For a few seconds, a light illuminated Brooke Hughes' face. "Are you going live?" a voice asked, but Hughes didn't have time to respond. With the sound of squealing tires, the Facebook Live video went dark after midnight on Tuesday, reports the Scranton Times-Tribune. By the time a bearded man appeared to pick up Hughes' phone and stop the recording seven minutes later, Hughes, 18, and her passenger Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, 19, were likely dead. Police say a tractor-trailer hit Hughes' car from behind as it drove slowly in the right lane of Interstate 380 near Tobyhanna, Penn., where the posted speed limit is 70mph, per the Times-Tribune. The car, which a state trooper said was driving with a "doughnut" tire, hit a guardrail before bursting into flames, per WFMZ.
The women from Lackawanna County were pronounced dead at the scene, though their bodies were unrecognizable. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured; it isn't clear if he'll face charges. Police say the live video—later posted to Hughes' Facebook page and watched at least 7,000 times before it was removed—will be an important piece of evidence as they investigate. "It broke me," says a friend of the teens who watched the video after driving around with Hughes and Morrison-Toomey in the hours before the crash. She was later dropped off in Scranton, but "I feel like if I went [with them], I could have stopped it somehow," she says. Adds a friend of Hughes who also watched the video: "I [saw] light, and then I heard the crash." (Three men were gunned down on Facebook Live.)