A man died after an estimated 2,500-pound load fell on a 50-year-old man working in a truck in a parking lot at Blue Hill Plaza in Pearl River this afternoon, trapping him under the load, according to Orangetown Police.
Three police officers using rescue bars managed to lift the load enough so that the man could be pulled out from under the load, Lt. Anthony Mercurio said. Once freed, Rockland Paramedics member Kevin Menon was able to immediately start CPR on the victim.
The injured man had no pulse when he was pulled out, officials said, but was alive and in very critical condition when he was taken by members of Pearl River Ambulance Corps to Nyack Hospital. He was pronounced dead later in the day.
The incident took place about 1 p.m. in a tractor trailer in a rear parking lot of 1 Blue Hill Plaza in Pearl River. Police said it appears that the load was being moved from one truck to another.
The load apparently came crashing down on the victim as a piece of lifting equipment failed or malfunctioned, according to police. One Orangetown police officer was also seeking medical attention as a result of the effort to move the heavy load.
"They had loaded computer stuff on the white truck from the building," Orangetown Police Detective Sgt. George Garrecht said. "That big truck couldn't get down there with a forklift. They loaded that up with about six of those boxes with computer parts or mainframes. They backed the two trucks together and put the lift gates down and were transferring (the boxes) across the lift gates.
"As you can see on the North American (truck), the lift gate against the trailer went down and it toppled over. I guess the guy was on the other side and it toppled onto him. (It looks like) they shouldn't have been doing it."
Initial estimates had the weight of the crate at 1,000 pounds. Garrecht said it was approximately 2,500 pounds.
Orangetown police are investigating the incident with assistance from OSHA and the Rockland County Sheriff's Department's Bureau of Criminal Identification. Police ask that anyone who may information about this incident call them at 845-359-2121.