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Police identify worker killed at Jefferson North

by Bill Cawthon on

The Detroit Police Department has released the identity of the employee killed yesterday in an early-morning industrial accident at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which makes Grand Cherokees and Durangos.

Donald Megge was crushed when his upper body got caught in a wastewater filter press. Mr. Megge’s body was discovered by fellow employees less than two hours after he had reported for work, and he was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. Mr. Megge was working alone at the time.

Jefferson North plant

The accident took place in the Jefferson North’s waste water treatment facility, which is in a separate part of the plant from the assembly area.

Norwood Jewell, United Auto Workers Chrysler vice president, issued a statement:

Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family, friends and all of those who worked with UAW member Donald Megge, 53, of Sterling Heights, who died this morning in a tragic accident shortly after starting his shift at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue North Assembly Plant today.

Megge, a millwright and wastewater operator, died while he was performing regular preventative maintenance during a shift that started at 5:30 a.m. He was working alone and discovered at about 6:30 this morning.

The incident remains under investigation by state and federal health and safety officials, and union and company health and safety professionals.

FCA US spokeswoman Jodi Tinson issued an official statement yesterday. The company has had no further comment and most likely won’t until the official investigation is completed.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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