A terrible accident happened yesterday afternoon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), leading to a fatality.
In this post:
American Airlines ramper collides with jet bridge
At around 2PM yesterday (Thursday, April 20, 2023), an American Airlines employee was killed on the ramp at Austin Airport due to “traumatic injuries.” This happened at gate 24, and according to a police press conference, an employee who was operating a ground services vehicle struck a jet bridge.
When emergency services made it to the scene, an adult male with “obvious signs of trauma” was found, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. For what it’s worth, an American Eagle Embraer E175 was at gate 24 at the time, having arrived as AA3806 from Albuquerque just 20 minutes earlier. The gate hasn’t been used since the incident yesterday.
What a sad accident…
This is incredibly tragic — my thoughts are with the family and friends of the person who lost their life. It’s still not entirely clear to me how a ground vehicle struck the jet bridge in such a way that it caused a fatality. Was it a case of distracted driving, was the driver incapacitated, was something malfunctioning, or what?
Ground services vehicles at airports tend to move pretty slow and be especially careful, given just how much is going on. So to be going fast enough for there to be a fatal accident — not to mention colliding with something that isn’t even moving — is quite surprising.
Unfortunately there are some real risks to working on the ramp. In late 2022, a ramper for an American Airlines subsidiary died on the apron at Montgomery Airport, and was sucked into an engine, after not maintaining enough distance before the engine was shut down. That’s absolutely awful.
Speaking of accidents with airport ground vehicles, in February a passenger bus at LAX collided with an aircraft. Fortunately there were no major injuries there.
An American Airlines employee tragically died after driving a ground services vehicle that collided with a jet bridge. Occasionally fatal accidents do happen on the ramp, though they often involve not being careful around the aircraft as such, rather than issues involving other ground equipment. This is tragic, and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased.
What do you make of this Austin Airport incident?