The use of social media while drinking and driving again proves to be a deadly combination after four young women died within a four-day period.
Using Instagram and driving drunk
On Friday, July 21, Obdulia Sanchez, Jacqueline Sanchez Estrada and Manuela Seja were driving down the road, snapping pictures and talking. However, the driver, Sanchez was also creating a live Instagram video at the same time, taking her eyes off the road and her hands off the wheel.
What happened next was shocking to all the passengers. As Sanchez lost control, she over-corrected her wheel and ended up driving the car into a wire fence. The car had flipped, ejecting the two 14-year-old girls who weren’t wearing seatbelts in the back seat.
As Sanchez got out of the car and assessed the damage, she was still recording to her Instagram account. The video recorded shows her deceased sister lying on the ground behind her, as she exclaims her remorse for her actions. It was later discovered that Sanchez had been drinking before the crash, and her Blood Alcohol Concentration was .10 after the accident.
Drinking and driving
Another tragedy struck just a few days later when four women, Heather Camisa, Bianca Herwig, Paige Smith and Brooke Molnar, were involved in a crash in Bethel Park, PA as a result of drinking and driving in combination with the use of social media.
Nearly 10 minutes worth of Snapchat videos created by the young women show that they were drinking heavily at a bar, as well as in the vehicle that they were driving. Some of the video footage shows the driver, Smith, with a bottle of liquor between her legs while she operated the vehicle.
As early morning arrived, police reported that the vehicle they were driving in veered off the road and went directly into a utility pole. Smith, Camisa, and Herwig were pronounced dead at the scene, but Molnar was transported to a hospital in critical condition.
Although neither of these accidents was purposeful, the results were deadly. The alcohol that the drivers were drinking caused them to be impaired, allowing them to make out-of-character or rash decisions. With the rise of teens using social media, drinking and driving while using a phone has become more popular.
Why this matters
As MADD said in their Facebook post about these accidents, “Stories like this highlight a disturbing trend of individuals bragging about drinking and driving on social media.”
Drunk driving is a serious matter, one that should never happen at all, let alone be publicized on through social media apps for hundreds to thousands of others to see. Although these are very sad incidents, we hope that people, especially teens, will learn from these women’s mistakes and choose to not operate a vehicle while drinking, using social media, or even worse, doing all at once.
Drunk driving while distracted by social media, texting and other technologies is the most deadly of evils our roads have ever seen. If ignition interlock devices are mandatory for all drunk driving offenders, regardless of the severity of the crime, we can cut down on some of these fatal accidents. While many states are making great strides in requiring interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, there is still progress to be made as a whole.
As Bethel Park police Chief Tim O’Conner said of the Pennsylvania situation, “We would stress to everyone that if you must drink, get a designated driver, make a phone call, have someone transport you even if you have to pay for it, party at home.There are options other than going out and trying to wheel yourself after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol.”
Intoxalock offers special pricing for the voluntary install of an ignition interlock devices. To learn more about how an ignition interlock device can help keep you or your loved ones safe on the road, call us today at (855) 531-5244.