A federal judge has ruled that the insurance company for a Connecticut trucking company involved in a fiery fatal crash in 2005 does not have to pay victims and families of those killed, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, March 6. The ruling involves Bloomfield-based American Crushing and Recycling’s insurance carrier, Acadia Insurance Co. of Westbrook, Maine.
A dump truck owned by American Crushing went out of control while heading westbound down Avon Mountain on July 29, 2005, and slammed into 19 other vehicles that were stopped for a traffic signal in Avon. The fiery crash killed four people, including the truck’s driver, and injured 10 others.
U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton ruled last week that American Crushing’s dump truck was not insured at the time of the crash on Route 44. The ruling allows Acadia to keep $3 million in liability coverage, and also allows victims to file claims against their own insurance company, according to one attorney. “By having the judge’s ruling, it makes it easier for them to prevail on their own uninsured motorists claims because it establishes conclusively that there was no insurance,” Acadia attorney Charles Vermette told the AP.
Acadia issued a $2 million umbrella policy and a $1 million automobile policy from Sept. 1, 2004 to Sept. 1, 2005, but American Crushing owner David Wilcox’s wife canceled the company’s auto policy on 12 of its dump trucks before the fatal crash and received $39,976 refund credit from Acadia, according to the ruling.
Wilcox faces four counts of first-degree manslaughter, five counts of first-degree assault and charges related to destroying truck maintenance records and motor vehicle charges for not maintaining the truck brake and steering systems.