Truck Driver Looking at His Phone Causes Accident
A truck driver was busy looking at his phone and cause a bad accident in May. The semi-truck crashed into several police and fire vehicles. He ended up killing a Department of Public Safety Officer. An eye-witness stated that the Semi-Truck was “tossing cars around like they were toys.”
Officer Tim Huffman who was only 47 years old was killed while investigating an earlier crash on Interstate 8. That is when an 18 wheeler, which was drive by 33 year old Jorge Espinoza, plowed into Officer Huffman’s patrol car and several other vehicles around 5 p.m. that evening.
Jorge Espinoza faces 20 felony charges which include second-degree murder, all because he was on his cell phone at the time of the accident. The documents from the report and a video from the in-dash camera, proved that Espinoza was on Facebook looking at provocatively dressed women at the time of the collision.
Jorge pleaded not guilty in June, had told police he was looking over his shoulder at a passing truck. That’s when he suddenly felt the violent jolt from the crash, which he wasn’t even injured in. He also told police that he did not see the multiple DPS and Fire Department vehicles on the roadway, or the officer that was frantically waving his arms trying to get his attention before the officer jumped out of the way.
Police say that the in-dash camera tells a very different story. It showed Jorge’s white smartphone flying from his hand when he hit the first vehicle. In the video Jorge is seen being knocked around like a rag doll. He told the police that the use of cellphone were strictly forbidden by his employer and he followed that policy.
The Police warrant affidavit stated that the video also showed a wallet, that according to investigators seemed to be “intentionally and neatly” placed in front of the in-dash camera to hide Jorge’s face and body. According to the company policy was also prohibited. The statement also said that it appeared that Jorge was looking or manipulating his cellphone prior to the accident.
A detective that was executing a search of Jorge’s cellphone records found that he was viewing photos of women with very little clothing on along with other photo’s when the collision occurred. According to his driving log and his cell phone records, this isn’t the first time he had used his phone while driving.
Tim Huffman was sitting in his vehicle using the patrol car’s computer at the time of the crash. The witness statements portray a very catastrophic and surreal scene of the collision when Jorge’s tractor-trailer rammed into first responders vehicle who were on the scene for an injury accident involving an elderly person.
Jaron Millner’s thoughts about the Truck accident
the loudest, craziest banging commotion I’ve ever heard.
Jaron Millner is a member of the Tacna Fire Department. He had just loaded two patients into an ambulance from a prior accident. He stated that the semi rammed through the vehicles and tossed cars around like they were toys. He said it took them a minute to realize what was going on and what just happened. They heard someone say “Someone is trapped, get extrication” and everyone from Engine 1 ran to the compartment that holds all of their extrication equipment but it was heavily damaged and they couldn’t get in.
Jaron then described how he and the team of rescue workers used the “jaws of life” to cut away from the driver’s side door to free Officer Huffman. Tim was wedged between his seat and the dash, sadly he was pronounced dead right at the scene.
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm