Skip to content

UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

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.

Chicago Journal
Chicago Journal
| 2 min read
UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

Embed from Getty Images

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 in the predawn darkness.

“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.

“On behalf of the UAW and all working families, we mourn the passing of our UAW brother,” said UAW President Ray Curry. “It is a somber time to lose a member who made the ultimate sacrifice in reporting to picket for a better life for his family and co-workers.”

John Deere spokeswoman Jennifer Hartmann said in a statement the company was “saddened by the tragic accident" that killed one of its employees and offered “our deepest condolences" to the man's family and friends.

More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike this month at 14 Deere factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia after the UAW rejected a contract offer.[1] It was the first major walkout at the agricultural machinery giant in more than three decades.

Union members rejected a contract offer that would have delivered 5% raises to some workers and 6% raises to others at the Illinois company known for its green tractors.[2]



Chicago Journal Subscribe


Notes & References


  1. Press, Associated. “Deere & Co. Workers Go on Strike after Rejecting Contract.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, October 14, 2021. https://www.chicagojournal.com/deere-co-workers-go-on-strike-after-rejecting-contract/. ↩︎

  2. Press, Associated. “John Deere Workers Reject Contract Offer from Tractor Maker.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, October 11, 2021. https://www.chicagojournal.com/john-deere-workers-reject-contract-offer-from-tractor-maker/. ↩︎

Illinois NewsNews

Chicago Journal Twitter

The Chicago Journal is a general interest, digital publication focused on the political, cultural, and economic issues relevant to the city of Chicago and the surrounding metro area.


Related Posts

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

A fire at the historic Haley Mansion in Joliet caused $1.25 million in damage, authorities said.

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Chicago city staff chose 50 finalists and the mayor's office received more than 80,000 votes. Staff ultimately chose seven winners.

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman has been accused of keeping her mother's dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer