A teen and her friend were killed in a car crash after going “live” on Facebook while driving.

How Facebook Live May Have Led to a Fatal Crash

This month, a teenager in Pennsylvania had an accident that resulted in the death of her friend and herself after using an app to record herself as she drove along a highway.  This tragedy highlights the importance of paying full attention while driving — and never engaging in distracted driving such as video recording yourself while driving.

The accident occurred when 18 year old Brooke Hughes was driving slowly in the right lane of Interstate 380 in north eastern Pennsylvania.  Her passenger, 19 year old Chaniya Morrison-Toomey asked her if she was “going live” through Facebook’s live video service.  Brooke never had a chance to answer, as both teens died after their car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.  The phone continued to record for seven minutes, showing a man speaking towards the end of the video.

The cause of the accident has yet to be determined by Pennsylvania authorities.  It is entirely possible that the accident was due to the negligence of the trucker, but one thing is clear: using any sort of app on your smartphone while driving is incredibly dangerous.  If Brooke had been paying attention instead of taking a video while driving, she and her friend might both still be alive.   She may have been driving the speed limit, or been able to speed up or move out of the way when she saw the approaching truck.

This tragic accident highlights the need for all parents to talk to their kids about distracted driving — and to never engage in those types of behaviors themselves.  Texting and driving, using apps, and taking videos are all incredibly dangerous.  They are also a growing cause of accidents among drivers of all ages, with drivers under age 20 being the most likely to engage in distracted driving that leads to fatal accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 people were injured in 2013 due to distracted driving — an increase of almost 10 percent since 2011.  In 2013, one in five accidents resulting in injuries involved distracted driving.  These statistics are scary, and show that distracted driving is an incredibly serious problem in our country.

So what can you do?  The first step is to never engage in distracted driving behaviors yourself.  This means that you should not use your phone to make a call, text, send an email, check social media or play games while driving.  Talk to your kids about not doing these things either — and consider installing an app that locks their phone while they are behind the wheel, such as LifeSaver.  The next step is to be extra vigilant while driving.  Knowing that other drivers are likely to be distracted means that you should take extra precautions to avoid accidents.  This may include leaving a greater distance between vehicles and constantly scanning your surroundings to be on the lookout for distracted drivers.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, know that we are here for you.  Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or  We offer high-quality legal representation to victims of car accidents through our California and Arizona offices, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for our clients.  Initial consultations are always free of both cost and obligation.