UPDATE: Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge faces possible fines after employee death

Family has reached out to TV6 and have confirmed their daughter, 27-year-old Brittany Russell,...
Family has reached out to TV6 and have confirmed their daughter, 27-year-old Brittany Russell, was the one who died in the incident at Hotel Blackhawk. (KWQC)(KWQC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2019 at 4:45 PM CDT
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The Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge may pay at least $6,000 in fines after an employee died of an electronic shock on July 7, 2019.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report, Brittany Russell, 27, was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead after she attempted to unjam a pinsetter at the bowling alley. The OSHA report shows Russell died when “she came into contact with a live 208 volt [sic] electrical system that was unguarded.”

OSHA opened an inspection the following day. According to the current report, the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge is facing six “serious” violations related to the death. The report shows initially, the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge was facing $8,332 in fines, but are currently facing $6,000.

The case is still listed as open at the time of publication. Those fines and violations could change.


Family and friends are mourning a young Illinois woman who was found dead Sunday night at Davenport's Hotel Blackhawk. 27-year-old Brittany Russell was an employee at the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge.

Her mother says she leaves behind a five-year-old son. Russell’s mother describes her as a hard worker who was doing everything to give her son a better life. Russell was living in the Quad Cities and going to college to become a makeup artist. While her mother helped take care of her son in Roseville, Illinois.

Police say 27-year-old Russell was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at Hotel Blackhawk Sunday night just after 10 p.m.

They also say preliminary information shows her death was accidental. A witness TV6 spoke to last night says they were bowling and another family had an issue with their bowling pins. Russell went to fix it and that was when they last saw her. The witness also says after not seeing Russell for a while, they told management and that's when staff went looking for her.

“We were terrified because the lady's belongings were there. She had a purse and some reading material,” said witness Anthony Prezioso. “She was just nowhere to be found. Someone even went behind the bar to look for her. They ordered food and she wasn't even there. So we just didn't know what happened,”

Russell's family says she celebrated her 27th birthday on June 24th. The family says they will continue taking care of her son. TV6 reached out to the General Manager at Hotel Blackhawk in regard to the death but did not hear back. The Iowa Division of Labor says they are aware of the death and are looking into the matter.