A Santa Ana man died early Saturday as a result of an industrial accident in which a steel rod apparently became entangled in a lathe he was operating, according to the coroner's office.
James Rieve, 43, died at Western Medical Center of multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, following an accident Friday night at Graphite Machining Inc., 1704 S. Santa Fe St., Santa Ana.
Although no one at the plant witnessed the accident, Deputy Coroner Pam Luster said that Rieve had a piece of graphite in the lathe when a steel rod somehow became caught in the machine, causing a "whipping action."
Luster, who inspected the lathe after the accident, said the rod probably struck Rieve and the force of the blow may have thrown him. "We don't know for sure," she said.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified, Luster said, and is now investigating the accident.