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Texas Follows A National Trend: Workers Of Color Make Up Many Of The Heat-Related Deaths

Fence at gateway park with tree in the foreground.
Stella M. Chávez
/
KERA News
These soccer fields in Fort Worth’s Gateway Park are where Karl Simmons was working when he collapsed in July 2018.

More than four dozen workers have died from excessive heat in Texas, according to an investigation by Columbia Journalism Investigations, NPR and The Texas Newsroom.

Many of the Texas workers who've died from heat exposure were workers of color in construction, trash collection, mining and gas extraction.

In part two of our 7-part statewide series, we continue the story of Karl Simmons, a North Texas man who died after repairing soccer fields in Fort Worth.

A warning: this story contains sensitive audio that may be upsetting for some listeners.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.