National organization reaches out to families of Omaha plant victims

By: Hannah Paczkowski

Nearly five years ago, Robert Fitch lost his life when he fell from a grain elevator at the Archer Daniel Midland plant in Lincoln.

When his niece, Tonya Ford, heard the news about a nutrition plant collapsing in Omaha with two people dead and 10 people injured, memories came flooding in.

“It was a cold January day when my uncle passed and it was a cold January day, on January 20, when this Omaha accident occurred,” Ford said.

These similarities are all too common for some families in Nebraska.

Ford is a member of the United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities, an organization that offers support and guidance to families going through the grieving process.

Nebraska has one of the largest groups in the country.

“We're just family members, we know exactly the feelings that they're going through right now,” Ford said.

This is something Ford is dedicating her life to prevent, deaths in the workplace. She said she's working hard to make sure no one else has to feel her pain.

“There should be no question, will I come home to my family tonight? When you leave to put clothes on your back, roof over your family, and food in their stomach, there should be no question,” Ford said.

It's something she hopes not only the families of the victims in Omaha hear, but everyone in Nebraska who has lost a loved one just as she had.

“If you just want to talk, if you just want to vent, we're here to listen,” she said.

The Nebraska group will have some events coming up in April to show their support. In the meantime, visit for information on the organization.