SNAPCHAT CRASH: Story behind this outrageous selfie
The two girls who took Snapchat videos of Shania McNeill swerving her car into oncoming traffic have spoken publicly for the first time since her death.
Hazel Wildman and Faeda Hunter made national headlines when they livestreamed videos showing Ms McNeill, 21, appearing to swerve her pink Nissan Micra recklessly into oncoming traffic as they screamed in terror.
Six weeks since the April 28 incident, her friends tearfully recalled the night to Sunday Night's Alex Cullen, and explained why they posted a controversial hospital selfie in the wake of her death.
Through tears, they described their friend as a "very one-of-a-kind" woman who "brought life into the room as soon as she walked in".
'WE THOUGHT SHANIA WAS FINE'
Following the crash, which killed Ms McNeill, the two passengers posted a lighthearted selfie while they were in recovering in hospital.
In the photo, they can be seen wearing neck braces and Ms Wildman's face is covered in blood, but they appear to be in positive spirits.
The photo made global headlines, and the pair drew fierce criticism from social media users and the media for posting it in the wake of Ms McNeill's death.
But they said they were completely unaware their friend had died from massive internal injuries.
"She just looked like she was sleeping, and happy sleeping. She looked beautiful on the outside," Ms Wildman told Sunday Night. "She had two scratches on her - that's all. She looked fine. That's why I thought she was okay."
Ms Hunter - who posted the photo - said she had no idea what really happened to her friend at the time.
"When the selfie was posted, we were not aware of the condition of Shania," said Ms Hunter.
"Messages were already coming through on my phone. People wanted to know what was going on, so I just put it out there to say, 'We're okay'. We thought Shania was fine. I even sent it to her Snapchat, as a personal message.
"She never opened it though."
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THAT NIGHT?
According to Ms McNeill's friends, the trio began their night together at Ms Wildman's house. They were in good spirits and posted various videos to Snapchat of themselves laughing and having fun.
At the last minute, they decided to go out to a small club in Richmond. They left around 12.30am and were on their way to a friend's house.
At the same time, father-of-three Dennis Sales and his good friend Ken Morrow got in a car to head home from the Riverstone RSL club, where they had played a gig.
Ms Hunter admitted the girls had all had a few drinks before they got in the car. "We just thought it was going to be a fun night. But things changed very quickly and drastically."
"Sometimes I'm not fully aware of what I'm filming or where the camera's pointing. I was filming her. We were encouraging her for a while … just having fun. Then it started to get scary."
Ms McNeill started deliberately driving on the wrong side of the road - playing a game of chicken with oncoming traffic.
"It was very reckless driving. Very stupid," added Ms Wildman.
Ms Hunter said they'd previously tried taking her keys if they knew she'd been drinking, and it never ended well.
"I just remember swerving. Lots of cars. Six to eight cars," said Ms Hunter.
"They were playing chicken. It's a death wish," Mr Sales told the program.
But the girls denied knowing what the game of "chicken" was.
When asked if that's what they were doing, Ms Hunter replied: "I guess you could call it that. I don't know where that name came from, but I believe that's what she doing, the act of driving on the incorrect side of the road and, yeah … unfortunately this one time went too far.
"I had never even heard of it before this incident."
After a subsequent toxicology report, alcohol, MDMA and cannabis were found in Ms McNeill's system. But her friends denied drugs were involved.
"Not to my knowledge," said Ms Hunter. "But again, I'm not too sure what happened on that side of things."
Mr Sales suffered critical injuries from the accident. He was in a coma for two days after the head-on.
Two weeks following the accident, still heavily bandaged, he gave an interview lashing the group after seeing the disturbing Snapchat vision.
"I've only seen that (video) a few times," Mr Sales said.
The girls have not met Mr Sales or Mr Burrows, but said they wish they could apologise to them.
"I'm sorry," said Ms Hunter. "I didn't want any of this to happen. It was just reckless."
"A very reckless act," said Ms Wildman. "And from the bottom of our hearts, we're terribly sorry."
OUTRAGE OVER THE SEVEN INTERVIEW
The interview has sparked outrage on social media, with many questioning whether the girls had profited from the tragedy, and some criticising the Seven Network for "giving them a platform" and "rewarding their behaviour".
The pair's TV appearance has also been slammed by Shania's grieving father Lee McNeill.
I'm sorry but if these girls are being paid for this interview, it's absolutely disgusting and morally wrong.— Jenni WS (@woodsjenni_05) June 16, 2019
He told the Sunday Telegraph that he had been approached by two TV networks but didn't believe anyone should make money from the tragedy.
"I've got a box of ashes in my garage. It makes me sick to involve money," he said.
"It's nice to know the girls are profiting of my daughter's death.
"I was approached by two networks but I didn't sign anything. It makes me sick to involve money."
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said following the accident that drivers being distracted by social media is a problem on the increase. He said it affects drivers across age brackets.
"It's not just young people - it's right through the (age) spectrum," Mr Corboy said.
"Any trend of going to video or Instagram or any of those social media platforms and sending out video or taping while you're driving is a trend we're really trying to stop.
"The message needs to get through that if you continue to do this, you or your friends could continue to die."