The Motueka man who was crushed to death this morning when around one and a half tonnes of granite slabs fell on him has been named.
He was 55-year-old local man Raymond Hibbs.
The accident happened at Quaystone Ltd, a Motueka stonemasonry business, around 7.45am.
Mr Hibbs and another worker were unloading a truckload of granite slabs using a crane mounted on the back of the truck and a forklift. The man was standing on the bed of the truck when the load fell on top of him, crushing him on the ground.
Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews of Motueka police said Mr Hibbs would have been killed instantly.
He said the pair had just started to unload the 2.5m square slabs sheet-by-sheet when the accident happened. He had spoken to the co-worker on the forklift who had seen the accident occur but could not say what the cause of the accident was.
Mr Hibbs’ family and Quaystone staff were being supported by Motueka Victim Support.
The workyard, whose gates are framed by a pair of stone cairn crosses, is filled with piles of boulders and slabs of stone. Mr Andrews said the business makes all sorts of stoneware, including granite counter tops and signs.
Police and Department of Labour inspectors were investigating the incident.