Weekly Toll

Three 18-year-olds dead. How workers died last week: Electrocution, falls, machinery, vehicle incidents, tree care, drowning, forklift, confined space 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.

18-Year-Old Employee of tree service killed in Blackford County accident

HARTFORD CITY, Ind. — A teenager employed by a tree-trimming service was killed Saturday in a work-related accident in Montpellier. Braeden Depew, 18, of Kokomo, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Montpelier’s west side, according to Blackford County Coroner Zach Crouch. The coroner said Depew was fatally injured when a log shifted, rolled out of a dump trailer and struck him. The death, reported about 10:10 a.m., was the result of blunt force trauma to the upper body

18-year-old fatally electrocuted while cutting down tree

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A man died after making contact with a power line while he was tree trimming Saturday morning. Port St. Lucie Police and St. Lucie County Fire District responded to the 2400-block of SE Sapelo Ave to an emergency medical call. Police said the 18-year-old man was electrocuted after making contact with a power line while cutting a tree down on a residential job site. The man was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Construction equipment crash claims life of 18-year-old

weekly toll
Kasey Griffin

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — On Sept. 14, around 1 p.m. an 18-year-old died in a single-car crash on North 66th West Avenue about 2 miles North of West 61st Street North in Tulsa, located in Osage County, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say. Kasey Griffin of Avant, OK, an employee of the Osage County Commission, was driving a Tru-Pac Roller which is construction equipment, when he was traveling down a steep hill and hit an uneven spot in the roadway causing him to lose control, the Tru-Pac rolled causing Griffin to be ejected about two feet. OHP says he was transported by EMSA to St. John’s Medical Center in Tulsa and was admitted in critical conditions where he was pronounced dead due to the injuries sustained in the crash.

Construction worker killed after being hit by beam in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA — A woman is dead after a construction beam hit her in the head on Friday, Sept. 22. According to the New Orleans Police Department’s major offense log, a woman was working at a construction site in the 0-10 block of Canal Street, near Harrah’s casino, when she was struck with metal beam. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

FDNY’s Ground Zero-related illness deaths reach 343, same death toll as number who died on 9/11

New York, NY — The number of FDNY members who died of a 9/11 illness reached 343 Saturday, the same number who died during the terror attack 22 years ago, officials said. On Saturday morning, retired Firefighter Robert Fulco died of pulmonary fibrosis that was linked to the toxic cloud swirling above Ground Zero in the days and weeks after the terror attacks. Fulco was the 343rd retired and active FDNY member to die of a 9/11 illness, officials said. He joined the Fire Department in November 1977, and retired in August 2002. He spent much of his career assigned to Engine 250 in Brooklyn. Fulco’s death was preceded on Wednesday by that of retired EMT Hilda Vanatta, who also succumbed to a 9/11-related cancer, department officials said. EMT Hilda L. Vannata spent most of her career working at EMS Station 14 in the Bronx and served the FDNY for 27 years before retiring in 2015, officials said.  Currently, 11,000 active and retired FDNY members have a diagnosed World Trade Center disease. Out of that number 3,500 are suffering from cancer, officials said. The 43 names added to the wall this year was the second-largest group since the memorial was created in 2011 when 55 names were put up, FDNY officials said. The World Trade Center death toll has grown — officials estimate that more than 6,400 first responders, volunteers and survivors have died from an illness or cancer linked to their time at Ground Zero, according to the World Trade Center Health Program.

Oil field worker, 30, dies on the job after inhaling fumes inside tank, sheriff says

MCCLAIN COUNTY, Okla. (Gray News) – An Oklahoma oil field worker died on the job this week after inhaling fumes inside an oil tank, officials said. The McClain County Sheriff’s Office identified the worker as 30-year-old Darrell Newton of Paul’s Valley. The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to an oil field site around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday for a report of an unresponsive worker. Newton was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. McClain County Sheriff Landy Offolter told KOCO that Newton succumbed to fumes and then fell into approximately 12 to 18 inches of crude oil at the bottom of the oil tank. Offolter said other employees pulled Newton out of the tank, started CPR and called 911.

Man crushed to death by truck in Frazer identified

Frazer, PA — A worker at an auto salvage yard in Frazer was killed Thursday morning when the pickup truck he was dismantling slipped off a rack and landed on him, according to authorities. The victim was identified Friday as Joseph Hloznik, 48, of Tarentum. Hloznik was a member of the family who owns the salvage yard. “The man who died was working by himself in an area at the back of the property,” the chief said. “Another worker happened to be driving by and noticed that the truck had fallen.” The chief said Hloznik was using a homemade steel rack that vehicles are hoisted onto with a front-end loader so parts can be removed from the underside. Kuhns said it appears Hloznik was working under the pickup when the front of the vehicle slid off the rack and landed on him. “The rack didn’t collapse or break,” he said. “The pickup came off the front crossbar.”

Local sawyer dies in Snowbowl Ski Area logging accident

Missoula, MT — Greg Seitz, a longtime Missoula-area sawyer and prolific skier, is dead after a logging accident while working at Snowbowl Ski Area north of Missoula. Seitz, 47, was reported missing Sept. 14 and found dead Sept. 15. Brad Morris, who owns and operates Snowbowl with son Andy Morris, confirmed the death in a phone call with the Missoulian. Seitz was contracted to perform logging work in the ski area, Morris said. After a week of inquires from the Missoulian since Seitz was found dead, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the death in a statement issued at 9:26 p.m. Thursday. The agency said Seitz lived in East Missoula. He was reportedly working alone at the time of the incident.

Dump truck driver killed in head-on collision, police say

Woodbridge, NJ — A dump truck driver was killed and another injured in a head-on collision in Woodbridge on Friday morning, authorities said. A 46-year-old Woodland Park man died after being brought to an area hospital following the crash on Port Reading Avenue near Lee Street, Woodbridge police Chief Law Enforcement Officer Robert Brady said. Brady said officers are investigating whether or not the driver experienced a medical episode before crossing over the double yellow line and striking the other dump truck just after 9:40 a.m. in the Port Reading section of the township.

Construction worker killed in The Colony after tractor rolls over, officials say

THE COLONY, Texas — A construction worker was found dead in The Colony on Friday morning after police say a tractor rolled on top of him. Officials say fire and police were called at about 8:36 a.m. Friday to a construction site on the south side of the Grandscape entertainment district and development along Destination Drive. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the accident is still being invested by police and The Colony’s Fire Marshal’s Office, officials said.

Maintenance worker killed in hit-and-run in Goleta

GOLETA, Calif.-A hit-and-run collision left a 29-year-old maintenance worker dead and led to a 19-year-old suspects arrest. It happened just after 3 p.m. in Goleta on Storke Road near the Camino Real Marketplace. Deputies found the landscape maintenance worker unconscious in the bicycle lane and began CPR. Emergency medical personnel said he could not be revived. Deputies arrested David Rousso, the suspected driver of the car that hit the worker, a short distance away on Storke Road. They do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role. The victim was Ruben Reyes Victoria, 29, of Goleta, according to Raquel Zick, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Junior high school football coach dies after collapsing during game, reports say

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Gray News) – A junior high school football coach in Texas has died after reportedly collapsing during a game. According to multiple reports, Kingsville Independent School District coach Marco Contreras collapsed on the field during his team’s game Friday night against Tuloso-Midway. Emergency crews worked to resuscitate him, but Contreras died a short time later. “Our condolences pour out to the family of our beloved coach, Marco Contreras,” school officials shared. “Coach Contreras will be sincerely missed by all who knew him.” Contreras was reportedly in his late 40s, but there was no immediate word given about his cause of death.

Worker involved in Las Vegas Grand Prix prep suffers fatal injury: Police

Las Vegas, NV — A man working on preparations for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix died after sustaining a “major laceration” to his neck, police said. Officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department responded to the Bellagio Fountains at 11:30 a.m. PT on Saturday for an injured worker, police said. 37-year-old Tizoc Antonio of Las Vegas.The male worker was transported to an area hospital and subsequently died, police said.

Grocery store employee fatally shot while petting customer’s dog

Fort Worth, TX — A grocery store worker was shot and killed, apparently by accident, while loading bags into a customer’s vehicle, Texas cops say. Officers responded to the parking lot of Crump Foods in Linden at about 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 and found a man with a gunshot wound, the Linden Texas Police Department said in a news release. Investigators say 39-year-old Larry Lawrence was helping a customer with their groceries, placing bags in the back seat of their vehicle, the department said. The customer’s dog was also in the back seat — along with a .22 rifle — and while Lawrence was petting the dog, something caused the rifle to fire, striking him in the chest, police said.

Indiana man dies after workplace injury at Evansville plant, probe underway

Evansville, IN — Workplace safety officials are investigating the death of a southwestern Indiana man this week after he was injured at an Evansville plant. Christopher L. Payton, 59, died Monday after he suffered injuries “while working on a machine” at Silgan Closures America on Evansville’s west side, the Vanderburgh County Coroner said. No additional details have been released. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Wednesday afternoon.

Employee dies in industrial accident at Seeley lumber mill

Seeley Lake, MT — An employee died following an accident at the Pyramid Mountain Lumber site in Seeley Lake on Sept. 12, officials reported on Wednesday. Matthew Raimondi, 56, of Seeley Lake, died from his injuries sustained at the mill, Missoula Sheriff and Coroner Jeremiah Petersen announced. Heavy machinery was involved in the incident.

Worker dies after head injury at LG Energy’s new construction site

HOLLAND, MI – A worker has died of injuries sustained at the new construction area of LG Energy Solution, police said. The incident happened around noon Friday, Sept. 15, at the construction site near Waverly Road and 48th Street, Holland police said. The victim was a 41-year-old Louisiana man. His name was not released. He was with a crew working on a pipe that had been pressurized for testing. While pressure was being released, a plate became free and struck the victim. The plate damaged the victim’s hard hat and caused a serious head injury, police said.

Man killed in forklift accident

South Burlington, VT — Authorities have released the name of the man killed in a forklift accident on Friday. Travis Brown, 42, of Fort Madison, died as a result of injuries He sustained while he was working for a company contracted to perform work for Busted Cup Brewery. First responders found Brown unconscious and bleeding from the head.

Employee found dead at Shell Factory plaza

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A homicide investigation is underway after an employee of America’s Tiny Home Builders in North Fort Myers was found dead Tuesday. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was found unresponsive in the office, which is located in the Shell Factory and Nature Park plaza, just after 6 a.m. Another employee in the plaza went over to the office to check on the victim and soon made the call to police. The time of death was called at 6:22 a.m. Homicide detectives arrived on seen and assumed the investigation. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Coroner investigating after crash, vehicle fire involving armored truck, dump truck in Spartanburg County

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. — The coroner’s office in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, responded to a crash and vehicle fire that happened Wednesday afternoon, officials said. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the crash happened Wednesday around 12:40 p.m. on Highway 176 near Whitestone Glendale Road. Troopers say a dump truck and an armored bank truck were headed west on Hwy 176 when the armored truck hit the dump truck in the rear. According to troopers, the armored truck caught fire, and the driver died at the scene.

Toyota employee killed during shooting at dealership in California

ALBANY, Calif. — A female employee at an Albany car dealership was fatally shot late Thursday morning by a suspect who later died in an exchange of gunfire with Berkeley police, authorities confirmed. The shooting was reported at 11:14 a.m. at the Toyota of Berkeley service center, located in Albany on Eastshore Highway. Berkeley police said arriving officers encountered a shooting victim and a suspect and that there was an exchange of gunfire between multiple officers and the suspect. “We have one employee from the dealership deceased, a woman who was killed by the suspect. I can also confirm that the suspect is deceased,” Modeste said.

Arlington police officer killed in suspected hit-and-run crash in Dallas

Dallas, TX — Officer Darrin McMichael was involved in a fatal crash Thursday morning while heading into work, the Arlington Police Department says. The incident shut down traffic along I-20. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office told KDFW that police believe McMichael first bumped into a car in front of him after traffic slowed down for some reason. He then fell off his motorcycle and was run over by a dark-colored Dodge or Chrysler SUV, which then left the scene of the accident, investigators told the station. The Arlington Police Department said McMichael served in the Motorcycle Unit for the last 13 years and was pronounced deceased from his injuries after being taken to a local hospital.

Grand Rapids Public Schools employee dies after getting pinned under riding lawnmower

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — A Grand Rapids Public Schools employee is dead after an accident on the job. It happened just after noon Tuesday at Brigg’s Field, an athletic facility owned and maintained by the district. Operations team member Mike DeLano, 59, died after his lawn mower fell over a retaining wall, according to the district’s preliminary investigation.

Construction worker jumps into river to cool off, dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The body of a construction worker who apparently jumped into the Cumberland River on Monday afternoon to cool off was recovered, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. The sheriff’s office said the worker was working at a home construction site on Misty Lake Drive when he got hot and jumped into the nearby river. The worker never returned. The worker’s name has not been released.

One killed, two injured when trucks collide head-on in Long Grove

Long Grove, IL – A man is dead after the box truck he was driving collided head-on with a semitrailer truck Tuesday morning in Long Grove, Lake County sheriff’s police said. A male passenger in the box truck was taken to a hospital with critical injuries and the driver of the semi was taken to another hospital with serious injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. The box truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while his passenger was taken by ambulance to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Their identities have not been released.

One Dead, One Injured in Rollover Crash at Nevada Mine

Leeville, NV — A rollover crash at a mine site in northeastern Nevada early Sunday morning has killed one and sent another to the hospital. It happened at the mine site of Nevada Gold Mines between Leeville and Gold Strike Just after 1:50 a.m. on Sunday according to a post on the Eureka County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Nevada Gold Mines, NGM Mine Rescue, ECSO, Carlin Police, Carlin Fire and EMS responded to the scene to find a Tona Tec Exploration truck had rolled over as it was coming down a hill. The driver was pronounced dead on scene while a passenger was taken to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital to be treated for injuries. ECSO deputies are conducting the crash investigation alongside the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Nevada State Mine Inspectors.

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