Dump truck driver charged in double-fatal I-95 crash

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Gregory Kuzma
Gregory Kuzma

Old Lyme — State police have arrested the dump truck driver blamed for an October 2017 crash that killed two 71-year-old women on Interstate 95 north.

Gregory Kuzma, 47, of Bristol was charged Sept. 10 on a warrant with following too closely and two counts of negligent homicide with a vehicle. He’s due Thursday in New London Superior Court.

Police said Kuzma was driving a dump truck with an attached trailer in the right lane when he came upon stopped traffic near Exit 71 on Oct. 18.

Police said Kuzma began braking too late and swerved into the left lane to avoid a 2003 Ford Mustang in front of him. Kuzma’s trailer, which was carrying an excavator, became jackknifed and either it or the dump truck hit the Mustang anyway.

Police said the Mustang spun into a guiderail and a tractor-trailer in front of it and burst into flames.

Kuzma told police after the wreck that he exited his vehicle but couldn’t get close to the Mustang because the fire was too intense.

Guilford resident Eleanor A. McCarthy and her passenger, Iris B. Cooper of Ambler, Pa., died of blunt impact injuries to the head and torso, police said.

Using eyewitness reports and braking and sight line calculations, police determined Kuzma was going about 50 mph in a 65-mph zone and should have seen the stopped traffic in time to stop his truck.

A screen found no alcohol or drugs in Kuzma’s system, police said, and none of the involved vehicles had equipment deficiencies or failures.

The dump truck belonged to Country Gardens, a Bristol-based landscaping company.

Kuzma is free on a $10,000 bond.

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