The death of an American Airlines worker who died on a Texas runway has been ruled an accident caused by a runaway machine, rather than a suicide, as a cooperative investigator first suggested.
Michal Ingraham, 37, died on April 20 at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport in Austin, Texas, after a machine he was driving crashed into a jet bridge at the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
Police believe the aircraft’s tow vehicle, Ingraham, accelerated rapidly and veered off course, and that the throttle appeared to be broken.
As police investigated her death, American Airlines hired its own corporate investigator who claimed that Ingraham may have committed suicide. A report obtained by the American-Austin Statesman said Lynn Fast, the investigator, suggested she committed suicide a day after the death.
Fast, according to the report, had allegedly spoken to Ingraham’s father, who apologized for the situation, which Fast found “bizarre.”
Michal Ingraham (pictured) died April 20 at Austin-Bergstrom Airport in Texas after a machine he was driving crashed into a jet bridge at the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
As police investigated her death, American Airlines hired its own corporate investigator, who claimed that Ingraham may have killed herself after becoming suicidal.
According to the report, Ingraham’s tow vehicle crashed into the reaction bridge near Gate 24 and he was pronounced dead 15 minutes after police arrived.
During his initial investigation, Fast told police that Ingraham may have attempted suicide after speaking with Ingraham’s father, who apologized for the ordeal.
Fast told police on April 21 that he had “obtained information overnight indicating that the fatal incident was a suicide and not an accident,” according to a report.
Police ultimately dismissed the investigator’s claims.
Witnesses had told police that Ingraham’s vehicle had actually ‘accelerated faster than normal and then made a right turn’ before the fatal accident.
They said nearby officers were yelling for him to stop, but the accelerator appeared to be stuck in the seconds before the collision.
As a result, Ingraham was pinned between the vehicle and the underside of the jet’s bridge, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
His cause of death was listed as blunt force injuries, according to the report.
At the time of the incident, Ingraham had no drugs or alcohol in her system, a toxicology report concluded.
According to the report, Ingraham’s tow vehicle crashed into the reaction bridge near Gate 24 and he was pronounced dead 15 minutes after police arrived. Pictured: Ingraham on a tugboat
The incident occurred at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (pictured) in Austin, Texas.
Another shocking revelation came from the Austin newspaper, which shared that police had received anonymous tips after the collision about the safety of the vehicle.
According to the report cited by the Statesman, the airline vehicle he was driving had been ‘marked out of service numerous times for brake failure’.
It goes on to state that the tugboat had ‘various mechanical problems’ that led to the collision and remained in circulation despite mechanical failures.
The anonymous contributor said that just 10 days before the accident, the same tugboat had another collision due to brake failure.
DailyMail.com contacted American Airlines for comment on the death and the subsequent investigation but did not hear back.
Ingraham (was pinned between the vehicle and the underside of the jet’s bridge, the Austin American-Statesman reported
In a statement to another exitan airline spokesperson said they are “fully cooperating.”
“We are focused on ensuring that everyone involved has the support they need during this difficult time,” an airline spokesperson told the American-Statesman.
According to the Statesman, the company responsible for maintaining the vehicles is UK-based Menzies Aviation.
The company has an office in Grapevine, Texas.
Menzies’ role is currently being investigated by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the statistician reported.