Security driver in 2018 Uber crash is charged with negligent murder

A silver SUV with a damage grill is parked on a street at night.

Enlarge / The Uber automobile after it struck Elaine Herzberg. (credit score: Tempe Police Division)

An Arizona grand jury has indicted Rafaela Vasquez, a former security driver in Uber’s self-driving automotive challenge, for the 2018 dying of pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona. Prosecutors determined to not cost Uber criminally final yr.

The crash occurred after darkish on a well-lit stretch of Mill Avenue. Herzberg was crossing the multilane highway together with her a bicycle when the Uber SUV struck her at 38 miles per hour. Footage from a driver-facing digital camera exhibits Vasquez wanting down at her lap for greater than 5 seconds simply previous to the crash. Officers discovered that Vasquez had been streaming a actuality present referred to as The Voice to her cellphone simply earlier than the crash.

Vasquez is being charged with negligent murder, a cost just like manslaughter that carries a beneficial sentence of two.5 years. Nonetheless, the grand jury additionally charged that the crime was dedicated with a “harmful instrument”—specifically the automotive. When negligent murder is dedicated with a harmful weapon or instrument, the beneficial sentence will increase to 6 years.

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