Fears that man crushed by forklift may have had heart attack

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L&B POLICE SIGNBy Andrea McCallum

A MAN who was crushed by a forklift in East Lothian on Friday is feared to have had a heart attack just moments before the tragic accident.

George Thompson, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics who rushed to Greendykes Farm, MacMerry, on Friday morning.

And now his grief-stricken brother John has spoken of his devastation following the death of his younger brother.

John Thompson, 67, said: “George was always careful, and was always scared something would happen.

“I don’t think the machine trapped him, as it can’t have been going more than five miles per hour.

“I had a heart attack when I was 57, so I’m worried the same thing has happened to him.

“I was always telling him to be careful.”

John, from Port Seton, said that his brother – known to friends as “Godd” – was a great family man.

He said: “He lived for his family, and would do anything for them – if there was anything wrong in the family, he would be there.

“He was a great dad, and was super with his children.

“He was very particular about his work, and everything had to be spot-on.”

George, who was one of six siblings, was working for farmer Martin Steven at the time of the tragedy.

Mr Steven said: “It wasn’t his style to take a chance and walk behind the machine.

“George had done a lot of work for me over the past 15 years – he was always very careful, and I would say the same for the driver of the forklift.

“Nobody knows what happened, and the driver is blaming himself.

“They had worked together all summer, and we are all very safety-conscious on the farm.

“It’s been a terrible shock to us, but hopefully we will know more after the post-mortem.”

A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Police said on Friday that there were no suspicious circumstances, and that the Health and Safety Executive had visited the scene of the incident.

A post-mortem is due to take place tomorrow.

John added that he believed the driver of the forklift should not be blamed for the incident.

He said: “The driver never heard him shouting or bawling, and I don’t think that the machine would have trapped him enough to kill him.

“The police said it was an accident.”

George, who lived on Brierbush Road in McMerry, is survived by his son Brian, 33, and Kelly, aged 30, and siblings Jimmy, 72, Margaret, 56, Izabell, 63, and Morag, aged 55, and two grandchildren.

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