(This article was originally published on July 23, 2021)By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota OSHA is investigating after a worker was killed in the lumberyard at the Golden Valley Menards. Nineteen-year-old James Stanback was operating a forklift when a pallet of lumber fell, pinning him underneath. His family is grieving the loss of a young man they say had so much promise.

“He was the most kind-hearted young man that you would ever meet,” sister Mystaya Stanback, in disbelief that he’s really gone, said.
“I can’t believe I’m talking about him in the past tense, what happened at Menards was a tragedy.”

James Stanback had been on the job for under two months at the Golden Valley location.

“We have a lot of questions, there’s a lot of questions,” Mystaya Stanback said.

Their questions revolve around the forklift he was operating, and what kind of training he had. What is clear is the type of young man he was.

“He put pride in everything he did. Failing was not one thing he was going to do. Whatever he out his mind to, he was going to make it happen,” Mystaya Stanback said.

READ MORE: Family Identifies Menards Employee Killed In Forklift Accident As 19-Year-Old James Stanback

They lost a brother, and their dad, in 2016. Still, James Stanback graduated from Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, and he stepped up as the man of the house.

“That’s what he chose to do. To help support my mom, establish good credit so he can be in a position to eventually buy my mom a house. That was his goal in life. Go to college and take care of my mom and my little brother,” Mystaya Stanback said.

And she says she wants to make sure people know what her brother stood for.

“James was a hard worker, compassionate young man, who only wanted better for his family. He would never hurt a fly on the wall. I just want him to have respect, and I want you all to know who he is,” Mystaya Stanback said.

Protesters gathered outside the Menards in Golden Valley on Friday night after it reopened. Some tried to block the entrance before police cleared them out. The store ended up closing early, just as it did Thursday.

Minnesota OSHA said it will inspect Menards work areas for safety or health hazards, and try to determine what caused or contributed to the accident.
It will also review if existing OSHA standards were violated. The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

Jennifer Mayerle