weekly toll

How workers died over the last couple of weeks: Two workers killed in trench collapses, worker crushed under 90,000-pound trailer, teen killed on a farm, vehicular and tree trimming incidents, shootings, falls, explosion.  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.

Worker Dies in Construction Accident on Valley Road

New Canaan, CT — A worker at a construction site on Valley Road died Friday after an accident at an excavation site, according to New Canaan Fire Chief Albe Bassett. At about 10 a.m., emergency responders rushed to 208 Valley Road—the street address of Silver Hill Hospital—on a report of a construction accident, Bassett said in a press release. Fire dispatch notes indicated that a worker required rescue from a trench. According to Bassett, there had been a “trench/excavation collapse” and though the worker was removed within 15 minutes he succumbed to his injuries. It’s unclear whether the deceased had been operating excavation equipment or got trapped under machinery. Bassett gave no further specifics. The incident is under investigation by New Canaan Police and OSHA, he said.

Worker killed in Orange County trench accident

Tustin, CA — A worker died in an accident inside a trench at an excavation site in Tustin on Wednesday, authorities said. Fire crews responded to the 9800 block of Newport Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. Authorities say the victim, a man, was about 15 feet underground when something fell on his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The nature of the accident wasn’t immediately released, nor was the name of the victim.

Maintenance worker killed after getting run over by truck

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A maintenance worker was killed in a fatal accident that occurred at Perinton Parkway Thursday morning.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office described the incident as a “tragic accident” that occurred while a maintenance company was filling salt buckets at local businesses in the area. According to investigators, one of the workers tripped and fell under the truck. He was run over and pronounced dead on the scene. No details have been revealed on the identity of the victim.

Worker crushed to death by trailer that collapsed on him

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (WCVB) – A worker was killed Wednesday morning when a 90,000-pound trailer collapsed and fell onto him. It happened at a business in the Massachusetts town of Westborough, about 35 miles west of Boston. The city’s fire chief says two workers were working on the 53-foot-long trailer portion of a tractor-trailer. Pablo Franciso Otano Aponte, a 28-year-old from Worcester, was underneath working on its landing gear when the accident happened. Fire officials say the weight of the trailer, including its cargo contents of water bottles, was about 90,000 pounds. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Community mourns teen who died in a farming accident

CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News) – A 17-year-old Kentucky boy died following a farming accident, according to several reports. Ryan Phelps, a senior at George Rogers Clark High School, “passed away Saturday from injuries sustained in a farm accident,” the Clark County Public Schools reported in a statement released Sunday. The Clark County coroner told the Lexington Herald Phelps was injured in a tractor rollover and taken to the hospital where he later died.

Miami construction worker who was victim of hit-and-run is dead

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A construction worker who was struck by a vehicle while on the job last week has died. The West Palm Beach Police Department announced Thursday that the 67-year-old man of Miami died from injuries sustained five days after being struck by a vehicle. The West Palm Beach Police Department said Louis Vixon was declared brain dead at 11:43 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 24 and died at 11:07 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26. West Palm Beach police investigate double shooting. The police department noted during the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 21 on North Congress Avenue and Executive Center Drive, Vixon was working in a designated work area where overnight road resurfacing was taking place. A dark-colored passenger car struck Vixon and tossed his body into another worker at the scene. The second worker was not injured.

Worker dies from fall at Tennessee convention center

GATLINBURG, Tenn.  – A worker died after falling from the ceiling of the Gatlinburg Convention Center, according to police. The worker, who was identified as 66-year-old Jeffrey Coker, died Tuesday after falling while installing lights in the convention center’s ceiling, the Gatlinburg Police Department said. The fall happened in the Great Hall area, which has a 32-foot-tall ceiling. Coker worked for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union No. 197, police said, which had been hired to install stage elements for an upcoming event. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death. Reports can take as long as 10 weeks to complete.

EMT killed in line of duty at accident site

LAUREL Miss. (WDAM) – A 30-year-old emergency medical technician was struck and died Saturday at the scene of a traffic accident in Mobile, Alabama, that her ambulance crew just had happened upon and stopped to volunteer assistance. A release from Laurel-based ASAP EMS Sunday said that EMT Mary “Katie” Pipkins had been attending to one of the accident’s injured when both were struck by another vehicle. ASAP EMS said that Pipkins and her crew were returning to Mississippi from transporting a patient to Mobile and came upon the accident. Mobile police said a preliminary investigation found that the initial accident happened when a vehicle collided with the rear of another that was towing a utility trailer. Shortly after, another vehicle, operated by Michael Thomas, 35, struck both the female driver of one of the vehicles and Pipkins. Pipkins was pronounced at the scene.

Oakland police officer killed while working undercover

Officer Tuan Le

Oakland, CA — An Oakland police officer working undercover was shot and killed Friday morning during an attempt to stop a burglary of a cannabis business. Oakland’s interim Police Chief Darren Allison said at a press conference today that the shooting happened during an overnight burglary suppression operation. At 1 a.m., multiple officers responded to a reported burglary in progress at a cannabis business on the 400 block of Embarcadero. The officers didn’t find anyone breaking into a building and left after conducting a preliminary investigation. “A few hours later, at about 4:33 in the morning, officers received another report of a burglary in progress at the same business,” said Allison. Uniformed and undercover officers went to the scene and spotted several people leaving the area of the alleged break-in. “During the response, at least one individual discharged a firearm multiple times, striking a plainclothes officer who was driving an unmarked vehicle,” Allison said. The undercover officer who was shot, identified by OPD as Tuan Le, crashed the vehicle he was driving.

Marion city employee dies in accident

Mike Miller

MARION, Ill. — A news release by the city of Marion stated on December 29, at around 9 a.m., an accident occurred resulting in the death of a city employee. This happened at the Marion Street Department on South Van Buren Street. Michael “Mike” Miller died Friday at the age of 52. The news comes after a city worker was killed by heavy equipment another employee was operating.  The accident occurred Friday around 10:24 a.m. at the Marion Street Department on South Van Buren Street.

Ga. deputy shot, killed while responding to domestic disturbance

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A veteran deputy was shot in the head and killed Friday while responding to a disturbance at a home in Spalding County, authorities said. Sheriff Darrell Dix said Sgt. Marc McIntyre was killed by a shotgun blast in front of a colleague while conducting a wellness check at the home of a 57-year-old man. The deputy had been with the sheriff’s office since 2015 and was a military veteran who served in Iraq, Dix said. The sheriff was visibly distraught by McIntyre’s death. “He lit up a room when he walked in,” Dix said during a news conference. “He was a deputy that definitely led by example.”

Tow truck driver killed by hit-and-run driver while assisting motorist in Ridgeland

Ridgeland, SC — A tow truck operator responding to a call from a disabled motorist was killed by a hit-and-run driver Wednesday at 6:32 p.m. on Frontage Rd. approximately two miles north of Ridgeland, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Community Relations Officer Master Trooper Brandon Bolt. The area where accident took place is north of the Ridgeland Correctional Institution. Jasper County Coroner Willie P. Aiken provided the name of the victim as Eric Albertson, 39, of Ridgeland. Albertson was an employee of A-1 Towing and the company confirmed that he was out on a call, assisting a disabled motorist. They described Albertson as a loyal employee who had worked for the company three years.

Police identify Waterville woman as person killed at a city beverage center Thursday

WATERVILLE, ME — Authorities said Friday that the person found dead at Damon’s Beverage a day earlier was a 52-year-old city woman who worked at the store. The body of Angela Bragg of Waterville was discovered inside the business at 6 Jefferson St. early Thursday morning by a coworker, police said. Police said Friday that they are continuing to search for Spridal Hubiak, 20, of Waterville who was also an employee at Damon’s Beverage, in connection with the killing. An arrest warrant on a murder charge was issued Thursday for Hubiak, who also goes by the nickname “Spiral.” The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta said Bragg was killed by a sharp force injury and ruled it a homicide.

Employee killed in Topgolf parking lot, coworker arrested

THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A Thornton Topgolf employee was shot and killed on Saturday and a coworker was arrested in the killing. The victim has now been identified by authorities. Bryce Holden, 22, of Wheat Ridge, was pronounced dead at a local hospital after he was shot in the early morning hours on Saturday. A Lakewood man was arrested in connection with Holden’s death.

Correctional officer allegedly shoots, kills fellow officer, 30, at East Mississippi prison

Lauderdale County, MS — A correctional officer was killed Tuesday at East Mississippi Correctional Facility, officials reported, allegedly by a fellow officer. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Bailey Martin identified the victim as 30-year-old Justin Whipps. “We are heartbroken to report a tragic and fatal altercation that occurred between two correctional officers at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility,” a prison spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “The incident happened in the parking lot of the facility at approximately 1 p.m. Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler confirmed Whipps was shot to death on the prison grounds. Emily Lawhead, communication director for Management and Training Corp., said the suspect was taken into custody by deputies with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect has not been identified.

Truck driver killed in Christmas Day crash in Carson County

GROOM, Texas — A truck driver was killed in a Christmas Day crash on I-40 in Carson County. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the driver of a big rig veered off the interstate and hit the back of another 18-wheeler that was stopped on the shoulder. Abdi Faisal, 29, of Stone Mountain, Georgia was pronounced dead at the scene.

Truck Driver Killed in Alleged Intoxicated Driver Accident

San Antonio, TX — A truck driver was killed due to an alleged intoxicated driver accident at around 9:00 p.m. along Walzem Road. Authorities with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said they were called out to the area of Converse and Northeast Side at Walzem Road and Elm Trail Drive. It appears that a 41-year-old was in a cement truck going northbound along Walzem at the time. Authorities say that an oncoming driver left the southbound lanes and hit the cement truck. This caused the cement truck to overturn, causing injuries to the truck driver which ultimately proved fatal following transport to a hospital. The driver who hit the cement truck is said to be facing a charge for intoxication manslaughter as a result of the collision.

Semi-truck driver killed in fiery crash on I-15 transition in San Diego

Altadena, CA — The driver of a semi-truck with a trailer was killed on Dec. 22, 2023 in Altadena when she spun out, the truck overturned and crashed on the southbound Interstate 15 transition to southbound Interstate 805, the California Highway Patrol said. The driver of a semi-truck with a trailer was killed on Dec. 22, 2023 in Altadena when she spun out, the truck overturned and crashed on the southbound Interstate 15 transition to southbound Interstate 805, the California Highway Patrol said.The driver of a semi-truck with a trailer was killed early Friday in Altadena when the driver spun out, the truck overturned and crashed on the southbound Interstate 15 transition to southbound Interstate 805, the California Highway Patrol said. Footage from the crash captured by OnScene TV showed the truck badly burned and still smoldering along the side of the freeway.

Truck driver killed after transformer falls on top of vehicle in Franklin

Franklin, CT — A truck driver has died after a transformer fell on top of his vehicle in Franklin on Friday. State police said 61-year-old Gary Pizzo, of Norwich, was driving a Kenworth Construction T880 truck hauling a roll off dumpster on Champion Road in Franklin around 6:15 a.m. While driving on the road, investigators said Pizzo hit low hanging communication cables that were running from utility pole to utility pole across the road. After hitting the wires, Pizzo continued driving and the two utility poles broke. According to authorities, a transformer on one of the utility poles fell on top of the cab of Pizzo’s truck. He later died of his injuries.


Monroe County, FL — A fatal crash on U.S. 1 early Tuesday involving a semi-trailer truck shut down the highway for hours, as first responders attended to a fiery scene at mile marker 21 outside the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office substation on Cudjoe Key. At about 4:30 a.m., the southbound UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc.) truck hit an unlighted construction barricade at mile marker 21, Sheriff Rick Ramsay told the Keys Weekly on Tuesday afternoon. The truck exploded on impact, killing the driver. He was Charles Dennis Shipley Jr., his family said. He was 61 and lived in Margate, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Security guard shot, killed in Chatham

CHICAGO, IL — Four suspects remain on the loose after a security guard was shot to death in the city’s Chatham neighborhood. At around 1 p.m. Wednesday, officers responded to the 700 block of East 87th Street on the report of a shooting. CPD said a 53-year-old man was involved in a verbal altercation with three males and a female. A source told WGN News the man was working as a security guard at DTLR, a shoe store. One of the male suspects shot the security guard three times during the incident. He was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died. The man’s identity has not yet been released.

Postal worker dies in hit-and-run during busy holiday shipping season

Tampa, FL — A 69-year-old postal worker was killed in a hit-and-run crash during the busy holiday shipping season, Florida officials said. Now, the Tampa Police Department said it’s searching for the Mercedes driver accused of leaving the scene of the deadly crash. Police said the Mercedes was near an intersection north of downtown Tampa when it hit a U.S. Postal Service mail truck Monday, Dec. 18. The Mercedes driver left the scene, and the luxury car later was found damaged about a half-mile away, according to a news release. The postal carrier died at the scene of the crash. He was identified as 69-year-old Paul Falica.

News pilot, photographer killed in 6ABC helicopter crash in N.J. forest are identified

Atlantic City, NJ — A pilot and photographer killed in a crash involving a 6ABC helicopter were identified by the television station Wednesday afternoon. The pilot was 67-year-old Monroe Smith, and the photographer was 45-year-old Christopher Dougherty, 6ABC said on its website. Both men live in Pennsylvania, Smith in Glenside and Dougherty in Oreland. The two men, according to the station, were returning from an assignment near Galloway Township, Atlantic County. Details of the assignment were unclear Wednesday. The helicopter was a 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350A-STAR, which 6abc leases from U.S. Helicopters Inc., based in North Carolina.

Truck Driver Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident After Tire Blowout in Robeson County, NC

ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. — Tragedy struck on Monday, December 18, 2023, as the driver of an 18-wheeler lost his life following a fatal accident on I-74 at Dew Road in Robeson County, NC. First Sgt. S.B. Lewis of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) reported that the driver’s demise was a result of an alleged tire explosion that caused the truck to crash. Eyewitnesses at the scene recounted the harrowing event, stating that they observed the tire blowout just moments before the devastating crash occurred. The driver, caught off guard by the sudden tire failure, veered off the road to the right, colliding with multiple small trees and a wire fence, before coming to a halt in a nearby field.

Driver Killed in Dual 18-wheeler Accident on State Route 377 near Holbrook, AZ

Navajo County, AZ — December 18, 2023, a driver sustained fatal injuries due to a truck accident at around 6:00 p.m. along State Route 377/Heber Road. Details in public news reports said that the crash occurred near State Route 77. It appears two tractor-trailers were involved. One of them said to be going northbound apparently went across the center line. As a result, it collided with a southbound truck. Due to the collision, details in the news say the driver of the southbound truck was thrown from their vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. The northbound driver’s condition wasn’t specified. Right now, no further information about the crash is available.

One civilian employee found dead on USS George H.W. Bush

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On Dec. 7, around 2 p.m., 44-year-old Reginald Collins was found unresponsive on the USS George H.W. Bush at Naval Station Norfolk, officials said. Collins was a civilian employee aboard the ship, and later pronounced deceased. He was part of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s, or NNSY, Temporary Services Department. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service is leading the investigation on his death.

East Fishkill officer killed in Taconic crash is department’s first line-of-duty death

East Fishkill, NY — East Fishkill is in mourning following the first line-of-duty death in the history of the town’s police department. Officer Daniel DiDato’s end of watch came Monday evening after his cruiser veered off the Taconic Parkway. East Fishkill police said Didato was heading south toward Westchester Medical Center to interview a victim of an earlier accident just after 6 p.m. when his cruiser struck a tree.  DiDato was rushed to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital where he later died.

Preble County deputy, second driver die in head-on crash

Gratis Twp, OH — A Preble County Sheriff’s deputy died Monday morning in a double-fatal, head-on crash in Gratis Twp. Sheriff Mike Simpson identified the deputy as 34-year-old Joshua Isaac Hamilton of Eldorado. The second driver who also died in the crash was identified as 36-year-old Michael Eugene Gayhart II of West Elkton by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Hamilton was traveling south on state Route 503 in a marked 2018 Ford Explorer, while Gayhart was heading north when they collided, according to the highway patrol, which is investigating the collision that temporarily closed state Route 503 in both directions.

Employee killed in Bird-in-Hand Family Inn explosion identified, candlelight vigil scheduled

LEACOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHP) — The owner of the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn has identified the employee killed in the explosion on Monday as Michelle Miller, and they have organized a candlelight vigil to take place on Thursday. Pennsylvania State Police said the blast happened after 8:00 a.m. on Monday, and was caused by a propane leak. Officials with the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn said the explosion resulted in between $1 million and $2 million in damage. The inn was closed for maintenance and cleaning at the time so there were very few people in the building at the time.

Deceased gravel truck driver identified

Auburn, CA — The driver of the gravel-hauling truck that crashed into the hillside along Highway 49 near the American River Confluence on Thursday has been identified. Sergey Govorun was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after Auburn California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the crash. Though an initial report by CHP estimated the vehicle was hauling 2,000 pounds of gravel, later updates posted by Cal Fire set the number at 20,000 pounds. Govorun’s family was notified Thursday.

Worker falls to death in Poulsbo while trimming trees

Paulsbo, WA — A tree service worker fell to his death in the morning on Dec. 1 while at work in Poulsbo. Levi Delong, who was working for Scott’s Tree Service, was ascending a 100-foot tree, equipped with his own harness, paracord flip rope, safety rope, lanyard and chainsaw, cutting branches on his way up, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. A coworker was controlling the safety rope from the ground when he heard a yell, before the Delong fell from about 40 to 50 feet up the tree and hit the ground, according to KCSO. A KCSO investigation found that a rope connected to Delong’s harness had been severed, KCSO spokesman Kevin McCarty reported, though the reason why was unknown. The shadow cast by the tree’s branches obscured the coworker’s view of the moment Delong’s rope was cut.

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