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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

George Klien was killed in a truck accident on Highway 60 when his tractor was hit from behind

ASHTON, Iowa—George William Klien, 84, was driving a tractor when he was struck from behind by a semi-truck around 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. The accident occurred on Highway 60 near the 250th Street intersection.

Initial reports suggest that 22-year-old Tyler Dale Gisk was driving a 2023 International semi-truck with an oversized load when he hit Klien’s farm tractor. Klein was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Gisk was uninjured.

Investigation into this accident is still ongoing. No further details have been released.

The driver of the truck and the employer will likely be responsible for this death

Even though the complete details of the crash are not available, it is rather clear that the semi-truck driver was negligent in his failure to see Klien and his farm tractor traveling on the side of the roadway. It is likely that 22-year-old Gisk was employed by a commercial trucking company for which he was driving at the time of this terrible accident. If that is the case, the trucking company may be responsible, through the doctrine of vicarious liability, for Gisk’s actions.

Vicarious liability is a legal term that describes a situation in which a third party may be held responsible for the actions of another, especially where one party has direct oversight of the negligent party. Commercial trucking companies are directly responsible for the hiring and training of their drivers. In fact, due to the dangerous nature of driving trucks with oversized loads, trucking companies must provide specialized education to their employees that are responsible for hauling oversized cargo. Therefore, due to the circumstances, the trucking company that employed Gisk at the time of this crash would likely be vicariously liable for Klien’s death.

Additionally, Klien’s family may be able to recover from the manufacturer of the truck. In recent years, trucking companies and many semi-truck manufacturers have begun to install crash-avoidance technology in their trucks. Some of this technology is similar to what we see in modern passenger cars, acting as a “third eye” of sorts in recognizing hazards on the roadway, unwanted lane departures, and objects in blind spots. As previously noted, further investigation is needed to know if Gisk’s 2023 truck had this technology and, if so, why it failed to prevent the crash that killed Klien.

An investigation into this accident will be needed before we know exactly what happened here. However, the family left behind will likely have the right to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of Mr. Klien to make sure those responsible are held accountable and the same mistakes are not repeated in the future. We handle both lane assistance and truck accident cases across the nation and are able to assist in this process if needed.

Until then, we offer our condolences to the Klien family and pray that they may have peace during this difficult time.

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