Weekly toll

How workers died last week: Falls, vehicle incidents, shootings and a number of unexplained “industrial accidents”. 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.

Escambia County employee dies during ‘incident’ while clearing trees on Cove Avenue

David Owen

Escambia County, FL — An Escambia County employee died Monday morning during an “incident” while cutting down and removing trees. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, saying the incident occurred around 9 a.m. on Cove Avenue. “There was an incident, and we do have a fatality,” ECSO spokesperson Morgan Lewis told the News Journal. “We are investigating it at this time.” Escambia County Public Information Officer for Public Safety Davis Wood confirmed to the News Journal that David Owen, a county employee, died Monday morning and the ECSO is leading a preliminary investigation into the incident. New information provides a clearer picture of what reportedly happened. “At 9:02 a.m. the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to an accident in the area of Detroit Boulevard and Cove Avenue,” they said in a Facebook post. “While on the scene, deputies discovered that county workers were cutting a tree when the tree swung and struck the boom arm,” the post said. A 59-year-old male employee was knocked from the bucket to the ground, according to the ECSO. EMS pronounced him dead, the post said.

Man dead after Spartanburg Co. workplace incident

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A man died in a workplace related incident Friday after being hit by a piece of equipment. According to the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office, they identified the man as WesLee Bradford Locklair. Locklair, 43, was struck by the equipment at the Wellford-area Walmart Distribution Center, and was subsequently taken to Spartanburg Regional. The coroner’s office has asked OSHA to investigate the case.

Family identifies worker killed in I-75 crash hours before GSP trooper killed at same crash site

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Family members have identified the construction worker hit and killed in a crash hours before the investigation into the crash also left a Georgia State Trooper dead. The original accident happened Monday night on Interstate 75 in Clayton County. GSP said that a Black Kia traveled into a construction zone, hitting a worker. The worker, identified by family members as 68-year-old Nathaniel McCreary, died from injuries on the scene. A few hours later, around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Chase Redner was hit and killed during the investigation of the same crash. It is unclear if the driver will face any charges in Redner’s death. The driver who hit McCreary has not been identified and it’s unclear if that driver is facing any charges.

Man dies after getting pinned under semi-trailer at Sanger business, police say

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) — Police are investigating what led to a man who died underneath a semi-trailer. It happened before midnight at Pitman Family Farms on K Street and Cherry Avenue in Sanger. Police do now know what led to 19-year-old Jose Abrego being pinned underneath the trailer. Officers are gathering surveillance footage and talking to employees who were witnesses.


Charlotte, NC — The co-owner of Wooden Robot Brewery identified as Dan Wade died on the job on February 20, 2024 at the 1440 South Tryon St. location. The brewery is closed for the rest of the day. Around 1:30 p.m. Dan fell from a balcony or roof at the Wooden Robot Brewery on South Tryon St. Dan died on the scene. It is not believed anyone pushed Dan from the building, and no foul play is suspected at the moment, but the investigation is ongoing.

1 dead after accident at Barry Steel Fabrication

Lockport, NY — An employee of Barry Steel Fabrication died on the job Tuesday morning following an industrial accident. Lockport Police Department fielded a call about the accident at 11:43 a.m. Antonio Aquino, 39, an employee at Barry Steel Fabrication, 11 Simonds St., died at work on Tuesday morning, according to Police Chief Steven Abbott. LPD investigators are tasked with determining what caused the accident, Abbott said.

Security guard shot, killed at West Side Chicago dollar store

Loyce Wright

CHICAGO, IL — Chicago Police late Friday were investigating a shooting that left a man dead inside a Dollar Store in the West Side’s Austin neighborhood. At 1:38 p.m., the 43-year-old victim was in the Family Dollar store at 5410 W. Chicago Ave. when an unknown person came up and shot him, police said. The victim was struck multiple times in the body and was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office late Friday as Loyce Wright, 43, of Hanover Park.

Farmworkers among 8 killed in Madera County crash, CHP says

MADERA COUNTY, Calif.– The two vehicles involved in Friday’s morning deadly head-on crash are unrecognizable after CHP says a van carrying eight farm workers collided with a truck. As of Saturday afternoon, four of the men killed in the crash have been identified through verified GoFundMe online fundraisers: Hector Orozco, Juvenal Jacobo Talavera, Alfredo Morales and Victor Hernandez. The crash happened around 6 a.m. near Avenue 7 and Road 22 in a rural area of Madera County. Seven of the eight people in the van were killed in the crash, as well as the driver of the truck. CHP has also confirmed that some of the victims worked at Lions Farms in Firebaugh.

‘A devastating day’: Mississippi National Guard mourns 2 warrant officers killed in helicopter crash

Mississippi — 2024 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bryan Andrew Zemek, 36, left, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Derek Joshua Abbott, 42, were killed Friday when their AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed during a routine training flight. The Mississippi National Guard paid tribute Saturday to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bryan Andrew Zemek, 36, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Derek Joshua Abbott, 42, who were killed when their AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed during a routine training flight.

Steve Zuckerman

Colorado paramedic dies while responding to backcountry rescue in Vail

Vail, CO — The Eagle County Paramedic Services says one of its members died while responding to a backcountry rescue call on Saturday in Vail. 61-year-old Steve Zuckerman was a full-time paramedic with Eagle County and worked for the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol for over 25 years and began as a part-time paramedic with Eagle County Paramedic Services in April 2008.

One dead following Blair county industrial accident, coroner says

Blair County, PA — A fatal logging accident taking place Sunday morning, killing 64 year old Franklin Foster Fink, according to the Blair County coroner’s office. Officials say Fink died of blunt force trauma to his torso, and was pronounced dead on scene.

Restaurant owner killed in robbery, assault in Milton-Freewater remembered as devoted and hard-working

MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. – The family of the restaurant owner who died after a robbery and assault at her Milton-Freewater business has established a crowd-raising effort to help pay for funeral costs. Shu Yi Wu, 56, died Monday after undergoing brain surgery. She leaves behind three children and her husband. The family said the person who assaulted Wu got away and has not been arrested. According to information on the GoFundMe, Wu tried to stop the person who had stolen the drawer of the cash register at the Red Tea Garden on the 14 block of North Columbia Street. She was pushed to the ground and hit her head, which resulted in severe injuries.

2 killed in chain-reaction crash at a Georgia welcome center that engulfed semitrucks in flame

PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (AP) — Two truck drivers were killed in a chain-reaction crash at a Georgia welcome center that engulfed several tractor-trailers in flames, according to authorities. The wreck happened Wednesday night after a speeding semitruck entered the parking lot of a welcome center off Interstate 95 near the Georgia-South Carolina line, said Trooper 1st Class Joshua Staff of the Georgia State Patrol. The truck slammed into a second tractor-trailer, setting off a chain of collisions involving six total vehicles. The crash sparked a fire that spread to engulf all of the damaged vehicles, Staff said. The drivers of the speeding semitruck and the tractor-trailer that it struck were both killed, Staff said. The drivers of the other vehicles escaped uninjured. The State Patrol is investigating what caused the crash.

Investigators identify 2 men shot and killed at a bowling alley in northeast Nebraska

Curtis Strom

BLOOMFIELD, Neb. — State troopers identified the two victims of a double homicide in northeast Nebraska. Authorities said the incident happened in Bloomfield in Knox County, around 9:30 a.m. at Curt’s Lanes and Dining, which is a bowling alley. The two victims, who were found with apparent gunshot wounds, were identified as 77-year-old Curtis Strom, the owner of the bowling alley, and 49-year-old William Reffett, the Nebraska State Patrol said. Authorities said 25-year-old Alias Reed was arrested for two counts of first-degree murder, and 27-year-old Kaylyne Sweazy, Reed’s girlfriend, was arrested for tampering with evidence. According to court documents obtained by KETV NewsWatch 7, Reed told investigators that he entered the bowling alley with a shotgun with “the intention of killing ‘Will and Curt.'” Reed then told authorities he took the gun out of a box he’d brought into the business and told Reffett he was going to rob him. When Reffett began to walk to the back of the building, Reed said he shot Reffett and Strom in the head, according to the documents.

Contractor killed at Butterball plant in Duplin Countyv

Duplin County, NC — A worker died Thursday in an accident at a plant in eastern North Carolina. The Department of Labor reported a death at the Butterball plant on Garner Chapel Road in Duplin County. WITN reports a contractor was killed. The state Occupational Safety and Health Division has opened an investigation into the worker’s death. No other details were available.

Rumpke worker dies after he was struck by his truck while working near base

Dayton, OH — An Rumpke employee died Tuesday morning while working in a neighborhood near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, representatives of the waste collection company and the base confirmed Thursday. At about 7 a.m. Tuesday, Wright-Patterson first responders responded to a call from a resident who found an unconscious man laying in the road on Gross Drive, located in the privatized housing area, The Prairies, according to a statement Wright-Patterson released. “It was discovered that the individual was a trash collection driver and the truck he was operating was found unoccupied further down the road where it had damaged two privately owned vehicles,” the base said. “Wright-Patterson officials determined the individual had exited the truck while in motion for reasons unknown and was subsequently struck by the truck.” The driver of the truck, a person employed by Rumpke Waste & Recycling, was transported by base responders to Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, the base also said. No one else was injured.

Logging truck driver killed in U.S. 220 crash at McCoole

MCCOOLE, MD — The driver of a logging truck was killed early Monday when the vehicle traveled out of control and overturned near High Rock Drive, according to the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services. James Kirk, 31, a logging truck driver, lost his life. Few details were available about the 4:23 a.m. crash that occurred in the 23000 block of McMullen Highway. Maryland State Police investigated.

Mississippi man dies in tragic log truck accident

Salitpa, AL — An accident on Highway 69 near Salitpa Friday, Feb. 16 claimed the life of a Waynesboro, Miss. man. It involved two loaded log trucks and occurred in front of Good Hope Baptist Church. An accident on Highway 69 near Salitpa Friday, Feb. 16 claimed the life of a Waynesboro, Miss. man. The 1:30 p.m. accident involved two loaded log trucks and occurred in front of Good Hope Baptist Church, according to Kenneth Kelley, investigator with the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office. A loaded TEK Forestry log truck ran into the back of a loaded Larry Jordan log truck. The driver of the TEK Forestry truck, identified as Perionta Norsworthy of Waynesboro, was pronounced dead at the scene by Clarke County Coroner Matthew Milstead. Mac Henley, chief of the Salitpa Fire Department, posted that the site was in a “dangerous location to other traffic as well as to crews working” the accident.

FALCO employee killed while on the job in Chandler, company says

Chandler, AZ — A FALCO employee was killed while on the job Tuesday afternoon, the company said. OSHA is investigating this incident and refers to it as an open case. FALCO describes itself on its website as, “A woman-owned small business manufacturer of hard alloy aluminum shapes, rod, bar, and forging stock for the aerospace, defense, automotive and medical industries, as well as for commercial and recreational uses.”

Ryan Lantz

High school teacher killed after being run over by vehicle on campus

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WDTV/Gray News) – Officials confirmed a teacher at a high school in West Virginia died after he was struck by a vehicle on campus. A GoFundMe was launched for Ryan Lantz, the Liberty High School teacher who was hit and killed in the parking lot on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy killed in crash during inmate transfer in Centerville, Texas

CENTERVILLE, Texas  — A Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy died in a crash while transporting an inmate on Wednesday night, according to the sheriff’s office. The crash happened just before 10:30 p.m. in Centerville, Texas, which is about two hours and 100 miles north of Houston. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, an MCSO patrol vehicle conducting an inmate transport was traveling southbound on I-45 in Leon County when it hit an 18-wheeler also traveling southbound. Officials believe the patrol vehicle may have sideswiped the 18-wheeler. During the crash, 38-year-old Deputy Charles Rivette, the front seat passenger, was ejected from the patrol vehicle and landed in the northbound lanes, DPS said. That’s when a pickup truck in the northbound lanes hit him, and two other 18-wheelers hit the patrol vehicle.

Teaching assistant dies after classroom incident

SAN ANTONIO, TX – School police and administrators at a high school in San Antonio are investigating the death of a teaching assistant after he fell during an “interaction with a student” earlier this month. Alfred Jimenez, 73, known as Mr. Fred, worked at Brandeis High School as an instructional assistant helping students with special needs. On Feb. 7, district officials say Jimenez was in the middle of interacting with a student when he fell to the floor and sustained an injury to his head. Officials could not get into specifics about the student interaction. Jimenez was rushed to the hospital. Officials say campus administrators and Northside Independent School District Police are investigating what happened.

Huntingdon Valley truck driver killed in NJ Turnpike crash

Bordentown Township, NJ — A 30-year-old man from Huntingdon Valley was killed when his truck collided with a semi-trailer along the NJ Turnpike in Bordentown Township early Sunday morning. According to police, the crash happened at about 4:30am on February 18. The truck, a Volvo bobtail, traveled off the road, collided with the sound barrier, and became engulfed in flames. No other injuries were reported, and officials said that the incident remains under investigation. The identity of the victim has not been released.

‘Unspeakable sadness’: Pour Bros. employee dies after shooting in Champaign, Illinois

PEORIA, IL – An employee of Pour Bros. Craft Taproom who was shot at the company’s Champaign location has died. Brandon Hardway, 45, was taken off life support Feb. 17. He was shot in the torso shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Fidele Tshimanga, 24, of Urbana, was arrested in connection with the shooting. Brandon Hardway was the first hire at Pour Bros. Champaign, becoming the store’s first general manager, according to a post on the Pour Bros. Facebook page. The post described Hardway as an exemplary employee.

Pizza Hut worker kills manager over inheritance check, then puts body in trash

Milwaukee, WI — Wisconsin man is accused of killing his manager over a $7,000 inheritance check, news outlets report. On Feb. 7, a garbage truck driver discovered a body in a trash bin behind a Milwaukee Pizza Hut, WISN reported, citing police. The Milwaukee medical examiner identified the victim as 55-year-old Cudahy resident Alexander Stengel, manager of the Pizza Hut location, the station reported. Police said officers called to the scene discovered a trail of blood leading from the Pizza Hut kitchen to a dumpster area behind the restaurant, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Stengel’s death was ruled a homicide after medical examiners determined he had a gunshot wound to his head and puncture wounds to his neck, according to WISN. Kavonn Ingram, a 31-year-old Milwaukee resident and Pizza Hut employee, was arrested Feb. 11 in connection with the crime, according to WTMJ.


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