Husband mourns wife following deadly industrial accident in Ionia

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-08 19:30:22-04

GRAND RAPIDS – “The only person who wasn’t surprised yesterday was God,” said Bill Holbrook.

Holbrook, mourning the loss of his wife Wanda Holbrook, 57, who police identified as the victim involved in Tuesday’s deadly industrial accident at Ventra Main in Ionia.

Police saying in a press release Wednesday she was employed by the company 12 years and worked in the maintenance department.

“People ask me how I go her and I tell them, I caught her on an off day and took advantage,” said Holbrook.

Holbrook, while being comforted by his older sister outside his Grand Rapids home Wednesday, telling FOX17 his family isn’t bitter towards the company, focusing instead on celebrating Wanda’s life.

Holbrook, also releasing this statement on Facebook today:

My dear friends and family, yesterday my wife Wanda Holbrook was killed in an industrial accident. I’m sorry that this is the way to let you know but I wanted to be sure everyone knew. She was an amazing woman of God and made me a better man than I ever thought was possible. I want this to be a celebration of her life, of Christ shining through her and of what she meant in our lives. Please pray for us and feel free to call, text or stop by. I love each and everyone of you and count you as blessings in my life. I will share arrangement details when available.

Memorial services for Wanda Holbrook are scheduled for Sunday from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Stroo Funeral Home at 1095 68th Street SE.

Investigators say Wanda Holbrook was found trapped by robotic machinery at approximately 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.  She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Ventra Main in Ionia

The Ionia Public Safety Department is still investigating the incident, along with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).

Records obtained through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) revealed a serious violation of the Guards for Power Transmission rules found during a 2012 inspection at Ventra Main in Ionia.

Records show a $4,500 penalty was administered, later settled with the employer paying a reduced penalty of $2,250 while providing abatement documentation showing the hazard had been corrected.