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

Police say a vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member as he was walking to a picket line outside a John Deere plant in Illinois.

Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said the man was struck Wednesday morning near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in the northwest Illinois city. He says authorities to not believe the fatality was intentional but that the investigation is ongoing.

The UAW leadership in Detroit said in a statement that the man had worked at the plant for 15 years.

“On behalf of the UAW and all working families, we mourn the passing of our UAW brother,” said Ray Curry, UAW President. “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 coworkers.”

The UAW planned to fly the flag at half-staff in the worker’s honor.

Workers are on strike at 14 Deere factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.