Lowell

Illinois Man Surfed Porn Site Before Fatal Crash: Charges

An Illinois man was surfing a pornographic website moments before his tractor-trailer collided with a tar tanker near Lowell, killing the road construction worker who was driving, prosecutors say.

Clark R. Johnson, 69, of Hoopeston, Illinois, was charged Monday with reckless homicide, two counts of criminal recklessness and three counts of misdemeanor distracted driving. He was ordered held on a $4,000 cash bond, the Post-Tribune reported.

The crash occurred at 8:40 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2020, on U.S. 41 in Lowell. Martin Knip, 63, of LaPorte and DeMotte, was killed.

Johnson was treated for minor injuries at a hospital, charges state.

A witness told police he was in a pickup truck behind Knip’s tanker a semitrailer came speeding down a construction zone in their lane. The semitrailer struck the pickup’s rear left corner and then the tanker, causing the tanker to roll over.

At the time, Knip was spraying hot tar on the road shoulder, charges state.

Johnson told hospital workers he was driving 55-65 mph (88-105 kilometers per hour) at the time of the crash. He suffered a forehead cut and a fractured finger, according to hospital records.

Police later found the porn website on Johnson’s cellphone, documents said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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