An 18-year-old accused of livestreaming a car crash that left her 14-year-old sister dead said she kept streaming the video after the crash because she wanted to pay for her sister's funeral expenses. The young woman was allegedly drunk when she crashed the car on July 21.
Obdulia Sanchez, 18, of Los Banos, California, was charged with driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter for the crash that left her younger sister, Jacqueline Sanchez, dead, according to KGPE. Jacqueline was in the back seat with her friend. The friend survived the crash with injuries to her right leg.
Obdulia has written a four-page, double-sided letter in which she explained why she kept livestreaming to Instagram even after the crash and showing her sister's body.
"I made that video because I knew I had more than 5,000 followers," wrote the young woman. "It was the only way my sister would get a decent burial. I would never expose my sister like that. I anticipated the public donating money because my family isn't rich."
The family raised more than $12,000 for Jacqueline's funeral expenses.
"Sorry for making that video," wrote Obdulia. "I look awful but I accomplished my goal."
Obdulia added that she loved her sister, and she wished she could have taken her place.
"If I had known that was going to happen that day, I would've never left the house, ever," said Obdulia, who added that she plans to visit schools and warn students about drunk driving and the dangers it carries.
"I know I deserve to go home," wrote Obdulia, who is still in jail. "I want to visit [Jacqueline's] gravestone every day."
In a clip from the livestream, Obdulia spoke about her sister's death.
"Everybody, if I go to f**king jail for life, you already know why," she said in the video. "My sister is f**king dying."
"Jacqueline, please wake up," Obdulia said in the video.
In a phone interview, the young woman said she had livestreamed many times before while driving.
"We do it all the time," she said. "Trust me, it's like a reflex. Like, I haven't crashed -- you know?"
"We’re deeply saddened by this tragedy," said a spokesperson for Instagram, according to KTLA. "We urge people to use our reporting tools if they see any content or behavior that puts anyone’s safety at risk."
The social media service said it tries to interrupt live videos "as quickly as possible" when they have been reported, and contacts police in the case of an immediate danger.
"I think she don't know what's happened," said Obdulia's father, Nicandro Sanchez, according to the Los Angeles Times. "What I think, she knows she's done something wrong. She feels bad, but she still killed her own sister."
"It was an accident," added Nicandro. "It happened that way. Who knows why."
Ramnik Samrao, Obdulia's court-appointed lawyer, said his client was remorseful for the crash, adding that he had seen her break down in tears multiple times. According to Samrao, investigators are looking into whether a tire blowout was the cause of the fatal crash.
If convicted, Obdulia could face 13 years in prison.