weekly toll

Next Sunday is Workers Memorial Day when, in the words of Mother Jones, we take a minute to “mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.” Below are a few of the workers who died in the workplace last week.

Last week three workers were killed in a highway work zone and workers were electrocuted, killed in falls, vehicle incidents, a chemical explosion and shootings. 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.

3 construction workers killed in work zone crash on Pennsylvania highway: state police

FAIRFIELD TWP, Pa. – Three construction workers were killed when police say they were hit by a box truck on a Pennsylvania highway early Wednesday morning. State Police in York County were called to mile marker 35.5 on the southbound side of I-83 just before 3:30 a.m. for reports of a work zone crash. Investigators say 24-year-old Reed Davenport was driving a large box truck when it collided with a construction vehicle and continued onto the shoulder. Three construction workers were hit during the collision and pronounced dead at the scene, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The deadly crash caused an hours-long shutdown of a stretch of I-83 that continued into Wednesday morning’s rush hour. The workers were identified by the York County Coroner’s Office to be Jesse McKenzie, 24, of Somerset, Robert Hampe, 42, of Meyersdale and Philson Hinebaugh III, 24, of Johnstown, according to a news release.

Tire shop worker crushed to death when RV falls on him

Newnan, GA — A tire shop employee was killed when a motor home he was working on fell, pinning him underneath, Georgia authorities said. The “work-related accident” happened at about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Buck’s Tires in Newnan, according to a city official. The man was reportedly working underneath the recreational vehicle when the RV fell, Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk told McClatchy News on the phone. The vehicle somehow slid off the air jack as he was trying to remove a tire, the Newnan Times-Herald reported, citing deputy coroner Gary Stallings. The man was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead, city officials said. Hawk identified him as 26-year-old Timothy Welling.

Construction worker killed in suspected hit-run was an expectant father from Fallbrook

Valley Center, CA — Authorities publicly identified a 27-year-old construction worker who was killed last week when a suspected hit-and-run driver’s car struck him on a rural road in Valley Center. Manuel Leon of Fallbrook was working as a traffic flagman at a work site on Cool Valley Road, a few miles west of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, when an eastbound Toyota Corolla hit him shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office and California Highway Patrol. he motorist continued driving and left the area, CHP Officer Hunter Gerber said. Paramedics took Leon to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Garbage truck hits worker while collecting trash, kills him

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) – An employee with a garbage truck company was killed while on the job Tuesday morning. The incident occurred at 9 a.m. on Southeast 108th Terrace, within the Spruce Creek Subdivision. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say the unidentified employee was loading garbage onto the truck when its tire struck him. Marion County Fire Rescue officials responded to the scene and pronounced him dead upon arrival. The incident is currently being investigated.

Worker killed after getting stuck underneath forklift in Bel Air

LOS ANGELES, CA — A man was killed after he was trapped underneath a toppled forklift in Bel Air on Monday. Los Angeles Fire Department crews were sent to the scene, in the 900 block of N. Moraga Drive, at around 1:30 p.m. after learning of the incident, according to a statement. They say that the worker, an adult male, was trapped underneath the forklift as it was carrying steel rebar at a construction site. Firefighters attempted to render medical aid but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not yet been released and no other injuries were reported.

Vineyard Worker Dies In Healdsburg After Tractor Crushes Them

Healdsburg, CA –A worker is dead after the tractor they were operating rolled over and crushed them in a Dry Creek Valley area vineyard in Healdsburg. It happened Monday morning, but details were not released until Thursday. Firefighters found the employee pinned under the tractor and immediately pronounced the person dead. The person has not been identified. Cal-OSHA is investigating the incident.

Man dies after extended drill on construction truck hits overpass, flipping vehicle

MACON, Ga. — A worker is dead after the extended drill arm of the construction vehicle he was driving hit an overpass and flipped the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. The accident happened on Interstate 475 North in Bibb County just after noon on Friday. Witnesses said a Kenworth construction vehicle was traveling north and tried to go under an overpass when the vehicle’s equipment struck the bridge. Deputies said the truck’s drill was extended at the time. The truck turned over. The driver, identified only as a 39-year-old man, was pulled from the vehicle and taken to the hospital, where he died.

Worker Killed At Construction Site In Glen Head

Nassau County, NY — A 34-year-old landscaper was working in a tree at the site, cutting a branch with a chainsaw when a nearby powerline electrocuted him, Nassau County Police said. The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene and was pronounced deceased by a Nassau County Police Medic. His identity has not yet been released. A 51-year-old male coworker was injured while attempting to render aid to the victim. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Utility worker identified after tragic death in Dearing, Ga

Dearing, GA (WFXG) – Fox54 is learning new information about a utility worker who died while working in Dearing, GA. According to McDuffie County Coroner Paul Johnson, the utility worker has been identified as 48-year-old Andrew Francis of Tamarac, Fla. The incident happened around 3:45 pm. Fox54 is told Francis was working out of a utility bucket while running a cable line. The coroner’s office says the cable line was stretched across the road when a vehicle passing through on White Oak Road became entangled in the cable, yanking Francis from the bucket. The coroner’s office confirms Francis was pronounced dead on scene due to his injuries. Francis’s body will be autopsied at the Georgia Crime Lab.

21-year-old Ga. utility worker dead after reported gas leak

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A 21-year-old Georgia utility worker is dead after responding to a gas leak, according to WJCL. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on Savannah Highway about a gas leak Monday morning. The Jesup Fire Department and Wayne County EMS also responded. An employee of Atlanta Gas Light, Brandon Butler, was taken to the emergency room, where he died. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. It’s unclear if Butler was on the job or if the gas leak killed him.

Stockton gas station employee shot and killed during robbery, police say

STOCKTON, CA – A Stockton gas station employee was shot and killed during a robbery early Thursday morning, police say. According to the Stockton Police Department, multiple suspects entered the 4800 block of E. 99 Frontage Road business a little after 1:30 a.m. and started to rob the business. An employee and the suspects got into an altercation during the robbery. At some point during this altercation, police say the employee was shot in the chest. The suspects then drove off. “At some point during the robbery, an altercation ensued. One of the suspects shot the victim,” said Stockton officer David Scott.

Utility worker electrocuted in Berne

BERNE, N.Y.  — A utility worker was electrocuted while working on a utility pole in Berne early Friday morning. The Albany County Sheriff’s Office says the worker died on the scene, and their name has not been released at this time. Around 2:41 a.m., deputies, Albany EMS, and the East Berne Fire Department responded to Long Road in Berne for a car fire. Upon arrival, a cable bucket truck was in the roadway on fire. Albany County Sheriff’s deputies say an investigation found a Spectrum cable worker was conducting routine maintenance on a utility pole, and while in the basket of the bucket truck, came in contact with an electric line. Deputies say when the worker touched the line, they were electrocuted and an explosion occurred. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ada County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed during traffic stop

Boise, ID — On 4/20/2024 at about 8:55pm, Ada County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tobin Bolter made a traffic stop on a gray Chevy Suburban in the area of W. Overland Rd. and S. Raymond St. in Boise. Preliminary information indicates the 65-year-old male suspect had a misdemeanor warrant. As Deputy Bolter approached the driver’s window, the driver shot Deputy Bolter and fled the scene. A citizen witnessed the shooting, called 911 and performed CPR until medics arrived. Deputy Bolter was transported to Saint Alphonsus in Boise. Boise Police located the suspect during a search of the area and were involved in an officer involved shooting. On the morning of 4/21/2024, Deputy Bolter succumbed to his injuries. Deputy Bolter was 27-years-old and had seven years of law enforcement experience. He had been with the ACSO since January 2024. Prior to the ACSO, Deputy Bolter worked with Meridian Police Department and Pleasant Hill Police Department (CA).

Homicide investigation underway after body of Framingham worker found in business’ trash area

FRAMINGHAM, Mass — A homicide investigation is underway after the body of a worker, 30-year-old Anthony Junior Lopez, in Framingham was found behind the business Saturday night, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said Sunday. Framingham police responded to a business at Shoppers World Worcester Road around 10:00 p.m. after a deceased man was found in the trash area behind a building, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. Officials say the victim is around 30 years old and had been working at the business last night. The man, who has not been identified, had obvious trauma to his body, the DA’s office says.

N.C. Department of Transportation employee killed while attempting to stop carjacking

LUMBERTON, N.C. (TCD) — A state employee was killed last month after a man carjacked his department-owned vehicle and fatally struck him with it before driving off. Lumberton Police said that on the morning of March 14, emergency dispatch received a call about an attempted carjacking on the 4100 block of West 5th Street. While en route to the call, officers learned the suspect got into a hit-and-run crash in a parking lot several blocks away. According to Lumberton Police, the suspect was attempting to carjack a second vehicle. Witnesses reportedly tried to stop the suspect from stealing the car, and in the process, the suspect got into one of the bystander’s vehicles, which was owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The suspect ended up hitting the witness whose car he stole, and the man, Jonathan Adam Lecompte, 38, later died from his injuries.

Man operating skid loader on farm killed in accident in York County

YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– A man was killed in a skid loader accident on a farm in York County on Saturday, according to officials. According to the York County Coroner’s Office, they were dispatched around 4:23 p.m. to the 5200 block of East Prospect Road for a 92-year-old man found dead after a skid loader accident. The man, who was wearing a seatbelt, was operating a skid loader on a farm when it flipped backwards and trapped him in the skid loader, according to the coroner’s report. A family member found the skid loader flipped backwards and the man was unconscious. The report states that EMS was immediately dispatched and the man could not be resuscitated despite the efforts of first responders. The York County Coroner has identified the man as David Evans of Lower Windsor Township. The cause and manner of death also have not been released yet. There will be no autopsy.

Elko businessman killed by employee

Elko, NV — An Elko businessman was shot and killed on April 18 by an employee who was about to be fired, the employee then turned the handgun on himself. 50-year-old Bob Demars was found dead at his workplace, Police Lt. Rick Moore said. “Unfortunately, our officers responded to a murder-suicide. We were called about 7:44 a.m. to Sterling Crane, it’s just a business located on North 5th St. here in Elko. We soon learned that the suspect was John Joshua Jauer who’s 42 years of age. He was apparently in the process of being terminated from the company when he came in and shot,” Lt. Moore said. Jauer, also of Elko, fled the shooting and was found a short time later at the Elko Peace Park near the business where officers closed in.

‘Industrial accident’ under investigation after death at El Paso railyard

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — El Paso police are looking into a death in south El Paso Thursday evening. According to the El Paso Police Department, Crimes Against Persons is investigating a death as an “industrial accident” in the railyard located at 805 South Santa Fe Street near the Paso Del Norte international bridge. Information is limited at the moment.

Truck driver identified after deadly semitruck crash and fire on I-22 in Walker County

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. — The name of the truck driver killed Tuesday in a fiery crash that shut down Interstate 22 in Walker County has been released. Stephen A. Zmolek Jr., 40, of Boaz, was driving a 2015 Freightliner Cascadia tractor-trailer when it left the roadway, overturned, and caught fire, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. It happened shortly after 10 a.m. in the westbound lanes at Exit 46 between Dogtown Road and Ingle Road, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Community reacts to death of Hendricks County Deputy

HENDRICKS COUNTY, IN — On Tuesday, the community gathered outside Hendricks County Sheriff Deputy Fred Fislar’s patrol car to place flowers and mementos and honor a man they call a true hero. “Our heart is broken, for the Fislar family, for the department family and for our community family,” Hendricks County Sheriff Jack Sadler said. Hendricks County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Fislar died in the line of duty early Tuesday morning. The department says Deputy Fislar came in contact with downed power lines after responding to the scene of a single car crash just outside of Plainfield. A bystander saw Deputy Fislar down just minutes after responding to the scene. They used Deputy Fislar’s radio to call for help. Deputy Fislar was transported to the hospital where he died.

Pizza Ranch employee dies after being struck by garbage truck in parking lot

BURLINGTON, Wis.  — A 34-year-old man is dead after being struck by a garbage truck in the city of Burlington. It happened Monday morning, April 15 in the parking lot of Pizza Ranch, located on Milwaukee Avenue. Police say a preliminary investigation shows the garbage truck was performing a backing maneuver when the truck hit the victim as he was walking toward his car. The victim, according to police, is a Waukesha resident who worked at Pizza Ranch. Pizza Ranch released the following statement on Tuesday, releasing the identity of the victim as Jake Zappa. The operator of the garbage truck and the ASDA Company are cooperating with law enforcement efforts to conduct a thorough investigation.

USPS employee dies after single-vehicle rollover crash in Litchfield

LITCHFIELD, Maine — The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a single-vehicle rollover crash claimed the life of a United States Postal Service employee from Wales. Just after 9 a.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a reported rollover crash at the intersection of Huntington Hill Road and Quackenbush Lane that involved a USPS vehicle where the driver was partially ejected, a release from the sheriff’s office stated. Investigators discovered the vehicle was headed south on Huntington Hill Road when it went off the roadway and rolled over several times. No other vehicles were reportedly involved in the crash. The driver was identified as 48-year-old Alicia Bubier, the sheriff’s office said.

Tow truck driver killed in Taft shooting described as friendly family man

ORLANDO, Fla. – A tow truck driver who was killed in a deadly shooting last week is being remembered by family and friends. Juan Luis Cintron Garcia, 39, has been described as a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and uncle. A service for Garcia’s family and close friends is being held on Wednesday at the Good Life Funeral Home in Orlando. Loved ones said he leaves behind a legacy of “kindness,” “love,” and “passion.” A GoFundMe page has been established to assist the family with expenses. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Garcia was shot on Wednesday, April 10, shortly before 10 p.m. on 8th Ave. in the Taft neighborhood. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died.

Dump truck driver killed in N.J. Turnpike crash caused by tire blowout

Burlington County, NJ — A 45-year-old dump truck driver was killed after blowing a tire on the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County on Wednesday morning. Nelson Gonzalez was driving south near mile post 55.2 in Chesterfield at about 10:50 a.m. when the truck veered off the truck lanes to the right and struck a guard rail and chain link fence, State Police said. Gonzalez, of Manville, was pronounced dead at the scene, about 2 miles north of Exit 7.

LAFD recruit killed while rendering aid at vehicle collision

LOS ANGELES, CA — A Los Angeles Fire Department recruit was killed Monday morning on the 101 Freeway in Studio City while rendering aid at the site of a traffic collision, the department said Monday in a statement posted on X. The recruit was fatally injured shortly after 5 a.m. near Vineland Avenue . According to NBC Los Angeles, the recruit was helping victims of a crash involving a sedan, a Jeep Wrangler and a truck towing portable restrooms. Other details about the initial crash were not available. The fire department did not say whether the recruit was struck by another vehicle.

Medical Examiner identifies tow truck driver killed in crash

Grapevine, TX — The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has released the name of a tow truck operator killed in a crash in Grapevine. Mohammad Ahmed Abdelraheem Abu Rub was struck down by a car on Highway 121 and died about 12 hours later at Baylor Scott and White in Grapevine. Grapevine police said there was damage to the rear of the driver’s tow rig. Another man identified himself as the driver who struck Abu Rub, and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel. The investigation was still in motion Friday and the driver was not arrested. In a statement, Grapevine police said they want to “…remind the public that extreme fatigue and drowsiness can be just as dangerous for drivers as intoxication. If you or a loved one are too tired to drive, please pull over or seek another ride.”

One thought on “Weekly Toll: Death on the Job”
  1. When I mention these reports to my employees I always tell them these people woke up the same way we did this morning, Fully expecting to go home after work today.

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