Trade unionist hit by car, killed while walking to picket line in Milan

Richard Rich, 56, was a member of Local 79 in Milan, Illinois, and employed at the John Deere parts distribution plant in Milan.

MILAN, Illinois – Richard Rich, a 56-year-old trade unionist, a 15-year John Deere employee, was struck and killed by a vehicle as he drove through the intersection of Rock Island Milan Parkway and Deere Drive, according to United Auto Workers Senior Communications Advisor Brian Rothenberg.

According to a statement from the Milan Police Department, the incident happened around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

An autopsy by Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson found Rich died of multiple traumatic injuries to his chest. Rich was walking through the intersection from west to east with a group of other picketers, a little late when he was hit by a single passing car.

“On behalf of the UAW and all working families, we mourn the passing of our brother from the UAW,” said Ray Curry, president of the UAW. “It is a dark time to lose a member who made the ultimate sacrifice by showing up on the picket line for a better life for his family and colleagues.”

Rich was a member of Local 79 in Milan, Illinois, according to Rothenburg. He was employed at the John Deere parts distribution plant in Milan.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our brother who related to the picket line. Our brother was fighting for what’s right and we all mourn for his family and colleagues, ”said Ron McInroy, UAW Region 4 director. “Through our tears, we continue to demonstrate and honor the solidarity of our deceased brother. But we are doing it with a heavy heart today.

Deere & Company offered its condolences for the loss of the worker.

“We are saddened by the tragic accident and the death of one of our employees who was struck by a vehicle before dawn this morning while crossing Rock Island-Milan (Parkway),” the press release said. company. “All of us at John Deere extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends. “

The UAW flies flags at half mast in honor of the workers.

The Milan Police Department, the Moline PD Crash Reconstruction Division and the Rock Island County Coroner’s Office will continue to investigate.