American Airlines falsely pinned worker’s death on tarmac to possible suicide: report

An American Airlines worker who died was ruled to have been killed by a horrific accident — after a corporate investigator suggested that the cause of death was suicide, according to a report.

Michal Ingraham, a 37-year-old fleet service agent, was driving an aircraft-towing vehicle known as a “tug” on April 20 on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas when it crashed into a jet bridge near Gate 24 at Barbara Jordan Terminal, according to the American-Statesman of Austin.

He was pronounced dead around 15 minutes after authorities arrived on the scene.

During the police probe of the incident, a corporate investigator hired by American Airlines suggested to cops that Ingraham’s death may have been suicide, the American-Statesman reported.

Lynn Fast told Austin police a day after the incident that he had “obtained information overnight indicating that the fatal incident was a suicide and not an accident,” according to a police report cited by the American-Statesman.

Fast reportedly told authorities that he spoke to Ingraham’s father.


Michal Ingraham, 37, of Austin, Texas, died on April 20 while working for American Airlines.
Michal Ingraham, 37, of Austin, Texas, died on April 20 while working for American Airlines.
Facebook/Michal Ingraham

During their conversation, the father apologized for the ordeal, which Fast said he “found strange.”

Police, however, dismissed the wild assertion by Fast.

Instead, one witness told police that the tug Ingraham was driving “accelerated faster than normal and then veered to the right” before the fatal collision.

When other ground agents yelled at Ingraham to hit the brakes, it appeared that the accelerator “got stuck” moments before the crash, witnesses told police.


Ingraham was a fleet service agent who as driving an aircraft-towing vehicle on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas when it crashed.
Ingraham was a fleet service agent who as driving an aircraft-towing vehicle on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas when it crashed.
Facebook/Michal Ingraham

The crash left Ingraham pinned between the vehicle and the underside of the jet bridge, according to the American-Statesman.

The medical examiner determined that Ingraham died as a result of blunt force injuries, according to the report.

Toxicology reports indicated that Ingraham had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.


A corporate investigator hired by American Airlines told police that the cause of death may have been suicide, according to a report.
A corporate investigator hired by American Airlines told police that the cause of death may have been suicide, according to a report.
Facebook/Michal Ingraham

Investigators also received a tip from an anonymous source who told them that the vehicle Ingraham was driving had been “marked out of service numerous times for failed brakes,” according to the newspaper.

Ingraham’s tug was reportedly beset with “several mechanical issues” in the days and weeks leading up to the accident, according to the report.

Despite the mechanical failures, the vehicle was kept in operation.

Ten days before the April 20 incident, the same vehicle was involved in a separate collision due to brake failure, a tipster is reported to have told police.

The Post has sought comment from Fast, whose LinkedIn account indicates that he worked as a peace officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety as well as the Addison Police Department in suburban Dallas.

The Post has sought comment from American Airlines.

“We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time,” an airline spokesperson told the American-Statesman.

“American is fully cooperating in this open investigation.”

According to the American-Statesman, the company that oversees maintenance for the vehicle is Menzies Aviation, a UK-based company with an office in Grapevine, Texas.

A Menzies representative declined to comment when reached by The Post.


Local investigators were told by anonymous tipsters that Ingraham's vehicle was beset by mechanical issues, according to a report.
Local investigators were told by anonymous tipsters that Ingraham’s vehicle was beset by mechanical issues, according to a report.
Getty Images

Menzies’ role in the incident is reportedly the focus of a probe by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to a police report obtained by the American-Statesman.

The Post has sought comment from OSHA.

Last month, OSHA was criticized for fining an American Airlines subsidiary just $15,625 over the death of a ground crew worker who was sucked into a jet engine at an Alabama airport on New Year’s Eve.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/646088231/LGyTIwEEHzZUR7Kw?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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