Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Weekly Toll:Death in the American Workplace

Our thoughts and hearts are with all the families who must endure the loss of a loved one at work. If we can help you in any way, please contact us. 

June 11, 2015 - Maramec, OK - 53 year old Jerald Warden died on the job after being struck in the head by a sign. He was directing a coworker driving a dump truck with a load of asphalt to fill a sinkhole. A bungee cord securing a stop sign in the bed of the truck broke, causing the sign to fall and hit Warden in the neck. He died at a local hospital. He was an employee for Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

June 12, 2015 - Waco, TX - 51 year old  Jeffrey Lee "Jeff" Thaemert was working on a construction site at Baylor University when he was struck by an elevator. Details as to how or why are not clear. He was an independent electrician for Rosendin Electric out of Dallas.

June 12, 2015 - Malvern, OH - 24 year old Michael E. Straight was working at Minerva Enterprises, a construction landfill, when he was struck by one vehicle and between two vehicles. Details of the incident are not clear. He died after being taken to an area hospital.

June 12, 2015 - State College, PA - 29 year old Jarod Chapman of Union Town was killed on a construction site at Penn State's campus. He was breaking down a crane at the Burrowes Building to move it when another worker reportedly removed a pin. That action caused the crane to swung around and strike Chapman. He was an employee for Maccabee Industrial of Belle Vernon.

June 12, 2015 - Coralville, IA - 20 year old Andrea Farrington of Cedar Rapids was working her dream job at a children's museum at Coral Ridge Mall. She was also just days away from her 21st birthday. There she encountered a mall security officer who began stalking her. She was working at the mall's information center when this man, who had earlier been fired from his position, walked up to her and started shooting. She was struck in the back several times. The man was apprehended and charged with her murder.

June 15, 2015 - Winter Garden, FL - 43 year old David P. Rossman was crushed to death while trying to clear a jam in a machine. He apparently was trying to clear the jam from a massive cardboard compactor when he fell into the machine from the six foot platform which required a ladder to reach it. He was employed by Robert Wallick Associates, Inc., a recycling center.

June 12, 2015 - Calumet City, IL - 56 year old Andrew Brundidge died at hospital after falling into a silo full of toxic material. Is is unknown how or why he fell into the silo. He was working at Horsehead Resource Development Corp., a chemical refinery and recycling plant that processes electric arc furnace dust, a steel industry hazardous waster product, into zinc.

June 15, 2015 - Elgin, NE - 58 year old Sarri L. "Sam" Stecki was killed on the job after being run over by a truck. It appears she exited her vehicle when then began to roll. She attempted to stop the vehicle and most likely fell under the truck. She was an employee for Richard Amusements, a touring carnival.

June 15, 2015 - Harlan, KY - 23 year old Brandon Cloud was a civilian contractor working at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort when he died from a fall. He was working in an extension lift that collapsed and fell. He was employed by Davis Roofing.

June 15, 2015 - Henrico, VA - A 42 year old unidentified employee for Breedlove Masonry was killed on the job while working at Collegiate School. He was placing a joint on the roofing and his saw misfired and he was cut by the saw. Attempts to locate his name have been unsuccessful.

June 16, 2015 - Washington Twp, OH - 20 year old James "Jimmy" Bradley Brown of McComb died on the job of toxic exposure as he and another man were working on a septic tank at a home in Washington Township. For an unknown reason Brown crawled into the septic tank and was overcome by the fumes. The other worker was unable to pull him out. Obtained from another source he was employed by Siferd Plumbing and Heating.

June 16, 2015 - Fairbury, NE - 42 year old Scott Roker was fatally injured when he became pinned in a piece of machinery at a clay products manufacturing facility. It is unclear how or why he was caught in the machine. He was working for Endicott Clay Products, a brick making facility.

June 16, 2015 - Anchorage, AK - 23 year old Samuel Adam Morgan was killed on the job when he was buried in a trench collapse. He was part of a crew helping to build a road in South Anchorage working inside the trench. Coworkers were unable to dig him out. He was employed by Hartman Construction and Equipment, Inc.

June 16, 2015 - New Haven, CT - William Kiemenz, who was in his 50's died on the job when he drowned after falling into the water.  He had been on a raft, working on putting a barge, dock and moorings at the Magellan Terminal Harbor fuel deposit site in New Haven. It is not clear how he fell from the raft but coworkers pulled him back onto it. He was a long time employee for Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman.

June 16, 2015 - Ottawa, MI - 40 year old Dale Berkompas of Dorr was fatally electrocuted while working on a job at Brink Truck Lines. He was an electrician foreman preparing to wire a fire pump to the electrical supply when he received an electrical shock. It is not clear if he worked for Brinks or another company.

June 17, 2015 - Crossville, TN - 38 year old Rowdy Gene Kivwitch of Picayune, MS was a member of a crew working to clear debris left by the ice storm that devastated an area of Tennessee in February. He was operating a construction loader stacking brush. The drive shaft of the loader broke, causing the equipment to lose its brakes and steering. The loader traveled down a hill, crossed a driveway and overturned, ejecting him. Kevwitch was working for a construction company contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through Cumberland County. Locating the name of his employer have not been successful. 

June 17, 2015 - Sun Valley, CA - A 21 year old unidentified man died on the job after being crushed by heavy equipment at a concrete and asphalt recycling company in Sun Valley. A front end loader was being moved to another area of the facility when it backed up and ran over him. We have been unable to locate the man's name or his employer. 

June 17, 2015 - Omaha, NE - 42 year old Jeffrey Glup received an electric shock at the site of the new Papillion Public Works Department facility. He was connecting downspouts on a sewer line when workers struck an electrical line with a backhoe which exposed an electric line. He was employed by TSI Mechanical of LaVista. 

June 17, 2015 - San Juan, TX - 55 year old Roberto Alvarado of Santa Rosa died on the job when he reportedly slipped and fell, and made contact with a live transformer. There are no details as to how or why he fell. He was employed by Magic Valley Cooperative.

June 17, 2015 - Leland Grove, IL - 44 year old Daren Cox of Springfield died on the job after being involved in a lawn mowing incident. He was driving a commercial mower that overturned on a slope next to a creek, pinning him underneath the machine. He was seasonal employee for Leland Grove Public Works.

June 17, 2015 - Dalton, GA - An unidentified man died on the job when a car he was working under slipped off the jack, crushing him. He was employed by Cedar Creek Trucking. 

June 19, 2015 - Ames, IA - 35 year old Javier Hernandez and Alfredo Jarez were working on a building under construction across the street from the ISU Memorial Union. Both men died from trauma after falling three stories off scaffolding. As one of the workers was falling, the other tried to grab him but couldn't stop and they both died. The safety harnesses worn were not tied off to the scaffolding. It is unknown who their employer was.

June 20, 2015 - Denver, NC - 43 year old Lisa Wilkerson of Sherrills Ford was making her usual deliveries for the United States Postal Service when a large tree fell on the vehicle, crushing her. She was making deliveries in an area that had experienced a thunderstorm.

June 21, 2015 - South Holland, IL - 42 year old Sergio Varela was doing electrical work for the rehab of a vacant home with his brother on the day he died. Three men walked up the site and apparently asked if there was any work. When they were told no, they barged into the home and shot Varela multiple times. He fell at his brother's feet. It is not known who the men were working for.

June 23, 2015 - Ballinger, TX - 67 year old Jose Carmona-Rico of Tye was working for a company that was repairing beams under a bridge in West Texas when a load of metal rods fell onto him. He was working for J.H. Strain & Sons, Inc. for Texas DOT.

June 23, 2015 - Cumberland, NC - 63 year old Sherion Boden Winfrey of Fayetteville died of probable heat related illness while working for Purolater Filters in Cumberland. She worked in a part of the factory that does not have air conditioning. She was taken to an area hospital where she died.

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of those who have died on the job. Our wish that through our post is to honor them and make sure they are not forgotten.

May 12, 2015 - Marathon, FL - 47 year old Pedro Jose Sanchez was killed on the job when the backhoe he was operating rolled over. He was employed by 3rd Generation Plumbing.

May 14, 2015 - Dallas, TX - 44 year old Jorge Carrion Torres was at his job on an apartment construction site when he fell from an upper floor. Details are not clear as to how or why he fell. He was employed by Design Plastering, Inc.

June 2, 2015 - Elko, NV - 61 year old David D. Martinez was one of two water truck drivers who were parked facing each other and working on Martinez’s truck. After they were done they checked around their trucks and Martinez walked to the porta potty. As the other driver began to drive away he had to avoid a collision and ended up crashing into the porta potty while Martinez was still inside. Both men worked for Allied Nevada Gold Corporation's Hycroft Mine.

June 2, 2015 - Clinton, AR - 51 year old Hubert Keith Moore of Chester and 40 year old Ricardo Trochez of Russellville, were working with a large crew on a construction site in on a bridge in Clinton when a log truck's tires blew out, causing the load to shift and the truck to overturn. As the logs spilled from the truck they struck two cars and 21 members of the construction crew. Unfortunately Moore and Trochez were killed. According to one of the obituaries the men most likely worked for Mobley Construction.

June 6, 2015 - Sneedville, TN - 34 year old Joshua "Josh" Mabe, a Tennessee Highway Patrolman, was working on his family's farm when he was crushed under a tractor at the farm. No other details are known.

June 7, 2015 - Lake Stevens, WA - 58 year old Marjorie M. Reed of Snohomish suffered fatal head injuries after falling from a ladder as she was stocking shelves. She was an employee for Target in Lake Stevens.

June 7, 2015 - Mechanicsburg, OH - 31 year old Dr. Austin Ayers had recently moved back to Ohio to be near family. He was a veterinarian by trade but was working at his family's dairy farm feeding cattle. He had been adding hay to the mixer, which is powered by a tractor, when he lost his balance and fell in. The machine was not turned off as was the normal practice.

June 8, 2015 - Blain, WA - 52 year old James "Loyd" Bost  was working for and with a friend to guide a piece of equipment when two beams buckled causing the it to turn around and knock out the other two support beams. Bost was crushed under the falling structure. He was working for Call Paul, owned by Paul J. Davis.

June 9, 2015 - Afghanistan - 54 year old Krissie K. Davis of Talladega, FL was a member of the Defense Logistics Agency at the Anniston Army Depot. She was the first DLA Disposition Services civilian deployer killed from combat-related injuries. She died during an indirect attack on Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.

June 9, 2015 - Orrum, NC - 37 year old Jeffery David Lowe was an employee for Top Notch Recovery when he was shot to death as he was legally repossessing a vehicle.

June 10, 2015 - Holyoke, MA - 51 year old Richard O'Reilly of Ware was working on a construction site on Interstate 91 when he was struck by a dump truck that was backing up. O'Reilly was an employee of Palmer Paving.

June 10, 2015 - Port Lavaca, TX - 21 year old James Wade Gutierrez of Victoria died on the job after being exposed to cyanide at the Ineos Nitriles plant. The circumstances of the exposure are not known. He was an employee for Zachry Industries.

June 10, 2015 - Orondo, WA - 34 year old Miguel Navarro of Wanatchee was killed on the job when he fell through a corrugated fiberglass skylight while roofing in Orondo. He had been making repairs to the metal roof when he fell. He was employed by Auvil Fruit Company, Inc.

June 11, 2015 - Somerville, MA - 40 year old Ronald "Moose" Morse of Hooksett, NH was a generous man according to family and friends. He will be missed by all who knew him. Moose as killed on the job in Massachusetts when a temporary hoist he was working from pulled away and fell from the side of a building on a construction site. He was working for Shiloh Steel Erectors of Raynham, MA.

June 11, 2015 - Frankfort, KY - 19 year old Jonathon Moore had his whole life ahead of him. Instead he died when a trench collapsed around him. He and another employee were installing a sewer line along a roadway when the trench gave way. He was employed by Josh Levre Construction of Jackson, TN

June 11, 2015 - Wood County, VA - 49 year old Randell Bland had a dangerous job. As do all who work on road construction. Bland was struck and killed in a multiple vehicle collision. A tanker truck driver struck a van and an SUV.  Both vehicles were pushed into the work zone and he ended up pinned between the van and a work truck. He was employed by Department of Highways for Wood County.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Our thoughts are with all those affected by a work related incident. We are here to help in any way we can. Please don't hesitate to contact us. Please note that we make every attempt to locate an article to link to each post where we can.

May 6, 2015 - Fredericksburg, VA - Keith Johnson was killed at work when the forklift he was operating overturned on him. He was employed by Hollinger Corporation of Fredericksburg.

May 8, 2015 - Las Vegas, NV - Lawrence Waddell was an employee of Apache Electric of Las Vegas when he was buried in a trench collapse. No other information has been found. 

May 11, 2015 - Powell, OH - Marcellus Tolliver died on the job when he was crushed by a sand hopper that fell from a forklift. He was working at The Columbus Coal & Lime Co. at the time of his death.

May 11, 2015 - Jasper, MN - 50 year old Sharla Drew (left) is being called a hero when she went into a barn that was on fire in an attempt to rescue 32 year old Kristy Giesler, both of Jasper. Drew was an employee for New Horizon Farms. Giesler, who worked for VanHawk Power Washing of Jasper, was power washing a barn at the farm when something sparked a fire. It appears Drew ran into the barn to rescue Giesler and both perished in the fire.

May 11, 2015 - Bloomington, CA - 63 year old Judge William Lightfoot of Henderson, NV was working a job in Bloomington when he was struck and crushed by a 75 ton crane boom that he was operating. He was a master crane operator who had 40 years of experience in the industry and worked many well known construction sites in Las Vegas. He was employed by Reliable Crane Services of Bloomington at the time of his death. 

May 11, 2015 - Salt Lake City, UT - 51 year old Richard "Richie" Pierce died following a fall from a ladder at a Layton Construction Company work site. It is not clear as to how or why he fell. He was employed by SME Steel Contractors, Inc., a subcontractor on the job.

May 11, 2015 - Louisville, KY - Kristopher Cook was killed on the job when he was crushed between a machine guard and a metal lift post of a conveyor machine. He was employed by Cardinal Aluminum Co. 

May 13, 2015 - Miami, OK - 50 year old Tracey Allen Williams of Afton was killed on the job when he was crushed inside a machine when it became re-energized. He was a maintenance employee for Scepter Manufacturing, LLC of Miami.

May 14, 2015 - Devine, TX - 33 year old Elias Contreras was working on a restaurant sign from a basket of a truck-mounted aerial life when he fell from the lift. He fell approximately 100 feet. The reason why is unknown. He was employed by General Signs, Inc. of Devine.

May 14, 2015 - Hilbert, WI - Thomas Ramirez was fatally crushed by an overhead door while working. He was employed by Holsum Dairies, LLC of Hilbert. No other information was available.

May 14, 2015 - Lexington, KY - Chiu Kin Wing was killed on the job when he was crushed by a piece of granite that fell from a forklift. He was employed by Tyson Stone, Inc. in Lexington.

May 14, 2015 - Louisa, KY - 50 year old Thomas Lee Dickerson of Kiahsville, WV was working to unload logs from a semi truck when he was struck by one of the logs. He was employed by Wayne Lumber and Mulch in Louisa.

May 14, 2015 - Jacksonville, FL - 42 year old Alexander Cordova of Tampa was working for Big Ben Transport, Inc., a subcontractor working on the I-295 Expansion Project when he was crushed by a 7 1/2 ton concrete panel. He was the driver of a transport vehicle filled with sound barriers. He was standing next to the semi truck when one of the concrete panels fell from the truck.

May 15, 2015 - Caneyville, KY - 38 year old Jamie Dwayne Woosley of Morgantown was killed on the job when the vehicle he was driving sped down a road, struck an embankment and overturned, partially ejecting Woosley. He was employed by Otis Bryant and Sons, Inc. (Bryant Farms) of Leitchfield. 

May 16, 2015 - Carlinville, IL - Vernon England died on the job when the tractor he was operating slid into a ravine and overturned. He was employed by Marcus Davis, a landscape company. No further information is known.

May 17, 2015 - Quanah, TX - Mario Ramos Ortiz was killed on the job when he was struck by a drill casing. He was employed by Steinberger Drilling Co, Ltd. No other information is known.

May 19, 2015 - Channelview, TX - Stan Shylkofski was killed on the job when he was crushed when a tractor overturned. He was employed by LaBarge Coating, LLC. No other information was found.

May 21, 2015 - Prairieville, LA - 38 year old Courtney Jones of Yazoo, MS was fatally electrocuted as he was installing cablevision and internet lines along a roadway. Due to heavy vegetation and his back to power lines he did not see that he was going to come into contact with them. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Going to work should not be a grave mistake. USMWF has a goal to bring awareness to the fact that worker's die on the job every single day in America. If we can help you in any way, please let us know.

May 18, 2015 - Spokane Valley, WA - Doug Pinyerd of Post Falls, ID was working in Washington state when he suddenly died of natural causes. He was getting his paperwork ready for the day when he collapsed and looked like he was having a seizure. He was employed by Viking Builders LLC.

May 25, 2015 - Spokane, WA - 38 year old Dr. Christopher David Vernon of Greenacres had just arrived at Sacred Heart Hospital to begin his shift. While walking to the nurse's station he collapsed. It was determined that he died of a heart attack. He was employed by Spokane Critical Care Associates.

May 27, 2015 - Lynnwood, WA - Michael Ryman, "Big Mike", was a service technician for Frontier Communications Northwest, Inc. when he was found unresponsive in his office. It was determined he died of natural cause/vascular issues.

May 29, 2015 - Coupeville, WA - Andre Hendricks was a food prep worker for Senior Services of Island County. He was in the kitchen preparing meals for "Meals on Wheels" where he collapsed and was found on the floor by his supervisor. He died at the scene of a heart attack. 

June 1, 2015 - Kennewick, WA - Luis Ramos died on the job of a brain aneurysm which caused him to fall from a height. He was working for Finley Cherries, LLC.

June 2, 2015 - Salem, OR - 55 year old William Hatch III was a highway worker inside a construction zone when he was struck by an impaired driver in the work zone. Hatch was standing by a grinding machine when the driver struck the corner of the machine. He was employed by Salem Road and Driveway.

June 2, 2015 - Old Town, ME - 54 year old Mark Allen Guay of Norridgewock was preparing his chip trailer to be unloaded when he climbed up onto his trailer, lost his balance and fell about 25 feet to the bottom of a chip machine’s hopper. He was at the Expera mill in Old Town and an employee of Richard Carrier Trucking.

June 3, 2015 - Hibbing, MN - 22 year old Patrick D. "Pat" Ryan died after being pinned by a piece of foundry machinery causing traumatic cardiac arrest. He was injured on May 26 and died in the hospital. He was an employee for Cast Corporation.

June 3, 2015 - Tobbyhanna, PA - 54 year old Alfredo Telemaco of Mount Hope Bronx, NY was driving a tour bus carrying Italian tourists near the Pocono Region of Pennsylvania when for an unknown reason the bus veered across a grassy median and crashed into the side of a semi truck's trailer. Two passengers also died in the crash. The bus was owned by Academy Bus.

June 3, 2015 - Seabeck, WA - Gary Michaels was an owner of Michaels & Michaels Tile and was working on a construction site when he collapsed on the site due to a natural caused heart attack.

June 4, 2015 - Orondo, WA - 49 year old Silvestre Avila of East Wenatchee was the owner of Green Land Maintenance and was operating a commercial mower near a river bank. The bank gave way and the mower rolled over, crushing him.

June 4, 2015 - Boardman, OH - 48 year old Alfredo Bliss of Fowler was killed on the job after a truck he was working under fell onto him. He was working under a pickup truck to disconnect the linkage so the truck could be moved. He was an employee for Crump's Towing.

June 5, 2015 - Rush Springs, OK - 47 year old Gordon Ray Pipkin was an Oklahoma Department of Transportation employee who was working with a maintenance crew on Highway 91, near Rush Springs. He was killed on the job when he was struck by a motorist in the work zone. It is not clear what caused the motorist to veer into Pipkin.
was working underneath a pickup truck to disconnect the linkage so the truck could be moved - See more at:
was working underneath a pickup truck to disconnect the linkage so the truck could be moved - See more at:

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

As always, we give our condolences to those who have lost a loved one to a workplace incident. If we can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have experienced a workplace death and are here for you.

May 1, 2015 - Norcross, GA - 52 year old Wade Frank Blackwell of Loganville, GA was attempting to adjust a window sill in the attic of a building under renovation. He died when he fell from the window. He was a self employed contractor.

May 1, 2015 - Houghton City, MI - 48 year old Frank Morin Jr. was an employee for Houghton City and was struck and killed by the unoccupied dump truck that he was performing a brake check on. A second worker was injured in the incident but was treated and released from the hospital.

May 1, 2015 - Freer, TX - 38 year old Nestor Lerma Jr. was killed on the job when he fell into a point of operation of a drill cable line. He was an employee for H & K Well Service LLC of Freer.

 May 5, 2015 - Woodstock, IL - 57 year old Michael Mouroukas of Hawthorne Woods was a contractor working on construction of the new Harley-Davidson motorcycle store in Woodstock when he fell through a hole in the second story of the building. He was employed by R & M Contractors.

May 5, 2015 - St. Louis, MO - David Herrera Orozco was working for a landscape company when he was fatally struck by a tree limb during work. Attempts to find more information was not found. He was employed by Brake Landscaping & Lawncare Inc.

May 6, 2015 - Newark, NJ - 51 year old James Mahoney of Atco was killed on the job when he fell down an elevator shaft. He was the manager with Tricon Enterprises, Inc. and was working to demolish a building. Mahoney and his wife, who also works Tricon, were both working to remove asbestos on the building's second floor when he somehow fell down the shaft.

May 7, 2015 - Milwaukee, WI - 49 year old Andres Marin selling ice cream from a pedal cart on the street when he was struck by a motorist who struck another vehicle that was attempting to make a turn. Marin was employed by Pateteria Montealban LLC.

May 7, 2015 - Westover, MD - 53 year old Robert Andres Tamargo died on the job when he was electrocuted when he touch energized parts of switch gear. He was employed by General Electric International Inc.

May 8, 2015 -Auburndale, WI - 29 year old Michael Ray Brock of Vesper was working under a semi truck when the jack under the truck failed and it fell onto Brock, crushing him. He was employed by Dorshorst Trucking & Excavating LLC in Auburndale.

May 8, 2015 - Enterprise, AL - 52 year old Earl Kenny Grandberry, Sr. of Troy was trimming trees using a bucket truck when he fell from the bucket. It is not clear how or why he fell. He was an employee of Tolbert Tree Service & Stump Grinding out of Enterprise.

May 8, 2015 - Surrency, GA - 30 year old Carlos Lopez-Rodriguez of Jesup was working for Southeastern Gin Inc. of Surrency when he was killed after being struck by a falling fan shroud. Attempts to find more information have been unsuccessful.

May 9, 2015 - Sheffield Village, OH - 54 year old Timothy Allen Murphy of Elyria died on the job after falling from the outside of a tower. He fell doing his normal duties using a hose, but he apparently lost his balance and fell. He was employed by Quasar Energy Group of Sheffield Lake, OH.

May 16, 2015 - Augusta, GA - Ricardo Ramirez Aguas was working with a crew on a home construction project when he fell from the second story. He had just delivered water bottles to a framing crew on the second floor when he fell, striking his head on the concrete floor below. He was a native of Mexico and did not speak English. He was working for Noe Martinez.

May 19, 2015 - Lewis County, WV - 24 year old Jacob Wayne McClain of French Creek died in a logging incident when he was struck by a felled tree. He was cutting a tree down, when that tree fell into another tree which fell in an unexpected direction and he was struck. It is not known who his employer was.

May 20, 2015 - Dallas, TX - 60 year old Bernard Armstrong was part of a road crew when he was struck and killed by a drunk motorist. He had been driving a "crash cushion" truck behind a garbage truck but was standing beside the truck on the shoulder when he was hit. 

May 22, 2015 - Guilderland, NY - 54 year old Sean McCutcheon of Schenectady was a 19 year employee for the Guilderland Department of Public Works/Highway Department. He was riding on a compactor truck picking up yard debris when he fell from the truck as it was backing up.

May 23, 2015 - Longmont, CO - 21 year old Taylor Joseph Thyfault of Mead was a Colorado State Patrol Cadet was on scene of an accident when he was struck by a motorist. The motorist was fleeing Troopers in an unrelated incident when Thyfault screamed for the tow truck driver at the accident scene to "get off the road", which the driver feels saved his life. Unfortunately Thyfault was killed in the incident. Another Trooper who was also on the scene of the previous accident was hurt and taken to a hospital.

May 24, 2015 - New Orleans, LA - 45 year old James Bennett, Jr. was an officer for the New Orleans Housing Authority when he was shot while sitting in his patrol car. He was shot while he was providing security for a construction site. Authorities do not have a motive or suspect but are conducting an investigation.

May 25, 2015 - Rio Rancho, NM - 49 year old Greg Benner was an officer for the Rio Rancho Police Department when he was shot to death during a routine traffic stop. Officer Benner made a traffic stop but the driver sped away after giving conflicting information. The driver had an active arrest warrant. After the driver took off, Benner was able to stop the driver again. At that time the suspect opened fire on Officer Benner. The police were able to arrest the suspect.

May 25, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN - 29 year old Tyrell Ladd Anderson of Gering, NE was killed on the job after being struck by a train car. He was unloading track material when a locomotive passing on another track hit the material, causing it to fall on top of Anderson. He was an employee for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad.

May 25, 2015 - Hattiesburg, MS - 53 year old Sgt. Iris Janett Smith of Lucedale was killed on the job when the prison van she was driving drove into the back of a semi truck. She was going to escort an inmate from one hospital to another. Smith was a correctional officer for South Mississippi Correctional Institution. 

May 26, 2015 - Grand Forks, ND - 70 year old Gregory Weiland was an employee for a WalMart store in Grand Forks when an airman from the nearby Air Force Base showed up and began shooting. Weiland was hit by the gunfire and another employee was also injured but released from the hospital. Police do not think there is a link between the airman and the victims.

May 26, 2015 - Bloomington, IL - 56 year old John G. Hoeniges was a maintenance mechanic for McClean County when he was killed in an elevator incident. The incident was not witnessed but he could have been struck by an elevator counter weight. He was working at the McClean County Law and Justice Center.

May 26, 2015 - Onondaga, NY - 53 year old Christopher Hamelinck was an elevator mechanic for Otis Elevator Company when he was killed on the job. He was working in an elevator shaft at a central New York nursing home when another elevator came down, pinning him between a steel ladder and a support beam.

May 26, 2015 - Shawano, WI - 30 year old Derek T. Stempa was part of a road construction crew, his duties being a flagger. He died on the job after being struck by a motorist in the construction zone. It is not known who he was employed by.

May 27, 2015 - Elgin, NE - 40 year old Thomas L. Bales of Denver, CO was killed on the job when the 90 ton crane he was operating rolled into a field. The crane too near the edge of a road when it overturned. He was working on the Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center for Invenergy. His employer was Tradesman International but was working for Wanzek Construction, Inc. 

May 28, 2015 - Zilwaukee, MI - 50 year old Steve Rivera died on the job when he was crushed under a concrete beam as it was being transferred from one work station to another. He was working for Stress-Con Industries. 

May 28, 2015 - Edwardsville, IL - 47 year old Roger Kolweier of O'Fallon was killed in an incident while working at the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville campus. He was repaving Stadium Drive for Keller Construction when a piece of construction equipment broke loose. It rolled down an embankment and hit and killed him.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

USMWF is a community of people who have experienced the loss of a loved one at work. We understand the pain and grief this type of loss is about. We are here to help in any way we can.

May 5, 2015 - New Haven, CT - 61 year old Arthur Hilario Jr. of New Milford was working on road construction in New Haven as a crane operator. A long time employee for O & G Industries, and a member of Local Union 478, died after he fell from the crane he was operating. He died at an area hospital of head trauma.

May 5, 2015 - Bothell, WA - 53 year old Kevin Iverson of Ravensdale was sitting at his desk at Lockheed Martin Aculight Corp. in Bothell when he suffered a fatal heart attack. His death is ruled natural causes.

May 5, 2015 - Morgantown, WV - 34 year old Douglas Michael Peterman of Fairmont  was working in a bucket truck when he came into contact with a wire and he was electrocuted. He was an employee for Westside Communications.

May 6, 2015 - Zion Crossroads, VA - 46 year old Sean Marcos Lucas of Palmyra was working to fill his tractor trailer full of the tiny wood particles when he stopped and got back into his truck thinking all of the sawdust had come down, but it had not. A spokesman said a large amount of sawdust suddenly started falling after Lucas got back into his truck. He then got out of the cab of his truck to try to escape, but the sawdust fell too fast. He was an employee for Chips, Inc. Sawmill.

May 7, 2015 - Spokane, WA - 64 year old Richard Runyon (left) of Cheney and 60 year old Lyndon Amestoy (right) of Spokane were both experienced pilots were performing a late afternoon text flight when something went wrong and the plane went down into the Spokane River above the Upriver Dam. Runyon was the owner and manager of the Flying R Ranch Airport in Cheney and Amestoy was employed by Rocket Engineering Corp. Runyon may have worked for Rocket Engineering as well.

May 8, 2015 - Chicago, IL - 52 year old Michael Yates of Carol Stream was a baggage handler for Southwest Airlines working at Midway International Airport when the luggage hauler he was operating collided with another luggage hauler, causing him to be ejected from the vehicle. He died after being taken to an area hospital.

May 10, 2015 - Hattiesburg, MS - 34 year old K9 Officer Benjamin J. "BJ" Deen (left) and 25 year old Officer Liquori Tate were part of the Hattiesburg Police Department. They were on a routine traffic stop when they were shot to death those being stopped. Three suspects were arrested and charged in the murders of Deen and Tate. 

May 11, 2015 - Ypsilanti, MI - 38 year old Jeremy W. Burd of Maybee was a construction worker at the Ypsilanti Thompson Block on a building that was being renovated. He and three others were working in the basement when an upper floor gave way and crashed down onto them. The other workers escaped. Thompson Block was owned by Thompson Block Partners but it is not known who his employer was.

May 11, 2015 - Louisville, KY - 26 year old Christopher Cook was working on the paint line at Cardinal Aluminum, Okolona, Plant when he was killed on the job. Authorities say he was reaching for a piece of equipment when something went terribly wrong but did not give a specific cause of death except to say blunt force trauma.

May 11, 2015 - Glen Ellen, CA - 23 year old Cody McBride of Santa Rosa was operating an excavator at a home in Glen Ellen for construction of a swimming pool when he tried to escape from an excavator as it was tipping over. He tried to jump outside of the machine but suffered fatal injuries. He was employed with A Plus Pool & Spa. 

May 12, 2015 - Rostraver, IN - 34 year old Drew James Molinari of Belle Vernon was the victim of a targeted shooting at his place of employment.  He was a sales clerk at Minniti Motor Sports auto store when a gunman walked into the store and shot Molinari several times. At this time, police are still looking for the gunman and trying to discern a motive for the murder.

May 13, 2015 - Cle Elum, WA - 34 year old Scott Lee Rhodes was working in Cle Elum for KJR Trucking when he tripped while walking beside heavy equipment and was run over by the tracks of the machine while it was backing up. No further information was found.

May 15, 2015 - Tacoma, WA - 68 year old Bernard Cordova of Roy, WA was the owner and dispatcher for BLC Trucking, Inc. He was found unresponsive by others. It was determined he died of natural causes due to heart disease.

May 15, 2015 - Clarksville, AR - 42 year old Reserve Officer Sonny Smith died in the line of duty as he and other sheriff’s deputies were searching for a burglary suspect. As deputies were searching an area outside of Clarksville, Smith confronted an individual who shot him. The deputy was taken to an area hospital where he died. The suspect was arrested. Smith was an 11 year veteran for the Johnson County Sheriff Department.

May 20, 2015 - Omaha, NE - 29 year old Kerrie Orozco was a 7 year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, and scheduled to take a late maternity leave a day after she was gunned down in the line of duty. Orozco went to help officers who went to serve a felony arrest warrant on a convicted felon and known gang member. Gunfire erupted just before she arrived and in a second round of shots she was just above her protective vest. The suspect was killed in the exchange with police.

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