesota Army National Guard. The two wounded officers were identified as Andrew Dotas, a six-year veteran of the department, and Tyler Hawes, who had also just joined Fargo police in April. Dotas and Hawes were both hospitalized in critical but stable condition as of Saturday, police said.
Portland Enterprise worker killed after being hit by truck
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) – A worker was killed following an incident at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Portland Monday afternoon. Authorities were called to the Enterprise’s vehicle service facility on Westbrook Street around 2:30 p.m. on Monday. Officials say 34-year-old Antonio Baptista-Tampini was hit by a pickup truck driven by a 55-year-old man from South Portland. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified and was called to the scene.
Maintenance worker dies after electrocution incident at shopping center
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man died Tuesday afternoon after he was reportedly electrocuted during an incident at a shopping center in St. Albans, according to St. Albans Police. The incident was reported just after 3:45 p.m. in the 1400 block of MacCorkle Avenue. Police say the man, a 42-year-old maintenance worker, was unresponsive when first responders arrived. They said he was on lift equipment inside the shopping center when the incident happened. A second maintenance worker who was on the lift was treated and released at the scene. Investigators say the man who died passed away from his injuries at Thomas Memorial Hospital.
Sanitation worker in Wyoming County killed while on the job
OCEANA, W.Va. (WCHS) — Wyoming County is mourning the loss of a sanitation worker who died during an incident while on the job Wednesday morning. Members of the Oceana Fire Department said they responded to a traumatic injury in the parking lot of Tomblin Hardware about 11:45 a.m. Firefighters said the employee had been fatally struck by a dumpster while dumping its contents into the garbage truck.
Brewerytown corner store worker shot, killed while stocking shelves
PHILADELPHIA, PA — A corner store worker was gunned down in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia Thursday night. Police believe the father of four was targeted. Around 6:45 p.m., an unidentified man walked into the Jefferson Food Market at 29th and Jefferson streets. He pulled out a gun and fired five shots. One of the bullets hit the 37-year-old victim as he was stocking shelves, police said. The victim, later identified by his family as Jose Alberto Almonte, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Father of 4 falls into manhole, dies while working plumbing job at Ga. high school
Floyd County, GA — Floyd County police officials told Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday that Robert Hall was on working with a plumbing contractor at Armuchee High School when he slipped and fell into a maintenance hole. When officers arrived, they found Hall unconscious at the bottom of the manhole. After he was pulled from the maintenance hole, he was pronounced dead.
Construction worker dies after falling at Pine-Richland High School
GIBSONIA, Pa. (KDKA) — A construction worker is dead after he fell at Pine-Richland High School. According to investigators and Pine-Richland officials, the victim, said to be a man in his 40s, fell some 30 feet through a hole in the roof onto a concrete floor. The medical examiner later identified him as 44-year-old Joseph Gazzo. The man is believed to be part of a team installing rooftop air conditioning units. A view from above shows what appears to be two large pieces of plywood covering where the victim is believed to have fallen through. The worker was rushed to Allegheny General Hospital where investigators say the man was pronounced dead.
Contracted DPW employee run over, killed by construction zone roller in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood
BALTIMORE, MD – A contracted worker for the Baltimore Department of Public Works died Wednesday afternoon after he was run over by a construction zone roller in the Hampden neighborhood. The man was found unresponsive by police in the 3900 block of Falls Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Baltimore Mayor’s Office said the contractor was working on a water main replacement project when he was killed. “We are deeply saddened by the worksite accident that occurred today in the 3900 block of Falls Road, which resulted in the death of a worker employed by a DPW contractor on a water main replacement project,” Mayor Brandon Scott said. “We extend our sincere condolences to his family, co-workers, and whole community. Safety investigations have already begun, and all parties involved are fully cooperating.”
Man killed girlfriend after she removed AirTag he’d secretly placed in her car, prosecutors say
CHICAGO, IL — A 21-year-old man shot and killed his girlfriend at the Mariano’s grocery store where she worked in Evergreen Park after confronting her for removing an Apple AirTag tracking device he’d placed in her car without her knowledge, prosecutors said. A judge ordered that he be held in jail without bail. Armoni Henry, of the Ashburn neighborhood in Chicago, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Jailene Flowers. Evergreen Park police said surveillance video shows the suspect, who is believed to be the victim’s boyfriend, following her into the store. The Evergreen Park police chief said an individual was taken into custody near the 1330 block of West Thorndale Avenue in Edgewater. A firearm was also recovered. Police were able to track him down by recovering a report from a previous incident involving the couple when the victim worked at an Amazon store in Oak Lawn.
Bramwell firefighter dies after being injured in ATV accident
BRAMWELL, WV — About 1 p.m. Tuesday, two members of the Bramwell Volunteer Fire Department, a son and his father, were out on the department’s side-by-side examining two previous accident scenes, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the fire department. “While they were out of the side by side (on foot) the side-by-side began to roll towards them,” according to the department’s press release. “They attempted to stop it from rolling and the side-by-side dragged them over a hill and rolled multiple times.” Both men were transported to area hospitals for their injuries. Unfortunately, the son, 19 years old, passed away at a Charleston hospital from his injuries overnight, according to the press release. The father has been discharged from the hospital.
Construction worker dies after falling from ladder in Wilmington, Delaware
WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) — Police in Wilmington, Delaware are investigating after a construction worker fell to his death on Wednesday morning. Officers were called to the 200 block of West 14th Street around 8:30 a.m. Police said a contractor working on repairs at an apartment building fell from a ladder and landed in front of the building. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Indiana Sheriff’s Deputy Killed by Inmate in Failed Escape Attempt
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — A prisoner in Indianapolis attacked and killed a sheriff’s deputy while attempting to escape jail, according to authorities. Orlando Mitchell, 34, was riding in a prisoner transport van with Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm, 61, law enforcement leaders told the Indianapolis Star. Durm had taken Mitchell to a medical appointment away from the jail and was returning to the facility, according to local TV station WISH. Mitchell then assaulted Durm and stole the vehicle, Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said. But Mitchell’s dramatic escape did not last long, according to Forestal. He made it out of the jail campus and crashed just outside the parking lot, the Star reported. Three officers arrived to detain him.
News conference held following shooting that killed Alamogordo officer
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Alamogordo Police Department officer Anthony Ferguson, who was shot during a chase Saturday, has died, according to the Alamogordo Police Department. The 41-year-old was an 11-year veteran of the Alamogordo Police Department serving in the Patrol Division as a Field Training Officer. The police department says he is survived by his mother, father, four brothers, daughter and son. The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Officers tried to stop a vehicle driven by a man identified as Dominic De La O, 26, of Alamogordo, for driving without lights. Police say De La O fled from the officers, crashed into a light pole near Delaware Avenue and First Street, and fled the scene on foot. Authorities chased De La O, and he reportedly fired a “sawed-off shotgun” at the officer. He was hit in the face by the gunfire. A different officer fired his weapon toward De La O, and De La O was struck in the leg. De La O was taken into custody shortly after.
Employee at Gresham residential care facility dies, police arrest murder suspect
GRESHAM, Ore. — A 59-year-old man is facing a murder charge, accused of killing an employee at a residential care facility in Gresham. Gresham Police officers were called out at about 7 a.m. on reports of a stabbing at the care facility on Northeast 165th Avenue. They arrived to find a woman who worked there deceased. The Multnomah County Major Crimes Team was called out, and detectives later arrested James Smith, 59, of Gresham. He was booked into the county jail on second-degree murder.
Utility worker dies in rear-end crash
CAMBRIDGE, MD — A utility worker died Tuesday afternoon when a truck crashed into his parked trailer on the side of Hudson Road. Maryland State Police troopers responded to the area of Maryland Route 343 (Hudson Road) and Car Neck Road in Cambridge just after 12:30 p.m. July 11 for a reported two vehicle crash. According to police, a Ford F-450, driven by Gary Peek, 66, of Madison, was parked on the side of Hudson Road west with an Intech trailer attached. Peek was conducting utility work with displayed emergency cones and activated lights when, for unknown reasons, a F-250 traveling west on Hudson Road, struck the rear of the trailer, police said. Police believe Peek was inside the trailer at the time of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical services personnel.
79-year-old shoots apartment manager during inspection, then sets fire
Sheridan, AR — An Arkansas man is accused of shooting two apartment employees, killing one, then starting a fire, police say. Police received a call about a shooting at the Sheridan Heights Estates at about 2:54 p.m., July 10, the Sheridan Police Department said in a news release. Two employees, the apartment manager and a maintenance worker, entered the suspect’s apartment for a routine inspection, police told KARK. During the inspection, the man opened fire, killing the manager, the station reported. The worker was shot too but managed to escape, and he was found wounded in a stairwell by police as they arrived at the scene. As officers neared the unit, they smelled a powerful odor coming from inside, police told KTHV. Then there was a blast and the unit went up in flames. Street.
Construction worker killed in Howard University campus shooting
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man is dead after being shot on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. early Thursday morning, authorities said. Just before 6 a.m., officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to a shooting in the 600 Block of Bryant Street NW. Third District Commander James Boteler gives update after a fatal shooting on Howard University’s campus in Washington, D.C. early Thursday morning, July 13, 2023. MPD said the suspect got out of their vehicle and shot a construction worker and drove off. The victim who was found by officers on the sidewalk was taken to the hospital where he later died, police said.
Photos of gun-wielding suspect released following deadly shooting at Columbus corner store
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The owner of a corner store in southeast Columbus was shot and killed Wednesday. Columbus police responded to the shooting in the 1400 block of South Hamilton Road around 1:50 p.m. The victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but he died a short time later. He was identified as 55-year-old Vijayakumar Nair. A witness said the shooter fired into the store and its drive-thru window and then ran off.
Truck driver killed in I-70 crash in Frederick County
Frederick County, MD — A truck driver was killed and a passenger hurt following a crash in Frederick County, Maryland, on Wednesday. It happened before 5 p.m. in the area of eastbound Interstate 70 before the Maryland 17 exit. The driver of the commercial work truck, who police have not yet identified, died at the scene. The passenger, a 30-year-old man, was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police said the truck was going eastbound on I-70 when it ran off the roadway and struck a guardrail. Maryland State Police said they are investigating the cause of the crash, which closed all eastbound lanes of the interstate.