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Man dead in forklift accident at Fairfax Home Depot

The man was pronounced dead on the scene, Fairfax County Police say.

FAIRFAX, Va. — A 43-year-old man is dead after a workplace accident at a Home Depot in Virginia, according to Fairfax County Police.

Officers and rescue personnel responded to the store on Merrilee Drive just after midnight Tuesday and found a man trapped under a forklift that had fallen on its side. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The man was identified by police as Paul Gato of Woodbridge, Virginia. 

A preliminary investigation found that Gato was operating the forklift, unloading a delivery shipment when the forklift tipped over and trapped Gato, according to police. An FCPD statement said the delivery driver heard the crash, saw Gato trapped and called for rescue crews and police. 

The investigation is ongoing, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there have been eight other workplace fatalities in the commonwealth of Virginia in 2021.

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