Driver is Jailed After Winking for Selfie Before Killing Motorcyclist

A person with light skin and brown hair is sitting in the driver's seat of a car, sticking their tongue out and winking. The car window is partially visible, and a blurred green landscape can be seen outside.

Another selfie has ended in a tragic death but this time it was an innocent bystander rather than the picture-taker with the latter now facing imprisonment.

23-year-old Amber Potter from the U.K. admitted causing the death of David Sinar after she had taken a selfie of herself winking while behind the wheel of a car. She has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

Sinar, 64, was riding a vintage Lambretta scooter when Potter plowed into the back of him on September 15, 2021.

Sky News reports that despite her phone being in ‘do not disturb’ mode, Potter took selfies while driving and an analysis of her phone found she had also been on Facebook Messenger and sending texts shortly before the incident.

A smiling man with short, gray hair is sitting by a window. He is wearing a bright blue T-shirt that says, "Never underestimate an old man with a Vespa" in white text. He has one arm resting on the back of the bench and the other arm on the table.
David Sinar

Sinar’s wife told the court that her husband’s passing had made life “unbearable” as the father leaves behind his teenage son and 97-year-old mother who are both heartbroken.

“This tragic case highlights the devastating effects drivers who interact with their mobile devices whilst driving have on others,” said Andrew Hughes, who was part of the collision investigation unit. “It is a selfish and needless act which has severe consequences for so many people.”

Public Health Issue

Selfie deaths have become a grim reality of modern life with a shocking amount of people willing to risk their life, or someone else’s, in the pursuit of a photograph.

In a paper published in September, researchers found that selfie-related injury and deaths have become a public health concern amid the near ubiquitous use of smartphones and social media apps.

The paper scraped news reports of selfie-related deaths as well as a cross-sectional study by the iO Foundation that found 379 people were killed while taking selfies around the world between January 2008 and July 2021.

The researchers identified falls from height as the most common type of selfie-related injury. They said that tourists were most at risk, with the most common cause of death being falling from cliffs or waterfalls while attempting to take a selfie. Drowning while attempting to take a selfie was the second most common cause of death.

But despite this, there appears to be no end to the problem. Just last week a woman in Mexico was fatally struck by a train that she was trying to position herself next to for a selfie.

Image credits: Norfolk police.