Young mum among 4 teens killed in car crash while attempting TikTok challenge

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    Four teenagers were tragically killed in a car crash while attempting a TikTok challenge that encouraged car theft.

    Marcus Webster, 19, Swazine Swindle, 17, Kevin Payne, 16, and Ahjanae Harper, 14, were travelling in a stolen Kia that crashed on Monday morning, killing all four teens, WGRZ reporter Claudine Ewing confirmed.

    The driver of the vehicle, 16, was released from hospital, while a fifth passenger, a 14-year-old girl, has been listed in good condition at Erie County Medical Centre.

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    A local resident said in a video that the 14-year-old Harper had recently given birth to a baby girl.

    “She was a young mother,” the man said. “She definitely spent a lot of time with her daughter.”

    Her family launched a $15,000 (£13,000) GoFundMe in her honour on Tuesday, who was set to celebrate her 15th birthday on November 1.

    The driver of the Kia, was subsequently charged with unauthorised use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property and is set to return to court in November.

    The teens are believed to have been attempting the “Kia challenge,” a TikTok trend that shows users how to illegally gain entry to Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

    Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that law enforcement has seen an increase in car thefts since the challenge went viral on the social-media app.

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    Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo communication department, said: “Isolating a specific video that seems detrimental, and assuming that it has a huge impact over people’s behaviour, is just unreasonable from an empirical point of view.

    "That’s not how media effects work.

    “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 amusing, it doesn’t mean they’re going to walk out and steal a car.”

    “We certainly send our deepest condolences and sympathies to all the families, and everyone impacted by this unfortunate and horrific tragedy,” the Buffalo Public School District stated following the accident, which is under investigation.


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    • Motoring
    • TikTok

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