Kin seeks answers in horror death of grandma fatally impaled by forklift at Walmart

webnexttech | Kin seeks answers in horror death of grandma fatally impaled by forklift at Walmart

A heartbroken Texas family is seeking answers after their beloved matriarch was fatally impaled by a forklift at a Walmart distribution center. Elena Rios — a 68-year-old mother of four and grandmother of 13 — was working a half-day at the Walmart distribution center in Fort Worth on Feb. 16 when the horror occurred. Rios worked for Walmart for 10 years and was certified to use the forklift she was operating at the time. Her bereaving family first learned of the accident on the news and were provided “conflicting information about what occurred” to Rios, according their lawyer, Ty Stimpson, in a statement. Rios had planned to spend the later part of her fated day watching her granddaughter’s softball game. Granddaughter Danielle Rios also recalled how her grandma helped her find her quinceañera and prom dresses, telling NBC 5, “She took me to the casino for my first time,” too. “We did a lot together, every weekend.” Danielle said her final memory of her grandmother may be the one she now clings to the most — the two had a sleepover together the night before Rios died. “I’m glad that I stayed that night and got to see her one more time and tell her, ‘Goodnight’ and, ‘See you tomorrow.’ Or else she would have spent her last night by herself,” Danielle said. One of Rios’s daughters, Bianca Villanueva, said her mom was “everything” to their family. “She was going to meet me, and we were going to go to my niece’s softball game. And that didn’t even happen,” Villanueva said. “I want to know what happened,” Villanueva said. “I miss her. And I just want to know why.” Villanueva said she wasn’t notified of her mother’s death until after already seeing it on the news and calling Walmart. “Why wasn’t I notified if I am on her emergency contact?” she asked. The family and their lawyer have set up a website to ask the public for information about the fatal accident. “I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel lost, I feel numb,” Villanueva said. “Right now, we’re hurting. We have questions as to what happened. No answers, yet.” A Walmart rep told the NBC outlet that the company is conducting an internal investigation. “Our deepest condolences go out to Elena’s family. We are conducting an internal investigation and cooperating with OSHA. At Walmart, the safety and well-being of all our associates is our top priority,” the representative said. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.

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