Speed blamed for Tasmania forklift death

Ethan James
·1-min read

A teenage farmhand in Tasmania who died in a forklift rollover was driving inappropriately and at excessive speed without a seatbelt, a coroner has ruled.

Eric Marshall, 19, made an inexplicable sharp right-hand turn at the northwest property in October 2014 moments before being thrown from the four-tonne forklift and crushed.

Mr Marshall, who was an inexperienced forklift driver, had been using the machinery to move a tyre.

In findings published on Thursday, coroner Andrew McKee described his death as a tragic accident.

Mr McKee examined supervision levels and safety protocols at the farm and determined the "primary cause" of Mr Marshall's accident was his driving.

"Unfortunately a momentary act of less than diligent driving by Mr Marshall has resulted in his death," Mr McKee wrote.

"He was driving it at an excessive speed and was swerving over the roadway."

Mr McKee noted the farm manager was away and another man without an appropriate licence was supervising Mr Marshall the day of his death.

However, he concluded Mr Marshall's erratic driving was not foreseeable.

Mr McKee said people at the farm had historically given him reminders about performing duties in a safe manner.

The coroner made no recommendations and said the farm had taken appropriate steps to make sure similar accidents don't occur.