Oct 23, 2023

Skid steer incident at local hospital ends in fatality

TAWAS CITY – Loved ones and co-workers have described 30-year-old Pinconning resident Cody Lee Wilber, who passed away unexpectedly, as kind, polite, respectful and professional.

According to a press release issued by the Tawas City Police Department (TCPD), it was at about 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 27 when the TCPD was dispatched to a maintenance garage at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital in Tawas City, for a report of a subject stuck inside.

The department states that the call was fourth party, and no further details were available at the time.

TCPD Chief Matthew Klosowski-Lorenz was the first to arrive on scene, where he found workers trying to free Wilber, who was pinned in a skid steer.

The workers reported that Wilber was unconscious, and Klosowski-Lorenz advised central dispatch of same, also requesting Iosco County EMS and Tawas City Fire Department's Medical First Responders to assist.

Hospital staff were able to break a window of the skid steer and access the controls to free Wilber, who was neither conscious nor breathing at that point.

CPR was immediately initiated, and an AED was utilized. EMS and fire crews worked on Wilber and he was taken to Ascension St. Joseph Hospital, located nearby on the same property, where he was pronounced dead.

According to police, maintenance staff said that Wilber and a fellow employee were working on a skid steer when they needed to raise the bucket to get to a bolt.

Sometimes referred to as a wheel loader or skid steer loader, this is a construction vehicle that can be outfitted with different attachments, such as buckets.

Wilber reportedly raised the bucket, shut off the skid steer and went to exit out of the front of the machine when the bucket came down on him, pinning him until help could arrive to free him.

The TCPD says that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been contacted and is investigating the incident.

Along with Tawas City Fire Department and county EMS personnel, the TCPD was assisted by the Michigan State Police.

Born in Bay City, Wilber is survived by his wife and two sons, as well as many other family members and friends.

Funeral services took place on Nov. 4, at Gephart Funeral Home in Bay City. Online condolences and other ways for those who knew Wilber to honor his memory, can be done at

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