Forklift Roundup: Joy Rides, Miracles, and a Killer Flying Forklift

Police LineForklifts made headlines several times this week. Here are few of the top forklift-related stories:

Angels to the Rescue — A local food bank in Pallyup, Washington, received an unexpected donation from a local forklift dealer last month: A brand new forklift! The donation from Trans Global to the Sumner Community Food Bank was made as part of the Make-A-Wish program. Prior to the miraculous donation, volunteers at the food bank had to unload boxes of donated food from semi-trailer trucks by hand. The forklift dealer also trained several volunteers on how to operate the vehicle. The food bank provides food to more than 10,000 people per year.

Toddler Run Over by Forklift — A 2-year-old girl was in serious condition after being run over by a forklift driven by an adult male relative. The incident Tuesday, July 7, on a family-owned dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, news reports said. The child had been playing near an area where the forklift was being operated when she somehow ended up beneath the vehicle, although she didn’t appear to be run over by the wheels. She suffered a brush burn on her face and on her leg or hip. She was transported to a hospital in nearby Hershey. No charges have been filed in connection with the incident.

Flying Forklift Kills Man — A forklift that was ejected from the back of the rig that was carrying it flew dozens of yards before landing on a car, killing its driver. The incident occurred May 15 on US Interstate 57 outside Fullerton, California, according to news reports. The driver of the rig apparently swerved across the entire southbound lanes of the superhighway before striking a car. The impact caused the forklift he was hauling to fly into the air, crashing into nine cars and injuring seven people before landing on Eric McEntarffer, 28, killing him.

Forklift Joyride Leads to Charges — Two minors were arrested after they reportedly took a forklift for a joyride at a storage yard in Rutland, Virginia, last Tuesday. The property — which is used as a storage facility for a pavement striping company — had recently been targeted by vandals. Workers returning to the facility found two boys — aged 11 and 14 — breaking into cars and driving a forklift. During their crime spree, the pair stole a pickup truck, crashed into buildings, caused a roof to collapse, hit an antique railroad car, and damaged a dumpster, police said. Damage was estimated at more than $30,000. The pair was being held at the local juvenile facility.

Forklift Brakes Blamed for Blaze — A huge fire at an industrial park near Columbus, Ohio, is being blamed on overheated forklift tires. The May 1 incident caused an estimated $8 million in damages and smoke from the inferno could be seen for miles. Investigators said workers were repairing overheated forklift brakes when the fire sparked and jumped to a nearby pile of cardboard. The facility housed several businesses, including Universal Paper & Plastics, Columbus Pallet Recycling, and ABECO Materials. Miraculously, nobody was injured in the blaze.

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