Distracted drivers are an epidemic on the roads in Texas, and have led to too many tragic Houston accidents. Recently, a high-profile story in Arizona about a May 2013 crash resurfaced when it was found that the driver was cruising Facebook while cruising down the highway.
The May 5 accident, which happened on Arizona’s Interstate 8 highway, ended with an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer dead, and many questions as to how an accident like that could have happened. The driver of the fuel tanker, 33-year-old Juan Espinoza, said at the time that he took his eyes off the road to watch a truck that was passing him.
Recently obtained footage from Espinoza’s dashboard camera tells a different story, however. The footage shows Espinoza, partially blocked by his wallet (which was placed in front of the camera intentionally) as he drives down the highway at 66 mph. A roadside crash appears a short way down the road in front of Espinoza’s truck, and within seconds, he hits three police cruisers and two fire trucks that had responded to the initial crash. DPS officer Tim Huffman perished in the accident. No truck was seen passing Espinoza.
In the footage, Espinoza’s cell phone can be seen flying out of his hand. Phone records indicate that he was on the social networking site Facebook at the time of the accident. He now faces 20 felony charges, including second degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
While this accident happened two states away, tragedies like this impact us here in Texas, too. With our crowded interstates, Houston truck accidents are an all-too-common occurrence. Harris County truck accident lawyer Steve Lee would like to extend his condolences to the family of Tim Huffman and those affected by this terrible accident.