Charges: Driver was watching porn moments before crash that killed construction worker

The driver was going 20 mph faster than the vehicle he rear-ended.
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i-94 construction

A driver was watching pornography on his phone moments before he allegedly caused a crash that killed a construction worker.

That's according to the criminal complaint filed against Tate Doom, 47, of St. Paul Park, who has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide over the crash on I-94 in Rogers last October that killed 59-year-old Vernon Hedquist, 59, of Pillager.

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.

"As noted, forensic analysis of defendant's cell phone indicates the fourteenth such file was opened moments prior to impact," the criminal complaint says.

The trailer was separated from the Ford from the impact of Doom's Kennworth van 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 mph 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.

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