Northampton man died after being crushed by forklift truck in horror accident

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A 23-year-old man from Northampton died after he was crushed by a forklift truck that fell on top of him, an inquest heard.

Azeem Latif, formerly of Louise Road, Northampton, was working as a warehouse labourer at Smart Waste Management, in Tiffield, when the fatal accident happened on June 15, 2012.

An inquest at County Hall held yesterday (Wednesday) heard Mr Latif, who moved to the UK from Pakistan in May 2011, was a business studies student who worked part-time at the waste recycling site.

Giving evidence, a work colleague, Tahir Rehman, said that on the day of the accident, the pair had been given the job of clearing out the warehouse to make space for a delivery lorry.

Mr Rehman, who was trained to use a forklift truck, said he had attempted to use the vehicle to move a metal ramp that he believed would be in the way of the lorry.

When he failed to move the ramp, Mr Rehman said he then went to get a clamp truck, which was capable of heavier lifting.

Mr Rehman said that when he returned to the forklift he saw Mr Latif getting in to the cab. He said: “I saw Azim in the forklift with the wheels slipping in the mud.

“The fork-lift tilted and he jumped out and was struck by the machine that pinned him to the ground.”

Emergency services were called, but Mr Latif was declared dead at the scene due to serious head and neck injuries.

The inquest on Wednesday heard Mr Latif had not been given permission by the company to use a fork-lift truck and had been given a verbal warning in the past by his site manager, Usman Sajjid, when he was caught sitting in one of the vehicles.

Giving evidence, Mr Sajjid said he was the only one who was trained to drive forklift trucks as well as Mr Rehman.

Mr Latif’s brother, Muhammad Mehboob, said he had an “amazing personality” and was very humble and obedient.

Mr Mehboob said: “He aspired to become a successful businessman and one of the reasons he came to the UK was to study business management.

“He was planning to return to Pakistan to complete his studies and then set up a business offering jobs to people in need.”

Mr Mehboob said his family had lost a “gem”, which could never be replaced.

A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death.