MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota OSHA is investigating after a worker was killed in the Golden Valley Menards lumber yard. James Stanback, 19, was driving a forklift when a wooden pallet fell, wedging him underneath. His family mourns the loss of a young man who they believe was so promising.
“He was the nicest young man you could meet,” Sister Mystaya Stanback said, incredulous that he was really gone.
“I can’t believe I’m talking about him in the past tense, what happened in Menards was a tragedy.”
James Stanback had been working at the Golden Valley site for less than two months.
“We have a lot of questions, there are a lot of questions,” Mystaya Stanback said.
Their questions revolve around the forklift he used and the type of training he had. What is clear is the type of young man he was.
“He was proud of everything he did. Failure was not something he was going to do. Whatever he thinks, he was going to get there, ”Mystaya Stanback said.
READ MORE: Family identify Menards employee killed in forklift crash as 19-year-old James Stanback
They lost a brother and father in 2016. Yet James Stanback graduated from Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, and he became the man of the house.
“That’s what he chose to do. To help support my mom, build good credit so he can eventually buy my mom a house. It was his goal in life. Go to college and take care of my mom and little brother, ”Mystaya Stanback said.
And she says she wants to make sure people know what her brother stood for.
“James was a hardworking and compassionate young man who wanted nothing more for his family. He would never hurt a fly on the wall. I just want him to have respect, and I want you all to know who he is, ”Mystaya Stanback said.
Protesters gathered outside the Ménards in Golden Valley on Friday night after it reopened. Some tried to block the entrance before the police evacuated them. The store ended up closing early, just like Thursday.
Minnesota OSHA said it would inspect Menards work areas for safety or health risks and attempt to determine what caused or contributed to the crash.
It will also examine whether existing OSHA standards have been violated. The family set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.