The Four Teenagers Who Died While Doing TikTok’s ‘Kia Challenge’ have been identified. The challenge that promoted car theft viralized on the platform has claimed the lives of four teenagers for a car accident in buffalowith a young mother among the victims.
Claudine Ewing, a reporter for WGRZ, confirmed Tuesday, October 25, that Marcus Webster, 19, Swazine Swindle, 17, Kevin Payne, 16, and Ahjanae Harper, 14, were killed when the KIA The stolen car they were traveling in crashed Monday morning, ejecting them and another passenger.
The 16-year-old driver was treated at the hospital and released, while a fifth passenger, a 14-year-old girl, is in fair condition at the Erie County Medical Center.
Young mother among 4 teens killed in Buffalo crash
In a video Shared via Twitter, a local expresses that Harper had recently welcomed a baby girl. “She was a young mother,” says the man. “She definitely spent a lot of time with her daughter,” he stated.
Harper would celebrate her 15th birthday on November 1. Her family launched a $15,000 GoFundMe in her honor on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Swindle’s sister, Nashira Anderson, told WIBV that the teenager liked to play basketball and was known for his goofy personality.
For his part, Webster is said to have been a hard worker who juggled school and work.
In regards to Kia driver, reported stolen Sunday night, the 16-year-old has been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property. He is due back in court in November.
The “Kia Challenge”: a TikTok challenge
The teens are believed to have wrecked the car while trying to complete the “Kia Challenge“, a trend of TikTok showing viewers how to connect Kias and Hyundai’s.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters Monday that there has been an increase in carjackings since the challenge went viral. Still, experts remain skeptical that an online challenge could inspire random people to commit an illegal act.
“Isolating a specific video that seems harmful and assuming that it has a large impact on people’s behavior is not reasonable from an empirical point of view. That’s not how media effects work,” Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor in the department of communication at the University at Buffalo, told WIBV.
He added: “Most people don’t know about these challenges, most people don’t care about these challenges, and even if they watch these videos and find them funny, it doesn’t mean they’re going to go out and steal a car.”
Finally, the Buffalo Public School District stated after the accident: “Certainly, we send our deepest condolences and condolences to all the families and everyone affected by this accident. unfortunate and horrible tragedy”.
The investigation into the accident is still ongoing.
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