A forklift operator was killed on Tuesday, Nov. 23, after the machine he was operating turned over and fell on him in Fairfax.

The man was identified as Paul Gato, a native of Ghana who reportedly moved to the United States to pursue the American dream according to WUSA 9 reporter Matthew Torres.

According to the Fairfax County Police, Gato was operating the forklift around midnight when the vehicle turned over. The 43-year-old was unloading supplies at the time.

A delivery truck driver heard the crash and immediately went to check. After seeing Gato being crushed by the forklift, he immediately alerted EMS and the police.

Despite the unfortunate accident, authorities do not see any indication of any criminal activity tied to the incident. Regardless, an investigation into the matter is currently being done by police together with the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An autopsy on Gato by a medical examiner to determine the exact cause of death remains pending.

A friend of Gato for 25 years named Oral Ofori said that the 43-year-old moved to the USA 10 years ago with hopes of supporting his family back in Ghana.

“Even before his cup is full, he’s helping people here,” Ofori said. “He was a huge-hearted person, very positive-minded person, very giving and very nurturing.”

Ofori described Gato as a generous and caring person, something that he and others would be missing. He also added that knowing Gato, it would be the 43-year-old’s wish to be buried back at home in Ghana.

"If there's one thing we'll miss Paul for mostly it would be for his generosity, concern and his caring nature," Ofori stated.

A spokesperson from Home Depot, Margaret Smith that they are heartbroken about the incident and offered their prayers to the bereaved family of Gato.

“We’re heartbroken by the loss of our friend and fellow associate of nine years, and his family are in our prayers,” Smith said.

Fork lift. Representation image
Fork lift. Representation image Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

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