weekly Toll

How workers died last week: Machinery, drowning,  two forklift fatalities, shootings, vehicle incidents.  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 after becoming trapped under forklift at Port of Los Angeles

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES, CA — A worker died after becoming trapped under a forklift at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro on Monday. The incident was reported around 10:40 a.m. at Berth 270, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. When crews arrived on scene, they pronounced the trapped person dead at the scene. Additional details about the incident were not available. The individual who died has not been identified. An investigation is underway.

Deadly forklift accident at Weyerhaeuser under investigation

VANCEBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – One man is dead after a forklift accident at the Weyerhaeuser facility in Vanceboro, just outside of New Bern. Craven County Emergency Management officials confirmed there was a call around 1 p.m. for an accident involving an employee and a forklift. Emergency Services Director Stanley Kite said the accident should be under investigation by the North Carolina Department of Labor. No further information, including the name of the person who died, has been released.

Worker killed, another injured in Lombard crash involving semi, bucket truck

Chicago, IL — One person is dead and another suffered injuries in a crash involving a box truck and a semi in suburban Lombard on Saturday night. According to police, the crash occurred at approximately 8:27 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Route 53 and North Avenue. While circumstances of the crash weren’t immediately known, a semi collided with a bucket truck near the location, sending two workers to local hospitals. One of those workers was pronounced dead, according to officials. A second was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.

Hancock County deputy killed in wreck on U.S. 90

Hancock County, MS — A corrections officer with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office died Friday night. Deputy Shari Rouse was killed in an accident on Highway 90 about 6:30 p.m. The Sheriff’s Department posted to social media that the accident happened in front of the Sheriff’s Office on Highway 90.

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

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) — Authorities are investigating an industrial accident at a Sanger farming plant that left one man dead. Just before midnight Tuesday, Sanger police say 19-year-old Jose Abrego was killed after getting trapped underneath a semi-trailer at Pitman Family Farms. Their investigation shows Abrego had entered what Sanger police call a dangerous area between the tractor-trailer and its wheels. Despite emergency responders trying to revive him, he was declared dead at the scene. Sanger police have ended their part of the investigation and say there are no signs of foul play. Cal/OSHA has been notified of Tuesday’s incident. The agency is already investigating the plan after a separate death in 2023. In May of last year, 66-year-old Jesus Salazar was found dead at the poultry farm. A Cal/OSHA report shows he was doing routine maintenance and cleaning when he fell into a pit containing poultry parts. The investigation found four serious violations, including missing and bent portions of the guardrails, portions of the missing floor cover, and one piece was found in the overflowing pit.

Georgia Woman Killed in Freak Industrial Accident After Trying to Get Ear Buds That Fell Under Conveyor Belt

Alyssa Drinkard

Augusta, GA — Alyssa Drinkard, 21, was a contract worker at the suburban Augusta plant of Club Car, which makes golf carts. She became stuck under a conveyor belt Friday night after she bent down to find her Air Pods, authorities said. Horrified colleagues tried to get her out, but couldn’t rescue her, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies responded to a 9:44 p.m. 911 call for help after workers stopped the machinery but stil m l couldn’t extricate Drinkard, according to authorities. First responders were ultimately able to free Drinkard while she still had a pulse, deputies said. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead Saturday at 5:50 a.m.

New Mexico State Police officer fatally shot in apparent ambush attack by driver he tried to help

TUCUMCARI, NM — A New Mexico State Police officer was fatally shot early Friday when he offered to help the driver of a disabled vehicle, who responded by shooting the officer twice and driving off with his patrol car, authorities said. An arrest warrant has been issued for 32-year-old Jaremy Smith, of Marion, South Carolina, the “armed and dangerous” man wanted in the apparent ambush attack on Interstate 40 that killed Officer Justin Hare, New Mexico State Police said. Authorities in South Carolina on Saturday identified Smith as the driver of a BMW “involved” in Hare’s killing – and the car belonged to a first responder in that state who was found dead Friday evening, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Around 5 a.m. local time in New Mexico, Hare was dispatched to assist a motorist who had a flat tire and was attempting to wave down other motorists on the interstate near Tucumcari in eastern New Mexico, Weisler said. When Hare arrived, he parked behind Smith’s disabled vehicle. Smith approached Hare’s passenger side window, Weisler said. “A short conversation ensued about repairing his tire, and Officer Hare offered to give the suspect a ride to town,” Weisler said. Then, without warning, Smith pulled out a firearm and shot Hare, and walked to the driver’s side and shot the officer again, before pushing Hare into the passenger seat and driving away in the patrol vehicle, Weisler said.

Ky. firefighter dies escorting fallen EMT

ELLIOTT COUNTY, KY — A firefighter died in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday evening while escorting a fallen EMT to the funeral home. WSAZ reported the firefighter lost control of his truck, struck a guardrail and went over an embankment toward the edge of a river. State police reported an EMT had died earlier in the day in an unrelated incident. In a Facebook post, Elliott County EMS identified the fallen EMT as Drake Adams, and the fallen firefighter as 504 Fire Department’s Frank Whitt. “Both Drake and Frank exemplified unwavering dedication to serving others, and their absence leaves a void that cannot be easily filled,” the post reads.

Jeffrey R. Delp

Pennsylvania Dad Killed In Workplace Accident

Portland Borough, PA — Authorities have named the 43-year-old dad who drowned in an industrial drainage basin in Portland Borough on Saturday, in a release on Tuesday, March 12. Jeffrey R. Delp of Upper Mount Bethel Township has been identified as the man who drowned, the Northampton County Coroner’s Office stated in a release. It happened at Ultra-Poly Corporation, 102 Demi Road at the Portland Industrial Park on March 9, officials said. Delp’s cause of death was drowning and the manner of death was accidental, as stated in the release. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death as a worker fatality, a spokesperson said. They have six months to complete their investigation.

Camas mill employee killed in workplace accident

CAMAS, WA — A 32-year-old man was killed Friday in a workplace accident at the Georgia-Pacific Camas Mill, according to the Camas Police Department. Camas police and the Camas-Washougal Fire Department responded to the mill at 5:04 p.m. 32 year old Dakota Austin Cline died from blunt trauma to his head, neck and torso. He became entangled in industrial machinery, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. According to Ward, the death happened within the unitizing and converting department, which is shut down until further notice. The department is near the end of the process for packaging finished products. Georgia-Pacific manufactures and distributes tissue, pulp, paper packaging and building products.

Veteran N.Y. Sheriff’s Sergeant Killed After Escorting Couple Out of Casino

Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello

Batavia, NY – A decorated New York sheriff’s sergeant is dead after escorting a couple out of Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel over the weekend. Michael J. Elmore and Lyndsey Jean Wilcox allegedly attacked  54-year-old Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello who had been assigned to the special detail at the casino, according to a press release from the Batavia Police Department. The couple — both of Batavia, N.Y. — allegedly stayed at the casino unlawfully after being instructed to leave, per police. The couple was then escorted from the casino. In an ensuing altercation, Wilcox allegedly assaulted the sheriff’s sergeant, who police claim, was attacked again by Elmore who “left and then returned” to the casino “with the intent to commit a crime therein.”

Fiery Ill. school bus crash kills 3 children, 2 adults

RUSHVILLE, Ill. — Five people, including three children, were killed in western Illinois when a school bus and semi-truck collided on a highway Monday, authorities said. The bus was traveling eastbound when it crossed the center line on U.S. Route 24 into the westbound lanes “for an unknown reason” and into the path of a semi-truck carrying sand, Illinois State Police Troop 6 Capt. Jody Huffman said at a news conference. Both vehicles caught on fire in the crash. The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. in Rushville, a Schuyler County community of about 3,000 roughly 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of Springfield. All four people aboard the bus from Schuyler-Industry Schools — three children and the driver — as well as the driver of the semi-truck were killed. Illinois State Police identified the victims as 72-year-old David Coufal, 57-year-old Angela Spiker, 5-year-old Maria Miller, 3-year-old Andrew Miller and 3-year-old Noah Driscoll.

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