United Auto Workers member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

State News

Members of the United Auto Workers strike outside of the John Deere Engine Works plant on Ridgeway Avenue in Waterloo, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. About 10,000 UAW workers have gone on strike against John Deere since Thursday at plants in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.(Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP)

MILAN, Ill. (AP) — A vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member Wednesday as he was walking to a picket line to join striking workers outside a John Deere distribution plant in northwest Illinois, the union and police said.

The man was struck at about 6 a.m. CDT at an intersection near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said.

Johnson said the preliminary investigation indicates the man was crossing the Rock Island Parkway and was walking near the middle of an intersection when he was struck.

“We don’t believe it to be intentional, but it’s still an ongoing investigation and it did happen out near the middle of the intersection where the pedestrian was crossing the roadway,” Johnson told The Associated Press.

The UAW leadership in Detroit said in a statement that the man who died was 56 years old and had worked at the plant for 15 years. He was a member of UAW Local 79 in Milan, the statement said.

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