Rafaela Vasquez, who at the time went by Rafael and had not transitioned to female, was streaming The Voice on Hulu when she ran into Elaine Herzberg with the Volvo car, as she was crossing the street at an unmarked area. Herzberg was hit at under 44mph but the impact was forceful enough to cause life-threatening injuries.
Had Vasquez been paying attention to road, the crash could have easily been avoided, an inquest has revealed. The Tempe Police Department obtained logs from Hulu, revealing that she had been streaming The Voice for almost an hour at the time of the accident.
Dashcam footage shows her looking down, clearly not paying attention to the road. The investigation has revealed that she looked up half a second before the crash, after almost 6 seconds of looking down. She started braking the Uber only after the moment of impact by almost a second: Uber had disabled the emergency braking system.
Police have also released footage and photos from the scene, to go with the report. As of the time of writing, Uber has not commented on the findings.
To make matters worse, after the crash, it was revealed that Vasquez was a convicted felon: she was arrested for attempted robbery in 2001 after trying to rob a Blockbuster store with a fake gun, and was convicted for unsworn falsification in 1999. She served 4 years behind bars as a man.
Vasquez is now facing a vehicular manslaughter charge.