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Trucker streaming Netflix at time of double-fatal crash in Maine, police say

Geoff and Elizabeth "Betsy" Gattis of Falmouth died in the crash near the Kittery-York town line in January 2021.

PORTLAND, Maine — A trucker was streaming Netflix when his tractor-trailer struck a car, killing a retired couple in Maine, according to a police report.

David Herring, 40, of South Portland acknowledged streaming a Netflix show on his cellphone but said he was only listening through the truck's audio system before the crash that killed Geoff and Elizabeth “Betsy” Gattis of Falmouth.

“He wasn’t watching Netflix. He was listening to audio,” defense attorney Robert Andrews said Thursday.

The truck driver was not distracted by Netflix but by a vehicle directly in front of him that abruptly slowed and exited the Maine Turnpike in January 2021 near the Kittery-York town line, Andrews said. The trucker then saw other vehicles had slowed, but it was too late to stop, he said.

RELATED: Police chase on Maine Turnpike ends in crash, nearby crash fatal

The Portland Press Herald first reported the driver was streaming a Netflix show about teenage magicians.

The driver's story has been consistent from the time of the crash, when he spoke to a state trooper. He said that his phone screen was turned away to avoid being a distraction, the newspaper said.

The truck driver was indicted on a manslaughter charge last summer. Andrews said he is going to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

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