Snapchat video shows women drinking before deadly Bethel Park crash
Snapchat video taken before a crash that killed three young women and critically injured a fourth in Bethel Park early Tuesday show that at least three of the women spent their last hours drinking at a bar and in the car in which they were riding.
Police are now examining the video as part of their investigation into the crash.
The Snapchat story — a series of photos and videos that users can continually add to and that disappear after 24 hours — ran about 10 minutes long.
Three of the women — Bianca Herwig, Paige Smith and Brooke Molnar — appear in an SUV early in the video. Smith is driving, Molnar is riding in the passenger seat and Herwig's in back.
They're laughing. They're singing along with the radio. They're shouting out the windows. One clip shows them walking into a bar. The next shows three shots of alcohol on a table.
Clips that follow include images of bathroom-mirror selfies, pitchers of bright blue liquor and ice, a manicured hand, the hem of a sequined red dress.
"We have to go pick up another girl," one of the women says in the bar. "Then we're going to go pick up a guy, maybe. Then we're going to a bonfire."
The women stop along the way to buy cigarettes and gas. Herwig leans from the backseat to the front seat to record herself singing with Molnar and sometimes with Smith. An air freshener swings past the camera.
The story shows Smith driving with a bottle of New Amsterdam liquor between her legs. Later, Herwig records herself drinking from it. Their hair blows in the wind from the open windows. One of the last shots shows Heather Camisa in the back seat with Herwig.
"We're going to Mike's house," Herwig says.
Police said the vehicle in which the young women were riding veered from the roadway on Route 88 and hit a utility pole, shearing it and bringing down live wires.
Bethel Park police responded about 1 a.m. and found the SUV tangled in power lines.
Camisa, 17, of Finleyville, and Smith, 21, were pronounced dead at the scene. Herwig, 23, of McDonald was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later. Molnar was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Police said the SUV was headed north on Route 88, also known as Library Road, at a high rate of speed when it left the road. There were no signs any other vehicles were involved, police said.
Bethel Park Police Chief Timothy O'Connor said detectives have determined the women in the Snapchat video are the crash victims.
"My own personal impression is that it's troubling," he said of the video. "You have four very young people seeking to go out and have a good time, and it ends in tragedy."
He said he hopes what happened to the women serves as a lesson that will stop others from drinking and driving.
"This underscores that when when speed is a factor and there's alcohol in the car, it ends in tragedy. And this did," he said.
The Trib is not displaying the video out of respect for the families.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Staff writer Jeremy Boren contributed.