A commuter bus driver who was critically injured in the 2005 crash involving a runaway dump truck at the base of Connecticut’s Avon Mountain has died at his Torrington home, family members and colleagues said.
Frank Joseph Juan Jr. was 68 when he died Friday. His cause of death was not disclosed.
Juan’s death comes days before David Wilcox, owner of the runaway dump truck, is set to stand trial on charges of insurance fraud, attempted larceny and conspiracy.
A jury trial is scheduled to start Today in Superior Court in Hartford against the 72-year-old former business owner, who also faces four counts of manslaughter in a pending case.
Juan was driving a Kelley Transit commuter bus when the dump truck crashed into a line of morning rush-hour commuters on July 29, 2005.
Four people died in the fiery collision. Juan was one of the most seriously injured among those who survived.
Family members said he remained bedridden for months in the hospital and later at home, and never fully recovered from his injuries. He also never drove again, said his son, Frank T. Juan.
“He wanted to drive again — not drive a bus, he was too afraid — but he wanted to walk out that door and drive down the street again,” he said.
Wilcox’s wife, 42-year-old Donna Wilcox, pleaded no contest last month 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 drivers 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.
Information from: The Register Citizen,
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