Home Lifestyle American Airlines investigator allegedly tried to blame worker’s on-the-job death on suicide: report

American Airlines investigator allegedly tried to blame worker’s on-the-job death on suicide: report

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American Airlines investigator allegedly tried to blame worker’s on-the-job death on suicide: report

An American Airlines employee who died on a Texas tarmac in April perished due to an accident, and not suicide as an investigator for the airline suggested to police, according to a local report. 

Michal Ingraham, a 37-year-old fleet service agent, died on April 20 at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport while driving a “tug” vehicle, which tows planes on the tarmac. The vehicle crashed into a jet bridge, killing Ingraham. 

The Austin American-Statesman, a local news outlet, reported last week that an investigator hired by American Airlines suggested to police that Ingraham died due to suicide, according to a police report reviewed by the outlet. 

The investigator, identified as Lynn Fast, told police that he had “obtained information overnight indicating that the fatal incident was a suicide and not an accident,” according to the police report. 

TEXAS AIRLINE WORKER DIES AFTER BEING INJURED AT AUSTIN-BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

An American Airlines plane lands on a runway near a parked JetBlue plane. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Fast relayed to police that he had three decades of law enforcement experience and reached this conclusion after speaking with Ingraham’s father, the American-Statesman reported.

Specifically, Fast told police that Ingraham’s father apologized for the incident, which the investigator “found strange.” He also reportedly cited a Facebook post on Ingraham’s page that allegedly showed evidence the death was a suicide. The exact Facebook post and its message weren’t disclosed.

Police and the medical examiner have pushed back against the corporate investigator’s claims and ultimately found the death was an accident.

“I explained that several AA employees were interviewed on site and no one had mentioned anything that would indicate this was intentional and further stated that everyone we spoke with stated that the tug he was driving was known to have issues,” a detective investigating the incident wrote in the police report.

OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING AUSTIN AIRPORT AFTER PLANES NEARLY COLLIDE ON RUNWAY

“This case is determined to be an accidental death and is non-criminal therefore will be cleared administratively,” the detective continued.

One witness told police that the tug Ingraham was operating “accelerated faster than normal and then veered to the right” before colliding with the jet bridge.

Witnesses added that they shouted at Ingraham to slam on the brakes, but that it appeared the accelerator “got stuck” before the crash. Four days after the incident, police received a tip that the tug Ingraham was operating had been “marked out of service numerous times for failed brakes,” according to the American-Statesman.

Texas airport

A pilot walks into the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on May 26, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Getty Images )

The medical examiner determined Ingraham had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death and ruled he died by blunt force injuries.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES JETLINER HITS, KILLS MAN ON TEXAS AIRPORT RUNWAY

“We are heartbroken by the accident involving a team member at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in April,” an American Airlines spokesperson told the outlet when approached for comment. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our local team members. We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time. American is fully cooperating in this open investigation.”

Texas tarmac

A worker on the tarmac at AustinBergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Austin, Texas, US, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Getty Images)

The Austin Police Department’s investigation into the matter has concluded, though an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation remains ongoing. 

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American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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