Minnesota truck driver was watching porn on his cell phone just 90 seconds before causing crash that killed man

47-year-old Tate Doom of St. Paul Park was speeding through a construction zone on Interstate 94 in southeast Minnesota on October 2, 2018 when his semi-truck slammed into a pickup truck with a trailer


                            Minnesota truck driver was watching porn on his cell phone just 90 seconds before causing crash that killed man

A Minnesota truck driver, who caused a crash that killed a highway worker, was allegedly watching a series of porn videos just moments before the accident, investigators say.

The 47-year-old Tate Doom of St. Paul Park was speeding through a construction zone on Interstate 94 in southeast Minnesota on October 2, 2018, when his semi-truck slammed into a pickup truck with a trailer attached, according to the Star Tribune.

The impact caused the trailer to separate from the truck and hit Vernon C. Hedquist, 59, of Pillager — a construction worker working on the closed right lane of I-94 near County Road 81. The collision instantly killed Hedquist.

Another worker, Thomas Wood, 64, was also hit by the flying debris and got injured in the accident.

Hedquist, who was also a Sunday school teacher, was reportedly looking forward to deer hunting season and his 60th birthday, which was set to take place in November that year. 

The incident comes as Minnesota prepares to introduce a law prohibiting motorists from holding their phones while driving from Aug 1.

When questioned, Doom claimed he was not using his cell phone and that he was going at just 50 mph.  

However, a criminal complaint filed by state patrol investigators says Doom's semi was at 72 mph, slightly above the speed limit of 70 mph, while the pickup was going at 50 mph.

Hedquist was killed just before his 60th birthday (Source: GoFundMe)

It also states that two cellphones that troopers had seized from Doom's semi for forensic examination showed that he had deleted 14 video files from Pornhub just after the accident.

"It appears, based on the investigation, that he was watching pornography at the time of [impact]," said Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for the County Attorney's Office.

Investigators found that he started playing the videos at 1:40:53 pm. And, the last of the 14 videos — which had a running time of 5 minutes and 14 seconds — was started at 2:07:41 pm, less than 90 seconds before the fatal crash.

Doom was charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation last Friday, July 12, at the Hennepin County District Court in connection to the crash.

He is currently being held at the Hennepin County jail on a $30,000 bond. His next hearing is scheduled for August 12.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise donations for Hedquist's wife, Cindy, said he left behind "several four-legged and furry children." It has raised $20,400 of a $25,000 goal at the time of writing. 

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514