FLORIDA – Snapchat is under fire for potentially causing a fatal car collision that killed five people last week.
A Snapchat video has emerged showing a 22-year-old driver and a female companion going 115 mph moments before his car caused a fiery crash in Tampa.
Pablo Cortes III was driving westbound on a highway when he lost control of his Volkswagen Golf, careened across the median and slammed head-onto into a minivan, killing a female driver and her two children.
A Snapchat video taken moments before the accident by Cortes’ passenger, Jolie Bartolome, 19 – who was also killed – calculated the car’s speed as 115 mph, using a filter on the app.
At the time of the crash last week, Florida Highway Patrol said speed was likely a factor in the crash.
However the emergence of the video has shed light on what Cortes was doing behind the wheel moments before he lost control.
The first frames show Cortes driving at 82 miles per hour. But then another Snapchat video has Cortes with a top speed of 115 miles per hour, WTSP reported.
Bartolome is heard in the video laughing at the speed at which Cortes is driving. She also pans left to show Cortes slamming on his gearshift.
It’s unclear how soon before the crash the videos were taken.
The minivan, which was carrying four children, caught fire and Murillo and her two youngest children — John Bernal, 9, and Isabell Bernal, 10 — were killed.
After it hit the minivan, the Golf driven by Cortes collided with a Toyota Scion, the highway patrol said. Cortes and Bartolome were both killed in the wreck.
The driver of the Scion, 54-year-old widow Carla Marie Juncal Wyman, was seriously injured but survived. Debris from the collision also hit a BMW, but no one in that car was injured, reported Bay News 9.
Two other passengers in Murillo’s minivan — her 18-year-old daughter Lina Bernal and a 15-year-old girl identified as Luisa Louisa — were rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where they were listed in critical condition.
Snapchat’s speed filter has come under fire since it’s release. Critics argue that it prompts users to capture themselves in high velocity, which could increase chances of a collision.