Weekly Toll

How workers died last week. Backed over, falls, electrocution, shootings,  machinery incidents, vehicle incidents and on and on and on. 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.

Store owner was killed over a Pride flag she flew in front of her California business

CEDAR GLEN, Calif. (AP) — A dispute over an LGBTQ+ pride flag at a California clothing store spiraled into deadly violence this weekend when a man shot and killed the 66-year-old business owner right in front of her shop, authorities said. The man ran away from the store after the shooting Friday night but was later found and killed in a confrontation with officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The agency said Laura Ann Carleton was pronounced dead at Mag.Pi, the store she owned and operated in Cedar Glen. The small community in the San Bernadino Mountains is roughly 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles. Before the shooting, the man “made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store,” sheriff’s officials said. It was not immediately clear what happened when officers confronted the man, whose identity hadn’t been released as of Sunday. Carleton, who preferred to be called “Lauri,” is survived by her husband and nine children in a blended family. An LGBTQ group in nearby Lake Arrowhead said Carleton didn’t identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. But she spent time helping and advocating for everyone, and was defending her Pride flags placed in front of her shop on the night of the shooting, the group said.

Dump truck driver killed in N.J. Turnpike crash caused by tire blowout

Burlington County, NJ — A 45-year-old dump truck driver was killed after blowing a tire on the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County on Wednesday morning. Nelson Gonzalez was driving south near mile post 55.2 in Chesterfield at about 10:50 a.m. when the truck veered off the truck lanes to the right and struck a guard rail and chain link fence, State Police said. Gonzalez, of Manville, was pronounced dead at the scene, about 2 miles north of Exit 7. Tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run crash on Parkway West, police say

Gainesville garbage collection company worker dies on the job

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – A contractor for the company which collects garbage in the city of Gainesville died on the job on Monday. Green For Life (GFL) Environmental, a waste management company, confirmed to TV20 a contracted worker for the company died. The company has not clarified the cause of death at this time.

IRS agent accidentally shot, killed by fellow agent during training at Phoenix gun range

PHOENIX, AZ – A special agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is dead after being accidentally shot by another IRS agent during a training exercise Thursday at a federal gun range in Phoenix, officials confirmed. On Friday, IRS officials identified the victim as 47-year-old Patrick Bauer, a longtime Arizona resident. He was a retired master sergeant with the Arizona Air National Guard and served with the 161st Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron, the National Guard said in an email. He served for more than 20 years, completing multiple state missions and overseas deployments. “Our hearts go out to MSgt Bauer’s family, friends and all those who had the privilege to work with him. His service to the state and nation will forever be remembered,” Maj. Gen. Kerry L. Muehlenbeck, Arizona National Guard Adjutant General, said in a written statement. Bauer is survived by his wife and four kids.

Construction worker killed on Asheville I-26 widening project in ‘tragic accident’

ASHEVILLE, NC — An employee of a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation died the morning of Aug. 17 while working on the Interstate 26 widening project in Buncombe County. The employee, who works for Fluor-United, was killed in a “tragic accident” while working outside of traffic on I-26 south of Long Shoals Road, spokesperson for NCDOT, David Uchiyama, told the Citizen Times Aug. 17. N.C. State Highway Patrol Sgt. Cristopher Knox identified the deceased as Russell L. Penley, 29, of Flat Rock. Jon Sprase, 32, of Woodfin, was operating a bulldozer while Penley was engaged in a surveying operation in close proximity, according to Knox. “While backing, the bulldozer operator failed to see Penley behind him and backed over him,” Knox told the Citizen Times Aug. 17. “Penley died as a result of his injuries.”

Semi-Truck Driver Killed in Accident near Interstate 90 in Rapid City, SD

Rapid City, SD — August 16, 2023, a semi-truck driver was killed in an accident near Interstate 90, mile marker 30, in Rapid City, SD. Authorities say that on August 16, a fatal accident occurred when, for unknown reasons, a semi-truck crashed off Interstate 90 in Rapid City. The accident reportedly happened as the semi was traveling eastbound along the interstate. According to reports, the semi suddenly left the roadway, attempted to cross a bridge, and crashed into a non-moving train beneath. Officials confirmed the truck driver, a 70-year-old man whose name has not been released, suffered severe injuries in the crash and was transported to a local hospital for immediate medical attention. The man reportedly succumbed to his injuries and died while at the hospital.

Industrial accident leaves man dead in Clearfield

CLEARFIELD, Utah – A work-related accident in Clearfield left one man dead early Wednesday morning. According to Lt. Scott Manookin of the Clearfield Police Department, a call came in around 6:30 a.m. about an unconscious male. The call came from the Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company near 1100 South and 1000 West. Lt. Manookin confirmed that a piece of equipment fell on a 27-year-old male. “The victim, he suffered severe trauma to his head,” said Manookin. Officers with the Clearfield Police Department said that 27-year-old Ivan Marquez of Ogden, Utah suffered severe head trauma after an appliance situated above his workstation fell on him.

Worker at IDOT facility killed in accident

Kendall County, IL – An employee at an Illinois Department of Transportation depot was fatally injured Tuesday after becoming pinned between two pieces of large equipment, authorities said. Timothy F. Harms, 43, of the 1000-block of Spruce Street, Morris, was found unresponsive after becoming pinned between two large pieces of equipment. Harms was an employee of the facility.

Sanitation worker dies after being hit by trash truck

Ridley Park, PA — A sanitation worker died after being struck by the trash truck he was working on in Ridley Park, Delaware County, on Tuesday. The Ridley Park Police Department said in a Facebook post that officers responded to the incident, which happened just before noon on the 200 block of West Hinckley Ave. Responding officers arrived to investigate a “vehicle entrapment” at the scene, police said. There, police found that a 30-year-old employee of a subcontracted trash removal service used by the borough was hit by a truck he was working on earlier. The employee was 31-year-old Frank Daniels

19-year-old killed on the job at Dallas ISD construction site, investigation underway

DALLAS, Texas — The parents of a beloved bull rider from Decatur are demanding answers and transparency after their son was killed while working on a Dallas ISD construction project on Aug. 1. A Dallas ISD spokesperson told WFAA Thursday that the accident happened before school began and within the scope of construction. Per the Dallas Police Department, 19-year-old Boston Monett died while helping construct the new Everette Lee DeGolyer Elementary School. The teen’s parents, Kyle Monett and Amy Rodenburgh, said officials informed them that Monett was struck in the right side of the skull by a drilling rig. A Dallas police report confirms that’s where Monett’s injuries were, but that report was also heavily redacted. Monett, who rode bulls on the side and helped out frequently at his cowboy church, turned to Maxon Drilling in Decatur when he wanted to earn a steady and honest living. Maxon is a subcontractor on the project overseen by Northridge Construction Group based in North Richland Hills. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the death and is nearing completion of that inquiry.

OSHA notified of Boonville worker death at Caterpillar; reported as ‘natural causes’

BOONVILLE, Mo. (KMIZ) — A U.S. Department of Labor spokesman said on Tuesday that OSHA has been notified of the death of an employee at the Caterpillar facility in Boonville. The worker died Monday morning, according to the Boonville Police Department. The worker’s death is being reported as “natural causes,” the Department of Labor spokesman said in an email. OSHA is in contact with Caterpillar and the coroner’s office and will wait to receive their report, the spokesman said.

Arkansas security officer hit and killed while directing school traffic

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. — A driver hit and killed a school security officer who was directing traffic on the first day of school in Little Rock Monday morning. Victor Montgomery was directing traffic between Robinson High School and Robinson Elementary just outside Little Rock. A car hit Montgomery and dragged him for several yards before stopping. Emergency crews took him to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. “It is imperative for motorists to slow down in school zones. There are three schools within walking distance of each other in this area of Highway 10/Cantrell Road,” a district news release read. “There is absolutely no reason for any motorist to drive above the speed limit in this area any time of day, much less during school drop off and pick up time.” Montgomery had worked for the school district, directing traffic at the schools for seven years.

Worker electrocuted in Orange County industrial accident

Orange County, TX — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an electrocution following an industrial accident at a business outside of Bridge City. Captain Joey Jacobs telling KFDM the 53-year-old man from Orange County was working on some type of electrical component at STS Industrial on East Roundbunch Road. He came in contact with electricity at about noon. The man was taken by Acadian Ambulance to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas where he died.

Seattle teen kills Uber driver, takes car on joyride in city’s second rideshare murder in past year

Seattle, WA — A Seattle teen is accused of shooting an Uber driver point-blank, then taking off in his car and driving it to visit her family, get her hair done and smoke weed on the beach. Amare Geda, a 52-year-old father of two, was found dead in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood around 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 8, FOX 13 Seattle reported. Seattle police said they arrested an 18-year-old suspect on Aug. 10, whom KIRO 7 identified as Neiana Allen-Bailey. Allen-Bailey was booked in the King County Jail on a homicide charge and is being held on $2 million bail, records show. Allen-Bailey was not a rideshare customer, police said, but instead randomly approached and shot the driver.

Authorities identify Iowa semi-truck driver killed in crash

FORT ATKINSON, Iowa (KCRG) — A Waterloo man died after the semi-truck he was driving went off a bridge in Winneshiek County on Wednesday afternoon, KCRG reports. First responders were called to the Highway 24 bridge over Goddard Creek, southwest of Fort Atkinson, at about 5:40 p.m. The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office said the semi had overturned and caught fire. The driver, Kyle McNeil, 33, died in the crash. The sheriff’s office said multiple emergency response agencies were assisted by several private citizens and businesses.

Authorities identify Iowa semi-truck driver killed in crash

PITTSBURGH, PA — Charges against a suspected drunk driver are pending after police say he hit and killed a tow truck driver on the Parkway West. Police said it was just before midnight on Wednesday when a suspected drunk driver hit and killed tow truck driver Husam Shuibat and fled the scene. According to police, 23-year-old Hunter Crown was driving in the inbound lanes of the Parkway West between the Carnegie and Green Tree exits when he struck Shuibat. “That tow truck was on the side of the road with its lights on. That actually deems it to be an emergency scene,” Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Rocco Gagliardi said. “Drivers in the state of Pennsylvania have to move over for any vehicle that’s on the side of the road.” Police say the 53-year-old victim, who worked for Advantage Towing in Carnegie, had just finished securing the car on the flatbed when he was sideswiped while getting back into his truck.

Texas tattoo shop boss fires employee, then kills him in argument over final paycheck, police say

Arlington, TX — The owner of a Texas tattoo shop on Tuesday fired an employee, who refused to leave the parlor, according to the Arlington Police Department, then shot him to death in an argument over his final paycheck. Javier “Big Dawg” Arredondo, a 42-year-old artist and entrepreneur, fired the unidentified 46-year-old man Tuesday afternoon, police said. Arredondo terminated the victim due to an incident that happened a week earlier, according to police documents obtained by Fox News Digital. His name is being withheld pending the official release from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. The victim wouldn’t leave, according to authorities, and amid a heated argument, Arredondo had everyone else leave the shop. Three witnesses told police that the victim had become upset and aggressive before they left. They’d barely gotten outside when police say the witnesses heard three gunshots — at least one of which struck the victim in the head.

Truck driver killed on Interstate-70

HANCOCK COUNTY, Indiana – Officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said at least one person is dead following a late night crash involving multiple trucks on Interstate-70 Friday night. First responders were called around 10:40 p.m. Aug. 18 with reports of a car having a flat tire on the interstate. Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a minor crash at the 98mm of westbound I-70 and noted the accident was caused as the result of a vehicle with the flat tire stopped in the right lane. That minor accident caused a back-up along the interstate which officials say caused a multi-vehicle crash just west of the 100mm. That second crash, involved 3 semi tractor-trailers and a pick-up truck pulling a car hauler trailer. During the crash one of the trucks struck the rear of the truck in front of it, trapping the driver. When officials from the fire department were able to locate the driver in the wreckage, he was deceased, officials said. The name of the driver has not been released yet.

Semi-truck driver killed on I-20 in Mitchell County

MITCHELL COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A semi-truck driver was pronounced dead on I-20 in Mitchell County Monday morning. Bobby Edwards, 57, of Duncanville, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on I-20 east of Loraine just after 7:00 a.m., according to a crash report from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The crash report reveals Edwards was driving a semi-truck down the highway when he failed to negotiate a curve, causing his truck to leave the road and rollover, striking the center cable and a light pole. No one else was involved in this crash and no further information has been released.

Pine Hill man dies when truck rolls in pond at PCA mill

Pine Hill, AL — A Pine Hill man died in an accident on the Packaging Corporation of America mill property in Jackson Monday morning. Jackson Police Department officers responded to an industrial accident at PCA at approximately 7:45 a.m. Deputy Chief Jason Thomas was the first on the scene and called for investigators. A large dump truck had overturned into a settlement pond and the driver was trapped inside the cab of the truck. Police, fire and an emergency response team from PCA were unable to get to the driver due to the cab being submerged in the pond. PCA was able to extract the dump truck with the help of Pitts and Son. Once the truck was removed from the pond, the driver, Davonne Woods, was found unresponsive inside the cab. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Father charged with killing state employee that hit and killed his son

PERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Deputies say a North Carolina state employee was killed by the father of a child he hit with a state-owned vehicle Monday morning in Person County. Deputies with the Person County Sheriff’s Office say that Jeffrey McKay was driving a state-owned vehicle when he struck and killed a boy who was walking with his parents on Dink Ashley Road near Timberlake around 6:30 am Monday morning. Deputies say the family had run out of gas and had started walking together. McKay, an engineering supervisor with the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction, pulled over and called 911. That’s when deputies say that the father, Chad Woods, pulled out a gun and shot McKay. Deputies said that the couple then jumped into McKay’s truck and drove away, leaving McKay and the body of their dead child at the scene. According to deputies, drivers passing the scene called 911 and McKay was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Construction worker dies due to ‘extensive’ injuries from fall at Pleasantville home

Westchester, NY — Police say a construction worker has died as the result of a fall at home in Pleasantville. Pleasantville police say authorities were notified of the injury of a construction worker at a home on Sunnyside Avenue just before 8 a.m. Tuesday. Officers responded, and an ambulance and paramedics were dispatched to the home, police say. Police say officers arriving at the scene found a man who suffered extensive injuries from a fall. He was soon after pronounced dead at the scene. Police say they are “saddened by this tragic loss” and are asking for respect for the family and homeowner’s privacy.

Dallas man stole his car from impound lot, struck employee after Apple Pay payment failed

DALLAS, TX – Dallas police say a man arrested for murder admitted he tried to steal his car from an impound lot. However, he didn’t confess to killing an employee who tried to stop him. Osahon Mike-Irabor is charged with the murder of Robert Myers. Dallas police say the suspect stole his own car from the lot after a payment to legally retrieve it failed. While escaping, police say the man struck the tow truck driver. But he left something behind making him easy to identify.

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