Porn-Watching Trucker Charged In Death Of Construction Worker

Hennepin County, Minnesota – A truck driver who authorities say was watching pornographic videos on his phone when he slammed into slowed traffic in a construction zone in Hennepin County last fall has now been criminally charged.

Tate Doom, 47, of St. Paul Park, was charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation on Friday, July 12 in connection with a deadly Interstate 94 crash last fall.

The accident took place just after 2 p.m. on I-94 East in Rogers on October 2, 2018.

 

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) footage shows Doom’s 2014 Kenworth semi-truck rear-ending a Ford F-150 truck hauling a trailer while traveling through a construction zone in the center lane of the interstate.

Officials determined Doom’s tractor-trailer was traveling at 72 mph on the marked 70 mph interstate, while the Ford was slowed to 50 mph in the work zone.

Upon impact, the trailer attached to the F-150 separated from the truck and spun to the right, striking two construction workers in the closed-off right lane in a “relatively well protected zone,” authorities said.

One of the workers, 59-year-old Vernon Hedquist, died at the scene.

Hedquist’s co-worker, Thomas Wood, 64, was injured by debris.

Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) called the crash “preventable.”

“It appears, based on the investigation, that he was watching pornography at the time of [impact],” Chuck Laszewski of the County Attorney’s Office, said Monday.

 

Investigators noted several pornographic videos — 14 in total — were deleted from Doom’s cell phone after the crash.

Further analysis of Doom’s phone discovered the videos were playing prior to the crash while Doom was driving.

According to the criminal complaint, forensic analysis of the phone uncovered that Doom began playing videos on the phone at 1:40 p.m.


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The last video started at 2:07 p.m. Doom’s semi struck the F-150 at 2:09 — less than two minutes after the video began playing.

Despite the video and forensic evidence, Doom maintains he was traveling at 50 mph through the work zone and hadn’t used either of the two cell phones he had while driving.

 

Doom was booked into Hennepin County Jail on Friday night and remains in custody in lieu of a $30,000 bail before his August 12 hearing.

Doom was driving for Vermeer of Minnesota in Burnsville, which sells heavy equipment for recycling and forestry needs.

 


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