Oregon readers will be saddened to hear of the death of a man who once starred in a reality television show with ties to our state. The man, Bart Colantuono, starred on the History Channel's show, Ax Men. He was on the job in our state when he died, leaving his family to consider making a claim against our state's workers' compensation insurance program.
At the time of his death, Colantuono was flying a helicopter holding logs. The copter had been leased for use by a firm in Mill City. Others at the work site reported to officials that they heard the logs being released from the helicopter just prior to the fatal crash. Then they say the flying machine fell to the ground. Colantuono died at the scene.
Now, Oregon officials are investigating the incident. As they do, they will likely speak with eye witnesses to the event and review the safety record of the helicopter. This information will be used to determine if the death could have been prevented. This investigation will be concurrent with the efforts of the surviving family to obtain benefits from the workers' compensation program.
Workers' compensation in Oregon is intended to benefit those who have been injured on the job. In addition, the payments can be claimed by family members who survive a worker who is killed. The money may be used to help make ends meet while family struggles to move forward after the devastating loss of a loved one. Because of the importance of these payments, it may do well for people to consider gaining an understanding of their rights before submitting a claim in order to secure the maximum benefits payable.
Source: KPTV - FOX 12, 'Ax Men' pilot dies in Oregon helicopter crash, No author, Sept. 17, 2013