Smoke Fire and Angels by Mark Robinson

Tragedy on Avon Mountain and the Life-Changing Aftermath by Mark Robinson

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tragedy on Avon Mountain

Heroes and Hell at Avon Mountain 20-Car Crash Site
Survivor Shares Story in New Book Released to Benefit Victims

  September 9, 2009 -- At 7:38 a.m. on July 29, 2005, a speeding, brake-worn, 35-ton, uninsured dump truck collided into a cluster of cars and a commuter bus stopped at a red light at the base of Avon Mountain. Dozens were hurt, trapped and alone in fire, smoke and confusion. Within minutes, 300 firefighters, police, emergency medical workers and passersby were on the scene frantically working to save lives. Five people died and many more lives were affected by the tragedy at the base of the mountain.
The heroism and the hell of that day and its aftermath are captured in Smoke, Fire and Angels, a book released September 24 by Mark Robinson, a commuter from Canton who was in the front row of traffic that morning, with nothing between him and the out-of-control truck. All book profits will be donated to families who lost loved ones in the crash.
Smoke, Fire and Angels tells the dramatic, inside story of the rescuers, the victims and their families. It delves into the warning signs and red flags that if heeded could have prevented the tragedy, and it details controversial trial proceedings that followed. Smoke, Fire and Angels recounts the courage and grace of the rescuers - emergency personnel and passersby alike.
Mark's memory of that morning includes the start of his commute to ING in Hartford and waking up in the emergency room, but nothing about the fiery crash itself. With nine broken bones and a punctured lung, he was flown by a LifeStar helicopter to Hartford Hospital. When he learned that people died in cars surrounding his own, Mark decided he needed to fill in the blanks of what really happened that morning.
He interviewed more than one hundred people over the past four years collecting accounts from victims, family members, rescue workers, eyewitnesses, state officials and others who helped piece the story together. It's a story that includes the beloved special education teacher who left behind five daughters, ages 3-8; the bus driver and his sacred promise to his daughter; the dentist from Belarus and the "angels" who rescued her from her burning car.
"I was on the receiving end of amazing courage and kindness," Mark wrote in the book's introduction. "I came face-to-face with death and was, for some unfathomable reason, granted a reprieve." He knew he had to find the facts behind the tragedy and tell the story of what happened before, during and after the crash. "Because for some of us waiting at that light at the base of Avon Mountain that day, life would never be the same."
All proceeds from the sale of Smoke, Fire and Angels will be donated to a fund to help those most seriously affected by the crash. For information on how to buy the book and/or donate to the victims fund, please go to

© COPYRIGHT 215 Mark Robinson , Canton, CT - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.