MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family has identified the Golden Valley Menards employee who was killed on the job Thursday morning as 19-year-old James Stanback.
Golden Valley police say a caller reported that a man was pinned under a forklift and was unconscious. When officials arrived at the store just after 10 a.m., they found he had been killed when a pallet of lumber fell on the forklift he was operating.READ MORE: MPCA Looking Into Potential Contamination Of Water Wells In 2 Twin Cities Communities
A representative for Menards told WCCO Stanback was certified to operate a forklift, but his family is saying otherwise, alleging that he was not trained. A woman who says she is Stanback’s sister posted a video online saying he just started working there.
She and others went into the store upset that it did not close, and they demanded to see video of the incident. Several police officers responded, and three people were detained. Police say that the three individuals were released at the scene and may face charges pending the outcome of an investigation.
Rachel Elizabeth White lives nearby, and said she saw roughly 40 squad cars in the parking lot to control a crowd of less than 30 people.
“As a human being, when another human being dies the respectful thing to do is mourn that loss and to close the store down,” White said. “There’s no reason they should’ve forced his co-workers to continue working knowing that he was dead in the back.”
Later, a sign was posted outside the store that reads it will be closed until noon Friday out of respect for Stanback and his family.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 24 More Deaths Confirmed By MDH; 2,434 More Cases
Menards has released video of the accident to WCCO. We are choosing not to show it, but viewers can know it did not provide meaningful context for what happened before the accident.
The store released a statement on the tragedy, saying in part: “We are a small family here at Golden Valley and we are all in shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Teammate and his family.”
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the incident on Friday, and says it will work to determine the cause of the accident and whether any OSHA standards were violated.
There have not been any OSHA inspections at the Golden Valley Menards in the last five years.
In 2017, OSHA cited a Menards in Burnsville $25,000 after a workplace fatality. A forklift operator had been moving wooden pallets, and turned the forklift, which tipped it over, killing the employee.MORE NEWS: MN Dept. Of Human Rights: Brooklyn Center Police, Michaels Store Discriminated Against Black Teenager
A GoFundMe has been set up for Stanback’s family. Click here for more information.
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