Victim dies after accident last year at Journal Star

Larry Helle, 61, died Nov. 23 following nearly a year of ongoing health complications caused by a forklift accident at the Journal Star where he worked. He underwent numerous operations and treatments following the accident that resulted in amputation of one leg.

An employee witnessing the scene said he was sure someone had died judging from the amount of blood. One employee used his belt to make a tourniquet in an attempt to stem the blood loss.

Helle was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center where his leg eventually had to be amputated. He never recovered and spent nearly a year in hospitals and nursing homes.

OSHA investigated the accident for several months and issued fines to the Journal Star of $35,802 for three violations the agency labeled as serious.

Journalists at the newspaper were ordered not to report on the accident.

Preceding the accident there had been numerous complaints about unsafe conditions. Empty liquor bottles were frequently seen under bushes outside the pressroom door.

Helle was a U.S. Army veteran. He died at the Loft Rehabilitation and Nursing (home) of Canton 11 months after the accident.

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