A memorial was held on the second floor of the State Capitol Thursday, to honor the 38 people who died on the job in Oklahoma in the last year for Workers Memorial Day.
Leeanna Mann said she organized the event. Her husband Russell was killed in an explosion at the Wynnewood Refinery in 2012.
“After 27 years of being married to the same man -- that is like learning to walk again,” she said. “I can’t change what happened. But I can at least honor the ones that lost their lives.”
There were 38 silhouettes standing for each person.
Among them were Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Nicholas Dees who was hit and killed by a driver speeding through a scene on his cell phone, Roberto Ochoa, 37, who died in an industrial accident in Edmond, trapped under at least six feet of dirt, and nearly 20-year veteran Claremore firefighter Jason Farley was swept up in May floodwaters.
“We’re coming up on a year and Jason was a good friend of mine and I miss him a lot,” said Lt. Chris Hayes with the Claremore Fire Department.
Hayes came to tell his story and to urge employers to make safety a top priority.
“We’re the fire department, somebody’s in trouble, that’s what we do. We hope that we can get some change,” he said.
“Make it home safe. That’s what I want for Oklahoma,” said Mann.