Forklift accident resulting in child death, answers not forthcoming

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. – On March 10, a 14-year-old boy from Colorado City, Ariz., was killed when he lost control of the forklift he was operating. St. George news first reported the accident on March 12 but few details were available at the time. One month later this is what we now know.

The incident occurred at approximately 5:55 p.m. on March 10, when the boy, who was driving the forklift for his father, lost control on a bridge crossing Short Creek Wash located just west of Colorado City near the feed lot, Mohave County Supervisor Burt Johnson said.

Because the forklift operator was a minor, the legality of him being asked to drive has come into question.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Web page on forklift operation, “It is a violation of Federal law for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone over 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so.”

Additionally, the United States Department of Labor’s Web page on youth provisions for the Fair Labor Standards Act cites 17 Hazardous Occupation Orders which prohibit children ages 15 and under from performing any of the orders.

Operation number 7, regarding the use of a power-driven hoisting apparatus, specifically bans: operating, riding on, and assisting in the operation of most power-driven hoisting apparatus such as forklifts.

While there are some exceptions for farm work – a child of any age can be engaged in farm work by a parent or guardian on a farm owned by said parent or gaurdian– a child 14 or under cannot engage in paid agricultural labor declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Several agencies have been purported to be investigating the accident including OSHA, the Arizona Attorney General’s office and the Arizona Department of Labor.

“All of them have called and made a request for information,” said Jeff Matura, legal representative for the town of Colorado City, “but nobody has confirmed that they are investigating.”

St. George News initially reported that a team from Arizona Child Protective Services was sent to investigate but when contacted they could neither confirm nor deny that report.

The Arizona Child Protective Services’ website published a list of all children who have died or nearly died as a result of abuse or neglect.

There is nothing listed for the deceased in this case.

The Colorado City Marshal’s Office has been identified as the lead agency in the incident. Their investigation has been finalized and it has been ruled an accident, said Matura.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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13 Comments

  • Rhonda April 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Great article, Hollie

  • Jim Sharp April 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    There is no way the Marshal’s Office should be considered a legitimate law enforcement agency. Yet, with the government status the FLDS church has obtained through the control of Colorado City and Hildale government, they have been able to take advantage of the status for years. The Marshal’s Office would not make a move without the complete approval and direction of the church leaders. Any information shared with outside government agencies would have been screened heavily by FLDS church leaders. I am surprised anyone heard about the accident in the first place, typically situations like this are hidden from the outside world. Hopefully, one day, the FLDS church will lose their grip on the two towns, so the citizens can stand a chance at a productive life free from fear. Imagine if this incident would have occurred in St George or Washington City, it would have been investigated and reported much differently. The citizens would have paid their respects, likely a public candle light vigil, and community action to ensure something this tragic would not happen again.

    • plyghipster April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      sounds to me like they are starting to lose their grip. And you are right, In the past we would have never heard of this. Back in the day there wouldn’t be a soul to speak out, you could write the report however you want and file it. Now with Warren breaking up families and kicking people out he created a network of people that have no reason to not ask questions. Warren has screwed himself with his “judgments”.

  • Anne Coble April 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    This is just not right! To my knowledge, this boy is the son of parents who belong to the polygamist cult known as FLDS located in the ‘twin cities’ of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah. They are known for using children as slave labor! This type of thing has happened in the past, and they’ve gotten away with it. The state of Arizona needs to stand up and do something about this before anymore children’s lives are lost!

    • Rational April 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      You are an IDIOT. Everyone should train their children to enter the workforce/learn skills to be productive and earn a livelihood for themselves and their future families. Otherwise, we would raise a culture of welfare. BUT, you are obviously one of the obamanation morons who want to end the Americans entrepreneurial spirit!!!!

    • Simone April 15, 2014 at 3:39 am

      Let me correct you. The STATES of Arizona and Utah…..*

  • Brenda N-W April 12, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    “The Colorado City Marshal’s Office has been identified as the lead agency in the incident. Their investigation has been finalized and it has been ruled an accident, said Matura.”

    Well, as everyone who knows anything about the Colorado City Marshall’s Office is well aware, those Marshals are all members of the FLDS, and are loyal to Warren Jeffs, and his representatives. Of course they are going to declare it an accident. These guys lie with impunity to cover their butts, and to protect the community.

    When is Arizona going to smarten up, boot those guys out on their sorry asses, and replace them with non FLDS marshals?

    • Jeff B April 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I find this info False! I have had the help of these Officers there and they do not side with the Warren Jeffs Clan! They have helped me many times helping with enforcement and even arresting people here. SO get your facts straight!

      • Simone April 15, 2014 at 3:42 am

        Thank you for taking a stand against the plygs. 🙂

  • R. Neuman April 13, 2014 at 12:12 am

    With all due respect, what in the world does this story have with Saint George, Utah? What is the connection?

    • Hunter April 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

      So what you’re saying is that the Salt Lake Tribune shouldn’t ever cover news from Bountiful, Provo or anywhere else in the state because it’s the SALT LAKE Tribune?

    • Rachel April 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Stories like this serve as a warning to parents, employers and children that large machinery is dangerous.

  • nearthecreek April 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

    St. George is the closest city, just 35 miles away from Colorado City. It’s a very closed community and they have no newspaper, at least none available to to the public. Those of us who live “near the creek” appreciate any and all news that comes out of this town and it’s twin, Hildale, Utah. Thanks St. George News!

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