Death of Motorcycle Driver and Serious Injury of Passenger Leads to Arrest of Dump Truck Driver & Filing of Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 by | Posted In: Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death

The death of a motorcycle driver and serious injury to his passenger led to criminal charges against the driver of a garbage truck, and the filing of a civil lawsuit.

Allison VanDerMaelen, the surviving passenger, filed a civil lawsuit when dash cam footage from inside the truck obtained by her attorneys, showed that the driver looked left towards where he was turning, but did not look down the street for oncoming traffic. The civil lawsuit is being handled by attorneys at the Connecticut law firm McEnery, Price, Messey & Sullivan, LLC.

Investigation into the July 15, 2016 accident determined that a waste removal truck owned by Plainville-based CWPM, LLC, driven by Robert Choinski, was heading west on South Street in Bristol, CT when it turned left onto East Road and struck a 1984 Harley Davidson, coming from the opposite direction. Ms. VanDerMaelen’s attorneys reviewed dash cam footage from inside the truck, which showed that Choinski looked left at East Road when he was turning, but did not look back down South Street for oncoming traffic. According to the arrest warrant, Choinski, who was not injured, admitted to police that he never saw the motorcycle.

Ms. VanDerMaelen’s beloved long-time companion, Raymond Smith tried to swerve out of the way and slowed down, but their bike was struck by the truck. The impact threw Raymond and Allison from the bike and onto the street. Smith was killed by blunt trauma of the head, chest and extremities.

Ms. VanDerMaelan was flown by LifeStar emergency helicopter to Hartford Hospital. She was hospitalized for 3 months, has undergone more than ten surgeries to her left hip, leg, knee, shin and ankle, has terrible scarring, chronic pain and is not able to walk independently. She is being cared for in her home by her teenage children.

“Sadly, we cannot change what happened,” said attorney Gerard McEnery, “but we can hold the truck company and the driver, who were trusted with following the rules of the road, responsible for their actions.”

About McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan, LLC

McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan, LLC, is a complex personal injury and medical malpractice firm, with a licensed doctor/attorney, a licensed nurse/attorney and top-notch trial lawyers with many years of trial experience. MPMS is committed to providing clients and their families with a compassionate ear to hear their story, as well as an objective and careful analysis of all claims. The firm is recognized for preparing each client’s case as if it were going to trial and has an extensive network of experts for all types of personal injury matters with the resources to handle the most complicated cases. The firm’s office is located in Milford, CT.


Gayle Sullivan, Esq.
McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan, LLC

Documentation related to the civil lawsuit is available upon request.

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