April 25, 2014

UTU member killed in Ind. rail accident

GARY, Ind. – Michael M. Shoemaker, 55, a conductor and member of UTU Local 1383, was killed Jan. 30 in a switching accident on at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works here. Reports are that he was wedged between two freight cars.

Shoemaker, of Hobart, Ind., was an 10-year employee, of Gary Railway, which is owned by U.S. Steel.

Reports indicate he was working as a foreman in a three-person conventional switching operation when the car he was riding “impacted the side of the standing equipment that the crew had placed” on an adjacent track, pinning him.

The accident is being investigated by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Shoemaker is the first UTU member to be killed in a rail accident in 2012. In 2011, there were 10 rail fatalities among UTU members; and 12 in 2010.