Report: Arizona trucker on Facebook at time of deadly crash

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 11/6/2013

A truck driver was reportedly using his cellphone to look at pictures of women on Facebook when he crashed into emergency workers on an Arizona interstate and killed a police officer.

The allegations stem from a public records request filed by The Arizona Daily Star, which published the story on Nov. 1.

According to the details of the report, trucker Jorge Espinoza was using his phone at the time of the May 6 crash on eastbound Interstate 8 in Yuma County, which killed Officer Tim Huffman. Espinoza has been charged with second-degree murder, endangerment and criminal damage in Yuma County Superior Court.

Espinoza was driving an empty fuel tanker at 65 mph when he collided with three police cars and two fire trucks that were responding to an earlier crash on the interstate. Huffman was in his car when the crash occurred.

Espinoza initially told police he didn’t see the cars or DPS public safety captain directing traffic around a closed lane because he was looking in his mirror at a passing truck.

A dashcam camera in Espinoza’s rig shows both the view in the cab and of the roadway in the moments leading up to the crash. The video shows Espinoza’s phone fly out of his hand in the crash, although the view of the driver is initially obstructed by what appears to be a wallet.

A spokesman with the Arizona DPS declined to comment on the case pending a trial.

The Daily Star’s report states that Espinoza was logged into his Facebook page at the time of the crash, and that records from his phone show that he had also looked at YouTube, female escort websites, porn sites and social networks, according to investigators.

A copy of the report and the dashcam video can be viewed here.

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