FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – An employee at the Home Depot in Fleming Island died after an industrial accident last week at the home improvement store on County Road 220, according to an incident report from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Elijah Chute, 22, was injured in a collision between a forklift and a semitruck on Nov. 9 and was transported to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died within 90 minutes.
The report does not say exactly what happened, but it does state that the semitruck driver, a 49-year-old from North Miami, was not injured and provided a statement to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was alerted to the incident and sent a compliance officer to investigate.
Chute’s mother described her son as having a very big heart and being a helpful, generous and dependable person. News4Jax spoke with her by phone on Thursday, and she said she has been devastated since her son’s death.
Those who he worked with agreed.
“Elijah always had a smile on his face and was willing to jump in and help anyone who needed it. We’re heartbroken for the loss of our friend and fellow associate, and his family are in our prayers,” a spokesperson for Home Depot said.
Friends of the family have been organizing online, starting a meal train and donation campaign to help the family.
Meanwhile, News4Jax has reached out to the medical examiner’s office for an update on its part of the investigation.