A Georgia teen facing criminal charges after wrecking her Mercedes and severely injuring another driver.
19-year-old Christal McGee’s passengers told a news station that she was using Snapchat’s speed filter and trying to reach 100 mph when her car crashed back in September of 2015.
A Clayton County judge signed off on arrest warrants for her Wednesday. She’s been charged with reckless driving, “super speeder,” driving too fast for conditions, and serious injury by vehicle; the latter being a felony.
Tasha Mosley, theÂ Clayton County Solicitor, said the DA’s office will now handle the case because of the felony charge. She added that it was warranted because McGee’s driving showed a “true disregard” for public safety.
“When you’re consciously deciding that you’re going to try to hit a certain point of 100 mph, on a rainy road … you don’t care,” she said. “For any other young person out there that’s thinking about doing this, they can see that we’re serious about pursuing charges when you hurt somebody to this extent.”
Ms. McGee rear-ended a car driven by Wentworth Maynard. He’d just turned out of his apartment complex onto Tara Boulevard, where the speed limit is 55 mph.
He spent several weeks in a coma and has a traumatic brain injury. His family is in the process of suing her and Snapchat for “encouraging reckless behavior”.
According to court records, she admitted going 90 mph, but denied she was using Snapchat at the time of the crash.
The speed filter for Snapchat tells the user the speed they’re moving at the moment the picture or video is recorded, then posts the speed overlaying the picture.
Snapchat released a statement saying, “No snap is more important than someone’s safety,” adding that the app discourages use of the speed filter while driving by including a warning message when you first use it.
“A vehicle is a weapon, and the faster you go, the more likely it is that you’re going to hurt yourself or somebody else out there.”
Solicitor Mosley had her crash reconstruction expert help the Lovejoy Police Department assess the case after an investigation by a news station last month revealed that the police had failed to correctly determine Ms. McGee’s speed during the crash. They put the cause of the accident on Mr. Maynard’s shoulders.
“He could have asked some more questions,” Lovejoy Police Chief Mark Harris said of the officer who initially responded to the crash.
The charges are hoped to send a clear message to Ms. McGee and other young drivers.