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A semitrailer driver was arrested Saturday afternoon after a US Steel employee died in an accident at the Great Lakes Works Cold Mill Shipping in Ecorse, police said.

Heather Warren, 41, of Inkster, was killed instantly after she was struck by a semitrailer that was backing up at the facility, said her sister Sheryl Warren. Heather Warren worked for US Steel in its shipping department, but on Saturday she was acting as a spotter, helping another truck maneuver through the plant, her sister said police detectives told her.

It was a job her sister wasn't trained for, Sheryl Warren said.

"She was spotting another truck," Warren said. "The truck (that hit her) didn't have a spotter. ... He decided to move on his own and he backed up. When he backed up, he didn't see her."

"She never made it to the hospital."

The family has retained at lawyer with Geoffrey Fieger's firm, her sister said.

The facility has had two other employee deaths since late 2013. One man was killed when a crane flipped over in April 2014. Another man died in December 2013 from smoke and soot inhalation after an explosion at the plant.

US Steel issued a statement saying the accident involved ALCO Transportation and expressed "our deepest sympathies to the victim's family."

"We take the safety of our employees very seriously and we will work closely with the United Steelworkers and other agencies in the investigation," according to the release. "An investigation into the incident is underway. No further details regarding the incident are available at this time."

A dispatcher with ALCO Transportation on Sunday afternoon referred comments to a manager who was not available for comment.

The driver remained in custody Sunday afternoon while the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office considers possible charges, said Ecorse Police Department Cpl. Chris Trevino. He declined to give further details on the accident pending the office's review.

"It was a horrible accident," Trevino said.

Heather Warren loved her family, especially spoiling her nieces and nephews with gifts and candy on holidays, Sheryl Warren said. Her sister, a graduate of Wayne Westland Community Schools and Schoolcraft College, originally worked in the medical field. But she made the switch to US Steel with the help of her brother, who also worked at the facility, Sheryl Warren said.

"She loved the job because it was a challenge," she said.

She enjoyed caring for her two pugs, Sasha and Roco, and collected Hummer toy trucks. She was saving up to buy her own someday, Sheryl Warren said.

Heather Warren was survived by her mother, Thadoshie, her brother Carlton, and her four sisters; Sheryl, Rosie, Janice and Theletha. Funeral arrangements are pending.

cmacdonald@detroitnews.com

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