Howe man killed in workplace incident

MIDDLEBURY — A 54-year-old Howe man died from injuries he sustained after an incident at Winnebago Towables in Middlebury.

Rick W. Schlabach, a lifelong resident of LaGrange County, was killed in the incident Thursday morning at the plant at 201 14th St., Middlebury, according to his obituary.

Schlabach's son-in-law Doug Smith told our newsgathering partners at WNDU that a co-worker ran over Schlabach with a forklift. The company has not officially said how Schlabach was killed and did not respond to a request for comment over the weekend.

Winnebago released the following statement on Friday.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm an incident took place the morning of April 6 on the campus of our Winnebago Towables facility in Middlebury, Indiana. The incident resulted in the death of a Winnebago employee. We express heartfelt condolences to the family and everyone impacted by this unfortunate incident," the statement read.

"Our primary focus is to support our team members during this difficult time and we are engaging grief counseling resources for our employees. We are also working with appropriate authorities related to this matter.”

According to his obituary, Schlabach was a paint repairman for motor homes and a farmer who "loved working with his cows."

"He enjoyed his time outdoors but his greatest time spent was that with his daughters, grandchildren, family and friends."

Schlabach's family could not be reached for comment Sunday.

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