weekly toll

Last Thursday, the Department of Labor held a Workers Memorial Day ceremony in Washington DC. OSHA’s family liaison, Tonya Ford — whose uncle died in a fatal fall at an Archer Daniels Midlands grain facility,  delivered these opening remarks:

A message that echoed through each of the families…don’t forget my husband, don’t forget my mom, don’t forget my dad, don’t forget my baby. Each of our fallen workers is so much more than an incident.

They are those that would listen to their grandparents as they shared life lessons, they were those that just grabbed their high-school diploma and had dreams and goals they longed to reach. They were those that went to every school program no matter how many hours they worked that day to cheer their child on, they were those that made plans to retire soon and see the world with their soul mate, they were those that would laugh and create those special memories, they were those that were there for you always through that sibling bond. They were those you could always count on. They were those that may just have made you shake your head in disbelief because they were the outgoing, adventurous unpredictable individuals that lived spontaneously.

They are your husband, or wife, father mother, sister brother, grandparent, aunt, uncle…they were your children. They are your everything and they were the ones who made your family whole.

It is in that spirit — don’t forget their loved ones — that I publish the Weekly Toll every week. Unlike the six bridge workers who died when Baltimore’s Key Bridge collapsed last month, most of workers die one at a time, unnoticed and unrecognized by anyone except their families, friends and co-workers.

The Weekly Toll is an effort to memorialize all of those killed on the job. Those who die in the workplace should be remembered. We should say their names.

OSHA investigating local workplace death

KINSMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating a workplace accident in Kinsman that resulted in a fatality. The accident happened Friday afternoon at McGill Septic Tank Company. Sheriff Paul Monroe said a woman was pinned between a forklift and a truck. The 37-year-old woman, Jennifer Plant, was taken to the hospital where she passed away. First News reached out to the company, but it declined to comment citing the ongoing investigation.

Worker killed after falling 100 feet into hole at job site, AZ firefighters say

Buckeye, AZ — A worker fell 100 feet into a hole at a construction site in Buckeye, Arizona firefighters reported. The worker later died of his injuries at a hospital, family and friends told KNXV. Firefighters responded to reports someone had fallen in a hole at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, the Buckeye Fire Department reported. They lowered a radio to the man to communicate with him, KSAZ reported. Firefighters were later able to retrieve the man from the hole and took him to a hospital, the fire department said. He was alive when rescuers rushed him to the hospital. It’s not clear how the worker fell into the hole, KSAZ reported. Trevor Laky, a spokesman for the state’s worker safety program, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, told KNXV the agency is investigating.

Dubach officer killed by a passing vehicle during traffic stop, LSP says

LINCOLN PARISH, La. (KNOE) – The Louisiana State Police are investigating a crash that killed a Dubach officer during a traffic stop on Saturday, April 27, just before 1 p.m. LSP says Officer Russell Croxton pulled a vehicle over while on duty in his fully marked police vehicle. Croxton parked behind the vehicle he pulled over on U.S. 167 and the police car had its emergency lights on. Croxton was standing next to the driver’s side window of the vehicle he pulled over when a Peterbilt commercial vehicle, driven by 61-year-old Michael Sutterfield of Russellville, Arkansas, hit the police car. LSP says the CMV then hit Officer Croxton before hitting the pulled-over vehicle. Croxton was brought to a local hospital where he later died. Sutterfield and the driver of the pulled-over vehicle were wearing seatbelts and were left uninjured.

Man dies after trapped in ‘confined space’ near wastewater plant in Socorro

EL PASO, Texas  — An El Paso Water employee has died after being “trapped in a confined space” at Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant in Socorro Friday afternoon. In a post on social media, the El Paso Fire Department said the incident happened Friday at 10001 Southside Road. Harrison Parker reports on the wastewater plant incident that killed an employee. Officials identified the man as 34-year-old Jordan Haynesworth. El Paso Water officials said an investigation is underway.

Man trimming palm tree in Riverside dies when fronds collapse on him

Riverside, CA — A man trimming a palm tree died Friday, April 26, when fronds fell on him, pinning him to the tree, the Riverside Fire Department said. The fronds that fell on the man were dead and formed what is called a skirt below the living fronds, said Capt. Chuck Tasker, a Fire Department spokesman. Those can be dislodged by vibrations, and the man was clearing those at the time of the accident, Tasker said. Firefighters were called to the backyard of a home on Newkirk Drive around 1:45 p.m. They used ladders to ascend the tree and check on the man, who was already dead, Tasker said. The Riverside County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death. The man appeared to be a professional tree trimmer, Tasker said. Chaplains were called to minister to the man’s co-workers. Tasker said firefighters train for such a rescue but have not had to perform one in several years. In February 2023, a tree trimmer in Bonita in San Diego County was killed when dead fronds collapsed on him as they were clearing him, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Police officer hit, killed by excavator while working at construction site

BILLERICA, Mass. (WBZ) – A Massachusetts police officer died in a construction accident on Friday. Forty-nine-year-old Sergeant Ian Taylor was struck by an excavator while helping a tractor-trailer get around the construction site. The Billerica police officer was taken to the hospital, but he did not survive. The road in the area was closed to traffic in both directions after the fatal incident happened. The police chief said the 21-year veteran of the force had a passion for helping people. The Billerica police chief said Taylor was a 21-year veteran of the force who had a passion for helping people.  The incident remains under investigation.

Woman dies in forklift accident at Goodfield plant

Goodfield, IL — The Woodford County coroner’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating a fatal industrial accident at the Case IH plant in Goodfield. Lisa Hofmann, 40, of Pekin was pronounced dead at the scene at 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a news release from coroner Tim Ruestman. She had reportedly been struck by a forklift shortly before 10:30 a.m. An autopsy determine Hofmann died of multiple injuries, according to Ruestman. Ruestman said toxicology reports are being conducted and the Woodford County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating.

Texas Officer Dies from Wounds Suffered in Domestic Response Shooting

Corpus Christi, TX — Officer Kyle Hicks of the Corpus Christi, Texas, Police Department died Wednesday from wounds he suffered during a Saturday domestic response shooting. The man who reportedly shot and killed Hicks was identified Tuesday by the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s officer as 26-year-old Colton Foster. He was fatally shot by officers responding with Hicks, the Caller Times reports. Hicks is survived by his wife and four children. He worked with the Corpus Christi police for two years.

Worker dies in fall from wind turbine near Windthorst

Windthorst, TX — A man died after he fell from a wind turbine near Windthorst on Wednesday. He was identified Thursday as Marco Anthony Portillo, Jr., 31, of Weslaco. Archer County Sheriff Jack Curd said his office got a call about 4 p.m. that someone had fallen at the Windthorst 2 Wind Project. Emergency crews responded, but the man was had died. A co-worker told authorities he had tried to call the man and got no response. He found the victim dead at the base of the turbine. Curd said the man had fallen through the interior of the structure.

Man, 62, dies at cotton processing plant after being crushed by bales, police say

SLATON, Texas (KCBD/Gray News) – Authorities in Texas say they are investigating an industrial accident at a cotton processing plant where a man was killed Thursday morning. According to the Slaton Police Department, emergency crews were called to the RSM Company facility regarding a fatal incident at about 9:15 a.m. Slaton police said Santos Galicia-Hernandez, 62, was crushed by cotton bales and died. The 62-year-old was working between two 1,500-pound stacks of cotton when a lift operator compressed the row, unaware the worker was between the stacks. Galicia-Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man killed in industrial accident with concrete slab in Bluffdale

BLUFFDALE, UT — A man has been killed in an industrial accident in Bluffdale when cement slabs fell on him. Bluffdale Fire Chief Matt Evans said the apparent accident is under investigation after an emergency call at approximately 12:45 p.m. Thursday. “Upon arrival, we were informed that some big cement slabs had fallen on a victim … we had determined that he was … deceased,” Evans said. KSL News Radio’s Eric Cabrera spoke with Evans and said there are distraught families gathered at the scene of the accident at Olympus Precast, which manufactures concrete products. It has an indoor manufacturing facility and an outdoor storage yard for its product in an industrial section of Bluffdale, where emergency crews responded. The man’s age and identity have not been made public, and it is not known how the slabs fell.

State highway contract worker killed in work zone

HODGENVILLE, Ky. (KT) – The Kentucky State Police (KSP) are investigating a fatal collision involving a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) contract worker serving as a flagger in a work zone in LaRue County on Tuesday morning. The fatal collision happened around 9 a.m. near the 3100 block of Old Elizabethtown Road (KY 210), according to the KSP Post at Elizabethtown. The KSP says its preliminary investigation showed Henry T. James, 74, of Louisville, was operating a 2000 GMC Savana eastbound on Old Elizabethtown Road when he entered a portion of the roadway reduced to one lane due to routine maintenance operations. According to investigators, James failed to notice Blake Barnes, 22, of Elizabethtown, a KYTC contracted worker, who was in the eastbound lane of the roadway flagging traffic, when he was struck by James. Barnes was pronounced dead at the scene by the LaRue County Coroner’s Office. James reported no injuries to officials.

Civilian employee found dead at Fort Meade office building

Fort Meade, MD — A civilian employee died Tuesday at the Fort Meade, Md., military base after being found unresponsive in his office, according to a news release. The identity of the man, an employee at Army Community Services, is being withheld until next of kin are notified, said Fort Meade spokesperson Shaun Herron. Per the release, the employee was found on the floor of his office Tuesday afternoon. The Directorate of Emergency Services then responded and determined the man had died. A cause of death has not yet been determined, though Herron said there were no signs of self-harm or foul play.

City of Hinton public worker dies in accident

HINTON, WV (WVNS) — An 8-year veteran for the Hinton Public Works Department died in an apparent accident. According to Hinton Mayor Jack Scott, Wilbert “Bucky” Adkins, a worker for the Public Works Department for the City of Hinton, passed away due to an accident that happened during the late afternoon hours of Friday, April 19, 2024. The accident occurred on Front Street in Hinton. It remains under investigation by the Summers County Sheriff’s Department. The worker’s name was Wilbert Ray “Bucky” Adkins Jr., 53.

Road rage dispute ends with man shooting trucker as he ran along interstate

New Orleans, LA — A truck driver was killed in a suspected road rage incident and investigators are using the word “executed” to describe how it played out, according to news outlets in Louisiana. The shooting happened around 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, along Interstate 20 in Greenwood, about a 330-mile drive northwest of New Orleans. “Two drivers were seen arguing outside their vehicles on the westbound on-ramp at Exit 3 in Greenwood. One, Gurpreet Singh Judge, 36, was driving an 18-wheeler and the other was driving a dark-colored SUV,” the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. “Detectives say they believe the argument may have involved a case of road rage. The driver of the 18-wheeler was seen trying to flee on foot before he was shot by the driver of the SUV.”  Judge  died at the scene, not far from a Love’s Travel Stop that is frequented by truckers. Capt. Bobby Herring of the criminal investigations division told KSLA it appeared the trucker was “executed” as he tried to escape.

Man killed in Hudspeth County when he loses control of truck, trailer

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A man was killed in Hudspeth County last week when he lost control of the semitruck and trailer he was driving along Interstate 10, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The crash happened at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 13 about 4 miles east of Sierra Blanca. Kiro Gebregergs, age 43, from Forney, Texas, was driving a semitruck and pulling a trailer eastbound along Interstate 10 when he lost control, DPS said. The truck and trailer both left the road, hit a guardrail and traffic sign and the truck caught fire, DPS said. The trailer came loose and ended up on its side, DPS added. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputy dies after vehicle hits him on highway while assisting others at crash scene

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (Gray News) – A Texas deputy was killed after he was struck by a vehicle in Harris County Tuesday morning. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy John Coddou, 50, was assisting fellow first responders at a crash scene on Highway 99 when he was hit by a passing vehicle. Coddou was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital but he later died. “It is a sad day in Harris County as we mourn the loss of a deputy who died in the line of duty. We share our sorrow with his family & his extended family, the women & men who put their lives on the line every day to keep our county safe,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

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