Dayna Kempson Schacht Crash Video and Nikki Catsouras Photos
The Tragic Story of Dayna Kempson Schacht Brings to Mind the Equally Disturbing Story of Nikki Catsouras and Her Leaked Crash Photos
Danya Kempson Schacht was killed in a car crash in July, but her family's pain was magnified when they realized a video of Danya's body in the car wreck had been taken by a Georgia firefighter and had made its way onto the Internet.
Now the Spalding County Sheriff's office is looking in to the incident to see if any rules were violated; according to WTVM investigators do not believe that taking or sharing the video broke the law, but they are looking at whether any internal rules were broken. The firefighter has not been named.
One family who knows something of the Schacht's pain is the family of Nikki Catsouras, who died when she crashed her father's Porsche on October 31 2006; the accident was so horrific that the coroner would not even allow her parents to see her body.
In a moment similar to what happened at the scene of Dayna Kempson Schacht's accident, two California Highway Patrol officers who attend Nikki Catsouras' accident took a number of photos of the 18-year-old's battered and broken body.
Within a few days, these photos of Nikki's accident were circulating on the web.
Just days after Nikki's death, her father, a local real-estate agent, clicked open an e-mail that appeared to be a property listing. Onto his screen popped his daughter's bloodied face, captioned with the words "Woohoo Daddy! Hey daddy, I'm still alive."
Someone even created a fake MySpace page that looked like a tribute page, but actually led to a website with the photos attached. Even Nikki's three sisters had to take steps to avoid seeing the photos.
"There was threats that people were gonna put the pictures on my locker, in my locker," said Danielle. "I remember her in such a great way, I don't wanna see it and have that image stuck in my head."
"I've stopped using my e-mail," says Lesli Catsouras. "I don't want to see these every single day. …And you know, I take a risk every time I go on the computer."
The California Highway Patrol officers responsible for the leak of the photos were identified as Thomas O'Donnell and Aaron Reich. In February a Court of Appeal reversed a ruling that stated the two officers could avoid any legal responsibility for allegedly posting the photos on the Internet. The court ruled that the family of Nikki Catsouras does have the right to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
"O'Donnell and Reich, without [the family's consent], e-mailed or otherwise transmitted graphic and horrific photographs of the decedent to members of the public who were not involved in the official investigation of the car crash. Thereafter, more than 2,500 Internet Web sites in the United States and United Kingdom posted the photographs. [The victim's family was] subjected to malicious taunting by persons making use of the graphic and horrific photographs."