TEMPE, Ariz. - According to a report released by the Tempe Police Department, the fatal self-driving Uber crash in Tempe back in March was avoidable. The safety driver sitting in the front seat at the time of the crash was distracted.
The car, being monitored by backup driver Rafaela Vasquez, slammed into Elaine Herzberg and killed her. Herzberg was walking her bike across Mill Avenue outside of a crosswalk.
Shortly after the crash, police body camera video shows Vasquez telling officers what she saw, which wasn't much. She claims she didn't see Herzberg until impact.
BODY CAM FOOTAGE: Body cam footage shows moments after fatal self-driving Uber crash
According to the report, Vasquez initially gave officers a bad address. Once they tracked her down, investigators obtained search warrants for her two cell phones. Police say Vasquez did not make any calls or texts in the moments leading up to the crash.
However, they did observe apps, like Hulu and Netflix on Vasquez's phone. They reached out to the streaming companies for data.
According to the spreadsheet of watch data from Hulu, Vasquez was streaming television episodes for approximately three hours the night of the crash. She was watching "The Voice" from 9:16 p.m. until 9:59 p.m. Police believe the crash happened while she was streaming that show.
In their report, Tempe Police say Vasquez was responsible for taking control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency. They added had she been paying attention to the road, they think she could have stopped the car 42 feet before the fatal crash.
In their conclusion, police say Vasquez's "inattention to the roadway" and "disregard for her assigned job function" ultimately resulted in the death of Herzberg.
This case is now in the hands of the Yavapai County Attorney's Office for review. It will bring forward any charges.
12 News reached out to Uber for comment, a spokesperson released this statement:
"We continue to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations while conducting our own internal safety review. We have a strict policy prohibiting mobile device usage for anyone operating our self-driving vehicles. We plan to share more on the changes we’ll make to our program soon."
Uber has shut down its self-driving operation in Arizona.