John Sanford Sr. loved going camping with his son. The precious time he spent with his son will always be a cherished memory, Sanford said.
John Sanford Jr., 18, died Monday at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo from injuries he sustained at his workplace last week, according to the Lucas County Coroner's office.
"He was my best buddy, and I'm going to miss him," Sanford Sr. said. "But I know that he's in heaven because he was a strong Christian, a good Christian."
Sanford Jr., employed at J&S Fabrications on Ohio 19 in Green Creek Township, was operating a forklift when the accident happened. Sanford Jr. thought he put the forklift in park, but instead placed the machine in neutral before walking in front of it, according to an officer with the Sandusky County Sheriff's office. The forklift struck him, then pinned him against a trash receptacle.
Sanford Sr. said his son may have sustained some brain injuries from the accident.
Sanford Jr. was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, where doctors put him in a coma immediately. He never regained consciousness, though he appeared to show signs of movement, his father said.
"There for a while I really thought he was going to pull through, then he took a turn for the worse," Sanford Sr. said.
Sanford Jr. was participating in a school-to-work program at Vanguard Vocational Center in Fremont and typically worked at J&S Fabrications for a half day.
His father said Sanford Jr. was learning to be a welder and had hoped to become an underwater welder working on water towers.
Sanford Sr. said the last couple of days have been difficult for his family.
"We're right on the line," the elder Sanford said. "We're hanging in there."
Sanford Jr. played football for Clyde High School, played trumpet in the band and was a Boy Scout with Troop 359 of Clyde.
Sanford Sr. said his son could look on the bright side of anything.
"He was a pretty good guy," his father said. "Everybody liked him."
Visitation will be 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. today at Mitchell-Auxter Funeral Home, 218 S. Main St., Clyde. The funeral will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Victory Christian Fellowship Church, 2051 Oak Harbor Road, Fremont, after an hour visitation.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
* Visitation will be 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. today at VMitchell-Auxter Funeral Home, 218 S. Main St., Clyde.
* Funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday after an hour visitation at Victory Christian Fellowship Church. Burial will follow at McPherson Cemetery.