Weekly Toll

How workers died last week: Electrocution, heat, falls, fire, logging, vehicle incidents and 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.

Sweetwater line worker fatally electrocuted by live wires

SWEETWATER, FL — Authorities are currently investigating an industrial accident that left a Miami-Dade line worker fatally electrocuted Friday morning. Miami-Dade Police identified the deceased line worker as 30-year-old Jorge Luis Hernandez. According to investigators, Sweetwater Police officers responded to a loud explosion heard and a line worker injured behind a home located near 10392 SW Flagler Street. Upon arriving, they discovered an unconscious, subcontracted line worker — later identified as Hernandez — who was servicing local power lines and was shocked by live wires. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was en route as members of his work crew were able to safely lower him to perform first aid. Once MDFR arrived, they treated him and transported the worker to the nearest trauma center in critical condition. Despite life-saving efforts, Hernandez died from his injuries, according to a Sunday afternoon update from MDPD.

Worker killed in Shelby County construction accident

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A worker was killed in a construction accident Monday morning in southeast Shelby County. Deputies said it happened around 7:45 in the 7600 block of Chasewood, near Holmes Road. The fire department took one man to Regional One in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead.

Repairs to the roof system at a converted shopping mall had commenced earlier that week

Seguin, TX — A contractor from Advantage USAA, Inc., in Spring Branch, Texas, died after falling through the roof of a school district administrative building last week, just as repairs and a complete reroof were underway at a one-time shopping mall in the city of Suguin, about 26 miles northeast of San Antonio. We were called for a fall, and it was reported CPR in progress,” Seguin Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Teboe told the newspaper. According to Seguin Assistant Fire Chief Garrick Herbert, the contractor was pronounced dead at the hospital. The man’s identity was not released, and so far, there has been no statement by Advantage USAA Inc., a commercial roofing concern with branches in Spring Branch and Midland. The roof replacement began last week, days ahead of the accident, according to Sean Hoffman, a school district spokesman, who added that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be among the departments investigating what happened.

Farm worker dies in Spring Hope

Nash County, NC — The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating the death of a farm worker this week in Nash County. WFAE Radio reported that José Arturo González Mendoza of Guanajuato, Mexico, was working at Barnes Farming in Spring Hope as a seasonal employee. In a statement, Barnes Farming said they’re deeply saddened by Mendoza’s passing and that the North Carolina Growers Association will pay for his funeral expenses. The statement says Mendoza was harvesting sweet potatoes “…when he reported to his field supervisor that he was not feeling well and was going to sit on the bus (their transportation to the field) until he felt better. After another supervisor checked on him, it was decided an ambulance should be called.” (More here.)

4 asphalt company employees killed on way to job site in Labor Day crash

ADRIAN, Mich. (WTVG/Gray News) – A crash in Lenawee County, Michigan, took the lives of four men on Labor Day. All four were in a work pickup truck, traveling from one job site to another near Britton, Michigan, when the crash happened. “My heart aches for each and every one of them,” said, Rocky Wingfield, the owner of K&B Asphalt Sealcoating, Inc. in Adrian, Michigan, whose employees died in the crash. The company has been in business 28 years, employing roughly three dozen workers. The men were in a work F-150 pickup truck when the driver of an F-250 pickup caused a T-bone crash at the intersection of Britton Highway and Milwaukee Road, Michigan State Police said. As for employees of K&B, State Police are still notifying next of kin and have not yet released their names, only saying they range in age from 18 to 35.

Worker dies at Eleanor Slater Hospital

Cranston, Rhode Island — An employee of a staffing agency at Eleanor Slater Hospital died over the weekend, according to a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH).The BHDDH spokesperson said hospital staff found the employee unresponsive and immediately began performing life-saving measures. The employee’s identity and cause of death are unknown at this time.

One firefighter dies in South Dakota fire

HURON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – The firefighter who died fighting a fire in Huron, South Dakota on Monday has been identified. The man has been identified as 48-year-old Josh Kogel, who is the chief firefighter for Cavour. The town of Cavour is located a couple of miles east of Huron. According to Dakota News Now, Kogel was a firefighter for over 20 years. He left behind two children and two stepchildren. Authorities say Kogel suffered a medical situation while fighting Monday’s fire. Three buildings at Hurd Alignment & Service were deemed a total loss.


Klamath, Ca — A tragic logging accident occurred in Klamath, California, yesterday evening, claiming the life of an individual whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The incident unfolded at approximately 5:20 p.m. on September 4, 2023. According to the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department, the tragedy was first reported when a 911 call came in alerting authorities to the incident. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Yurok Tribal Police, Search and Rescue teams, Klamath Fire Department, Del Norte Ambulance, and Cal Fire, responded to the scene. Upon arrival at the accident site, first responders discovered the individual was deceased.

East Manchester Township man died in a farm silo over the weekend

East Manchester, PA — An East Manchester Township man and longtime municipal supervisor died over Labor Day weekend after he was found unresponsive in a corn silo, according to the York County Coroner’s Office. Steve Gross Jr., 55, of the 100 block of Manchester Street, was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the farm, a news release states. Emergency responders rushed to the farm early Sunday afternoon. Firefighters removed Gross from an unloading chute of the corn silo and determined that he was deceased, the release states. York County Regional Police are investigating. Gross’ death also was reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration because it happened in a workplace.

Construction worker killed in Jefferson Parish hit-and-run; driver arrested

MARRERO, LA (WVUE) – A construction worker was killed in a hit-and-run incident in Jefferson Parish around 3:30 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 9), according to State Police. The victim, David Allen Smith, 36, was working on US 90B upper level near McArthur Boulevard when the incident occurred. Louisiana State Police Troop B reported that some lanes on US 90B upper level were closed for construction. Smith was walking near the right shoulder when an SUV hit him. The vehicle did not stop. Smith was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

Man killed in accident at Indiana County quarry

Young Township, PA — A man was killed Friday morning in an accident at an Indiana County quarry. It happened at the Ridge Limestone Quarry in Young Township. Officials said a worker was inside a mine hopper. It appears a co-worker operating a front loader did not realize the man was inside when he released limestone gravel down and into the hopper. Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman said 39-year-old Eric Matthew Komlosky, Sr., of Indiana, died in what his office ruled as an accident. The cause of death was listed as compression asphyxia. The coroner pronounced Komlosky dead at the scene. “Unfortunately, there was a tragic incident here this morning at Ridge Limestone Quarry here in Young Township, Indiana County,” said State Trooper Clifford Greenfield. “This occurred in the course of the employee’s normal work day. And sadly, a man lost his life today.”

Town Of Oyster Bay Sanitation Worker Dies While On Duty

MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY — A sanitation worker for the Town of Oyster Bay died while on the job this week. Darren LiVecchi, 24, of Massapequa Park, suffered cardiac arrest and died on Tuesday. “Darren was known for his dedication to the job and eagerness to serve residents however he could. My prayers are with his family during this heartbreaking time,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said.

Investigation launched after TVA employee dies at West Tenn. plant

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A man died after an accident at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plant in West Tennessee. On Saturday, Sept. 1, Matt McPherson suffered a serious injury while performing maintenance at the Brownsville Combustion Turbine Plane and was flown to a hospital in Memphis where he later passed away. McPherson’s daughter said he was attempting to ventilate a faulty natural gas pipe when it burst, causing serious injuries to his head and crushed his left arm. McPherson was TVA said they are conducting an internal investigation as well cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine what led to the deadly incident.

Circle K worker shot and killed in Cudahy; search for suspect underway

CUDAHY, Calif. (KABC) — A convenience store worker was shot and killed early Friday morning in Cudahy, and a search for the shooter is now underway. It happened around 5 a.m. at the Circle K store and gas station on Clara Street and Wilcox Avenue. When deputies with the East Los Angeles Station arrived, they found the worker, who has not been identified, with several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The owner of the store told Eyewitness News they believe this may have been an attempted robbery. The sheriff’s department said a black sedan was seen leaving the area after the shooting, though details on a make and model of the vehicle weren’t available.

Man stabs coworker to death at truck stop in Clayton

CLAYTON, Ind. — A Monrovia man stabbed his coworker to death at the TA truck stop in Clayton, according to the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office. Sebastian Adam Lestat Jones, 20, was arrested for murder and transported to the Hendricks County Jail. The initial investigation conducted by deputies showed that a physical altercation occurred between two employees at the TA Travel Center. During the altercation one of the employees stabbed the other with a knife. The victim was transported to an Indianapolis hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later. The victim was identified as Darin Lee Simpson, 33, of Martinsville.

Hartford police officer killed by high school student speeding away from traffic stop, officials say

HARTFORD, CT — Officials say a high school student fleeing from a traffic stop ran two red lights and crashed into a police cruiser, killing one of the officers Wednesday night. Hartford police Officer Bobby Garten was killed and Officer Brian Kearney was seriously hurt in the crash, which occurred around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Asylum Avenue and Cogswell Street. Officials described the 34-year-old Garten as a dedicated officer who grew up in the area and who took on some of the toughest assignments as a member of the Hartford Police Department’s street crimes unit.

Man charged in fatal crash that killed Forsyth County deputy in the line of duty, troopers say

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man has been charged in a crash that killed a Forsyth County deputy in the line of duty, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Investigators say that William Benton, 24, of Lexington, was driving a box truck southbound on NC 150 while Deputy Auston Reudelhuber, 32, of Lexington, was driving a marked Forsyth County Sheriff patrol vehicle northbound on NC 150. The box truck went left of center and collided head-on with the patrol car. As a result of the crash, both vehicles went off the road to the right and came to a stop on the southbound shoulder of NC 150. Reudelhuber was taken to a local hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries. Benton suffered no injuries as a result of the crash.

Man accused of killing manager at CVS Pharmacy

MESA, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) – Police say a store manager died after being shot inside a CVS Pharmacy in Arizona on Thursday night. According to the Mesa Police Department, the CVS manager identified as 49-year-old Michael Jacobs was shot and killed inside the store. Investigators said he was shot several times and rushed to the hospital but later died. Police arrested 38-year-old Jared Sevey in connection with the shooting. Authorities said Sevey was inside the store earlier in the day when he began arguing with Jacobs about shoplifting. After the confrontation, Sevey reportedly went home and grabbed a gun.

Firefighter killed in Huron blaze identified

Huron, SD — The firefighter who died fighting a fire in Huron on Monday was Cavour’s chief, Josh Kogel. Kogel, 48, was a firefighter for over 20 years. He left behind two children and two stepchildren. He suffered a medical situation while fighting Monday’s fire. Three buildings at Hurd Alignment & Service were deemed a total loss.

Man dies at Butler County plant, coroner says

VALENCIA, Pa. — A 46-year-old Butler man died at a Middlesex Township plant Tuesday, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. The cause of death was traumatic asphyxiation, said Deputy Coroner John Hanovick. The man was cleaning machinery at the plant when his arm got caught in machinery. Fire and EMS units were called to Vorteq Coil Finishers, 125 McFann Rd., at 3:30 p.m. The company works with steel and aluminum coils, according to its website. The name of the person who died has not yet been released.

Madras Bright Wood Corp. employee dies on the job

Madras, OR — An employee died on the job Wednesday morning at the Madras location of Bright Wood Corp., which manufactures wood products, according to Dallas Stovall, longtime president of the corporation. The accident happened around 9 a.m. in one of the millwork company’s plants, and employees were sent home for the day, Stovall said. The deceased employee’s identity has not been disclosed, and neither has the cause of death. Madras Police Chief Tim Plummer declined to comment for this story. Bright Wood confirmed the death Thursday and said grief counselors were on site that day for employees. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating the death, as is standard procedure with workplace fatalities, a Thursday press release from Bright Wood said.

Sanitation worker killed in Ijamsville crash

Ijamsville, MD — A sanitation worker was struck by a car and killed while on the job Wednesday morning, police said. The worker was identified as 55-year-old Jose Gomes of Hagerstown. No one else was harmed in the crash, according to a Maryland State Police press release. At around 5:30 a.m., Gomes was driving a 2023 Freightliner garbage truck along Green Valley Road in Ijamsville. After stopping in the 2400 block, Gomes and 28-year-old Jose Flores Sanchez of Gaithersburg exited the vehicle to retrieve garbage cans on the side of the road. A 2006 Subaru Outback traveling north struck Gomes and rear-ended the garbage truck, police said.

Truck driver killed in Wayne County crash

WAYNE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – A Florida man is dead following a crash in Southern Kentucky. Officers from the Kentucky State Police Commerical Vehicle Enforcement were called to a crash Thursday on KY 834 in Wayne County. When they arrived, they found a 2011 International tractor-trailer had lost control and went off the road, hitting several trees head-on. The driver, Raymond Thomas, 63, of Arcadia, Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he was not wearing a seat belt at the time. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Eugene 7-Eleven employee dies after being shot early Saturday

Eugene, OR — A 32-year-old Eugene man is dead after a shooting at a 7-Eleven near Broadway and Patterson Street early Saturday morning. Eugene Police Department responded to reports of a shooting around 2:30 a.m., where they found a victim located inside of the 7-Eleven with life-threatening injuries. The victim was identified as Stephen Anthony Forrest, who was working at the 7-Eleven at 590 E Broadway when he was shot. Forrest was rushed to a nearby hospital and died Monday, police said.


One thought on “Weekly Toll: Death on the Job”
  1. There was a very similar incident of a guy falling through a roof and dying in our County. Roofing is a dangerous business, and all safety precautions should be taken to make the job as safe as possible.

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