Elgin great-grandfather dies after being struck by debris while driving granddaughter to new home

CLEVELAND (WLS) -- A great-grandfather from northwest suburban Elgin has died after being struck by debris while driving his granddaughter to her new home in Boston over the weekend.

Jim Putman, 72, was driving on I-90, a highway near Avon, Ohio, when a piece of debris fell off a truck and into his windshield. Putman was struck and taken to a nearby hospital, where he died Sunday morning.

Two other passengers, Putman's sister-in-law and his granddaughter, 27-year-old Jamie Putman of Crystal Lake, suffered cuts and bruises, the Daily Herald reports.

Putman was a widower with two sons, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. His family is at a loss.

"This was a trip that my father and I were going to take my middle child to start her new life in Boston," said Jim Putman, Jr.

Police said the driver of the truck, which was carrying vinyl fence, stopped about a mile past the accident to check his cargo, but then kept driving.

Putman's family isn't sure what to think.

"We don't want to destroy someone else's life 'cause chances are it's already happened. We just want to ask why," Putman, Jr., said.

The truck driver is described as a white man in his 50s or 60s, driving a white GMC or Chevrolet truck.

Anyone with information is asked to call Avon police at 440-934-1234.

As the family prepares a memorial service, their priority is to make sure truckers secure their loads so no other family has to go through what they have.
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