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Mapleville teen killed when pinned by forklift

Youth was helping to remove tree from golf course

Youth was helping to remove tree from golf course

February 22, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

BEAVER CREEK - A Mapleville teenager died Thursday afternoon after he was pinned under a forklift that overturned at Beaver Creek Country Club, employees and family members said.

Family members identified the victim as Nevin Petre, who was helping his father remove a tree from the golf course.

Nevin was operating the forklift while his father, Samuel Petre, sawed the tree, country club employee Rod Steiner said. The forklift's boom was resting against the tree to help guide it to the ground, Steiner said.

The tree was rotten on the inside and fell sooner than expected, causing the forklift to overturn, and Nevin was pinned beneath the cab, Steiner said. The accident happened just after 1 p.m.

"When the crane was lifted up and tilted, either he fell out or he jumped out, just a panic reaction," Steiner said.

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Ryan Acre, another country club employee who was sawing trees nearby, said he tried to lift the heavy forklift with a front end loader, but it wasn't strong enough. He and Samuel Petre attempted to dig Nevin out from under the forklift until rescue crews arrived and took over.

Nevin was taken to Washington County Hospital in critical condition, Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Tony Veney said.

Veney described Nevin's injuries as "multi-system."

While the teenager was trapped under the equipment, he told his father he didn't think he was going to make it, Nevin's uncle, Leonard Hege, said.

"They were able to kiss each other goodbye," Hege said.

Hege described the teenager as "a fine young man" who frequently worked with his father.

"Anything he put his hands to, he stuck at it until it was done," he said.

The family has a farm on Mapleville Road, but often took on odd jobs for extra money, such as the tree removal for Beaver Creek Country Club, Hege said.

Nevin attended Meadow View Mennonite Church and was committed to the Lord, his neighbor Jonathan Diller said.

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the incident, spokeswoman Rhonda Wardlaw said.

The Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co., Community Rescue Service and a Maryland State Police trooper also responded to the scene, a Washington County emergency dispatcher said.

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