WOODBURN, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The Allen County Coroner’s Office says a worker at the BF Goodrich tire plant was killed on the job Tuesday when he was crushed by an industrial press.
Family members of Sean Redden are shaken and grieving.
The 48-year old Redden, who lived in Fort Wayne, died at the factory off Old US 24 near Woodburn.
The Allen County Coroner's office ID'd Redden in an autopsy, and ruled his death an accident.
A family member told Fort Wayne's NBC Redden had two sons and a daughter.
"He had his dad’s sense of humor! He was a hard worker, a good friend and a really decent man," Redden's Aunt Rita Fleck said.
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the death, and has assigned one of its inspectors to conduct a check to see if any safety violations might have played a role in what happened.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department said its officers were called to the plant at 18906 Old County Rd. 24 around 3 a.m. Tuesday for a death investigation.
Precisely how Redden was crushed in the machine is not clear.
The plant's union, United Steelworkers Local 715L, provided a statement that read, in part, "From its founding, reducing and eliminating workplace fatalities has been central to the mission of our union. The USW is eager to assist during the investigation into its cause (Redden's death) and also work together with management to prevent another tragedy in the future."
We checked state safety records dating back five years and found two incidents, both from 2017, resulting in fines for serious safety violations at the plant.
In each case, the initial penalty was reduced, a common practice when the state is satisfied that the company has addressed the problem.
There have been no safety-related investigations at the BF Goodrich plant in the past two years.