Connecticut Gov. M.
Jodi Rell has ordered an investigating into companies with poor safety records
following an accident with a dump truck last week in Avon, CT, that left four
On Friday, July 29,
a 12-wheeled dump truck owned by American Crushing and Recycling careened down
Route 44, slamming into cars waiting at the intersection with Route 10. Four
people were killed, including the truck’s driver, Abdulraheem Naafi, also known
as Terrance R. Stokes.
On Sunday, Rell
ordered the state’s Department of Safety to comprise a list of the top 25
safety violators in the state. Judd Everheart, a spokesperson for the governor,
told Land Line that the move was in response to a heightened sensitivity
from the public from the accident.
“The governor was
concerned, in the wake of what can only be described as a horrific accident a
week ago … that every step be taken to ensure total compliance with
Connecticut’s truck safety laws,” Everheart said. “She directed the Department
of Motor Vehicles to develop a list of the 25 companies that had the most
violations over the past year, and sent out teams of inspectors to ensure
they have not yet determined what caused Naafi to hit the other vehicles.
However, Department of Transportation records show that inspectors had found
five brake violations on the truck during past inspections. All of the problems
were corrected, according to Newsday.
and Recycling, the company that owned the truck, also had 448 mechanical
violations between 1994 and 2001 while operating as Wilcox Trucking. The
company changed names after the state Department of Motor Vehicles suspended
the registrations of 16 of its trucks because they failed to comply with a
number of repair orders, a DMV spokesperson told Newsday.
Despite a number of violations, the company was not in the
top 25 list of violators in the state.
“This was an
individual truck, owned by one company that has had a number of violations over
the years, but was not in the top 25. It was close – it was in the 30s,”
Everheart said. “It just highlights the fact that truck safety has to be an
ongoing effort every day of the week, every day of the year. The governor is
determined to make sure that compliance is guaranteed.”
Naafi’s own history
is also being questioned in the investigation. The accident occurred just two
days after he began working for American Crushing and Recycling – the day after
he was fired from another trucking company partially because he could not
operate the truck’s transmission, Newsday reported.
Under a third,
unreleased name, Naafi had a criminal record that included a robbery
Here is the list of the top 25
companies with the worst safety rating, based on accident frequency, driver
safety, vehicle safety and out-of-service rates. The companies are listed in
the order of their DOT numbers. The list will be updated periodically.
- Kofkoff Egg Farm, Bozrah (DOT# 299481)
- Mario’s Trucking LLC, New Haven (DOT# 485643)
- Easter Seal Goodwill, New Haven (DOT# 594536)
- Arrow Paving Inc., Clinton (DOT# 619405)
- David Kukta, Chester (DOT# 625314)
- Dufford Drilling Company Inc., Glastonbury (DOT#
- Baier Construction Company Inc., Bloomfield (DOT#
- Waste Material Trucking Company LLC, Southington (DOT#
- Peter J. Ferraro, Milford (DOT# 670499)
- New England Landscape & Maintenance Cont. Inc.,
Middletown (DOT# 674954)
- William Blythe & Son Inc., North Branford (DOT#
- Antonio Labreau, East Hampton (DOT# 691935)
- RWM Excavating LLC, West Haven (DOT# 697528)
- F & G Construction Inc., Rowayton (DOT# 746334)
- Winter Ridge, North Haven (DOT# 748914)
- D F Trucking Inc., Stratford (DOT# 784533)
- Sterling Superior Services Inc., Bozrah (DOT# 792780)
- A-1 Waste Disposal, West Hartford (DOT# 925730)
- Take It Away LLC, Morris (DOT# 942520)
- Zawally Hauling LLC, Monroe (DOT# 961245)
- J W Express Windsor, Locks (DOT# 997643)
- Northeast Tree Service LLC, Sandy Hook (DOT# 1005530)
- Crow Construction LLC, Colchester (DOT# 1065626)
- Riverside Dairy LLC, Northford (DOT# 1082275)
- Connecticut Transportation Service LLC, Milford (DOT#
– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer