Near miss bears similarities to earlier fatal wreck

| 8/10/2005

It hasn’t been a good month for Route 44 near Avon, CT.

Not long after a fiery wreck involving a dump truck claimed the lives of four people, a near miss involving another truck with failed brakes was reported on other side of Avon Mountain.

The July 29 fatal wreck happened on the Avon side of the mountain. The near miss occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 9, on the West Hartford side of the mountain. This time, however, the driver managed to maintain control of his truck by downshifting and swerved around the cars that were stopped at a traffic light at the base of the mountain.

The Hartford Courant reported that the conditions in this case were eerily similar to those that led up to the fatal wreck on July 29, right down to the criminal records of the drivers involved.

The dump truck driver involved in the wreck, Abdulraheem Naafi, had previously been charged with drug possession, third-degree criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. The driver involved in the near miss, Vincent Watson, was on probation after being convicted of second-degree criminal mischief. Watson had also been convicted of drug possession with intent to sell.

The July 29 wreck, which involved 20 cars, sparked a public outcry over truck safety and the safety of Route 44.