Weekly Toll

Two highway construction workers, a flagger and a tow truck driver killed,  three tree cutting deaths, teen killed on hog farm,  fatal assault at group home, crane collapse,  falls, electrocutions, 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.

16-year-old charged with murder after group home worker killed, CMPD says

CHARLOTTE, NC — A 16-year-old who was at a group home is accused of killing an adult who worked and lived there, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Thursday night. The deadly encounter started with a physical altercation at the home in the 5200 block of Swearngan Road near North Hoskins Road in northwest Charlotte, police said. Police said Ganiyu Ibrahim, 54, died at the scene. The suspect initially left the scene but came back. They were placed into custody and interviewed by detectives. There was not a weapon involved in the homicide, police said. Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz learned that the group home is run by Miracle House. According to the company’s website, they offer a nurturing and secure environment for children who are at risk of being removed from their homes or require a higher level of help. One neighbor, who has lived in the area for 15 years, said police have been called to the house multiple times but not for anything like this.

Man dies following fall at Dove Mountain construction site

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) – A man died following a fall at a construction site in the Dove Mountain area on Friday, April 5. The Northwest Fire District told 13 News it received a call about 8:30 a.m. to report an injured worker. The NWFD said the worker suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

1 dead, 2 injured after crane section falls from Fla. high-rise

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One person was killed and two others were hospitalized Thursday afternoon when a section of crane fell from a building in downtown Fort Lauderdale, officials said. Crews were in the process of “stepping the crane” during the construction of a high-rise building when a section being prepared to increase the crane’s height came loose, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan said during a news conference. A construction worker fell with the crane section, causing fatal injuries, officials said. The crane itself remained secured to the building. The crane section landed on a nearby bridge, damaging at least two vehicles, Gollan said. A man and a woman who had been on the ground were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were listed in stable condition. Another person was treated at the scene and refused transport to the hospital. According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the victim was 27-year-old Jorge De La Torre.

Construction Worker Dies After Fall from 15th Floor at West Palm Beach Building Site

West Palm Beach, FL — In a tragic incident, a construction worker lost his life after plummeting from the 15th floor of a building site in West Palm Beach. The accident occurred on Tuesday, just before 2:00 p.m. at “The Alexander,” a 210-unit apartment complex under construction at 333 Fern Street. Initially believed to have fallen from the tenth floor, it was later confirmed by witnesses that the man was on the 15th when he fell through plywood and metal framework, landing onto a chain-link fence below. Emergency crews, including the West Palm Beach Police Department and fire rescue squads, were swiftly on the scene, although they were unable to save the worker, whom authorities identified as a 27-year-old man. The victim, right after falling, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Teen employee dies while working at Pillen Family Farms

ST. EDWARD, Neb. (KOLN) – The Boone County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday a 17-year-old was found unresponsive in a hog unit at Beaver Valley Pork in rural St. Edward, northwest of Columbus. Sarah Pillen, Governor Jim Pillen’s daughter and owner of the property, confirmed Zach Panther, a new employee died Monday. “Though his employment with our Team was very brief, he positively impacted those he worked with. The Nebraska State Patrol and Boone County Sheriff’s Office are still investigating what happened and the cause of his death remains unknown,” Sarah said. “We deeply mourn Zach’s passing and extend our prayers to his loved ones during this very difficult time.”

2 charged in crash that killed construction worker, injured another in south St. Louis County

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Two men were charged Saturday with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault in connection with a crash a day earlier that killed a construction worker and injured another in south St. Louis County, police said. Deondre Robinson and Patrick Aten, both 18, were racing each other at “very high speeds” shortly after 10:30 a.m. in the 9900 block of South Broadway. Robinson lost control of the car he was driving and left the roadway, hitting Christopher Johnson and Carl Seese, who were working on the awning of a building, police said. Marvin Rudloff, the owner of Glenlo Awning and Window Co. in Imperial, said Johnson and Seese were among six men replacing the awning outside Rediscover Antiques and Collectibles when they were hit. Johnson, 34, was dragged under Robinson’s car and was pronounced dead at the scene. Carl Seese, 58, was seriously injured, including lacerations to his head, and was taken by ambulance to a St. Louis area hospital.

2 dead, 7 hurt including officer in mass shooting at Florida mall

DORAL, Fla. (WFLA) — Two people were killed and seven others were injured in a mass shooting at a Florida mall Saturday morning, according to police. WTVJ reported that the shooting happened at about 3:30 a.m. at Martini Bar in CityPlace Doral. Police said a dispute at the bar turned deadly when a security guard George Alejandro Castellanos tried to intervene, only for a gunman to gun him down. Six other bystanders, two women and four men, were also injured in the chaos, according to WTVJ. Doral police Chief Edwin Lopez said an officer was also injured in a shootout with the suspect, which ended in the suspect’s death. Another officer also opened fire in the shootout but was not injured.

Motorist kills highway flagger at Berryville Pike construction zone

Rippon, WV — A highway worker died after she was struck by a motorist who failed to heed a traffic control at a roadway construction work zone on Berryville Pike south of Rippon, according to police. Kathy A. Ruth, 62, of Mount Hope, West Virginia, died Thursday after she was struck by a car that drove around another car stopped at the traffic control station positioned just north of Lewisville Road on Berryville Pike, according to county police. Ruth was working as a roadway flagger when she was run over and killed at about 10:30 a.m. while she stood on Berryville Pike’s west-side shoulder. She had stopped southbound traffic at the temporary work zone on the two-lane roadway. Ruth worked for Southern Traffic Solutions, a company hired to direct traffic around a construction project widening Berryville Pike around Rippon to the West Virginia line.

Tree worker dies during storm cleanup in Montville after coming in contact with power line

Montville, NJ– A worker died Thursday after coming in contact with a power line while working in a tree, according to Montville Township Chief Andrew Caggiano. It happened around 4 p.m. on Taylortown Road. Caggiano said The Montville Fire Department, Morris County EMS and JCP&L responded to the scene. He says the worker was removed from the tree and transported to Morristown Memorial Hospital and later died.
Caggiano says the identity of the victim is not being released at this time.

47-year-old man dies while trimming tree limb from bucket truck in Colonial Heights

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — A 47-year-old man was found dead in Colonial Heights after police say he was trimming a tree limb from a bucket truck while working for a local tree cutting company and a rope broke free, throwing him from the bucket. At around 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, Colonial Heights police officers and firefighters responded to a home in the 900 block of Jamestown Drive for the report of an injured person. When emergency crews arrived, they found 47-year-old Charles Sloan, who was dead. After investigating, it was revealed that the man was working for a local tree-cutting company about 50 feet off the ground while trimming a tree limb from a bucket truck. While in the process of cutting the tree limb, police say a rope attached to the tree broke free, throwing the man from the elevated bucket.

Person hit, killed by falling tree in Williamson County

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – One person is dead after a tree fell on them in Williamson County on Wednesday. Williamson County fire said Crews responded to a call of a tree falling on someone in the 6000 block of Garrison Springs Road at about 5:07 p.m. It’s unclear at this time on exactly what caused the tree to fall on the victim due to a language barrier at the scene of the incident. Williamson County fire said workers were clearing land when a tree fell on the victim. Crews worked to remove the tree from on top of the victim and traumatic injuries were present. First responders began CPR and caring for the victim. They were taken to Williamson Medical Center where they were pronounced dead.

Contractor found dead at Chicago water pumping station on West Side

CHICAGO, Il — A death investigation is underway after a contractor was found dead at a Chicago Water Department pumping station on the city’s West Side, police said. According to the Chicago Fire Department, the 63-year-old man was found unresponsive near the 3500 block of West Filmore Street at the Central Park Pumping Station in North Lawndale around 9 a.m. Fire officials were called for a report of a person pinned in the machine at the pumping station near Filmore Street and South St. Louis Avenue. Fire crews say he was electrocuted and pronounced dead on the scene. The medical examiner has identified the 63-year-old man as Byron Connor. Police said there were no other injuries reported. A death investigation is underway pending autopsy results.

Local Firefighter Dies After Battling Wildfire in ECV

Kingsport, TN — At approximately 5 p.m. on March 30, a Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) part-time firefighter died while fighting a three-acre wildfire on Garland Drive in Scott County. Firefighter James C. Ward Jr. collapsed while working with a hand crew. He was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn. where he did not recover.

Road Worker Dies Following Hit-and-Run near Salisbury Airport

SALISBURY, MD – The Maryland State Police have arrested a Marion Station man after they say he struck a road worker with his vehicle in a hit-and-run incident on Airport Road in Salisbury. The victim, a 64-year-old road worker, succumbed to his injuries overnight, April 2nd, the Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack tells WBOC. According to State Police, an off-duty trooper was stopped at a flagging operation on Airport Road in a work zone just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27th. There, police say the trooper saw a blue Jeep, in front of the trooper’s vehicle, swerve into the opposite lane to bypass the work zone before veering back into the right lane to avoid oncoming traffic and driving off the road. Maryland State Police say the Jeep then accelerated and ran over the utility crew’s orange casings on the road before running over a worker who was on the ground. The worker, a 64-year-old man, was taken to a nearby hospital before being flown by private helicopter to Christiana Hospital. Nearly a week later, the man died from his injuries, police say. Maryland State Police have identified the victim as Thomas R. Attix, of Dover.

One Dead Following Morris Industrial Accident

Joliet, IL — Grundy County Coroner John Callahan’s office is investigating an industrial incident that claimed the life of an Odell resident. Callahan states his office was notified by Morris Hospital Emergency Department of a death which was the result of an industrial incident. Preliminary investigation indicates two men were working at the Narvick Cement Plant located at 755 east Rt. 6. Both men were together at the time of the incident. It appears a large fin that is attached to a shaft was binding at the base of a large drum. While attempting to free up the fin and shaft, the unit broke free knocking one worker to the base of the drum. The individual is identified as 44-year-old Cory Umgelder of Odell. The Morris Fire Department rapidly extracted Mr. Umgelder from the confined space to administer life saving measures and transport him to Morris Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

‘I want my son back’: Worker shot and killed on trash truck in Prince George’s County

Woodlawn, MD — A Prince George’s County family is grieving the loss of a man shot and killed while working a side job on a trash truck in Woodlawn Thursday. News4’s Darcy Spencer spoke to the young man’s mother.
A worker on a trash truck was shot and killed in Prince George’s County Thursday, and police are looking for a shooter, authorities said. Several shots were fired near the intersection of Glenoak Road and Greenvale Parkway in Woodlawn before 4 p.m., police said. The scene was near Woodlawn Recreation Center. An employee of a private garbage removal company was pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified as 30-year-old Idongesit Udosen of Lanham.

Man killed on 1st day of new job in SF Mission District shooting

San Francisco, CA — Witnesses say the victim was shot outside the barber shop and that he stumbled back inside, collapsed and died. Neighbors described the victim as being in his 20s, and that he was from Venezuela. They say it was the victim’s first day at work in the barbershop. Neighbor and co-owner of Alberto’s Printing Jason Flores told KTVU he heard a single gunshot. “We hear the shot, ‘pow’ then we come out,” he said. Witnesses say the victim was shot outside the barber shop and that he stumbled back inside, collapsed and died. Neighbors described the victim as being in his 20s, and that he was from Venezuela. They say it was the victim’s first day at work in the barbershop.

Tow truck driver killed in St. Landry Parish crash, remembered as a loving father

St.Landry, LA- A recent fatal crash that occurred on I-49 in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, claimed the lives of two individuals, Shannon Thibodeaux, 34, and Janis Hobb, 67, both from Lafayette. Shannon Thibodeaux was doing his job trying to help a driver with a flat tire when he was struck and killed on the side of the road. “He was a loveable person, honestly. It’s going to be quiet and dull, to be honest with you,” said friend and coworker Trevor Guidry. The atmosphere at R&R Towing will never be the same. The tow truck driver was killed Wednesday morning after a driver in a pickup truck slammed right into the car of another driver, Thibodeaux was assisting with a flat tire on I-49, two miles north of Hwy 167. Thibodeaux leaves behind two children and a grieving father.

Truck driver killed in crash on I-70 in Hancock Co.

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – An Avon truck driver died following a crash that closed a stretch of I-70 in Hancock County for several hours on Friday. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, the crash happened on westbound I-70 between State Road 9 and Fortville Pike near the Greenfield exit. Greg Duda, the public information officer for Hancock County 911, described it as a serious crash involving a semi truck and a car. Greenfield police later confirmed one person died. According to the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team, emergency responders were dispatched around 5 a.m. A 2014 Chevy Camaro was in the left lane approaching the overpass while a semi truck was in the right lane. The vehicles collided, and both drivers lost control. The truck driver was killed. The driver of the semi was later identified as 35-year-old Jamesly Pierrelis of Avon.

65-year-old store clerk in northwest Harris County dies weeks after being attacked, HCSO says

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — Deputies are investigating after an attack against a store clerk is believed to have led to his death this week. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced the worker’s death on Monday, saying he had died from injuries suffered during a March 14 attack. HCSO said they are seeking more information regarding the incident, which reportedly happened at the convenience store located at 19712 Tomball Parkway. The store clerk was identified as 65-year-old Muhammad Maqsood.

Kroger employee who died in parking lot accident was a grandmother, cancer survivor

Dallas, Texas — We’re learning more about a woman who was killed in an accident this week, in a Kroger parking lot. Linda Kay Brown was an employee there and was leaving the store on Wednesday afternoon when a car hit her. NBC 5’s Tahera Rahman spoke with her family today. Loved ones are remembering 62-year-old Linda Kay Brown, after a fatal accident earlier this week. They say she had finished her shift at the Kroger store on Southeast Green Oaks Boulevard in Arlington on Wednesday and had gone back to attend a coworker’s retirement party. Arlington Police said she had just left the store around 3:42 p.m. when a Ford F-150 hit her as she was walking in the parking lot. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I miss her so much and she means the world to me, so I’m just lost right now,” said Brown’s boyfriend, Cubie Nickelbury Jr. Investigators believe the driver was traveling towards the front entrance of the store, came to a stop near the end of the row, and then turned to go eastbound. They said he struck Brown as he was turning.

Man charged after hotel employee shot and killed in Parkway Village, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A man has been arrested and is now facing charges after a woman died after being shot at a hotel in Parkway Village Friday morning, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD). MPD said the shooting happened at an Extended Stay hotel on American Way around 11:30 a.m. The woman was rushed to Regional One Health in critical condition but died shortly after, according to police. A hotel guests FOX13 spoke with said he knew the woman as an employee at the hotel. “She was nice as can be,” said Sebastian, a guest at the Extended Stay hotel. “Would give you the shirt off her back. I don’t know why anyone would do something like that.”

21-year-old Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy dies after on-duty crash

Montgomery County, AL– Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy Jermyius Young died Saturday morning after sustaining critical injuries from an on-duty car crash Wednesday, April 3. Young crashed his patrol vehicle about 7 p.m. Wednesday and was taken to Baptist Medical Center South for treatment. He was later moved to University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, were he died.

EMT, patient killed in crash involving ambulance & semi

GARRARD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – Two people are dead after a crash involving an ambulance and a semi in Garrard County. The crash happened around 9 a.m. Monday near the Rocky Top Food Market Shell station at the intersection of US 27 and Old US 27. According to Kentucky State Police, 44-year-old Cory Dunn of Lexington was driving a semi east on Old Lexington Road and made a left-handed turn onto Lexington Road in front of a Somerset-Pulaski County ambulance, driven by 26-year-old EMT Chastian McWhorter of Albany, who was traveling north on Lexington Road. KSP says McWhorter and a patient in the ambulance, 75-year-old Robert Caudill of Nancy, were fatally injured in the crash and pronounced dead by the coroner.

Firefighter dies after crash in Clinton, South Carolina, officials confirm

CLINTON, S.C. — A firefighter has died after a crash, the City of Clinton Fire Department confirmed. Officials say the crash happened Sunday around 11 a.m. on Highway 72 east and Springdale Drive in Clinton while firefighters were responding to a call. According to South Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers, a firetruck was traveling east on Willard Road and a 2006 Lexus was traveling north on Springdale Road. Troopers say both vehicles collided at the intersection. Troopers added that the driver of the Lexus was take to a hospital. One of the two firefighters who were in the truck was flown to Spartanburg Regional Hospital for treatment. The second firefighter died at the scene. The City of Clinton FD says firefighter Michael “Mike Mike” Vinson was killed as a result of the crash.

Semi-truck driver killed in crash on I-4 in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – A semi-truck driver was killed after a crash on the Interstate-4 exit ramp in Orlando on Monday night, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The crash happened just after 8 p.m. on the eastbound exit ramp to SR-536 in Orlando. Troopers said preliminary evidence shows the semi-truck was the only vehicle involved in the crash. The truck ran off the roadway and into the tree line, troopers said. The truck driver was transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced deceased. The driver was identified as a 60-year-old man from Moore, South Carolina.

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