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RecycleForce worker crushed

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify some details.

RecycleForce employees woke up this morning anticipating a big day at work - the beginning of a series of public recycling events for the RecycleIndy Challenge. Instead they arrived to the shocking news that their co-worker, James Dozier was crushed to death earlier in the morning.

"We had an employee get crushed this morning in a forklift accident around 6:30 a.m. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors were unable to revive him," Ryan Puckett, a RecycleForce spokesman, told NUVO. "He was here with three other people .. trying to change the screen in the Beast (a material crushing and sorting machine). and ended up pinned between his forklift and a guard rail."

More details will come and RecycleForce is working with OSHA on a complete investigation of the accident. For now, Puckett could say that Dozier was around 30.

"He was here just over a year, he's one of the full-time employees," Puckett said.

"Anyone who is full-time is a success story," he added, with reference to RecycleForce's dual mission to train and enable successful re-entry for ex-offenders in addition to operating a successful materials reclamation business. "Anyone that is trying is a success story, but anyone who is a full-time employee is a real real success story.

Though a memorial fund has yet to be established, Puckett said, "I wouldn't rule it out."

"Everybody's really shaken up. For (RecycleForce President) Gregg Keesling, this was one of his kids - an extension of his family."

RecycleForce's work environment fosters a family feeling. Employees begin each day with a circle time where everyone is welcome to talk about any issues, concerns or challenges.

"A ritual born out of family tribal traditions," Puckett said, noting that three employees were with Dozier when the accident occurred. Grief counselors are on the scene as the crew attempts to absorb the shock and return to work. The Corporate Challenge/America Recycles Day goal to collect 500,000 pounds of e-waste at the RecycleForce facility remains in the effect.

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