Family of forklift operator killed in P.V. accident speaks out

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PARADISE VALLEY and CASA GRANDE Ariz. - The family of a man who was killed while operating a forklift in Paradise Valley Friday night spoke out Saturday.

Lewis Acuña, who worked for Evergreen Turf, was delivering sod to a home near 40th Street and Lincoln Drive at about 6:30 p.m. Friday. He had just dropped off one load and was returning back to end of the very steep driveway for a second load when he lost control of the forklift.

The forklift picked up quite a bit of speed before it flipped on its side, ejecting Acuña, 29, and pinning him underneath. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Acuña, who lived just outside Arizona City but made the long drive into the Valley for work every week, leaves behind a wife and two little girls. 

Acuña's family and friends gathered in Casa Grande Saturday.

Acuña's sister told 3TV Acuña had been operating a forklift for about five years. She said her brother loved his job and never worried about his safety when he was running the forklift.

"I think the part he thought was the most dangerous was driving the big truck because he would drive up those big mountains and you know how some of those roads are, but I always thought that was what he thought was the most dangerous part," Cindy Acuña explained.

Investigators said they don't know if Acuña was wearing his seat belt or whether that would have prevented his death.