A 38-year-old Florida woman lost her life on Oct. 26 along with her 9-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. The family were killed when the minivan they were traveling in was struck head-on by a car traveling at high speed on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Tampa. The 22-year-old man behind the wheel of the car and his 19-year-old passenger were also killed in the crash. While fatal accidents caused by excessive speed are not uncommon, police say that a popular social media application may have played a role in this collision.
Video posted online just minutes before the crash shows that the driver involved was traveling at speeds well in excess of 100 mph. Police know the speed of the car because the video was recorded using the Snapchat messaging application with a controversial speed filter enabled. When activated, the speed filter automatically adds a miles per hour measurement to videos and photographs. A Florida Highway Patrol representative said that the man may have been driving at dangerous speeds simply to impress his friends and social media following.
The FHP is not the first law enforcement agency to link the Snapchat speed filter with a high-speed collision. A Georgia teen is facing a felony charge after accident investigators discovered that she had increased the speed of her Mercedes sedan to more than 100 mph before crashing in September 2015. The collision left an Uber driver seriously injured. The young woman’s passengers told responding police officers that she had been using Snapchat’s speed filter at the time.
Reckless drivers are often the cause of crashes that cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries to their passengers or to people in other cars that are involved in the collision. Personal injury attorneys can often assist the victims in pursuing compensation for their losses through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.
Source: Fox 13, Tampa, “Video shows car speeding 115 mph before deadly crash”, Lloyd Sowers, Oct. 28, 2016Source: The N.Y. Daily News, “Georgia teen sued over Snapchat use in high-speed car crash now facing criminal charges”, Tobias Salinger, June 1, 2016