Cardinal Employee Found Dead at Portage Plant on Christmas
December 27, 2011

By Sahely Mukerji,

Thomas E. Roche, 55, of Portage, Wis., an employee at Cardinal Glass Industries' Portage, Wis., plant, was found dead early Christmas morning in the plant's yard area, says Detective Lt. Mark Hahn of the City of Portage Police Department.

"We dispatched around 2:45 a.m., because the plant manager called 911 to say that the employee was not seen for a couple of hours and was later found in the yard area," he says. "He was dead when we got there."

Three men from the police department, representatives from the medical examiner's office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Emergency Medical Service responded to the call.

An investigation is under way and an autopsy was scheduled for this morning, Hahn says.

The Portage Daily Register reported on Christmas day that Roche was knocked back by large pieces of glass that he was taking outside for recycling. Hahn declined to confirm.

"We're investigating the case and since it's an open case, we can't make any comments," says Chad Greenwood, assistant area director for OSHA's Madison, Wis., area office.

At press time, calls to Cardinal's headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., and the Portage plant had not been returned.

Roche worked at the Portage plan for roughly 16 years, Hahn says, "ever since the company has been in business here."

Stay tuned to™ for updates.

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