Ford worker killed at plant

Published February 3, 2006

STERLING HEIGHTS (AP) - A Ford Motor Co. worker died yesterday in an industrial accident at the company's Sterling Axle plant, a company spokeswoman said.

Bill Neill, 61, was a 40-year Ford employee and worked as a millwright at the suburban Detroit facility, plant manager John Mantey said in a statement.

"The safety of our employees is our top priority. It is a sad day for us at the Sterling plant," Mantey said.

Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said the incident is being investigated by Ford and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. She had no further details on how Neill died. Millwrights install and repair machinery.

The Sterling Axle plant was spun off from Ford in 2000 and placed under the control of auto supplier Visteon Corp. The plant came back under Ford's control last fall in a deal designed to prevent Visteon from filing for bankruptcy.

The Sterling plant has 3,200 employees, Gattari said. The last time the plant had a fatal accident was 2000.