An Everett man was struck and killed while working at a Malden car wash on Sunday morning, prompting calls by worker safety groups to protect workers from car accidents and deaths.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis announced Sunday afternoon that Jose Tobias-Valle, 28, of Everett died after being struck by a vehicle on private property at 435 Eastern Ave. in Malden.
The incident occurred at approximately 9 a.m., at Sonny’s Car Wash, also known as Simoniz Car Wash, when a vehicle exiting a car wash bay struck Tobias-Valle who was working on a vehicle outside. Tobias-Valle, an employee of the car wash, was transported to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
This incident remains an active and open investigation. As of now, no one has been charged in connection with this incident.
The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH) said it is a tragic reminder of the critical safety measures that should be in place for all individuals who work around or with powered vehicles.
According to media reports, a vehicle exiting a washing bay at Sonny’s Car Wash struck Tobias-Valle as he worked on another vehicle outside. It is the fifth time this year a worker has been fatally struck by a motor vehicle in Massachusetts, said MassCOSH.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2013, 1,865 workers were killed nationally in transportation events similar to that which killed Tobias-Valle.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jose during this very difficult time for them,” said MassCOSH Executive Director Marcy Goldstein-Gelb. “Although his death is still under investigation and not
all the details are known, employers must do what they can to keep their workers safe. Besides providing all workers who work in close proximity to motor vehicles with high visibility vests, car wash companies should evaluate work areas and car movement patterns around the car wash, and create designated walking and working areas for employees by installing barriers to keep workers safe from being struck or backed over by cars.”
According to MassCOSH records, Tobias-Valle in the 30th worker killed in 2015 on the job. This figure includes four firefighters who died from occupational illness.