Former employee at Goodwill where man was killed questions safety practices

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A former employee at the Goodwill store where a man was killed by a forklift is talking about the store's training practices.

He told KIRO7's David Ham that it's almost impossible for anyone to fail the test to operate a forklift there.

KIRO 7 obtained pictures of the forklift and the accident scene at the Lynnwood Goodwill store where 69-year-old Chuck Lee was killed.

Detectives said that on Monday a forklift hit Lee, who was then crushed when a box fell on top of him.

His family told Ham they believe there was negligence involved.

When the former employee who drove forklifts at the same store heard what happened, he called KIRO 7, raising red flags.

“That’s frightening to be driving around something and a little mistake and somebody winds up dead.  I think that Goodwill takes it all very lightly,” he said.

KIRO 7  asked him how easy it was to get certified by Goodwill to operate a forklift.

"We drove from one end down, stopped, put it in reverse, didn't pick up anything with the forks, didn't manipulate the forks,” he said.

He also told KIRO 7 the training session lasted only 30 minutes.

“You could not fail that class,” he said.

When asked if the accident was preventable, a Goodwill spokesperson said it was one of the things they were looking into.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is also looking into the safety practices at Goodwill.

The forklift operator told detectives he just saw a flash of blue, slammed on his brakes and then saw the box on top of Lee.

“Somewhere, they have got to change the process so it doesn’t happen again,” said the former Goodwill employee.

Detectives said they have surveillance video of the accident.  KIRO 7 requested a copy of the video, but Lynnwood police won't release it until the investigation is complete.

Lee's family said they are looking into legal action against Goodwill.

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