Paula Bellamy was going about her day doing her job as a "slinger" at the APM Terminals in Portsmouth, Virginia (VA), when her life came to a sudden, tragic end. She was hit and killed by a forklift.
Reports indicate the forklift operator picked up some steel bins and moved forward. As the forklift moved, the forklift operator's vision was obstructed and he wound up running over Bellamy, according to the Daily Press.
My deepest condolences go out to the Bellamy family. Losing a loved one is never easy, but it is especially difficult when the loss is so sudden. The emotions are probably a mixture of tremendous sadness and rage since this forklift accident appears to have been preventable.
Marine terminal regulations published by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration state that forklift drivers are supposed to travel in reverse if the load their vehicle is carrying obstructs the forward view. It appears this did not occur in this terrible accident.
Bellamy is the seventh person to lose his or her life in an industrial accident at Virginia's marine terminals since 2005.
"It's tragic," said Joe Harris, a port authority spokesman said to the Daily Press. "Any time there's a loss of life at the terminals, it's a tragedy."