LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It has been two years since Rogelio Torres’ life was cut short when his car was crushed by a Caltrans sweeper on the 710 freeway.
CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein found that the accident may have been caused by the distraction of “sexting” messages being sent between the driver, Dino Morris, and his girlfriend.
In fact, as Goldstein revealed on CBS2 on Nov. 2, the last sexually suggestive text from his girlfriend was received just two minutes before the impact.
Now, Torres’ family, who did not know that sexting may have contributed to their father and husband’s death until seeing Goldstein’s investigative report, is speaking out for the first time since the tragedy.
“Excuse my language, but that pisses me off, you know, it’s just very upsetting,” Rogelia’s son Alex Torres described. Upon being asked if he felt Morris murdered his father, Torres answered, “Yeah, I have always believed that.”
California Highway Patrol investigators say Morris, who was never charged with a crime, never braked before the impact. However, attorneys who are suing Caltrans on behalf of the Torres family share the suggestion with many who say that Morris may have been distracted by the text messages.
“I believe he was (looking at the text messages),” Torres said. “I think that was the main cause of the accident.”
The Department of Motor Vehicles conducted a separate investigation, and though texting was never mentioned, confidential documents obtained by CBS2 determined Morris “exercised poor judgment” and “was driving at an unsafe speed and failed to slow as traffic in front of him had slowed.”
The documents go on to add that Morris “displayed a degree of negligence that cause and/or contributed to a fatal accident.”
While Morris’ license was suspended for six months and his employment with Caltrans was initially terminated, Goldstein found him back on the road once again driving for Caltrans.
Upon getting his license back, as Goldstein points out, it seems he also got his job back, driving a truck that reads “Thanks for driving safely” on it.
The Torres family was devastated by this development in an emotional saga that ripped a hole in their family.
“I think that sign and letting him get back on the road is like a slap to our face, that’s what I think,” Torres said.
Both Morris and CalTrans officials have been reluctant to discuss the issue due to pending litigation. However, they now say Morris is back on the job because investigators found no evidence that he was texting while driving.
Upon being confronted by Goldstein on the issue, Morris ran off, as was seen in the original report.
Torres’ family members are now calling for Morris to be held responsible for the deadly crash.
“It’s not fair this man only received a six-month suspension, and he is free like if he killed a dog or a cat,” Rogelia’s wife Elisa Torres said.
Meanwhile, as the family looks to move on with their lives, they are left with only memories and look to home movies to relive moments with their husband and father.