Semi-truck driver was on TikTok when he caused crash that killed 5 on I-10 near Chandler, DPS says
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A distracted semi-truck driver was using TikTok when he caused a fiery crash on Interstate 10 near Chandler earlier this year, killing five and is now facing charges, the Department of Public Safety said. Investigators said 36-year-old Danny G. Tiner was arrested on Thursday and they revealed more information about the wreck.
According to DPS, Tiner was driving 68 mph in a 55-mph construction zone on I-10 on January 12 around 6:15 a.m. He was reportedly using TikTok on his cellphone when he plowed into two cars, pushing them into another semi-truck and two other cars just past the Chandler Boulevard exit. The two cars that were crushed between the semi-trucks burst into flames, killing five. The freeway was shut down for about 11 hours that day.
The victims were identified as Gilberto Franco, Ryan Gooding, Andrew Standifird, Willis Thompson and Jerardo Vazquez.
Tiner originally said he received a message on his work tablet and “acknowledged the message,” DPS said. He said when he looked back up, traffic was stopped and he couldn’t stop in time. But with the help of the FBI, DPS said investigators examined Tiner’s phone and found what he was doing on his phone. Tiner was booked into jail on five counts of manslaughter, four counts of endangerment and one count of tampering with physical evidence, all felonies. DPS said it had help from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the FBI in the investigation.
DPS investigators determined distracted driving was a factor soon after the deadly collision. “This road is a straight road. You can see for miles, and the traffic wasn’t that heavy at that time to where you couldn’t see ahead, and it was dark when it happened, so you got brake lights that you should have been able to see for quite some time,” DPS Capt. Keith Gephert said in January.
Records show a history of crashes in Arizona involving the same Illinois-based trucking company. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mr. Bult’s Inc. semi-trucks have been involved in 26 crashes in the state over the last two years. Dozens of violations were also reported, with drivers cited for speeding, using a phone while driving and more.
Thompson’s family told Arizona’s Family days after the crash that they would be filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and trucking company.
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