Society

Family Who Learned Of Fatal Crash Online Want Photo Ban

| by Jordan Smith
MirandaVallesMirandaValles

Relatives and friends of a 21-year-old woman who was killed in a motorcycle accident are calling for legislation to ban the posting of crash photos online.

Dawn Valles, whose daughter Miranda died with her friend Matthew Summers in June 2015, said pictures of her daughter’s death were on Facebook before she knew about the crash, the Daily Mail reported.

Kaley Sullivan, who was a friend of Miranda's, set up a petition to change the law.

“ALL people should be remembered for the people they were not by how they died,” it states, according to the Mail. “People are paralyzed for life from tragic accidents everyday and graphic photos are shared.”

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Dawn was already receiving condolence messages about Miranda’s death before the police notified her, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“News crews do NOT photograph or video injuries or fatalities. Medical examiners and coroners do NOT release photos of claimed bodies to the public or the media. Others should respect the victim's and families privacy as well,” the petition reads.

Dawn is also supporting the initiative.

“Nobody should ever have to find out that way,” she told the Tribune. “People think (accident photos are) cool to look at, but it's not so cool when it's your family. (That photo is) always going to be on Google.”

Sullivan decided to set up the petition after a picture of another friend who was seriously injured in a crash appeared on Facebook immediately after the accident this summer.

“I think at that point I decided something has to be done about it. You can never unsee it,” she added.

The proposed law is not supported by everyone. Legal experts argue it would have serious constitutional implications, including potentially limiting freedom of expression in public places.

“Everyone has a right to know what's going on. I believe the family would want to know . . . exactly what happened,” David Perry, who filmed footage of the aftermath of another fatal crash involving a 75-year-old man, told the Tribune. “I didn't do anything wrong. I think Facebook is good. That's kind of our voice.”

Sources: Daily Mail, Chicago Tribune/ photo credit: Daily Mail

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