comScore

Police say Tate Doom was watching porn moments before fatal crash

Tate Ryan Doom's cellphone contained evidence of 14 videos downloaded from Pornhub, one played right before he rear-ended a pickup truck.

Tate Ryan Doom's cellphone contained evidence of 14 videos downloaded from Pornhub, one played right before he rear-ended a pickup truck. Hennepin County Jail

Last October, Tate Ryan Doom, a 47-year-old man from St. Paul Park, was driving on I-94 through Rogers.

He was going 72 miles per hour. Unfortunately, he happened to be in a construction zone, and ended up plowing into a pickup truck with a trailer in tow.

The chain reaction ended in catastrophe. The pickup truck lost control and veered into a parked car. The trailer popped loose and found its own target: 59-year-old construction worker Vernon Hedquist, who'd been running a drill on the shoulder of the road. He was found under the wreckage, fatally injured.

At the time, officials called it a “preventable” accident and suspected distracted driving was to blame. But Doom told police he hadn’t been on his phone when he hit the pickup, and that he had only been going 50 miles per hour.

Investigators later discovered otherwise after examining his cellphone. A number of video files had been downloaded to Doom’s phone about 30 minutes before the crash, and hastily deleted afterward. Fourteen were from Pornhub. Several had been played right before the accident, the last one having started less than two minutes before Doom hit the truck.

“It appears, based on the investigation, that he was watching pornography at the time of the [impact],” Hennepin County Attorney’s Office spokesperson Chuck Laszewski told the Star Tribune.

Doom has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide. Hedquist, a Sunday school teacher, was looking forward to his 60th birthday at the time of his death.