Autoneum

JEFFERSONVILLE — Clark County Coroner Billy Scott has ruled multiple blunt-force trauma as the preliminary cause of death for an employee who died at a plant in the River Ridge Commerce Center Saturday.

Melissa Stephens, 44, died late Saturday after an accident with a machine at Autoneum, a Swiss-based company that manufactures GM and Ford parts, Scott said. 

Jeffersonville Police responded to the incident just after midnight Sunday. But since it is not believed to be a criminal death investigation, it is now in the hands of the Clark County Coroner's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA.)

Stephens' autopsy was performed early Monday morning, Scott said. Official results will take a few weeks, pending a toxicology report. 

Hollis said Stephens' death is the second fatality within the past year at River Ridge. In November, 33-year-old employee of Florida-based construction company Gardner-Watson fell 50 feet to his death from a ladder.

In May, Autoneum's Toledo, Ohio, plant was cited nearly $570,000 for violations following the amputation of an employee's hand, wrist and part of his forearm. Included in the citation were three “willful violations,” which means the company was aware of them, and two repeated violations.

The company provided a statement today regarding the death at the Jeffersonville facility.  

"We confirm that a fatal accident happened Saturday night at the Autoneum plant in Jeffersonville, Indiana," the statement read. "We immediately started an internal investigation and work closely together with various authorities. As a globally producing company, Autoneum complies with occupational health and safety regulations at all locations and is committed to the highest local and international standards in this area.

"We are deeply affected by this accident and our thoughts go out to the family of our colleague."