Just last week we brought you the frightening statistic that 41 percent of fatal workplace injuries are in the transportation industry and this week’s story is a grim reminder of that. Late last month, a tow tuck driver was killed and a Colorado State Patrol trooper was injured in a roadside accident. Although it is currently unknown if the family members of the tow truck driver have applied for Colorado’s death and dependency benefits or if the injured officer has filed for workers’ compensation, both are likely eligible.
Many people in Weld County may think that state troopers are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits because their jobs may put them at risk on a daily basis, but they can apply for benefits just like anyone else. It would be horribly unfair to ask police officers and other members of law enforcement to put themselves in danger but deny them the same benefits that nearly every other Coloradoan can receive.
The accident happened in southern Weld County in between Fort Lupton and Brighton. The tow truck driver and state trooper were on the side of the road responding to a previous accident when a pickup truck driver appeared to run right into them. Authorities are still investigating what happened, but they do say that the trooper’s patrol car had its lights on indicating that drivers needed to merge into the next lane. Sadly, the pickup driver smashed into the patrol car, knocking it off the road.
Meanwhile, the tow truck driver was pinned under one of the vehicles and had to be freed by a good Samaritan. Sadly, the tow truck driver died shortly thereafter.
Source: ABC 7 News, “Tow truck driver killed, CSP trooper injured in crash on Highway 85 in Weld County,” Lance Hernandez, Aug. 24, 2013