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Charges: Semi driver who killed highway worker on I-94 watched porn on phone minutes before crash

Tate Doom. Photo: Courtesy of Hennepin County
Tate Doom.

Updated: July 15, 2019 01:58 PM

A semi truck driver was charged on Monday in connection with a crash on Interstate 94 in Rogers on October, 2018, that killed a construction worker.

According to the criminal complaint, Tate Doom, 47, of St. Paul Park, has been charged with criminal vehicular homcide in connection to the incident that killed 59-year-old Vernon Hedquist, of Pillager.

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Police investigating the crash noted that a number of video files had been deleted from Doom's phone shortly after the crash, 14 of which were downloaded from Pornhub.

Further analysis found that the videos were played on the cellphone prior to the crash, with the last one having started at 2:07:41 p.m., less than two minutes before Doom rear-ended a Ford F-150 and a trailer that was traveling through a construction zone on eastbound I-94.

The criminal complaint reads in part, "as noted, forensic analysis of defendant's cell phone indicates the fourteenth such file was opened moments prior to impact."

The trailer was separated from the Ford during the impact, and sent hurtling into the construction zone, hitting Hedquist and injuring another construction worker who was struck by debris. 

MnDOT footage showed the F-150 had merged into the center lane "well in advance of impact" and was traveling at 50 mph, but Doom's van was traveling at 72 mph when the collision happened.

Despite this, Doom claimed he was only traveling at 50 miles per hour at the time of impact, and claimed that the last time he'd used either of his two cellphones was at his last work-related stop in Big Lake.

Doom was scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

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