Michele Dufault, an astronomy and physics major at Yale, has been killed in a freak accident that occurred while she was using the university’s spinning lathe. Apparently her hair got caught in the machine and it pulled her in.


A dangerous machine. This person survived because people around him turned off the machine. Was Dufault alone in the shop?


The Yale Daily News has details.

From comments on the YDN story:

This young woman encouraged me not to give up on an astrophys course we took together, helped me as a bewildered freshman through problem sets, sent me emails to check up on how I liked this or that course, all because of her passion for what she studied and her generous nature.

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2 Responses to ““Her mind, her sense of curiosity, her perceptiveness, her sensitivity, and her enjoyment of what she did were extraordinary. She was a true intellectual.””

  1. dave.s. Says:

    This is not a freak accident. This is predictable, if you don’t have hair net type regulations, and you have long haired people in facilities with lathes.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Already in the comments at Yale Daily News, there’s talk of this — whether safety standards were rigorous enough, etc. One commenter does say: “She took two semesters of shop training and knew her way around the machines.”

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