“Are you going live?” were the last words heard by Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, 19, before being fatally killed by a tractor-trailer, back in Decemeber 2016. Morrison-Toomey was riding in the passenger seat while her friend Brooke Miranda Hughes, 18, was simultaneously driving and recording a Facebook live video. The Times-Tribune reports that the Facebook video shows Hughes face before flickering lights flash within the car followed by the sound of screeching tires. Before the video ends, the sound of a man talking can be heard accompanied by a bearded face.
The video was posted to Ms. Hughes profile, not by Ms. Hughes herself, and was viewed more than 7,000 times before being removed due to investigation. The video was not banned from Facebook because it did not violate Facebook rules of explicitly showing a violent death and/or suicide of a victim.
Pennsylvania State Trooper Dave Peters speculates that the accident was caused by the teens driving on a spare tire, despite initial reports stating that the teen girls were driving on a flat tire. Due to the car catching fire, authorities are having a difficult time determining the original state the car was in before the accident and could not visually identify the teens. However, authorities did announce the girls dead at the scene.
Unfortunate accident like these should warn drivers that distracted driving behaviors and un-maintained vehicles can lead to accidents. In order to avoid being involved in motor vehicle accidents, drivers should not text, use hand-held devices, and drivers and passengers alike should refrain from engaging in social media. Motorists should also keep up with regular car maintenance and in case of a flat tire or other emergency, work to fix the problem as soon as possible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 alone, 60% of people that were killed due to distracted driving crashes were teenagers. This is a statistic to keep in mind with summer break fast approaching leading to many teens hitting the road. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We help victims of negligent, speeding, and distracted driving cases identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call today, 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.