Security guard helps rescue trapped man in North Langley
A forklift operator injured in an industrial accident on Nov. 19 is doing “amazingly well,” says the senior vice-president of his employer, Mitsui Homes.
In fact, the employee, Johnny Sun, only missed two days of work and was back on the job on Nov. 23, said Dave Fisher of Mitsui Homes.
Sun was operating a forklift at about 3:20 p.m. at Mitsui’s compound at 19707 94A Ave., in the North Langley industrial area. Mike’s K9 security guard Gordon Skidmore was patrolling an adjacent site for Kiewit Construction, when he heard screams coming from the Mitsui property.
He dashed towards the site but found the entrance was locked. He called 911 and the dispatcher at his company. Mike’s Canine owner Mike McIvor was nearby and, hearing the call, made his way to the site.
Together, the men cut into the compound to find Sun.
He was not difficult to find. Sun had been moving large packages of wood, each of which was wrapped. Fisher surmises that as the operator moved one load, the one behind it began to shift, and one load landed on top of Sun’s machine, crushing the cab and trapping him inside.
Fisher said it’s possible that the paper wrapping became slippery because of the icy weather, causing one load of lumber to shift and setting in motion the collapse of another load onto the forklift.
“When he was extricated, we were all fearing serious injuries,” Fisher said.
“Given the circumstances we were all concerned that it could have been so much worse.”
Sun was trapped for an hour or more before firefighters helped to rescue him.
He said he was scared, knowing that if Skidmore hadn’t heard his screams “I’d have been there the whole weekend.”
“I was screaming out of my lung,” Sun said, adding that throughout the ordeal, he was lying on his back and could not move his head. All he could see was wood.
He didn’t lose consciousness, but all he can remember is someone saying, “I’m calling 911. I’m calling 911.”
He suffered chipped teeth, bruising, and cuts to his head that required stitches.
Fisher said that the Sun was “following procedures very precisely” as he operated the forklift.
McIvor said it took only a minute or so to find the stricken worker, and he praised Skidmore for saving the man’s life by reacting as swiftly as he did.
McIvor acknowledged that it could have been a tricky situation in other ways: Skidmore left his job site in order to save a man’s life, and in the process left the Kiewit site unattended.
He called Kiewit “a very safety-oriented company,” and once he had explained what happened, Kiewit officials understood.
“They have invited us to their safety orientation and will use this as an example,” McIvor said.
Sun doesn’t know Skidmore, but if he could meet him he would tell him, “Thank you for being a Good Samaritan.”