Wisconsin Industrial Park Forklift Accident Kills 1, Injures Another

Posted by: admin on May 7, 2014

A Wisconsin man was killed April 3, 2014, when an unsecured forklift punctured a truck’s fuel tank. The explosion killed Gerald Throw and injured Jose Perez.

The accident happened at Howard Industrial Park, near Green Bay. The forklift shifted as the truck turned in the 2200 block of Pamperin Road. As the truck was in motion, the lift’s forks punctured the wall of the cargo box and truck’s fuel system. According to investigators, the penetration caused a fatal decompression of the system.

Preliminary reports didn’t indicate whether OSHA had investigated yet, but the agency is expected to gather information and produce an official report soon.

“There was no evidence of it being restrained,” Capt. Randy Schultz of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said immediately after the accident.

Investigators said the lift wasn’t secured tight enough on the truck. Slick tires also contributed to the sudden load shift, emphasizing the importance of proper tire treads – even when a lift isn’t in use.

“The force (of the decompression) was absolutely incredible,” he said. “It blew the drive shaft off, lifted the back of the engine up off the mounts, and bent part of the frame of the vehicle. It was an amazing amount of force.”

Similar accidents are rare, so the Howard Industrial Park incident has caught the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, Schultz said.

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