updated 10/20/2006 2:43:27 PM ET 2006-10-20T18:43:27

A lovesick 16-year-old girl crashed her car into an oncoming vehicle in a suicide attempt, counting down the moments before impact in text messages sent to the female classmate who spurned her, authorities say. The girl survived; a woman in the other car was killed.

The teenager, Louise Egan Brunstad, was charged Thursday with murder in the Oct. 4 wreck.

“There was what might be described as a countdown to the actual event — 10, 9, 8 ... then the crash,” District Attorney Paul Howard said.

Howard said it was unclear whether the classmate the messages were intended for responded to them or even read them, either as they were sent or afterward.

Authorities said Brunstad rammed her family’s Mercedes-Benz head-on into a smaller car driven by 30-year-old Nancy Salado-Mayo, a mother of three. Salado-Mayo was killed, and her 6-year-old daughter Lesly, who was in a child safety seat, suffered broken ribs and other injuries.

Brunstad, who was treated for an ankle injury, had told friends she planned to kill herself after another female student at Holy Innocents Episcopal School refused to have sex with her, Howard said.

Witnesses told police the girl never slowed as she crossed over a turning lane and into oncoming traffic on busy Roswell Road in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood on Oct. 4.

“She was traveling at a high rate of speed,” Howard said. “This is an intentional action.”

Student to be tried as an adult
Prosecutors said they intend to try her as an adult. If convicted, she faces an automatic life sentence.

The girl’s attorney, Drew Findling, declined to discuss the allegations but expressed the family’s sadness over the accident.

“This young lady and her parents are devastated by this horrible accident and by the death of Mrs. Salado-Mayo and the injuries of her daughter,” Findling said. “They are praying for the quick and healthy recovery of her daughter and for the well-being of her husband and other children.”

After a memorial service in Atlanta, Salado-Mayo’s body was returned to her native Mexico for burial. Her husband, Mario Bibiano, a steelworker, was unable to attend because he remained by his daughter’s bedside at an Atlanta hospital.

Brunstad was on crutches in court Thursday for a brief hearing. Her lawyer said she was released on bail Friday. Howard said the terms of her bail require her to enter a mental health facility and wear an electronic monitor around her ankle to prevent her from running away.

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