NewsPhoenix Metro NewsCentral Phoenix News

Actions

Driver faces charges after crash that killed MCSO detention officer

Posted at 4:59 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 00:19:51-05

PHOENIX — A commercial truck driver, who is now facing charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault related to a crash that killed a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detention officer last week in Arizona, was apparently driving when he was supposed to be sleeping, and while his driving privileges were suspended in the state, according to court documents.

The deadly crash occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 24 on State Route 85, near Buckeye, and southwest of Phoneix.

Justin Folsome, a detention officer with MCSO, was killed after his vehicle was rear-ended by the semi-truck. Four others -- drivers and passengers of the other vehicles involved in the crash -- were hurt and treated at a local hospital for various injuries.

"This loss is tragic and heartbreaking," Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said last week. "I ask that Officer Folsome's family receive all the love and support possible during this time of sadness and loss."

The truck's driver was identified in court documents as Jorge Yanez Campos, 62, of Riverside, California.

According to court documents, Yanez was driving northbound on State Route 85 and approached a red light at MC 85, where four vehicles were stopped. He was reportedly traveling at 55 mph and did not slow down or stop for the light, and crashed into Folsome's vehicle, the first vehicle to be hit.

The semi-truck drove over Folsome's vehicle and collided with the vehicle in front of him, which then collided with the vehicle in front of that vehicle.

"When asked about the crash, Campos said he looked up and saw the vehicles stopped in front of him and he could not stop. Campos also told troopers on scene that he may have blacked out due to high blood sugar, which he had taken medication for earlier in the (morning)," read the probable cause statement in court documents.

The investigation found that Campos had unloaded the cargo in his truck on Monday, Nov. 23 in Tempe. He then traveled to Nogales to pick up another load of cargo destined for California.

While in Nogales, Campos allegedly logged off his electronic logbook and "entered into his sleeper-berth" on Nov. 23. His next entry was on Nov. 24, which shows that he was in Eloy, Arizona, which is nearly two hours north of Nogales, court documents said.

Truck drivers are required to update their logbook and are unable to drive when off-duty or in sleeper berth status.

"A driver that is in sleeper berth status would be unable to drive the vehicle from Nogales to Eloy. Driving a vehicle while claiming sleeper berth time is a common tactic to manipulate hours of service time limits," police said in their probable cause statement.

Campos told police that his vehicle was also having issues with its regen, which is "a diesel particulate filter which requires the vehicle to stop to recycle and burn off the particulates," according to the documents, and shut off four or five times, as he was driving from Eloy to California.

"To bypass and override the sensor, Campos said he stuck a coin in the switch to try to keep the sensor from forcing the vehicle to stop," police said in the court documents. He also told police that he was going to get the truck looked at and repaired in San Bernardino, California.

Police also said that Campos' driving privileges in Arizona were suspended because he did not appear for a previous court date related to a citation for another crash. Details on the previous crash are not known.