An 18-year-old woman who livestreamed a video of herself behind the wheel during a fatal vehicle crash faces felony charges.
A 14-year-old girl was thrown from the car and died on Friday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
In the video she streamed to Instagram live, the driver — Obdulia Sanchez of Stockton — identifies the girl who died as her sister.
“Everybody, if I go to f****** jail for life, you already know why. My sister is f****** dying,” Sanchez says in the video.
Investigators said they’re aware of video evidence on social media that could shed light on the crash, which happened near Los Banos.
Sanchez has been charged with one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to a release Wednesday from the Merced County district attorney’s office.
“I think she doesn’t know what happened,” her father Nicandro Sanchez told CNN affiliate KFSN. “What I think is she knows she’s done something wrong. Because she knows, and that’s what I feel. She feels bad for herself, but she killed her own sister.”
Her parents told the station that they had seen the video.
Sanchez appeared by video for arraignment on Wednesday, and her public defender entered a not guilty plea on her behalf, the Los Angeles Times reported. The attorney told reporters that his client “feels absolutely terrible,” the Times reported.
Authorities said Sanchez was driving when her car started to veer off the road. She overcorrected, sending her car across the lane going the opposite way.
Her car then went through a barbed wire fence and flipped over, causing two 14-year-old girls to fly out of the car.
One of the girls — whom Sanchez calls “Jacqueline” — could be seen lying on the ground in the video.
“She was in the back seat of the vehicle and allegedly unseatbelted, and upon the vehicle rolling over, it ejected her and killed her,” Sheriff Vern Warnke said, according to CNN affiliate KFSN.
A girl from Fresno, California, was also in the car and suffered major injuries to her leg.
Neither passenger was wearing a seat belt, according to the highway patrol.
Sanchez started recording while she was driving down the highway.
Amid screams and chaos, she continued livestreaming, even after the car had come to a stop. She’s seen in the video shaking her sister and kissing her on the cheek.
“Jacqueline, please wake up,” she begs in the Instagram video.
“We’re deeply saddened by this tragedy. We urge people to use our reporting tools if they see any content or behavior that puts anyone’s safety at risk,” an Instagram spokesperson said.
In a statement to CNN, Instagram said it attempts to interrupt live videos “as quickly as possible” once they’ve been reported. Instagram will also contact law enforcement if there’s an immediate threat.
Sanchez’s video surfaced after Mary Hernandez, also of Stockton, recorded it and posted it to Facebook. The social media site removed the video, citing a violation of Facebook Community Standards.