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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Trucker charged with vehicular homicide after alleged cellphone use led to fatal crash in Carlstadt

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In what authorities say is one of the first cases of its kind, a tractor-trailer driver who caused a fatal accident in Carlstadt two months ago has been charged with vehicular homicide and lying to police about using a cellphone at the time, authorities said Friday.

Henry Flores, 55, was making phone calls and operating the touch screen on his smartphone when his 1996 Kenworth truck slammed into the back of a vehicle slowing down for traffic in the southbound lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike just before 5 p.m. on June 9, authorities said. They said the crash led to a chain collision involving several vehicles.

Motorist Jeffrey Humphrey, 43, of Harrison — a musician and an audio engineer who had two daughters — was killed in the crash, and several others were injured, authorities said.

State Police said that Flores was arrested Thursday at his residence in Union City. However, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Flores has been living in Netcong.

A little less than three months before the accident, Flores was ticketed on March 22 for driving while using a cellphone in Union City, according to state Motor Vehicle Commission records. His record shows a total of 19 driving violations, five in New Jersey, including operating while suspended, speeding, careless driving, and unsafe operation of a motor vehicle.
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