A 35-year-old forklift driver died Monday after he somehow became entangled with his machine while working on a construction project on Avalon Avenue in Lafayette.
The operator was identified Tuesday as Edwin Gomez-Zarate, of Livermore.
A brief statement of facts issued by police late Monday confirmed earlier reports that a worker had been killed on the site, a home under renovation in the 800 block of Avalon at Saint Mary’s Road.
Police and fire personnel responded to the scene at about 3 p.m. in answer to reports that the forklift driver was trapped by his machine. The fire department later pronounced Gomez-Zarate deceased.
In addition to local officials, representatives from Cal/OSHA responded to the scene to conduct their investigation into the fatal incident in conjunction with Lafayette police.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at 925.283.3680.
How can that happen????
@Kaye – Having spent some time on these machines we can say that injuries, or worse, have been known to happen – usually because a load is carried too high and shifts or becomes imbalanced, or the vehicle tilts or tips entirely – throwing the operator to the ground. We have no idea what happened in this instance but it is our understanding that the operator somehow suffered injury after becoming entangled with the machine. We used to watch other operators stop their forklift to adjust their load while the forks were still high, the operator putting themselves in potential jeopardy and making adjustments with the load balanced above them. We’re not saying this happened in this instance, as we do not have any firsthand knowledge of events on Avalon, but as past operators we were always aware that it could happen.
Thank you for the flash message on this. It was obvious something was going on down there and then the helicopters started showing up. Our condolences to his family.
@Sabrina – Certainly. Sorry it was such awful news.
Kaye, as News24-680 noted, forklift accidents are a common construction incidents. Believe falls are the number one construction accident and killer but forklifts have a whole range of issues because of how they are used and who is using them.
How sad and tragic. I’ve never worked a blue collar job, but I’m well aware how dangerous their jobs can be, and I cringe when I hear people complain about their wages. Most blue collar jobs can be very risky – if you stop and think of the dangers they face with machinery, the type of work they’re doing, the heights they face with their job, etc. Prayers…