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Man streamed 115 mph ride on Facebook before crash, police say

Commentary: In Rhode Island a man is in hospital after allegedly live-streaming a ride from hell along a highway.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


A scene from the Facebook Live broadcast.

WPRI-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The police described Onasi Olio Rojas's Facebook Live broadcast in stark terms.

"He has his camera in his right hand, videotaping himself as he's driving, has no seatbelt on, he starts to hit speeds of 90 miles an hour, which increases to 100 miles an hour, then you see several erratic lane changes where he goes from the high-speed lane to the low-speed lane, into the breakdown lane, in and out of traffic," Capt. John Allen of Rhode Island State Police told WPRI-TV.

Police say he reached a speed of 115 mph as he weaved in an out of traffic on Route 6 in Providence, Rhode Island, on Wednesday morning.

It didn't end well. He allegedly crashed into a garbage truck at a speed police estimate as 90 mph. Police say it took firefighters some time to get the 20-year-old out of his Honda.

He will, they say, be arraigned. The police department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about Rojas's condition, but reports say that it's already asked Facebook to preserve the video as evidence.

Facebook told me it doesn't discuss specific cases. However, a company spokeswoman said: "People watching Live video can report violations of our Community Standards, and we will take action to remove any violating content as quickly as possible. We also encourage people to contact law enforcement if they see a Live stream in which someone is in danger."

The temptation to broadcast yourself live doing dangerous or patently stupid things is too great for many, including the famous.

Golden State Warriors' power forward Draymond Green, for example, allegedly posted a video to Snapchat, as he drove as 118mph in his new BMW. Green later apologized.

Performing for the camera while speeding has also led to deaths. In one case, the families of the dead released a video of the ride in the hope that others might be deterred from such behavior.

People, however, will do what they will do to get noticed, if only for a few seconds or minutes. The potential consequences seem to escape them. Until those consequences hit them, that is.