ATLANTA – A lovesick teenage girl slammed her car into oncoming traffic in a suicide attempt as she counted down "ten, nine, eight ..." in text messages to the female classmate who spurned her, authorities said. The teenager survived but a woman in the other car, a mother of three, died.
Sixteen-year-old Louise Egan Brunstad faces a charge of felony murder for ramming her family's Mercedes-Benz head-on into a smaller Daewoo driven by 30-year-old Nancy Salado-Mayo of Mexico who was killed. District Attorney Paul Howard said he likely will try Brunstad as an adult. If convicted, she faces an automatic life sentence.
The prosecutor said records from a series of text messages sent from Brunstad's phone in the seconds leading up to the crash show her intentions and played into his decision to file a murder charge Thursday against Brunstad.
"There was what might be described as a countdown to the actual event — ten, nine, eight ... then the crash," Howard said.
The messages match the time of the wreck on Oct. 4. Howard said it is unclear whether the classmate they were intended for responded to them or even read them either as they were sent or afterward.
Brunstad had told friends she planned to kill herself after the female student at Holy Innocents Episcopal School refused to have sex with her, according to prosecutors.
Witnesses told police the girl never slowed down as she crossed over a turning lane and into oncoming traffic on busy Roswell Road in Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood.
"We know this was an intentional act," Howard said.
Salado-Mayo's middle child, Lesly, 6, was in a child safety seat and was treated for fractured ribs and other injuries that Howard said may be permanent.
The girl's attorney, Drew Findling, declined to discuss the charges but expressed the family's sadness over the crash.
After a memorial service in Atlanta, Salado-Mayo's body was returned to her native Mexico for burial. Her husband, Mario Bibiano, a steel worker, was unable to attend the funeral because he remained by his daughter's bedside at an Atlanta hospital.
Brunstad, who was treated for an ankle injury, was on crutches in court Thursday for a brief hearing on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.
Findling said she was free on bond Friday, but refused to say if she was home with her family. Howard said terms of her bond require her to enter a mental health facility and wear an electronic monitor around her ankle to prevent her from running away.
Officials at Brunstad's school did not immediately return telephone calls by The Associated Press on Friday. No one answered the telephone at the Brunstads' home.