Teen shares video of fatal drunk driving crash

Desaleen James on the CBS News Washington, D.C., affiliate, WUSA. CBS/WUSA

(CBS News) A teenager whose camera was rolling as her two friends died in a drunk driving crash wants other young people to see and hear the video. She was inside the car when she took the video and is the sole survivor.

The video first aired on CBS Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA.

Desaleen James shares her story and video from the drunk driving crash that killed her two friends

The video shows three young women - one drunk behind the wheel - headed home from a Maryland nightclub on December 29th, 2011.

The video of the crash captures one of the women in the car saying, "We're driving drunk."

The video also captured the crash and desperate rescue attempts.

The 22-year-old driver and 19-year-old passenger were both killed. Desaleen James, 18, who videotaped the entire night, survived, suffering a broken hip. She was buckled up in the front passenger seat.

In the video, a voice can be heard saying, "My friend. My friend just crashed. My friend just crashed."

"She's not moving," a voice said. "She looks dead. Oh my God. She looks dead."

James said, "I'm just wishing like I had more bodily pain, to forget about my emotional pain."

Every 50 minutes in the U.S., one person is killed in a drunk driving accident. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens - one out of three is alcohol related, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving statistics based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said, "It's all too common that we think we're invincible and we're more worried about getting busted than we are about getting hurt or getting killed."

That's what motivated Desaleen to share the video with CBS affiliate WUSA. "Maybe I'm here to save somebody else," she told the station.

That night, police say their vehicle was traveling 94-miles per hour where the posted limit was 40.

It lost control, slamming into a brick embankment, sending debris flying.

A fun night of partying was ended abruptly with a mistake repeated by thousands each year.

James said, "You never think that something like this is going to happen to you. It's one in a million, like, and then boom. It hits you. And there you are that one in a million."

The number of DUI fatalities has actually gone down in the U.S. in recent years. Mothers Against Drunk Driving credits an increase in technology and enforcement, but says Desaleen James' video proves more needs to be done.

  • Whit Johnson

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