snapchat car crash

snapchat car crash

Snapchat Car Crash

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — An Action News exclusive investigation examines a popular smart phone app that may have played a role in a deadly car crash.It’s called Snapchat, and the victim’s families say it was being used the night three young lives ended in December in a fiery Philadelphia car crash.Most people know Snapchat as the app that allows users to send their friends pictures, videos, or texts that disappear within seconds. But a triple fatal accident on Torresdale Avenue raises questions about whether it has another feature that could encourage youngsters to speed.In the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, just five days before Christmas, police say a Black Camaro carrying three young Philadelphia women was speeding down Torresdale Avenue. Their car slammed into a parked tractor-trailer carrying herbicide, and burst into flames.”A witness on the scene said he could hear people screaming from inside the car, but he couldn’t get to the vehicle due to the flames,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Anthony Ginaldi told Action News.Inside that car were the driver, Amonie Barton, and her friends, Gia Scavo Abgarian and Candice Walker. All in their early 20s, and all possibly burned alive. EMBED More News VideosAction News viewer Oleg Skywalker sent us video of flames consuming one of the tractor trailers involved. But what prompted the driver to apparently break the speed limits? New evidence uncovered by Action News points to the possibility an app exploding in popularity may have played a role.”She was a big fan of Snapchat. She would go on and check in from where she was at,” said Jimmy Abgarian, Gia’s uncle.According to several sources, including Jimmy Abgarian, that fatal night Gia posted several Snapchats documenting their whereabouts. “Apparently it showed them at a bar earlier in the day, then it showed them at a house party,” said Jimmy Abgarian.And then there was what may have been the final snap.”Then allegedly showed them in a car, holding up how fast they were going,” said Jimmy Abgarian. “I believe the mileage was about 73, they said, and could’ve gotten more.”He provided Action News with surveillance video, showing the car flying down Torresdale Avenue.The girls, we’re told, were “Snapping” their speed. The miles per hour feature, included on the Snapchat app, allows users to post videos, in some cases showing their dangerous pace.We found others on YouTube also using the filter to brag about their speed, including one Snapchat user posting a speed of nearly 106 miles per hour and a motorcycle’s Snapchat speed showing 57 miles per hour. EMBED More News VideosThe Action Cam was on the scene of where a car and two tractor trailers went up in flames in Holmesburg. Students at Temple University also told us they used the miles per hour filter in innocent ways, but have also seen it used in potentially dangerous Snapchat speeding.”One time I saw like 120 miles per hour,” said Ryan Jiang from Atlantic City, New Jersey.”You want to see how fast you can get, so when you get to open lanes, you just kick it,” said Shawn Bradley from Burlington, New Jersey.And Jackie DiGiulio from Northeast Philadelphia agreed, saying, “People go 100 down the Schuylkill, 80 down Roosevelt Boulevard.”Here’s how it works: Users can record video from inside the app; one filter records speed. The problem is that because “snaps” automatically disappear, there is no way for the family to prove what Gia sent. Her phone was destroyed in the fire.Her uncle says family members saw Gia’s snap.”The speed was on the phone from the app,” he said.”I think it’s really horrible. I think that’s horrible that there is something out there to tell them ‘Hey go faster,’ ” says Ethe Hill, Amonie Barton’s mother.Barton left behind two young sons and a devastated family.Police are still trying to determine whether the app played a role in the accident. If it did, Barton’s mom says she has very strong feelings.”If that happened, it helped to kill my daughter,” Hill said.Action News reached out to Snapchat multiple times for comment. They said they wouldn’t share a statement, but said they take distracted driving seriously. The first time someone uses the MPH feature, a message pops up warning not to snap and drive. Gia’s uncle gave us his opinion.”I would fix it. I wouldn’t no comment. I wouldn’t not say anything. I would try and fix it,” he said.KaplunMarx, the firm representing Gia’s family, plans to subpoena the Snap from Snapchat. The Philadelphia Police Accident Investigation Unit has yet to release their findings of an official cause of the accident, although speed was initially stated as a primary factor.F
snapchat car crash 1

Snapchat Car Crash

“On and before September 10, 2015, Snapchat knew that wrecks had occurred due to the use of Snapchat’s app while driving at high speed,” the complaint says. “Despite Snapchat’s actual knowledge of the danger from using its product’s speed filter while driving at excessive speeds, Snapchat did not remove or restrict access to the speed filter.”
snapchat car crash 2

Snapchat Car Crash

“Snapchat’s speed filter facilitated McGee’s excessive speeding. McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat ‘trophy,'” the complaint states. In fact, even after the accident, McGee took to the social media platform to post another bloody-faced selfie with the caption “Lucky to be alive.”
snapchat car crash 3

Snapchat Car Crash

Snapchat has an in-app warning which deters users from using the filter while driving. Their terms of service say, “Do not use our Services in a way that could distract you from obeying traffic or safety laws. And never put yourself or others in harm’s way just to capture a Snap.” Despite this, the the lawsuit says that Snapchat’s negligence is concurrent with McGee’s. The lawyers note that Snapchat has a “responsibility to act reasonably to take steps to eliminate risks associated with their products,” which it failed to do because it has not removed or restricted the speed filter yet.
snapchat car crash 4

Snapchat Car Crash

Prior to this incident, petitions on change.org have called on Snapchat to remove the speed filter but to no avail. The lawsuit goes on to suggest that despite knowledge of the dangers of the filter, Snapchat refuses to change or remove it. It cites a particular case from July 2015 where a woman in Brazil suffered from severe injuries after a car wreck caused by driving at 110 mph. A study by AT&T showed that “nearly 4-in-10 social media users tap into social media while driving.”
snapchat car crash 5

Snapchat Car Crash

She argued, according to the statement, that she was trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour so she could post it on Snapchat. McGee’s passengers saw the controversial filter hit 113 miles per hour. The teen was just about to post the Snapchat, the statement says, when she crashed into Wentworth’s Mitsubishi.
snapchat car crash 6

Snapchat Car Crash

A young girl trying to capture the perfect Snapchat is nothing out of the ordinary — but a speeding selfie comes with its costs. A new lawsuit alleges that Snapchat’s speed filter, which lets users display the speed at which they’re moving while taking a photo, encourages reckless driving and can cause automobile crashes.
snapchat car crash 7

Snapchat Car Crash

On September 10th, 2015, 18-year-old Christal McGee was caught up with trying to get over 100 mph on Snapchat’s speed filter and failed to notice Wentworth Maynard’s car pull onto the Georgia highway she was speeding on. At around 11:15PM, McGee struck Maynard’s Mitsubishi Outlander at 107 mph on a road where the speed limit was 55 mph.
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Maynard, an Uber driver, did not resume his shift that night— instead, he began a five-week stay at a hospital and now suffers from permanent brain damage. His lawyers claim that he lost 50 pounds, requires a walker or wheelchair to get around, and cannot work or support himself. They are now are suing McGee and Snapchat. Maynard and his wife — who was also in the car at the time of the accident — are seeking damages to cover his medical bills.
snapchat car crash 9

McGee, 19, allegedly was driving more than 100 mph and using Snapchat’s speed filter when she crashed into another vehicle last September. She has denied these claims.
snapchat car crash 10

The collision caused another driver, Wentworth Maynard, to suffer brain injuries. Maynard and his family are suing McGee and Snapchat to pay for his medical bills, but the case is currently on hold.
snapchat car crash 11

Snapchat has a filter that allows users to record their speed of travel, and she wanted to see how fast she could go. So McGee accelerated, then accelerated some more, reaching 113 miles per hour on a suburban road outside Atlanta where the speed limit is 55.
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McGee hit her head on the windshield of the Mercedes — then Snapchatted a photo of herself backboarded, in a neck brace, blood trickling down her forehead, according to the statement. The caption on the Snapchat read: “Lucky to be alive.”
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Lt. Michael Gaddis of the Lovejoy, Georgia, police department, told CNNMoney that the charges are being issued now because their investigation into the car crash has concluded.

Published on Jun 29, 2017 | Under Car | By michael ellis
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