It was ABC News that reported on the man who was cruelly posting photos of a young boy in the moments after a fatal accident. The man was responsible for hitting a 16-year-old who was walking on an errand. He never made it to his intended destination because the impact left him crumpled and bleeding in the intersection. And, it was at that moment, that the driver exited his car and took the photo of the boy’s body.
This all took place in Jacksonville, just three and a half hours from Saint Petersburg, and the mother recounted the story to the media, breaking into tears multiple times as she recounted wishing that he was simply sleeping, going to wake again. And, as that poor mother grieved the loss of her teenage son, the driver who had hit him was busy on Twitter, posting photos and comments like “I just killed someone” along with the photo of the bloodied boy lying in the street. Of course, there is a lot of anger pointed in his direction now, as people question his ability to do something so cruel and to make light of it on social media.
These posts came shortly after the same man tweeted that he had “drunk so much lean… inah trap all night…”
According to Urban Dictionary, this drink was popularized in Houston, Texas, and involves the mixing of Promethazine with Codeine, Sprite, and Jolly Ranchers. The first is a cough suppressant and antihistamine. It is used to treat cold and allergy symptoms, but it is not available over the counter in the United States (though it is sold without prescription in Canada). Codeine is, of course, a narcotic and capable of producing a euphoria and high that many people seek. This is a drink of choice of young kids; in most cases, though, because the cough suppressant isn’t readily available in this country, new versions of lean have been created, using OTC cough and cold medications. Some of these contain active ingredients that become psychoactive when taken at higher-than-recommended dosages. That effect has led to the abuse of cough and cold drugs, especially those containing DXM (Dextromethorphan) because of the euphoria and dissociative effects it can produce. It has even been reported to cause hallucination. Along with the high, though, comes the extreme drowsiness, and a disconnect between the brain and parts of the body, which would certainly make it very difficult to operate a motor vehicle.
Though this man was not tested at the scene of the accident, his use of the mind-altering drugs could come back to haunt him in court, when facing a personal injury attorney, because he posted such a public statement about drinking lean just prior to the accident. Furthermore, it could certainly be argued that a person in the right state of mind wouldn’t take photos of a seriously injured or deceased person and post it to social media in such a fashion, particularly with the caption ‘I just killed a person.’
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, along with the other versions of social media can be used against you in St. Petersburg courts as well, if you are publicly incriminating yourself in some way. This man will very likely pay for his actions, both for the use of drugs before driving, and the poor decision to broadcast the body of a child killed in a brutal accident.