The longshoreman crushed to death by an empty shipping trailer at a large Terminal Island container yard has been identified as John Robert Kiser, according to the Daily Breeze. The accident occurred Saturday evening when a tractor was moving the freight trailer at the Evergreen terminal and Kiser, a 53-year-old Lakewood resident, was somehow pinned and crushed by the trailer — an investigation by the Division of Safety and Occupational Health is underway.
Although far from the view of most Angelenos, L.A.'s two ports have been the scenes of horrific industrial accidents over the years, many involving workers who lost limbs or, like Kiser, were crushed by vehicles or containers. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union call dodging death and injury “staying out of the bite,” a reference to the direction of swinging cargo.
“It's not a matter of if you're going to get hurt down here, it's how bad,” one longshorewoman told the L.A. Weekly in a 2002 feature. “Everyone gets hurt at one time or another. Everybody knows somebody who's died down here.”