Advance Auto Parts is challenging a fine proposed by a state labor agency in the 2018 death of a worker in Roanoke.

The auto parts retailer should pay $12,726 for not ensuring proper training, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry said in a June 11 citation released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Dec. 13, an employee operating a stock picker had finished placing a product on a shelf at the company’s distribution warehouse in Roanoke, the citation says. As the employee in the machine was descending and backing up, he crushed and fatally injured another employee who was operating a pallet jack.

“The employer failed to ensure that drivers looked in the direction of and kept a clear view of the path of travel,” the citation says.

Advance Auto is contesting the proposed fine, Paul Saunier, regional health director for the department, said Thursday.

Saunier declined to say why the company decided to challenge the penalty, or when the dispute might be resolved.

Advance Auto did not respond this week to emails and phone messages seeking comment.

“We are deeply saddened by this situation and our focus right now is on the Team Member’s family and our Distribution Center Team,” an Advance Auto spokesman said in December.

“We are looking into the circumstances around the accident, and out of respect to the Team Member’s family, we are not commenting any further at this time.”

The company and the state’s labor department have not identified the employees involved.

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Henri Gendreau covers crime in Roanoke and the surrounding area.

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