Fall kills worker at Belding Fruit Storage facility

Posted at 2:08 PM, Oct 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-23 17:15:46-04

Arturo “Sam” Medina, 62 (courtesy photo)

BELDING, Mich. — A man changing light bulbs at a  fruit storage facility died after falling about 20 feet Saturday morning.

The accident happened at the Belding Fruit Storage facility in Ionia County’s Otisco Township around 8:05 a.m. Saturday, according to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators say the employee, Arturo “Sam” Medina, 62, of Gowen was attempting to change light bulbs in one of the facility’s large fruit cooling rooms. He was inside an apple crate and a co-worker had used a forklift to raise Medina up to a height of approximately 20 feet. The bottom of the apple crate was rotted and then gave way, allowing the crate to tip over and eject Medina, who was not wearing a safety harness or hard hat.

Medina then fell 20 feet to the concrete floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Medina was a 38-year employee of the Belding Fruit Storage facility.

Ionia County Sheriff’s Office victim advocates and management personnel from Belding Fruit Storage are making arrangements to have grief counseling services available to all employees as they return to work Monday morning.

MIOSHA was called and responded to the scene Saturday morning. They are still investigating the incident.

Also responding to the scene were the Belding Fire Department, Life EMS, the Sparrow Hospital medical examiner investigator and Lakes Funeral Home.