Good Samaritan Killed By Driver Following Accident, Family Responds

Posted at 7:49 PM, May 31, 2013

The family of a woman killed in a strange accident in Kentwood is trying to make sense of what happened Thursday afternoon.

Police say Margaret “Peggy” Pittman was struck and killed by another driver when she got out of her van to try to assist the other drivers following an accident.

“I have a wonderful wife. We’ve been together for 23 years,” said Adell Pittman, Peggy’s husband.

Adell Pittman and their three daughters spoke through tears about the accident that had claimed their wife and mother.

“She was there for me for everything. She helped me more than any other person,” said Jessica Pittman, Peggy’s daughter.

“If she didn’t have something, she would find a way to be able to get it for us,” said Brittany Pittman, Peggy’s daughter.

Brenda Wodarski dropped off flowers for the family Friday.

She worked with Peggy for eight years, most recently at The Children’s Garden daycare where the kids called her “Miss Eggy”.
“She was just a truly special person, truly special,” said Wodarski.

Meanwhile, there are lots of questions about the 76-year-old woman who police say hit and killed her following the initial accident.
Although police are not confirming a name, neighbors say it was Gloria VanPutten who lived just a couple blocks away from the crash site.

Those who knew her well said she would drive to the athletic fields at Calvin College nearby to read a book or walk.

They say she may have suffered from some mental health issues, although that may have had nothing to do with the crash.

Police did not confirm whether or not it was VanPutten at the wheel.

VanPutten’s driving record showed that she had gotten into an accident two years ago in May, 2011 in Kentwood, for failing to yield.

There was one injury reported, but nothing as serious as what happened after the accident in Kentwood Thursday.

Witnesses said the air bad had deployed in her maroon truck, but when she hit Peggy Pittman, they thought it had already deflated.

They say she was driving uphill, away from the accident scene, when Peggy put out her hands to try to get the truck to stop.

“The woman was right in front of the truck, holding her hands up, like stop, stop, and the truck accelerated, and just hit her, and then it backed up and hit her again,” said Terry Blessing, witness.

“I just know the air bag was already deployed from the maroon truck, before it hit the woman. I don`t know if she was sitting in the driver`s seat or leaning over or what. It was just crazy,” said Karl Blessing, witness.

Brenda and Peggy’s co-workers are creating a fund to help Peggy’s family pay for the unexpected expense of a funeral.

The family vows to continue to do good, despite what happened to Peggy in her attempt to help others.

“That’s in our hears, in our nature. You can’t turn your back on someone for one incident,” said Adell. “You can’t stay angry because the good Lord works in mysterious ways and the lord has taken my wife and the mother of our children for a reason. I ask people to pray for us to be strong together and build from this.”