Unwieldy lumber claims truckers’ lives in separate incidents

| 2/15/2008

A truck driver was crushed in California on Thursday, Feb. 14, while reportedly working to remove a heavy lumber load from his flatbed.

Brian Adkins, 43, had parked his truck on an incline in front of an Oakland home to make the delivery. He was removing the straps when the three-ton load slid off the flatbed. The wood landed on Adkins, pinning him against a steep hillside, according to the Oakland Tribune.

“He was unloading, and gravity got the best of him,” Oakland police Officer Murray Hoyle told the Tribune.

Other workers in the area tried to use a forklift to move the wood off of Adkins, but he was later pronounced dead at the accident scene. The incident remains under investigation.

In New York, another truck driver was killed in the hamlet of Yaphank yesterday when a load of lumber fell from a forklift and crushed him, Suffolk County police told Newsday.

The accident happened after Alberto Orlando Henry, 27, pulled his flatbed up at BlueLinx, a wholesale lumber distribution company, to deliver a load of lumber.

According to Newsday’s report, Henry was standing by the flatbed on the driver’s side as a man in a forklift on the other side unloaded packages of 24-foot laminated boards.

The forklift driver was about halfway through unloading when a bundle of boards was either pushed by, or tumbled from, the forklift, falling on the trucker. He died at the scene.