|My friend Mark Robinson was in the horrific Avon Mountain crash. Mark wrote a book and released it this past fall. It's called Smoke, Fire and Angels (smoke fire and angels). 100% of the proceeds go to a fund for the victims and their families. If you go to the above website you'll see a video Mark and his wife made as well as a schedule of all upcoming appearances, links to write-ups on Mark and/or the book as well as a bunch of other information. If you get a chance please DO buy a copy and read it. It will stun you in many ways (least of all is the amount of research he did and the interviews he obtained). |
The purpose of this diary is for something else though. It's to post a copy of a letter Mark has written and sent to some Connecticut legislators regarding the lack of response by them to the seriousness of Avon Mountain conditions and the lack of reparations to the victims and/or their families.
It will only take a moment. Please, at the very least read Mark's letter.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to say to Mark, I think you are one of the bravest and most special people I know.
|a rose is a rose :: Avon Mountain Crash and the After Effects|
|(CT legislature letter) |
January 11, 2010
To: Gov. M. Jodi Rell Rep. Michelle Cook
From: Mark Robinson
Re: Request to partially right a terrible wrong regarding Avon Mountain crash:
Cc: The Bongiovanni family media contacts (to come)
Four holiday seasons have come and gone since the Avon Mountain crash, four years during which there were empty chairs at the holiday gatherings of the Bongiovanni, Edlund, Juan, Naafi/Stokes and Stotler families.
This letter is addressed to the elected officials who represent at least one of the families who lost loved ones as a result of the July 29, 2005 Avon Mountain crash. I respectfully ask you to consider whether those chairs would have been empty if the State of Connecticut did not:
• Include an explicit loophole for commercial entities in the 1993 legislation intended to get uninsured motorists off the road - a loophole that author Lary Bloom called "an obvious gift to the trucking industry" in a December 2009 Connecticut magazine article (see enclosed).
• Overlook truck owner David Wilcox's 1,136 safety violations - not only did the State of Connecticut fail to run him out of business, it actually gave him over $1.6 million in state business .
• Act faster to improve Avon Mountain road conditions - Mr. Wilcox's truck was the 7th truck in 21 years to lose its brakes descending Avon Mountain. It wasn't until the 8th truck in 23 years, the one that crashed into Nassau's furniture store in Sept. 2007, that the state began serious road-improvement activity.
I believe Mr. Wilcox is primarily responsible for what happened that tragic day. But I also strongly believe that this tragedy could have been easily avoided if the State of Connecticut had not enabled him, in addition to delaying the road improvements that were so obviously necessary.
The loophole in the 1993 legislation was truly egregious. As a result of that "gift to trucking industry," Mr. Wilcox avoided the scrutiny that likely would have kept his poorly maintained, uninsured Truck #8 off the road. And the fact that the loophole was closed within two months of the crash demonstrates that Connecticut legislators knew their predecessors had made a mistake.
As our elected representatives today, you are in a position to make amends for that mistake. It's tragic enough that five families lost loved ones. Nothing will bring Barbara, Chip, Frank, Maureen and Raheem back. But do not compound the mistake of the 1993 legislature by turning your backs to the victims' families. At the very least, the State of Connecticut should provide them with the money they would have received if that truck was properly insured.
On Aug. 1, 2007, during evening rush hour, a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis. Thirteen people were killed. Within one year, the Minnesota legislature made sure those families were taken care of. Are the people of Minnesota more compassionate and fair-minded than the people of Connecticut?
I urge you to do the right thing and make sure the Bongiovanni, Edlund, Juan, Naafi/Stokes and Stotler families are taken care of. Please do not continue to turn your backs to them and compound the error made by your legislative predecessors.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Posted by rose bush at Wednesday, February 17, 2010