Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Records show driver on Facebook at time of deadly crash

Jorge Espinoza

Arizona public safety Officer Tim Huffman was killed in May when an empty fuel tanker truck alammed into his police car stopped on the highway.

Jorge Espinoza, 33, was driving that tanker truck and he hit Huffman’s cruiser along with two other police cars and two fire engines. He was traveling at about 65 miles and hour with the cruise control on AND he was looking at pictures of skantily-clad women on Facebook when the crash occurred, record indicate.

The Arizona Star has obtained the records released by police showing Espinoza’s smartphone use at the time of the crash. The report said Espinoza checked out ”photographs of several women in provocative positions, wearing little clothing,” and “photographs of a woman in a low cut dress,” and photos of a guy “smoking something,” according to the reports. Investigators were able to determine that Espinoza looked at Facebook, YouTube, female escort web pages, porn sites and social networks at times that he was logged as driving the vehicle, investigators said.

Espinoza initially said he was looking in the mirror at the time he plowed into the emergency vehicle blockade. A camera from inside the truck’s cab showed the phone flying out of Espinoza’s hands when the truck crashed, police reported.

The police report went on to conclude ”Espinoza would have been able to perceive the danger in the roadway and not cause the death of Officer Tim Huffman, endangered the lives of 11 other emergency responders and destroyed six vehicles, including a new semi-tractor and trailer owned by his employer, if he had not chosen to distract himself while accessing Facebook from his cellular telephone while operating his assigned commercial vehicle.”

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