PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors have filed a criminal charge against the backup driver of an autonomous Uber vehicle that fatally struck a pedestrian in suburban Phoenix.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel’s office said on Tuesday that Rafaela Vasquez faces one count of negligent homicide in the 2018 crash in Tempe that killed Elaine Herzberg.
Her death was the first fatality involving a self-driving vehicle. Federal investigators concluded Vasquez’s failure to monitor the road as she watched a TV show on her mobile phone was the main cause of the crash.
Prosecutors declined in 2019 to file criminal charges against Uber, as a corporation, in Herzberg’s death.
Vasquez has pleaded not guilty.
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