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Forklift driver faces lawsuit after running over toddler and allegedly refusing calls to 911

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Want to get fuming mad? Keep reading this and prepare to curse at your computer screen.

A forklift driver at the Plant City Farm & Flea Market ran over a toddler with a forklift two years ago.

Tragic, but not necessarily infuriating.

That forklift driver, Kevin Naftzger, and his supervisor allegedly told Elvira De Leon Guzman her son’s injuries were her fault, shoved the mother and then allegedly told other workers they would be banned from the flea market if they called 911.

Young Osvaldo Reyes suffered broken bones so bad they actually punctured his skin after being run over while sitting in an area where children reportedly routinely played.

Screaming yet? It’s pretty certain after that little boy was left with bones popping through his skin and all.

So now the mother is suing Naftzher, the Plant City Farm & Flea Market and a host of other involved parties for negligence and a variety of other complaints.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for Elvira De Leon Guzman argue the forklift driver was habitually “reckless” and was often yelled at by other workers for driving at an “alarming rate of speed” and failing to use a horn to warn pedestrians as he approached.

It’s not clear how much Guzman is suing the involved parties for – the lawsuit just seeks damages and any other compensation a judge sees fit – but if the allegations are true, here’s hoping it’s enough to put that young boy and the next three generations of his offspring through college.

Oh, and hopefully pay for therapy for his mother, who no doubt suffered an indescribable amount of fear and pain while watching her son endure such a horrific accident.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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