By on September 13, 2018

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A 24-year-old male employee was found dead overnight at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, according to police reports. The man was discovered in a restroom stall shortly after midnight on Thursday morning. While no cause of death has been determined, the body has been transported to the medical examiners office for further investigation.

Sterling Heights police said the individual had told co-workers he wasn’t feeling well shortly before entering the bathroom. This is the second notable death at a Ford facility since December, when 41-year-old Ivan Bridgewater of Seymour, Indiana was killed at the Kentucky Truck Plant from blunt-force trauma. That incident was later ruled accidental. At the time, Ford was fined $37,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violations of established workplace safety rules. The automaker contested the fine. 

The Sterling Heights incident is unlikely to face OSHA fines, as the death occurred off the factory floor. Some witnesses say they believe the 24-year-old man may have fallen prior to entering the restroom, but this remains unconfirmed.

While two curious incidents within ten months resulting in the death of a staff member seems like grounds for an automotive curse, there is nothing connecting the two deaths beyond a shared employer. Additional details should emerge following the autopsy and some police work, however.

A Ford spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press, “Our thoughts are with the family, friends and coworkers of a Ford employee who passed away after being found unresponsive in the bathroom at the Sterling Axle Plant early this morning. We are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.”

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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21 Comments on “Ford Employee Found Dead in Axle Plant Bathroom...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Man, the hits just keep coming for Ford.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Heavy manufacturing plants are serious places. In the 7 years i worked at General Motors, there were 3 fatalities in plants I worked in. And another shooting where no one was killed.

    In the day, plant fatalities were noted in the daily GM News Line salaried folks got. There must have been 2 or so every quarter.

    Now consider there are what – 100 plants for GM, FORD and FCA combined? I sure there are 10 or more fatalities a year and we just dont hear about it.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The two fatals that I was involved with were both millwright activity.
      One crushed during a machine move when it wasn’t slung properly relative to the center of gravity and went sideways when the crane lifted it. The other was a guy who didn’t have his fall protection harness on and fell off a roof tower structure he was repairing.

      Both were high seniority guys too. Sometimes guys get over confident/complacent with experience.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed. There was a few guys hurt on a shutdown in Georgia a few weeks ago, idiot riggers (NOT a misspelling of a racial slur, its the term for guys who rig up items to be lifted by a crane) used a nylon strap to hold a big header panel when a chain should have been used. One guy was trapped under it for several hours, his leg is broken in half a dozen places and they said he may require as many as a dozen surgeries. He’s lucky he wasn’t killed, or that he won’t lose his leg completely. To be honest, I personally feel that the latter is still a possibility.

      That particular incident was due to improper equipment being used, but there are plenty of opportunities for something like that to happen even when the correct tools/equipment are used.

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    So sad. And today is my 24th birthday.

  • avatar
    NoID

    My initial thought was that this was probably drug overdose, but the latent effects of head trauma certainly could be the cause if the reports of a fall are accurate.

    Manufacturing plants are no joke, especially where constant repetitive actions are the norm. Routine is great for efficiency, but if it isn’t grounded in robust ergo and safety practices it can also be deadly.

  • avatar

    Sounds like a heart attack.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    How is the first death “mysterious” when you write immediately after that he was hit with blunt force? Pretty straight forward to me.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    God bless his family and loved ones in this time of sorrow. Like I alluded to above, our time may come at any time, so live your life like there’s no tomorrow…because there may not be.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Ford is a complete circus, every act from design to dealerships is a sideshow. Tesla isn’t the only outfit that should be operating under a tent.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    My immediate reaction after reading the headline was, “What, now the union’s going after scabs BEFORE a strike?”

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    This is how Christine started – expect some haunted F150s rolling off the line

  • avatar
    jkk6

    When your fedex/ups co-worker/partner almost chops your head off with the truck container shutter, one would assess their current career path thinking is my life worth giving up working with low intelligence people at $12/hr?

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Well I guess Elon Musk got that when morgue bit right after all.


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