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Semi-truck driver was ‘actively using’ TikTok during fatal collision, charged with manslaughter, officials say

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-30 17:57:47-04

(CNN) — A commercial truck driver who caused a fiery six-vehicle crash in January in Arizona was “actively using the TikTok application” when he rear-ended two passenger vehicles, killing five, according to officials.

The driver, identified as Danny G. Tiner, collided with the vehicles in the early morning on January 12 in Chandler, according to the most recent report from the Arizona Department of Public Safety released Thursday. The 36-year-old failed to stop for traffic and wedged two passenger vehicles into a second commercial truck, which lurched forward and hit two other cars, according to an incident report released the day of the accident.

Traffic was congested at the time on Interstate 10, where Tiner caused the crash, due to an earlier incident, officials say.

Tiner said that he “received a message on his electronic work tablet and acknowledged the message,” according to the new report. “Tiner said when he looked back up traffic was stopped, and he could not stop his vehicle in time to avoid a collision.”

Troopers initially suspected that Tiner may have been distracted. Tiner turned in his phone as part of an FBI-assisted investigation that determined he was using the social media application when the accident occurred. The investigation also revealed that the truck was going 68 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Officials arrested Tiner at his residence Thursday and booked him on charges including five counts of manslaughter.

Tiner also was charged with four counts of endangerment and one count of tampering with physical evidence, according to the Thursday report.

The five people who died were in the first two passenger vehicles that were struck, both of which ignited in a fire that spread to the second commercial vehicle. Tiner sustained minor injuries, according to the earlier report.

Tiner’s bail, set at $300,000, has not been posted. He is due in court on July 7, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

CNN has been unable to determine whether Tiner has legal representation.