LOS ANGELES (March 7, 2:40 p.m. ET) — A maintenance worker was killed at JM Eagle's McNary plant in Umatilla, Ore., late Saturday night, according to reports.
Thomas Jerald “TJ” Heap, a 31-year-old Umatilla resident, died when a large pipe hit him in the back of his head at 10:30 p.m.
Both the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division and JM Eagle are conducting investigations into the incident to determine the cause. Umatilla County Sheriff's Office said it was likely an accident.
Because the investigation is ongoing, JM Eagle representative Marcus Galindo could not share any information regarding the cause of the incident at this time. He said he was uncertain about how long the investigation would take.
“All of our facilities operate as a family,” Galindo said in a phone interview. “We have grief counselors on site for employees and many if not all are taking advantage of that. This has been a terrible loss for us.”
Heap had worked for the PVC pipe manufacturer for 10 years.
JM Eagle has 22 plants throughout the U.S. and its corporate office is in Los Angeles.