Prosecutors: Truck Driver Was Watching Porn at the Time of Fatal Crash

A truck driver charged with accidentally killing a construction worker was apparently watching porn right when the fatal crash occurred, said prosecutors in Minnesota. Authorities said he was driving two mph over the speed limit, but 22 mph faster than the vehicle he hit.

“It appears, based on the investigation, that he was watching pornography at the time of [impact],” Hennepin County Attorney’s Office spokesman Chuck Laszewski said in a Star Tribune report.

Evidence from two of Tate R. Doom‘s cellphones showed that he had deleted 14 Pornhub videos from the devices, said authorities. He started watching the last of these–a 5-minute clip–at about 2:07 p.m. This was about 90 seconds before the crash that took the life of Vernon C. Hedquist last October.

Authorities said Doom was going 72 in a 70 mph area when he struck a tractor trailer going 50 mph. Cops said the trailer in turn struck Hedquist, and debris struck co-worker Thomas Wood.

Doom reportedly insisted that he was going 50 mph, and wasn’t using his cellphone. He is charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.

Hennepin County Jail records show that Doom was taken into custody Friday, and held in lieu of $3,000 bail. He was released Monday, and is scheduled for a court appearance August 12.

Hedquist was a Sunday school teacher. He would’ve turned 60 last November.

Authorities at the time called the crash preventable.

“It is frustrating for construction workers who have to be out in all conditions, all types of weather and they have to focus on what they are doing,” said Minnesota Highway Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson.

[Mugshot via Hennepin County Jail]

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