Conn. Gov. Rell: Close Insurance Loophole Truck Drove Through

September 22, 2005

An irate Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell said she would propose legislation to close a loophole that allowed American Crushing & Recycling, the owner of a truck involved in a July 29 fatal accident at the foot of Avon Mountain, to drop liability insurance on the vehicle without any notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“The more I learn about this company the more enraged and horror-struck I become,” said Rell, who on Tuesday ordered the DMV to suspend the registrations of every truck owned by American Crushing & Recycling as well as the company’s right to register additional vehicles. That action came after West Hartford police stopped another American Crushing & Recycling truck – again on Avon Mountain – for being 18,000 pounds overweight and driving without its auxiliary axle deployed.

“The company’s actions are completely indefensible,” the Governor said. “One of its trucks is responsible for the deaths of four people – including one of the company’s own employees – and injuries to numerous others, as well as enormous property damage. Now we learn its insurance carrier is refusing to pay any claims because the owner had dropped his insurance coverage in defiance of state law – and because of a loophole neither the company nor the insurer was obligated to tell anyone. That loophole will be closed – permanently and comprehensively.”

Rell is also asking the Chief State’s Attorney to investigate the company for any possible criminal activity in allowing its truck to be on the road July 29 without insurance. “Any suspected violations will be prosecuted to the fullest,” she said.

Rell said she would propose legislation that would require immediate notification to the state if the liability insurance on any commercial vehicle is dropped or canceled. The legislation would also require that the vehicle be immediately taken out of service and kept out of service until new insurance is obtained.

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