Barberton: Woman gets head stuck in machine

5:48 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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BARBERTON -- A Norton woman whose head was stuck in a machine in Barberton was taken to the hospital with serious injuries late Monday night.

Police say it happened at J&R Engineering close to 11 p.m. Monday.

Monica Thayer, 25, is in intensive care Tuesday night after a that freak accident at her job.

She was starting just her fifth day of work at J&R Engineering in Barberton when the unthinkable happened.

"Some girl looks like she got her head crushed in the machine," said a 9-1-1 caller from the scene.

Barberton Fire Department emergency crews spent 20 minutes removing her hair and scalp from an automotive machine and took her via LifeFlight to Akron General Hospital.

"It literally pulled all of her hair out, from the back, the sides, the front, and pulled her forehead. It was just horrendous," said Mary Thayer, Monica's mom.

Mary Thayer works the same job on the same machine.

"I can't understand how it happened. Why it happened," she said. "God was with her because she survived it."

Mary says no one would have ever expected an accident like this to happen.

"She was learning the job good, but apparently she didn't learn all of the safety," said Mary Thayer.

Monica had her hair in a ponytail without a hairnet, the same way that Mary says she and others have worn for years.

"I've never seen anybody in the shop wear a helmet or a hard hat," she said.

Mary says Monica is expected to survive but there's a long road to recovery, starting with a reattachment surgery Tuesday morning.

Then other cosmetic procedures could follow.

Doctors tell Mary that Monica may never look the same, but she seems to have avoided more serious brain injuries.

"It's going to be hard for her, yeah," said Mary.

Barberton Fire Chief Kim Baldwin said he did a preliminary investigation Tuesday and it appears all safety functions were working properly.

He's now handed the investigation over to OSHA. Kathy Mefford, a spokesperson for J&R Engineering, would not comment on the incident.

J&R Engineering specializes in high-volume production of difficult precision components for various industries, including automotive. They sell products to companies that include Ford, Lockheed Martin and the United States government.

WKYC-TV

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