Weekly Toll

How workers died last week: Covered in molten steel, pinned between doors, hot air balloon crash, ski lift accident, chemical exposure, vehicle incidents, shootings and stabbing.  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 can’t escape molten steel pouring into pit after malfunction at plant

Hubbard Township, OH — A worker at an Ohio manufacturing plant is dead after molten steel was spilled in an apparent workplace accident, police told news outlets. It happened Jan. 13 at Ellwood Engineered Castings, in Hubbard Township, during a “routine” night shift operation, the company said in a news release, the Tribune Chronicle reported. Police say that at about 5 a.m., there was a malfunction that caused the liquified steel to pour out of a cast, spilling into a pit below, WFMJ reported. Steel melts at about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Jawaylan “Jay” Patterson was in the pit when the steel spilled, the station reported. Witnesses say an employee yelled for everyone to evacuate the area, while also trying to move the cast away from coworkers — but Jay wasn’t able to escape in time, according to police. Molten steel “filled the entire floor area,” police told WKBN.

Man Tragically Dies in Workplace Accident at Old Castle Precast

Calverton, NY — In a tragic incident, 56-year-old Thomas Savier from Port Jefferson Station, New York, lost his life after being pinned between two hangar doors at Old Castle Precast facility in Calverton. The unfortunate event unfolded on January 15th, and was promptly responded to by the Riverhead Police Department. Savier was found unconscious and not breathing when police officers arrived at the scene at 931 Burman Boulevard. Preliminary investigations indicate that Savier was attempting to enter the building through a partially opened hangar door, which then closed unexpectedly, causing him to be trapped between two sections of the door.

Pennsylvania man dies after being crushed by hundreds of pounds of falling steel

PITTSBURGH, PA — A worker died after several hundred pounds of steel fell on him in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. CBS 21 reports that 31-year-old Jordan Zimmerman died on Monday after the workplace accident. Citing the Pennsylvania State Police, the TV station reported that Zimmerman died while working at Dryhill Manufacturing on North Crossroads Road in Lykens Township. First responders were called to the scene at around 9:20 a.m. on Monday. According to his obituary, Zimmerman of Lewisburg “enjoyed working, reading, serving others, and especially spending time with his family. He died at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Here’s what we know about the Eloy hot air balloon crash victims

ELOY, Ariz. — What was supposed to be a thrilling experience ended in tragedy on Sunday, when a hot air balloon crashed killing four people including the pilot. The crash happened around 7:45 a.m. in a desert area of Sunshine Boulevard and Hanna Road in Eloy, about 65 miles southwest of Phoenix. On Monday, the Eloy Police Department identified the killed passengers as Chayton Wiescholek, 28, from Michigan; Kaitlynn Bartrom, 28, from Indiana; Atahan Kiliccote, 24, from California; and the pilot Cornelius Van Der Walt, 37, originally from South Africa, who lived in Eloy. Authorities identified the pilot of the balloon as Cornelius Van Der Walt. He is the owner of Droplyne, the company behind the ride that turned deadly.

Tow truck driver killed in LaGrange County crash on Indiana Toll Road

LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana State Police (ISP) is investigating a crash on the Indiana Toll Road Thursday that left one person dead. At approximately 9:40 a.m., crews were working on the Indiana Toll Road north of Shipshewana to clean up a separate crash when a pickup truck driven by 31-year-old Umidjon Abduazizov lost control. The pickup truck then sideswiped a tow truck before hitting the tow truck driver and a vehicle from the previous crash, according to ISP. Authorities pronounced the tow truck driver, identified as 63-year-old Martin Troyer, dead at the scene.

Man Killed in Garbage Truck Accident in Centre County

State College, PA — One person is dead after a garbage truck accident Wednesday in Centre County, according to state police at Rockview. Nathan Kerstetter, 38, of Milesburg, was hanging off the back of the truck just before noon when the driver backed the vehicle into a tree overhanging a driveway on the 200 block of North Main Street in Port Matilda, police wrote in a public information release. The driver did not see the tree as he was backing up, according to the release. Kerstetter died from injuries sustained in the impact. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Centre County Deputy Coroner J.D. Kubalak. Port Matilda EMS and Port Matilda Fire Company also responded.

Industrial accident in Lorena being investigated as ‘questionable death’, police say

LORENA, Texas — One person is dead after a reported industrial accident in Lorena, according to the Lorena Police Department. According to the department, 911 telecommunicators received a call around 3:09 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17 of an industrial accident on S. Old Temple Road. Police said the caller stated that a vehicle had fallen on her boyfriend. The Lorena Police Department, Lorena Fire Department and American Medical Response (AMR) were dispatched. The first unit arrived to the scene four minutes after the call was received, said Lorena PD, and began resuscitation efforts. When AMR and Lorena FD arrived, they reportedly helped in the efforts. Despite the efforts of first responders, the victim reportedly died on the scene around 3:24 p.m. Lorena PD identified the victim as 40-year-old Jonathon Harris. His next of kin has reportedly been notified.

Titus Mountain ski patroller killed in lift accident

MALONE, N.Y. — State police in New York are continuing to investigate a death that happened at Titus Mountain Ski Resort Thursday afternoon. According to NYSP, state troopers were called to the resort at 2:55 p.m. to assist Malone EMS at the scene. Further investigation found that 68-year-old Richard Finch of Malone, who was an employee at the resort, was on ski patrol when an “unintentional accident” occurred on the chairlifts. Finch was pronounced dead on the scene, and as of Saturday evening, state police are continuing their investigation into the incident.

Man dies after industrial accident in North Tonawanda

Andrew D. Stayzer

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — A 50-year-old man died in an industrial accident Thursday night in North Tonawanda. The accident happened at a manufacturing facility on Robinson Road, according to North Tonawanda Mayor Austin Tylec. Andrew D. Stayzer of Eden was trapped in a machine, the mayor said. First responders tried to save his life, but he died at DeGraff Memorial Hospital.

Hancock company where worker crushed to death by pipe has history of safety violations

Hancock, LA — One Jindal Tubular USA employee is dead and second was injured Friday morning in an incident at the Port Bienville manufacturing facility, which has a history of safety violations. The fire department responded to a call at 8:15 a.m. about an accident at the pipe manufacturing plant, West Hancock County Fire Chief Deedra Burton said. She said a pipe rolled over on two employees. They had been pulled from under the pipe by the time firefighters arrived, Burton said. One employee was flown to a Louisiana hospital while another was taken off the site by ambulance, she said. St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said 25-year-old Tyde Woody died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries. Records maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration show that Jindal has been repeatedly cited for safety violations, some of them serious, since 2019.

Spartanburg County man dead after workplace incident at tank service company

Spartanburg, SC — A Spartanburg County man is dead after a workplace incident likely caused by chemicals, the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office says. Coroner Rusty Clevenger identified the deceased as Matthew Joe Frady, 36, of Duncan. His time of death was 10:37 a.m. on Thursday. He died at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Clevenger said a second individual was involved in the incident, but that case is not with his office. The coroner’s office was requested to respond immediately after, according to Clevenger. He said that there were “preliminary indications” Frady’s death was caused by chemicals. The coroner’s office has a forensic exam scheduled for Friday, Jan. 19. The incident occurred at 8342 Fairforest Rd in Spartanburg, according to Clevenger. The location is an express maintenance site for Polar Service Center, an industrial trailer tank service company, according to their website.

Employer discovers Zanesville man’s body on railroad tracks in Harrison County

JEWETT, OH − A Zanesville man working in Harrison County was found deceased by employees of the railroad company for which he worked. Harrison County Sheriff Joe Myers said John R. Davis, 51, was found dead by railroad workers around 5:42 a.m. Jan. 15, along the railroad tracks. Davis had been called out at 4 p.m. Jan. 14 to repair crossing lights that weren’t working. The lights were never repaired. Myers said the death appeared accidental and Davis was not hit by a train. It’s believed he fell between the rails and hit his head.

Salina man dies in workplace accident in Pottawatomie County

BELVUE, Kan.  – A Salina man fell to his death on Thursday in Pottawatomie County. The sheriff’s office said Pottawatomie County deputies and EMS, the Belvue Fire Department, the Wamego Fire Department and the Manhattan Fire Department responded to the 300 block of Noble Avenue in Belvue, Kansas, around 6 p.m. A 911 caller said their coworker had fallen from a significant height and suffered severe injuries. The man who had fallen was pronounced dead on the scene. He was identified as Miguel Salvador, 30, of Salina. The sheriff’s office said the incident remains under investigation.

Store clerk shot to death while chasing 2 people who stole bag of chips in Humble, employees say

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) — A search is underway on Friday for at least two suspects accused of fatally shooting a gas station clerk on Will Clayton Parkway near Bush Intercontinental Airport. Employees who spoke to ABC13 said the incident happened because the two suspects were shoplifting, which Humble police later confirmed. Surveillance video shows the suspects entering the store with the store clerk following behind them. According to police, the two suspects were seen stealing a bag of chips before a confrontation with the clerk ensued. The suspects fled the store on foot, but the clerk proceeded to get into his car and follow them. That is when shots were fired by at least one of the suspects, hitting and killing the clerk, police said.

Delivery truck driver killed by a naked Kenyan man in Texas, USA

Fort Worth, TX — Police in Fort Worth, Texas, are currently holding a 27-year-old Kenyan man named Chrisantus Omondi after he was reported to have killed a delivery truck driver by repeatedly striking him on the head with firewood. Omondi was arrested on the night of January 13, 2024, following a report from a local resident who discovered a lifeless body in the front yard of his residence on Wendover Drive in Fort Worth. According to reports, the individual who contacted the authorities had hired the deceased, identified as Scott Jackson, to deliver firewood to his residence when a naked Omondi unexpectedly charged at them, claiming trespassing on his premises. “This is my house, I have the key right here,” Omondi reportedly said. Despite attempts to instruct Omondi to leave, he allegedly grabbed a piece of firewood and hit the delivery man, Scott Jackson, on the head, rendering him unconscious.

Man kills co-worker with hammer because he ‘messed with his stuff,’

Salt Lake City, UT — A man was accused of killing his co-worker at a storage warehouse because he “messed with his stuff,” Utah officials said. Nathan David Evans, 41, according to FOX 13, was overheard saying on Dec. 29 that he planned on “going down to a warehouse to kill someone by bashing his head in,” according to a Jan. 17 news release by the Salt Lake County District Attorney. Days later, the body of David Hinkebein, 65, according to FOX 13, was discovered in the back office of the Salt Lake City warehouse, officials said.

Construction worker fatally struck by minivan in Wakulla County

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – A construction worker was killed Thursday afternoon in Wakulla County after being struck by a vehicle while on the job. A gray Honda minivan drifted off onto the right shoulder of Bloxham Cutoff Road near Page Oliver Road, where personnel were working on a construction site, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The minivan struck a 39-year-old Tallahassee man working there just before 2:30 p.m., FHP Master Corporal Patricia Jefferson-Shaw said. He was transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead, she said. No other workers were hit, per Shaw. The driver, a 76-year-old man from the Panhandle, and his 71-year-old female passenger were also not injured, according to FHP.

McCormick & Company worker killed inside Tradepoint Atlantic logistics center

SPARROWS POINT, MD — Police are investigating a deadly overnight stabbing inside McCormick & Company’s logistics center at Tradepoint Atlantic. A McCormick spokesperson said the victim was an employee named Anthony Day. The company said they “were deeply saddened” by Day’s death, but declined to provide more information “out of concern for the privacy of his family.” Police later identified the suspect as Andre Ali Hubbard (aka Moab Eleazore Ezekuna-Bey). He remains on the run.

Volunteer firefighter in Wayne County dies on the job

Arcadia, N.Y. — A firefighter with the Fairville Volunteer Fire Department in Wayne County has died while on a call. The department posted on Facebook: “It is with deepest sadness, the Fairville Volunteer Fire department announces a sudden loss of a member. This incident occurred during a structure fire. With respect to the family, no further information will be released at this time. Please keep the family and members of our department in your thoughts and prayers.” Sunday night, Newark-Arcadia Emergency Medical Services issued a press release saying crews been called to a fire scene on Fairville Maple Ridge Road in Arcadia. The release stated a firefighter on that scene had suffered cardiac arrest.

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