Murder By Mercedes-Benz
Louise Egan Brunstad, a 16-year-old
Police said a lovesick teenager tried to kill herself but ended up killing someone else instead.More from another source here.
Authorities in Atlanta described what they said was a suicide attempt by a 16-year-old girl, who they said sent text messages on her cell phone as she was about to drive into an oncoming car.
They said Louise Egan Brunstead [sic] had told friends she was going to kill herself, because another female student at her high school had refused to have sex with her.
They said before driving her family's Mercedes into the oncoming car, she counted down, "Nine, eight, seven, six -- I'm going to do it" in a text message to the girl who had rejected her.
Brunstad survived the Oct. 4 crash with just an ankle injury -- but the driver of the other car, Nancy Salados-Mayo, a mother of three, was killed. The woman's 6-year-old daughter was injured.
The 16-year-old was charged Thursday with felony murder. Prosescutors said they'll try her as an adult. If she's convicted, she automatically gets life in prison.
Her attorney said she and her parents are "devastated" by what he called a "horrible accident." He said the girl is being held at a mental health facility and is wearing an electronic monitor around her ankle to keep her from running away.
Brunstead has been in custody since the crash. The victim's family was in court Thursday and learned some very startling news about why Salados-Mayo died.
Salados-Mayo's husband, Mario Bibiano, made a statement after hearing about the suicide attempt.
"It's hard to make sense out of it because this person was attempting to commit suicide -- why didn't she try it on her own instead of causing harm to others?" Bibiano said outside the court Thursday.
Brunstad has now been charged as an adult with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault. At the time of the crash, officials said she was speeding and crossed over the center line.
"It's tragic and it doesn't bring anybody back, but parents must be responsible for what their teens do in vehicles which are, after all, nothing more than lethal weapons if they're motivated in a certain way," said civil attorney Yehuda Smolar.
After a memorial service in Atlanta, Salados-Mayo's body was returned to her native Mexico for burial. Her husband, a steelworker, was unable to attend because he remained by his daughter's bedside at an Atlanta hospital.
Salados-Mayo was headed to work to get her schedule when the crash happened. Her family said she was a hard worker.
Heh. I'd be willing to bet that Brunstad could profit financially from this because somebody over at Lifetime is already pondering the possibilitiy of making a made-for-television movie.
Update:(10/23/06) Check out Big Sky Girl's gut reaction to this sorry episode.