YouTuber Livestreams While Driving, Runs Stop Sign, Gets Hit by Semi-Truck
A lesson in cause and effect.
A YouTube vlogger was airlifted to a California hospital with "moderate to major" injuries after livestreaming the moment he ran a stop sign and drove into the path of an oncoming semi-truck in what police are calling "a case in point for the dangers of distracted driving," KTLA reports.
Actor David Slavitt began broadcasting to the 1,500 followers of his LameDuckG YouTube channel last Thursday as he drove his Honda Fit through the desert in Llano, California on his way back from doing camera tests for what he called a "Harry-Potter-knockoff kind of movie." Throughout much of the original 45-minute video (we've added a clipped version below) he rambles on a variety of inane subjects while the phone rests on the dashboard.
But halfway through, he switches to driving with one hand and holding the phone in the other. "It's a little bit more fun, doing driving streams," he says. He eventually ends up on a dirt road and complains about the rough ride in between detailing his plans for lunch. His pontifications are interrupted a few minutes later when he comes to an intersection with a paved highway, tells everyone how glad he is to be off the dirt, and quickly turns onto it without stopping.
You know what happens next, but if not, his terrified scream says it all. And yes, that is the red big rig you see reflected in his sunglasses a moment before impact.
The livestream gets choppy and eventually cuts out as the semi strikes the little subcompact and sends it spinning off the road while Slavitt's followers react with shock in the comments. Behind the wheel of the tractor-trailer was 58-year-old trucker Elias Orozco, who swerved to avoid Slavitt's car but ended up striking the driver's side door. Fortunately, KTLA reports that Orozco was uninjured.
The same can't be said for Slavitt, who was airlifted to Apple Valley Hospital with multiple blunt force trauma injuries. But that hasn't kept him from his followers; on Sunday, he posted a picture of himself in his hospital bed wearing a massive neck brace and the caption "I'm still alive guys."
It should go without saying that livestreaming while driving is among the stupidest things you can do. Last year, a California teenager was arrested after streaming on Instagram from behind the wheel, causing a fatal crash that killed her sister, and continuing to broadcast the graphic aftermath.
"[Slavitt] luckily did not lose his life in the collision," California Highway Patrol Sergeant Steve Geraty told KTLA. "This could have been a family of five going to school or worse, and the fact of the matter is that he's the only injury in this collision is lucky."