Lawsuits Pending Following Suspected Sexting Accident
Sext messages sent minutes before deadly car accident recently released to press.
A little over two years ago, a Caltrans employee caused a deadly pileup on the 701 Freeway, allegedly because he was distracted by “sexts” (text messages of a sexually suggestive nature) from his girlfriend.
The employee, Dino Morris, was driving a 20,000 pound street sweeper at about 40 mph at the time of the accident. According to California Highway Patrol investigators, Morris did not brake at all before slamming into another vehicle. This vehicle, occupied by Rogelio Torres, was crushed by the massive street sweeper. Torres was killed.
The accident also caused a sedan to flip over. Driver Cheryl Durbin was trapped in this vehicle and had to be cut out with the Jaws of Life. Durbin suffered a broken rib, a collapsed lung, a broken toe, and two broken bones in her lower back. Her recovery has been lengthy and arduous, including a spinal fusion just nine months ago.
Both Durbin and the Torres family have filed lawsuits Caltrans and the cases are currently pending.
Sexts Released to the Press
The reason that this motor vehicle accident has come back into the media spotlight recently is that a reporter with CBS2 News has succeeded in getting a transcript of the texts.
The text message exchange starts with texts from Morris’ girlfriend reading “We will be having sex all day” and “sex, sex, sex.” At his deposition, Morris testified that he does not remember these messages and the rest of the message string. However, it seems clear they made an impression on him because two minutes after the last of the messages in the exchange was sent, Morris crashed the street sweeper.
While it is true that these messages are by no means the raunchiest sexts ever sent, the fact of the matter is that any type of text message can be distracting to a driver.
Morris was fired by Caltrans and received a 6-month suspension of his license from the DMV as a result of the accident. However, the reporter discovered that he is once again working as a commercial driver behind the wheel of another large, heavy vehicle–this time a dump truck. One would hope, however, he has learned to keep his cell phone off while working.
Injured by a Texting Driver?
If you have been injured by a driver who was distracted by their phone or made a driving error for any other reason, you are most likely entitled to compensation. We can help you get that compensation and ensure the amount is appropriate to your pain and suffering. Call 909-982-0707 now for a free consultation.