FedEx employee dead after 'two-vehicle accident' at World Hub in Memphis

A FedEx Express plane sits at the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis on Sept. 27, 2019.
A FedEx Express plane sits at the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis on Sept. 27, 2019.

A 48-year-old male FedEx employee died Wednesday after a "two-vehicle accident" at the FedEx World Hub, according to Memphis Police Department and airport officials.

Memphis International Airport Public Information Officer Glen Thomas said the Memphis Airport Police Department responded around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday to the Memphis hub where officers were informed two people were transported by paramedics to local hospitals.

MPD has taken over the investigation. MPD Public Information Officer Theresa Carlson said officers responded around 6 p.m. to Methodist South Hospital where one of the FedEx employees was dead. Carlson said the employee was transported from the Memphis hub at 2810 Democrat Road.

Memphis Fire Department Spokesperson Qwanesha Ward said the department responded to "two incidents" at the FedEx World Hub. She said one of the calls was a "medical emergency."

FedEx released the following statement Wednesday: "We can confirm the loss of one of our team members this afternoon and are deeply saddened. Our heartfelt thoughts are with our team member’s family, colleagues and all those affected by this event. The circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are still under investigation, and FedEx is fully cooperating with investigating authorities."

FedEx did not release the identity of the employee or provide any additional details regarding the incident.

On Friday, FedEx issued an additional statement: "Additional employees were involved. We are focused on their wellbeing and supporting them as they recover at home from this accident."

FedEx spokesperson Heather Wilson would not specify how many employees were involved in the accident, but said the company's "top priority" is the safety of the team members.

MPD said this is an ongoing investigation.

FedEx notified Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration Wednesday about the death, said Chris Cannon, chief communications officer of Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

"TOSHA investigators are currently at the facility reviewing the circumstances that led to the worker’s death," Cannon said. "During the investigative process, TOSHA typically surveys the location of the incident, reviews company records, and procedures, and then will conduct interviews with management and employees."

Cannon said the investigation can take about eight to 10 weeks and TOSHA does not release preliminary information "to ensure the integrity of the investigation."

Once the investigation is complete, Tennessee residents can review the agency's findings.

FedEx employee deaths

The employee is the seventh Memphis-area FedEx worker to die at work since 2014 and the third employee to die this year.

Mostly recently, a FedEx employee died while working in Olive Branch on May 1. Before that, 33-year-old Jessica James, a FedEx World Hub employee, died Feb. 18 while operating a forklift.

Chandler Warren, 19, was crushed July 2014 by a giant cargo lift. In 2015, cargo tug operator Christopher Higginbottom, 39, was crushed by a loaded dolly he was towing after he fell off of the tug he was driving and was subsequently crushed by the loaded dolly.

In November 2017, Ellen Gladney was found crushed by a motorized mobile conveyer belt system at the company's main hub.

Duntate Young, 23, was killed in November 2019 after his leg caught in the curtain door of a shipping container in the hub. Young was dragged for a few feet before his chest "hit the side of the middle roller," according to a Memphis International Airport Police report.

Commercial Appeal Reporter Micaela Watts contributed to this report.

Dima Amro covers the suburbs for The Commercial Appeal and can be reached at or on Twitter @AmroDima.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: FedEx employee dies after accident at World Hub in Memphis