Women accused of 'cashing in' on Snapchat stunt that killed friend after taking selfie from hospital bed

Tim Wyatt

The father of a 21-year-old who died in a car crash while being filmed singing on Snapchat has accused two of her friends who survived the deadly accident of “profiting” from the tragedy.

Shania McNeill was killed when the car she was driving swerved onto the wrong side of the road in Sydney, Australia, in April.

Her two passengers, Hazel Wildman and Faeda Hunter, became infamous across Australia when they posted a seemingly lighthearted selfie of their bloodied faces in neck braces from hospital.

The pair, who have subsequently recovered from their minor injuries and gone on a TV show to explain their actions, have now been accused of exploiting the death of Ms McNeill and showing total disregard for their friend’s death.

Lee McNeill, Shania’s father, told Australia's Sunday Telegraph he too had been approached by TV networks for an interview, but refused to make any money from his daughter’s death.

“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."

Shania’s ex-boyfriend Joel Bentley has also condemned Ms Wildman and Ms Hunter over the now infamous hospital selfie.

“It's disgraceful. If your friend's just died in hospital, who the hell takes a photo?” he told the Australian Daily Telegraph.

"[Ms McNeill] had to be cut out of the car. It's not the time to be taking selfies and posting them all over social media."

But the pair have insisted they were not making light of the deadly crash, which has also seriously injured the driver of a car Ms McNeill crashed into headlong.

"When the selfie was posted, we were not aware of the condition of Shania," Ms Hunter told Australia’s Channel 7.

"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."

The tragedy began when the friends were drinking at Ms McNeill’s house, while constantly sending pictures and videos to other friends on Snapchat.

The group then decided to drive, despite having drunk significant amounts of alcohol, to a friend’s house.

The aftermath of the fatal car crash which killed Shania McNeill and injured four others (Channel 7 News)

On the way, Ms McNeill, who had MDMA and cannabis in her system as well as alcohol, a post-mortem found, started deliberately swerving into the path of oncoming cars, seemingly in a reckless game of “chicken”.

All the while, Ms McNeill’s friends were filming her as she sang and joked during the ultimately fatal journey.

Eventually she collided with another vehicle head-on, seriously injuring both its occupants. One, Dennis Sales, remains in a medically-induced coma in hospital.

Ms Hunter admitted in her TV interview they had been filming Ms McNeill and urging her on while the drunken driver swerved from side to side on the road.

“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.

“It was very reckless driving. Very stupid,” Ms Wildman added. “And from the bottom of our hearts, we’re terribly sorry.”