Every industry has its unique safety hazards, and while some dangers are known and addressed to avoid workplace accidents, others are often not anticipated. A tragic work accident recently occurred in a state neighboring Missouri. It happened while a tow truck operator was attending to a vehicle that had broken down on Interstate 55.
Reportedly, a 22-year-old worker was busy removing a disabled vehicle parked on the shoulder of the Interstate when a passing semi truck smashed into him. The tow truck driver was killed instantly. The 64-year-old semi driver suffered no injuries and was cited for improper use of traffic lanes and failure to yield to an authorized emergency vehicle.
Two lanes of the Interstate were closed for several hours while investigators were on the scene. The road was reopened later, though the investigation is ongoing. This tragic accident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Understandably, nighttime is particularly dangerous for emergency vehicle operators working on busy roadways.
The surviving family members of the young man that lost his life in this work accident will naturally struggle to come to terms with a future without him. Families nationwide, including in Missouri, may find that the end-of-life expenses and sudden loss of income are overwhelming at such a difficult time. However, financial relief may be pursued through the workers’ compensation program. Furthermore, because this death was caused by a third-party, a civil wrongful death claim may be filed against the semi driver, the registered owner of the vehicle and the driver’s employer. The workers’ comp system typically provides compensation for a funeral and burial along with lost wages, and additional documented financial losses may be sought in a third party civil claim.
Source: pantagraph.com, “Investigation ongoing in crash that killed tow truck driver“, Kevin Barlow, Sept.21, 2015