Avon Mountain crash inspires changes to state laws - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Avon Mountain crash inspires changes to state laws

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Avon Mountain crash inspires changes to state laws (WFSB) Avon Mountain crash inspires changes to state laws (WFSB)

Wednesday marked 10 years since the horrific crash on Avon Mountain.

A runaway dump truck slammed into stopped traffic on the morning of July 29, 2005 which killed four people and injured many more.

By the end of that awful day, a history of safety violations and a lapsed insurance policy was exposed leaving David Wilcox as the undisputed “bad guy” in a crash that took four lives.

Wilcox owned the truck that was involved in the crash and after the crash he lost his company and then faced criminal charges for manslaughter.

About three months after the crash, Wilcox was so angry with Eyewitness News that he drove into one of the station’s cameras and gave it to the crew as he drove off.

His first manslaughter trial ended with a hung jury.

Then he pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to six years in prison as part of a plea deal.

He remained locked up until earlier this year, and is now a free man but is still in legal battles.

An insurance case related to the crash is still going on, and a bankruptcy filing from June claims his personal debts are more than double his assets.

His Windsor home is also in foreclosure, and his divorce became final while he was locked up.

Eyewitness News asked Wilcox, through his lawyer, for comment.

Both declined to speak about the crash or the events afterward.

Bill Farrell, who is victim Maureen Edlund’s brother, said “nothing they do to Wilcox is going to help Maureen, nothing is going to bring her back. However in my heart if Mr. Wilcox had come up to me at some point in time and said ‘listen I messed up, I cut corners and people paid for it,’ I'm sorry that would have gone along way for me."

That apology never happened, at least not from Wilcox.

Several lawmakers spoke out after it came to light that loopholes in state law allowed that truck to be out on the mountain without proper insurance coverage.

"If Wilcox was held to the same degree of scrutiny as the rest of us were, chances are his truck would not have been on the road that day,” said crash survivor Mark Robinson. “If it was on the road, at least it would have been insured. But as a result of that loophole."

"The problem is too often we don't foresee these things until they happen,” said James Amann, former Speaker of the House.

Amann was Speaker of the House at the time of the crash and he became a co-sponsor of legislation passed in a special session that fall, designed to change state law so notice would go to the Department of Motor Vehicles if commercial insurance lapses, the same as it does for private cars.

Commercial policies were left out of the 1993 law designed to ensure insurance would be in place. Nobody seems to know why.

Even though many local legislators had heard complaints for years, it wasn’t until after the wreck that money was spent to improve the road, add signs, put in a police ticketing area, and even a runaway truck ramp.

Amann said he hopes the changes to the law and the road will be enough.

"I think we did everything we could at that particular time to fill that void and to make sure that we have a much safer area than we had before that accident,” Amann said.

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