Dashcam video shows trucker in deadly Tucson crash
KMGH.com Staff - Wire Reports
12:00 PM, Nov 4, 2013
TUCSON, Arizona -
A big-rig driver was looking at cellphone photos of scantily clad women when he slammed into police cars and emergency vehicles on a Yuma County freeway in a crash that killed an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer, according to newly-released records.
Records obtained from the DPS by the
Arizona Daily Star through a public records request show that Jorge Espinoza was driving an empty fuel tanker truck 65 mph with cruise control on when the May 6 crash occurred.
He was traveling from Yuma to Phoenix and wasn't injured in the crash.
Espinoza, 33, initially told investigators he didn't see the police cars because he was looking in his mirror at a passing truck, according to DPS. He also told authorities that he never uses his phone while driving because it's against company policy.
But the DPS records show dashcam video and information taken from the phone shows Espinoza was using the internet at the time of the crash and was looking at "photographs of several women in provocative positions, wearing little clothing" and "photographs of a woman in a low cut dress."
Espinoza, 33, used his phone to look at Facebook, YouTube, female escort web pages, porn sites and social networks on other occasions when he was logged in as driving, according to investigators.
Officer Tim Huffman, a 14-year DPS veteran, was killed when the tanker truck smashed into three police cars and two fire department trucks on Interstate 8.
Authorities said Huffman, 47, was in his patrol vehicle writing a report at the time. He was declared dead at the scene.
Espinoza, of Yuma, has pleaded not guilty to 20 felony charges including one count of second-degree murder, 13 of endangerment and six of criminal damage.