Forklift News Roundup: Operator Seriously Injured in Fall

Police LineA forklift operator in Montreal, Canada, is fighting for his life after being injured in a fall that occurred at a construction site.

The accident occurred at a work site near the Bonaventure Expressway at about 4:50 a.m. Thursday, August 20. Workers who had been working on the road work all night had just finished their shift and were packing up their supplies, according to police.

The driver, whose identity was not released, apparently was using his forklift to raise a box containing tools to an elevated height so that the could be stored safely for the night. But for an unknown reason, the driver left the cab of his forklift and climbed onto the box.

The box tipped and he fell about 30 feet to the pavement below. He was transported to a local hospital, where was listed in serious but stable condition with fractured ribs and internal bleeding.

Another employee who witnessed the fall also was hospitalized for shock.

Alaskan Drug-Fueled Forklift Joyride

A 28-year-old Alaskan man celebrating his birthday faces multiple charged in connection with an incident in which he allegedly took a stolen forklift for a drug- and alcohol-fueled joyride through the parking lot of a busy department store.

The incident occurred Sunday, August 16, in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer store in Fairbanks, Alaska. The man — identified as Joshua David Johnson — was seen driving a forklift erratically through the lot at speeds between 15 and 20 mph.

Johnson, who police said was high on both drugs and alcohol, drove the vehicle perilously close to the store’s front doors.

Witnesses notified the superintendent of the Fred Meyer remodeling project, who chased the forklift, jumped onto the vehicle and turned it off.

Johnson jumped out of the vehicle and fled the scene. He was later captured by police while hiding in a shipping container.

He later told police he had consumed two 25-ounce containers of a beer, tomato, and clam juice mixture. He also was believed to be high on methamphetamine at the time of the incident, according to police.

Johnson was charged with felony driving under the influence, misdemeanor refusal to submit to a chemical test, and three counts of misdemeanor violating conditions of release. Records indicated Johnson had been convicted on DUI in Alabama twice in the past 10 years.

Forklift Sparks Fire at Carpet Factory

In Torrington, Connecticut, police and fire officials were investigating an incident in which a forklift apparently sparked a fire in a carpet factory.

The incident occurred Sunday, August 16, at a 150,000 square foot manufacturing facility owned by Mohawk Industries. Workers apparently were moving piles of foam used to make padding for carpets from one location to another when some of the material became trapped under a forklift near its exhaust port.

The heat from the exhaust apparently sparked a fire in the extremely flammable latex. Fire suppression equipment helped control the fire until firefighters could arrive.

A fireman who also is trained on how to operate a forklift jumped into the burning vehicle wearing his protective gear and drove it outside, where the latex could be pulled apart and the fire put out.

 

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