Bandmates file suit in horrific crash
BRIDGEPORT — They were three members of the New Haven rock band, Like Violet, traveling together on River Road in Shelton last April 8 when they were suddenly confronted by two cars racing each other coming at them from the opposite direction.
A young pregnant woman in one of the racing cars was killed along with a West Haven teenager.
For Like Violet members, Caitlin Kalafus, 25, her 22-year-old sister, Carly Kalafus and bandmate Paul Valleau, 26, the crash changed their lives forever, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court here on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
“My clients are innocent victims who suffered devastating and permanent injuries as a result of the defendants’ reckless driving behavior. The catastrophe has caused a traumatic impact on my clients’ lives,” said their lawyer, Michael Rosnick.
According to the lawsuit, Caitlin Kalafus suffered a broken right ankle and right foot, a concussion and extensive lacerations and bruises in the crash. Her sister suffered a broken left shoulder, broken ribs and head trauma while Valleau had traumatic brain injury as well as back and leg injuries.
All three also suffered “shocks to their nervous system that will continue to cause them mental and physical suffering,” the suit states.
It blames their injuries on the negligence and carelessness of the two cars that were racing, 19-year-old Lawrence Carter and Abdulaziz Yuldoshev, 19, of Hamden.
Both Lawrence Carter and Yuldoshev were charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide with a motor vehicle after police said they were racing at speeds over 80 mph on River Road. Those criminal cases are pending.
Police said prior to leaving the Sports Center in Shelton at 7 that night, Carter and Yuldoshev had agreed to race.
Brianna Torres Carter was a front seat passenger in a 2006 Mini Cooper owned by her husband when he began racing Yuldoshev southbound on River Road, police said.
The defendants passed and repassed each other topping speeds of 80 miles per hour. Police said the car driven by Carter was cut off by Yuldoshev’s car, causing it to lose control and travel over the center line of the road, colliding head-on with a 2007 Saturn motor vehicle operated by Caitlin Kalafus.
Carter’s vehicle then rolled over on its right side, coming to rest against a guardrail.
Brianna Torres Carter, 23, who was eight months pregnant was killed. Her unborn child, Luna Carter, also died.
Shalymar Herrera, 18, of West Haven, was also killed in the crash. A fourth person in a car, Jessie Abrams, 19, of Bridgeport, was seriously injured.
By Daniel Tepfer
Hearst Connecticut Media Group