The world is a bizarre place. Every day, a scandalous story hits the headlines that leaves us all totally dumbfounded. But nothing can quite compare to the story of Obdulia Sanchez, the 18-year-old girl who live-streamed her sister’s death after a traumatic car accident.
On July 21, Sanchez was arrested after the 2003 Buick that she was driving down Henry Miller Road in Stockton, California crashed through a barbed wire fence before overturning in a field after she lost control of the vehicle. This is frightening enough, but as further details emerged of the crash, investigators were left speechless.
The 18-year-old was allegedly highly intoxicated at the time of the incident, with her blood alcohol content reading a reported 0.101 – the legal limit in California is 0.08.
Traveling in the vehicle with Sanchez was her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline and her girlfriend Manuela Seja, neither of whom were wearing their seat-belts. Upon impact, the two passengers were ejected from the vehicle.
As her sister, who died upon impact, lay on the grass with blood streaming from her head, Sanchez began to film. “Jacqueline please wake up,” Sanchez can be heard saying in the video. “I f**king killed my sister, OK? I know I’m going to prison, but I don’t care.” Meanwhile Seja was suffering with extreme leg trauma.
The video played out on Sanchez’s Instagram story, where it was picked up by a follower who shared it on Facebook, where it then garnered the attention of international media and appeared on graphic video sharing website, LiveLeak.
Recalling the incident, Sanchez explains: “We were perfectly freaking fine. We were perfectly freaking fine,” Sanchez recalled. “Then next thing I know, we started going left. We started going left, then I started to stop the car. Then we flipped over.”
“I look in the back seat – and there’s nobody in the back seat, and that’s when I started freaking out,” she said. She then explained how she stepped out of the vehicle to see Seja with a “little cut on her leg” before finding her sister. “And then I see my sister,” she said. “I tried to take her pulse, and then I saw her brain and I just lost it.”
Despite this, Sanchez, who had been live-streaming whilst driving, continued to record. She pans the camera around to her sister’s lifeless body, as blood gushes out of a large wound in her skull. “I did CPR and called the police, then I did the live video, and then I called police again,” she told KSEE.
A pixellated video of the incident is below, although I still urge readers to be cautious if they choose to view it, as it may cause distress:
When the emergency services arrived at the scene, Sanchez became combative toward the officers as they tried to lead her into an ambulance. In one report, it is claimed that she was spitting at them and making racial slurs, and even kicked one of the ambulance team in the face. But, Sanchez maintains that she was just trying to say goodbye to her sister.
Sanchez’s bizarre behavior immediately after the crash has now been viewed by more than 700,000 people. They have all heard Sanchez casually tell the camera: “I f***ing love my sister to death. I don’t give a f***. We about to die. This is the last thing I wanted to happen to us, but it just did,” as blood gushed from her own head.
During the 911 call, Sanchez’s peculiar behavior intensifies. “Can you come pick up my sister, she is f***ing dead. Man, I just crashed and I was DUI. Can you please come pick us up?” she yells down the phone to the operator.
Sanchez was then charged, but her main concern appeared to be how much her bail would be, according to a report. She was then strapped into a gurney to stop her kicking, spitting and yelling.
Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to all charges, whilst acknowledging that the livestream makes her look like a “horrible monster”. She claims that she took the video to help pay for her sister’s funeral as she knew she had 5,000 followers on the photo sharing website who may help. “I would never expose my sister like that. I anticipated the public donating money because my family isn’t rich,” she said.
Her claims are part of an eight page letter that she wrote to a local news network, in which she says: “Sorry for making that video. I look awful, but I accomplished my goal.”
Explaining why she took the video, Sanchez nonchalantly said: “Trust me, it’s like a reflex. Everybody does it. Everybody does. They take Snapchats. Why not? People take video of them in cars like all the time. And I’m only 18 – we’re still young.”
Now, Sanchez has said that she would like to record and dedicate a song to her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline. The song, she says, will include a remix about the dangers of texting and driving to the backing track of ‘Como Lo Flor’ by the late Mexican singer, Selena.
To repent for her behavior, Sanchez has said she would like to speak at high schools about the dangers of drinking and driving. She would also like to open a boxing gym with her father and erect a statue in Stockton to pay tribute to her sister. She is also keen to start her own clothing line.
“I know I deserve to go home. I want to visit [Jacqueline’s] gravestone every day,” wrote Sanchez in her letter, who has been in prison since the day of the incident.
She is currently facing up to 164 months in prison if convicted of the six charges against her. Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to all counts, which include two counts of driving under the influence resulting in injury.
Sanchez’s defense attorney claims that the crash occurred after the 2003 Buick the three teenagers were traveling in suffered a blow out. However, he also said that Sanchez had no idea what she was doing during the incident, something she now clearly invalidates by claiming that she was livestreaming to pay for her sister’s funeral.
Her lawyer said he did not know Sanchez was going to send the eight page letter to the local news.
“People are involved in tragic car accidents every day where someone dies. Not every time is there a crime committed,” her lawyer said. ‘It’s important for people not to rush to judge her. Everyone has only seen a few minutes of her life on an Instagram video. They know nothing about her history, or her history in the foster care system, or that she was a victim of sex trafficking.”
Sanchez is currently being held for a $560,000 bail after a superior court judge discovered that she had a previous conviction for reckless driving when she was 14 years old and found to be driving without a license.