3 SEPTA workers confirmed dead from COVID-19

Kenney announces first virus-related death of Philly cop

KYW Staff
April 06, 2020 - 9:05 pm

UPDATED: April 7, 9:56 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Three SEPTA workers and a Philadelphia police lieutenant have died from COVID-19. 


Willie Brown, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, confirmed Tuesday that Michael Holt, a mechanic in at the Midvale Depot, died overnight and said he had been hospitalized for some time.

Brown confirmed the deaths from COVID-19 of two other SEPTA workers on Monday night: Ted Nixon, an air conditioning specialist at the Elmwood Trolley Depot, and Philip Williams, who fueled buses at the South Philadelphia Depot.

These are the first three TWU Local 234 deaths related to coronavirus, according to the union.

The transit union said it now has 48 workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Brown said it is not yet clear where any of the workers contracted it.

Earlier Monday, at the city's daily media briefing, Mayor Jim Kenney announced the first death from COVID-19 of a city employee: Lt. James Walker of the department's traffic division.

Kenney said Walker died on Sunday at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health from the infection.

Walker joined the force in 1987 and worked among many police districts, as well as assignments in Internal Affairs and the Narcotics Strike Force. 

The 59-year-old Philadelphia resident planned to retire in December.

“The loss of his life illustrates the commitment that he and members of the Philadelphia Police Department have to serve the communities of this city, even in times of unprecedented risk and challenge,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. 

With a coronavirus surge anticipated in the Philadelphia region, Outlaw said officers will follow protocols in place to reduce the risk of exposure: keep a social distance, wear personal protective equipment, and to call in a specialized unit, if necessary. Every officer has been given an N95 mask.

City leaders are investigating if Walker contracted the virus while on the job.


KYW Newsradio's Tim Jimenez, Kristen Johanson and Pat Loeb contributed to this report.