Police and firefighters responded to the report of a warehouse worker trapped by a forklift at a Cleveland Road business this morning. A medical helicopter later flew the patient from Fisher-Titus Medical Center to another facility.
Norwalk Police Capt. Eric Hipp said the forklift tipped over as Palazzo Bros. Inc. employee Rob Counts pulled a trailer out of a building. The cause is unknown.
“The forklift fell over and he fell off,” human resource officer Dee Hinant said. “We originally thought it was worse than it was. … The forklift fell over and we were all scared to death.”
She believes Counts tried to catch himself as he fell from the forklift. Hinant stressed that Counts was not trapped by the forklift.
“I think he just wrenched his back. I’m not personnel; I can’t say for sure,” she added.
“He was contained in the driver’s cage,” Hipp said, but wasn’t trapped.
Hinant said it was unclear if Counts was trapped when someone reported the accident. Counts was outside working by himself with his supervisor inside at the time, which is typical for his daily responsibilities.
“Someone came in and said we needed to call,” Hinant said. “There’s never been a problem before. I don’t know why it turned.”
Dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call at 10:02 a.m.
As of about 10:15 a.m., Counts was conscious, but Officer Kevin Schaffer had no other information. When the Reflector then approached the accident site, a Palazzo Bros. employee ordered a reporter and photographer off the business grounds.
Hipp later confirmed Counts was conscious.
“I think they were concerned about (his) back, leg and neck,” he said.
Hinant speculated there may have been a dip in the pavement. Hipp said the asphalt parking lot surface looked smooth.
“I don’t know if he hit it wrong,” Hinant said, calling the job Counts was doing “an every-day situation.”
“It was very surprising for us,” she added.