Porn-Watching Truck Driver Sentenced to Prison for Causing Deadly Crash

Hennepin County, MN – A 48-year-old truck driver who was watching pornographic videos on his phone at the time of a deadly crash in 2018 has been sentenced to prison.

On Tuesday, Tate Doom, of St. Paul Park, MN, was sentenced to serve four years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to charges of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation stemming from an accident that killed 59-year-old Vernon Hedquist, a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) highway worker.




 

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

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, was also injured by debris.


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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.

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.

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

 


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