A Greene County man has died following a forklift accident at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Midway on Wednesday morning.
The circumstances and cause of his death remain unclear.
Michael Nance, 38, of Shipley Road, in southern Greene county, was pronounced dead after being transported from the distribution center to Takoma Regional Hospital, according to Robert Sayne, director of Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Sayne told The Greeneville Sun in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon that it is not yet clear whether the man died of natural causes before the accident occurred, or as a result of the accident.
An autopsy has been ordered, and will be performed at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.
Sayne said that Greene County 911 dispatched two EMS ambulances to the distribution center about 9:45 a.m. in connection with what the 911 dispatcher said was an accident involving the collision of two forklifts.
Responding with the two EMS ambulances was EMS shift supervisor Robert Pershing, Sayne said.
When the EMS units arrived, Sayne said, they found Wal-Mart employees performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on Nance, who was subsequently determined to be in full cardiac arrest.
EMS personnel continued to perform CPR on Nance "all the way to the hospital," Sayne said, but Nance was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.
Sayne said that he thinks that the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) will conduct an investigation.
Martha Deacon, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said that agency's TOHSA division sent an inspector to the Wal-Mart Distribution Center on Wednesday.
Deacon said it likely will take four to six weeks to complete the state investigation of the fatal workplace accident.
Sayne said that Wal-Mart officials told EMS personnel that the company also plans to conduct its own investigation.
A spokesman at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that there had been a death but told the Sun that the center staff was not authorized to provide any information on the incident at this time.