Fraud Trial Starts for Owner of Truck in Fiery Conn. Crash

March 4, 2008

A former business owner whose truck was involved in a fatal chain-reaction crash at the base of Avon Mountain in Connecticut in 2005 went on trial yesterday.

David Wilcox, 72, owned a dump truck that lost control and descended Route 44 into a line of morning commuters on July 29, 2005. Four people, including the truck’s driver, were killed.

Wilcox is charged with four counts of manslaughter in one case, and another case in which he faces one count each of insurance fraud, attempted larceny and conspiracy.

Jury selection began in Superior Court in Hartford, but it was not immediately known Monday whether the case would involve all of the charges or only those related to the insurance fraud allegations.

Messages were left with his attorneys.

His wife, 42-year-old Donna Wilcox, pleaded no contest last week to insurance fraud, attempted larceny and conspiracy. She is due to be sentenced April 30.

Prosecutors say Wilcox and his wife tried to restore liability insurance coverage on the truck within 20 minutes of learning of the crash, and that Donna Wilcox did not disclose the crash to the insurance agent she contacted.

Killed in the crash were motorists Barbara Bongiovanni, 54, of Torrington; Maureen Edlund, 60, of Canton; Paul A. “Chip” Stotler, 42, of New Hartford; and the truck driver, Abdulraheem Naafi, 41, of Hartford.

Eleven people were injured, five seriously.

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