Posted on Jan 24, 2012

A 60-year old, part-time worker was killed while operating a forklift at the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ yard near the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Although the specifics of the accident are unknown at this time, it is known that workers were setting up light towers when an accident occurred involving forklifts.  Wilmer Pace, of Clermont, was tragically killed.  Polk County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene.  Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) showed up the next day to conduct their own investigation.

Many Central Floridians will know the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ property as the huge facility that can be seen on the north side of Interstate 4, just east of Highway 27.  At any given time, hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment and machinery can be seen on their huge paved lot.  

Evidentally, there was something about the accident that piqued OSHA’s curiosity.  OSHA does not investigate every work-related accident, so it will be interesting to learn why OSHA selected this one.

Because the accident occurred in the course and scope of Mr. Pace’s employment, his family should be entitled to a death benefit under Florida Workers’ Compensation laws.  Depending upon what actually caused Mr. Pace’s death, he may also have a bodily injury/personal injury case (outside of Workers’ Compensation).  His family would probably be best served contacting an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer.

If you have any questions regarding forklift accidents, or have been injured by someone else’s negligence at work, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Bob Hemphill at 407-644-4444.