A truck driver who was using his cell phone right before causing a fatal wreck two months ago in Carlstadt, New Jersey, now faces charges, state police said Friday. Henry Flores, 55, was arrested on Thursday at his home in Union City on charges of vehicular homicide and hindering apprehension by lying to investigators about his cell phone use, authorities said. He was also cited for improper use of a cell phone and reckless driving.
“The accident occurred on Monday, June 9, at approximately 4:55 p.m., in the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike at milepost 114.6. Detectives have determined that Flores, who was driving a 1996 Kenworth tractor-trailer, was using a cellular phone at the time of the accident,” a New Jersey State Police press report states.
“Flores was traveling in the left lane when he failed to slow down and crashed into the vehicle in front of him that was slowing with traffic. The initial impact caused a chain-reaction crash that involved several vehicles. Several people were injured as a result of the crash, and Jeffrey Humphrey, 43, of Harrison, N.J., was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the press release continued.
Flores slammed into the back of a Chevy Malibu before striking a Chevy Suburban, a Chevy Equinox, a Chevy Malibu, a Saturn Astra, a Lexus and a Honda Accord. A 2000 Freightliner was also struck in the crash, according to authorities.
Flores’ trailer ended up on its roof and stretched across three lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike, which then had to be shut down for more than eight hours, according to reports. Less than three months before the accident, Flores was ticketed for using a cell phone in Union City, North Jersey.com reported. His record shows a total of 19 driving violations including operating while suspended, speeding, careless driving and unsafe operation of a motor vehicle.
“All drivers must understand that illegally talking or texting while driving can have tragic results,” said Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli. “For everyone’s safety on the road, distracted driving will not be tolerated by law enforcement.”
Flores was released Friday from the Bergen County Jail after posting $50,000 bail, according to records.
New Jersey State Police