• February 23, 2022

Michael Pittman Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident off 390th Street near Gowrie, IA

Gowrie, IA -- February 19, 2022, 27-year-old truck driver Michael Pittman was struck and killed by another big rig off 390th Street near Gowrie.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. at a hog farm located at 1165 390th Street. Preliminary investigation suggests Pittman was operating one of two commercial tractor-trailers waiting to unload at the farm. Reports indicate he was out of his truck and walking between it and the second rig when the other driver reversed into him, pinning him between the trucks.

Pittman suffered fatal injuries in the accident.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Michael Pittman Accident off 390th Street near Gowrie

Several questions remain when considering the limited information reported by the press, but among them is this: Did both truck drivers work for the same company? That may seem less important than many other details, but it's really a key issue when considering the accident's aftermath.

Most states require companies to participate in the workers' compensation program, which provides a measure of assistance to workers injured (and the families of those killed) on the job. Workers' comp should apply no matter who the involved parties worked for, but a caveat of that program is that enrolled companies' employees are barred from taking legal action directly against their employer. However, if the victim and the other driver worked for different companies the victim's family may have the right to take action against the at-fault driver's employer.

Michael Pittman Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident off 390th Street near Gowrie, IA

Some might ask why anyone who receives workers' comp benefits would also take action against another company as well. Two big reasons spring to mind immediately:

  1. It’s a matter of principle as the responsible party for the accident should be held accountable and bear the costs of the damages;
  2. People don't always realize that workers' compensation basically forces employees to subsidize their own injuries. The program's benefits also never approach what the employees earned before they were hurt, creating a net loss that can be extremely detrimental to victims and their families as they struggle to recover from harmful or fatal workplace accidents.

A careful investigation will hopefully reveal more about how and why this tragedy happened. No matter what is learned, though, the victim's family deserves help in adjusting the best they can to their terrible loss.


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