The photo and following articles were posted on Rodney’s Find A Grave memorial by volunteer Teresa.
PATEROS _ A maintenance man at Crisp-N-Spicy Growers Inc. was found dead in a controlled-atmosphere warehouse at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after becoming lodged between a forklift and a door.
Rodney Baker, 37, could not be revived by plant personnel or emergency medical technicians, who kept up cardiopulmonary resuscitation until they reached the Brewster hospital, said Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed.
Weed said Baker, who was in charge of the CA rooms, was last seen alive about 11:50 a.m., but that other employees hadn’t been worried about him because he usually worked alone.
But Baker’s wife became concerned about him after he failed to show up at home for lunch, as was his custom, employees told Deputy Coroner Steve Traylor.
After Mrs. Baker called the plant inquiring about her husband, a receptionist went looking for him and discovered his body about 2:30 p.m., Traylor said.
Traylor said it appeared Baker was inside a controlled-atmosphere room, apparently tightening rivets in the door. He had climbed up a forklift mast, and was attempting to climb down the other side to stand on a pallet in the forks.
But he apparently slipped and fell, becoming trapped between the mast and the door 5-6 feet above the floor, Traylor said. Employees had freed the victim to attempt resuscitation before police arrived, he said.
Traylor said a nurse showed him marks on Baker’s neck and chest, indicating the apparent accident victim had been wedged between the mast and the door.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine whether a sudden illness caused Baker, who had worked at Crisp-N-Spicy for several years, to fall.
Traylor said the plant management sent the remaining workers home for the day after the accident.
PATEROS _ An autopsy completed Thursday revealed the Pateros man who died in a fruit warehouse on Tuesday had been squeezed against a door by a forklift.
Rodney Baker, 37, apparently pressed the wrong button on the forklift and was squeezed against the warehouse door, which immediately rendered him unconscious, said coroner Gerald Rappe.
The coroner said Baker apparently climbed up the forklift’s mast, about six feet off the floor, to tighten a bolt on the door, and accidentally touched the wrong forklift control, moving him into, instead of farther away from the door.
Workers at Crisp-N-Spicy Growers Inc. found the longtime employee dead about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and released him, attempting cardiopulmonary resuscitation to no avail.
The coroner said there was no indication that Baker had fallen, as initially reported, or that he suffered from any other injury or disease.
Baker is survived by his wife, Lisa, and five children.
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