A Marietta teen survived being thrown from a sunroof during a fatal rollover crash that Florida deputies now say was caused by an animal running across the road.
A report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the crash that 16-year-old Jamie Bennett survived. Deputies have not said why Bennett was in Florida.
The girl who died, Brooke Rice, also 16, and the two others were from the Naples area where the crash occurred, according to the local sheriff’s office.
They were driving June 30 at 10:20 p.m. on a neighborhood road when the car rolled over.
The driver told investigators that an animal crossed in front of the vehicle, so she swerved, lost control and ran off the road before hitting a tree and then a brick structure.
None of them were wearing seatbelts, according to the report, which says investigators don’t believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. Rice was in the back on the driver’s side.
Bennett was in the front seat before she fell out of the sunroof. She was released from the hospital soon after the crash, deputies said.
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, said Bennet is an “Instagram star” who has “garnered followers on Instagram with her fitness and fashion posts.”
The private account they link to has about 13,600 followers.
“We were simply just trying to ride down the street with the windows down to get the bugs out of the car,” the tabloid reports in a caption of a photo showing Bennett bandaged up in the hospital. “Things happen in a heart beat.”
It goes on: “Brooke was sticking her head out of the window letting the wind brush her face. She had the biggest smile on her face. Moments later we ended up in a ditch. l climbed back through the sunroof and searched for my friends.”
When asked if there are any charges expected, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman told The AJC that the crash is still under investigation.
The Catholic school Rice attended held a memorial service for her, which was covered by the Naples Daily News.
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