Minnesota Semi Driver Charged in Fatal Work Zone Crash on I-94

A Minnesota semi-truck driver was allegedly watching pornography on his cell phone just moments before causing a fatal crash that killed a construction worker in October of 2018. Prosecutors charged Tate Doom (49) with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation in Hennepin County District Court last Friday. Doom’s semi struck and killed Vernon Hedquist (59) of Pillager, MN, who was part of a road crew on I-94.

Attorney Eric Hageman

“Fatal crashes caused by distracted semi-drivers happen far too often. Nothing on your phone is more important than human life.Attorney Eric Hageman


Semi-truck accident lawyer Eric Hageman has won millions for people harmed by the negligence of truck drivers and companies. Our firm has previously handled distracted driving cases in which semi-drivers caused serious accidents while watching porn.

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Driver Watching Porn Causes Fatal Semi Crash on I-94 in Rogers, MN

According to the criminal complaint, the crash happened when Doom was speeding in a work zone on I-94 in Rogers, MN, causing his semi to rear-end a pick-up truck and trailer that was merging to the left. The impact of the crash caused the trailer to separate from the pick-up, striking and killing Hedquist. Flying debris also injured a co-worker, Thomas J. Wood (64) of Maple Grove. Wood survived his injuries. The Minnesota State Patrol determined that Doom’s semi was traveling at 72 mph, slightly over the posted speed limit of 70 mph. At the time of the crash, the pick-up was going 50 mph. Doom claimed that he was also traveling at 50 mph. Authorities were also able to recover 14 pornographic video files that Doom had deleted from his phone. The last video was played less than 90 seconds before the crash. Doom denied using his phone at the time of the crash, claiming that he last used it at his most recent work-related stop in Big Lake.

Distracted Driving Causes Fatal Crashes

A study by the FMCSA shows that nearly 80% of semi crashes are caused by distracted driving. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distracted driving caused 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries in Minnesota between 2013-2017. As of August 1st, 2019, Minnesota will become the 19th state to enact a “Hands-Free” driving law. Under the new law, drivers will be able to text or make phone calls while driving only if their device is in “hands-free” or “voice-activated” mode, with the exception of emergency calls. Other states with “Hands-Free” driving laws have seen a decrease in traffic fatalities by an average of 15%.

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