In October the dairy where a worker fell into a sewage pond with a forklift got a significantly-reduced fine. New information hints at why.

The state alleged the sewage ponds were not well fortified, causing the bank to collapse when the forklift driver (a local man with three children) drove close to one.

The incident is sparking investigation and change throughout the dairy industry, and the victim's girlfriend is now a spokeswoman for the union.

But the dairy has presented a compelling case to the state that a) the driver was not supposed to go near the sewage ponds with the forklift and b) he had methamphetamine in his system.

The company is trying to argue he was impaired. The coroner is hesitant to say there was enough to impair him.

He was working the graveyard shift, and his girlfriend says he had been complaining of fatigue. It is possible the man took a small amount of meth to help stay awake, or maybe hours prior to working but it was still in his bloodstream.

Because it was an industrial accident, state investigators do not have to release the full details to media.

steverts