A semi-truck driver was looking at his phone for 8 seconds before smashing into the back of stationary car at a speed of 63mph.
The horror smash on Tuesday killed car driver Robert Bursik, the 54-year-old owner of the Dragonfly Gardens nurseries in Wisconsin.
Bursik was waiting at a stoplight on Highway 36 in Lake Elmo just after noon, when he was hit from behind by the semi-truck traveling full-speed. The damage was so severe that the car had to be taken to a local fire station so Bursik's body could be removed from it.
A charge has been filed against truck driver Samuel Hicks, 28, of Independence, Wisconsin, who is accused of criminal vehicular homicide.
After initially telling police he saw a green light and turned to look at another vehicle before hitting the car, Hicks later admitted he had been looking at his cellphone.
He was texting with his girlfriend "on and off" while traveling down Highway 36 as well as looking at the Zillow app on his phone, as the couple had been talking about looking at a house.
Cameras inside the semi-truck's cabin showed that Hick was looking at his phone for 8 seconds prior to the crash, striking the back of Bursik's car at 63mph.
"It appears the defendant is looking down at his phone at the moment of impact," the criminal complaint states. "The video shows the victim vehicle was at a complete stop with its break lights clearly illuminated and the semaphore was red."
Minnesota crash figures show that of the 348 people who died on state roads last year, 16 of them died in incidents involving distracted driving.