Onasi Olio-Rojas, a 20-year-old from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is in critical condition after he lost control of his Honda Civic while broadcasting a Facebook livestream and driving at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, as reported by RT.
The Onasi Olio-Rojas Facebook live crash occurred on U.S Route 6 in Providence, as reported by CBS.
The video posted to Olio-Rojas’ Facebook page shows the young adult, who was reported to have had a suspended license at the time, weaving in and out of traffic, driving off the road, and blowing past other cars before the video ends. He was said to have plowed into the back of a garbage truck and then a road barrier made of concrete.
The driver of the garbage truck was unhurt and there were no other reported injuries. Traffic on Route 6 was said to have been delayed for more than two hours as a result.
As Onasi drives through traffic, the footage alternates between shots of the road, and shots of the Rhode Islander rapping and motioning along with music being played in the background.
Olio-Rojas was reported to have been travelling as fast as 116 MPH at points during the livestream, which Rhode Island authorities have confirmed the authenticity of.
The damage to Olio-Rojas’ Honda was so severe that emergency crews needed to extract him from the totaled vehicle before he could be transported to Rhode Island Hospital.
Rhode Island police are said to be considering the possibility of charges for the 20-year-old, with the investigation into the incident continuing.
DrivingLaws.org reports that Rhode Island prohibits texting by all drivers. Bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using cell phones whatsoever — both handheld and hands-free — while operating a motor vehicle.
It is not clear where conducting a Facebook livestream fits into current distracted driving laws in the state.
Fines for texting and driving in Rhode Island start at $85 for a first offense, rise to $100 with a second offense, and are then fixed at $125 each for the third and subsequent violations of the law.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports that the use of hand-free cell phones by experienced drivers is permitted in all states, but that the District of Columbia and 38 states ban all cell phone use by inexperienced drivers and 20 states ban all cell phone use by bus drivers.
Forty-six states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. Fourteen states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have banned the use of handheld cell phones while operating motor vehicles.
In 2014, there were a total of 32,675 fatalities and 2.3 million injuries on U.S. roads and highways, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Close to 10 percent of traffic fatalities, 3,179 in 2014, are thought to be attributable to distracted driving. The GHSA notes that many incidents of distracted driving may go unreported, which could mean that it may be responsible for even more injuries and deaths.
“The federal government should fund considerably more research to determine the scope and nature of the distracted driving problem,” the GHSA writes with regard to the issue. “Further, the federal government should fund a comprehensive media campaign to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving and the way to manage driver distractions. GHSA opposes federal legislation that would penalize states for not restricting the use of cell phones or other electronic devices.”
The association recommends that all drivers refrain from using all electronic devices, including “telematics” or “navigational and other interactive devices,” while operating motor vehicles.
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