Local police have confirmed that a 43-year-old man has died following a workplace accident at the Home Depot in Fairfax, Virginia.
Officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded for a man who was trapped underneath a forklift that had fallen over on its side. Paul Gato, 43, of Woodbridge, was found under the forklift and pronounced deceased at the scene.
Preliminarily, detectives determined Gato was operating the forklift, unloading supplies from a delivery truck, when the forklift fell, trapping Gato, according to a police statement. The driver of the delivery truck heard the loud crash, noticed the deceased under the forklift and immediately summoned emergency medical services and police.
Police add there is no indication of criminal activity. The investigation is still active, and detectives are working with officials from the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Local media report that Gato, a native of Ghana, had moved to the United States nearly a decade ago, pursuing the American dream in Virginia to support his family back home.
“He was a huge-hearted person, very positive-minded person, very giving and very nurturing,” a friend told reporters.
Home Depot has meanwhile issued a statement that it is “heartbroken by the loss of our friend and fellow associate of nine years, and his family are in our prayers”.