Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Weekly Toll

I haven't done this for awhile, but with the holidays coming up it seemed like a good time to remind ourselves about "The Weekly Toll" and what it will mean for many families at this time of year. The Weekly Toll is compiled by Tammy and Kelly, blog colleagues of Jordan Barab, and put up on Confined Space every couple of weeks. I tried to count them this time but there were so many I kept getting lost. Between sixty and seventy by my estimate.

Here are six I selected more or less at random. You can see them all here.


Weekly Toll

A partial list of American workers killed in the workplace over the past two weeks.

Road construction worker killed on Katy Freeway

Houston, TX -- A traffic construction worker was killed instantly today when an unidentified motorist veered off the Katy Freeway lanes and struck him, police said.

Accident investigators have no description of the vehicle or the motorist, who fled the scene.

The victim, 46-year-old Ismael Parra of the 10000 block of Tolman Street, was working with a crew painting road stripes in the 7000 block of the Katy Freeway when the incident occurred at about 1:15 a.m., police said.

Witnesses at the scene told police that Parra was hit in the face with the vehicle's right rearview mirror. The incident remains under investigation.

Man dies while working in cement mixer

Charleston, SC -Two employees of a ready-mix concrete company were working inside a mixer Monday when the drum began turning, killing one of the men. Robert Burgess, 64, of North Charleston died at 3:45 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, Berkeley County Coroner Glenn Rhoad said. Burgess had worked for the Van-Smith Concrete Co. for 25 years. Burgess and another employee of the business at 103 Belknap Road were replacing a dust seal in the mixer when it began turning about 1 p.m., Rhoad said. The mixer is about 13 feet off the ground and combines rock, sand, cement and water to make concrete, production manager Glenn Wolfe said. He didn't know what made the mixer start while the men were inside. The mixer holds about 12 cubic yards of material but was empty.

Driver dead as dump truck tips

Pompano Beach, FL -- An Arkansas truck driver was killed and a co-worker was injured Wednesday morning when a dump truck rolled onto its side as hurricane debris was being unloaded at a landfill. J.D. Lott Jr., 53, of Hatfield, Ark., was crushed by the truck, according to investigators. Sherry Vandermay, 49, of Deerfield, Ill., was conscious and alert after the accident, but was taken to North Broward Medical Center for evaluation. "It was a tragic event, especially happening so close to the holidays," said Margate spokeswoman Kery Venezia. Lott and Vandermay had been collecting debris from Hurricane Wilma in Margate, she said, and the incident led stunned city workers to stage an impromptu memorial service at the scene of the incident.

Pizza deliverer dies in accident

CARRBORO, NC -- A man returning from delivering a pizza Saturday night died in a head-on collision west of Carrboro. Francis Christopher Machita, 39, of Durham, died at the scene of the accident about three miles west of Carrboro on the Old Greensboro Highway, said Sgt. James Sessoms of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Worker killed in campus construction accident

CLEVELAND, OH - A retaining wall collapsed Monday, killing one worker and injuring another at a parking garage construction project at Cleveland State University. Chalmer Taylor, 43, of Cleveland died at the scene around 11 a.m., according to Cuyahoga County Coroner Elizabeth Balraj. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, she said.

Man kills pizza delivery man, grandmother, then himself

RINGGOLD, Ga. -- A Catoosa County man strangled his 83-year-old grandmother and beat a pizza delivery man to death with a hammer before taking his own life, authorities said Tuesday.

Joshua Linebarger West, 23, killed Bonnie Land and hid her body in a closet, and beat Doyle Dean Stier after he returned to the home Monday afternoon to get paid in cash for a bad check West had written earlier for a pizza, Sheriff Phil Summers said.

Summers said officers started looking for Stier, a 57-year-old Pizza Hut delivery driver from Lafayette, after a missing persons report was filed with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department. The bodies were discovered at Land's home around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After killing Stier, the sheriff said, West took the driver's car into the garage and took his own life by carbon monoxide asphyxiation.