In Buffalo, New York, killed four teenagers killed in car crash, including a young mother. The real tragedy of this event was the car crash took place while they were attempting a TikTok challenge encouraging car theft. On Oct. 24, Marcus Webster, 19, Swazine Swindle, 17, Kevin Payne, 16, and Ahjanae Harper, 14, when the stolen Kia they were riding in crashed, ejecting them and one other passenger, the New York Post reported.
The 16-year-old driver was treated at the hospital and released while a fifth passenger, a 14-year-old girl, is listed in good condition at Erie County Medical Center.
According to a video that was shared on Twitter, a man said Harper recently welcomed a baby girl, “She was a young mother. She definitely spent a lot of time with her daughter.” She was set to celebrate her 15th birthday on Nov. 1.
— Claudine Ewing (@ClaudineWgrz) October 25, 2022
Nashira Anderson, the sister of Swindle, talked to WIVB and said the teen enjoyed playing basketball and was known for his goofy personality. Walker was said to be a hard worker who juggled school and a job.
Meanwhile, the driver of Kia, which was reported stolen on Sunday night, has been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of the stolen property, officials said. He is scheduled to be back in court in November.
According to officials, the teens were believed to have crashed the car while trying to complete the “Kia challenge,” a trend on TikTok that shows viewers how to hot-wire Kias and Hyundais. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said law enforcement has seen a spike in car thefts since this challenge has gone viral.
However, Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo communication department, doesn’t seem to correlate the challenge with the things happening. They said, “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.”
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The investigation into the car accident is still ongoing, officials said.