CHESTERFIELD TWP. (WWJ) – Authorities say criminal charges are not expected to be filed in connection with the death of a 38-year-old man who was killed while shopping at a hardware store with his wife.
Investigators say they didn’t find any criminal negligence tied to Saturday’s death of Richard Colletti, who was killed when a pallet of ceramic tiles fell on him at the Menards store on Market Place Boulevard in Chesterfield Township. Authorities have called Colletti’s death a “tragic accident.”
Meantime, Attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced Wednesday that he has been retained by Colletti’s family to represent them with reference to all legal matters in connection with the accident.
“One can imagine a young couple looking to build their home,” said Fieger,”and a five -year-old child, they’ve been married for 11 years, looking forward to their future and it ending in an aisle-way of a building supply store.”
Police say the incident happened around 10:30 a.m., when 500 pounds of tiles came crashing down 12 to 15 feet from an overhead shelf, striking Colletti in the head. His wife was not injured.
“According to the reports that I’ve read, these tiles were placed in the aisle by a high-lo and I have not gotten any of the records from Menards and I’m certain there must be a security tape,” said Fieger. “I’m sure Menards knows they’re fully responsible.”
Colletti was rushed to McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens and later died from the injuries.
Lt. Brad Kersten told the Detroit Free Press that employees were placing pallets of merchandise up on the storage racks using a forklift about 15 or 20 minutes before the accident. The employees had moved to another area by the time Colletti and his wife walked down the aisle.
Authorities investigating the accident haven’t yet said how the pallet came loose and fell. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the incident but likely will not conduct its own independent investigation because the accident did not directly involve an employee, officials said.
Colletti’s funeral is Friday. He leaves behind his wife of 11 years, Cindy, and a 5-year-old son, Chase.