The four teenagers who were killed in a car accident in Buffalo while participating in a TikTok challenge encouraging car theft have been identified, and one of the victims was a young mother.
WGRZ reporter Claudine Ewing confirmed Tuesday that Marcus Webster, 19, Kevin Payne, 16, Ahjanae Harper, 14, and Swazine Swindle, 17, were killed when the stolen Kia they were riding in crashed on Monday morning, ejecting them and one other passenger.
A 16-year-old driver was treated at the hospital and released, while a 14-year-old passenger at Erie County Medical Center is listed as being in good condition.
A local claims in a video posted to Twitter that Harper had recently given birth to a girl.
The man recalls, “She was a young mother.”She spent a lot of time with her daughter, without a doubt.
On November 1, Harper was scheduled to celebrate her 15th birthday.On Tuesday, her family set up a $15,000 GoFundMe account in her memory.
According to Nashira Anderson, Swindle’s sister, the adolescent was well-known for his silly persona and enjoyed playing basketball.In contrast, it is alleged that Webster was a diligent student who managed to balance work and school.
The driver of the Kia that was reported stolen on Sunday night has since been charged with criminal possession of the stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle.In November, he is scheduled to return to court.
It is believed that the teens were attempting to complete the “Kia challenge,” a TikTok trend in which viewers are shown how to hot-wire Hyundais and Kias, when they crashed the vehicle.Monday, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters that since the challenge went viral, there has been a rise in car thefts.However, experts remain skeptical that a random person can be inspired to commit an illegal act by participating in an online dare.
From an empirical standpoint, it is simply unreasonable to isolate a particular video that appears to be harmful and to assume that it has a significant influence on people’s behavior.That is not how media effects work, according to Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor in the communication department at the University at Buffalo.
“Most people don’t know about these challenges, most people don’t care about them, and even if they watch these videos and find them funny, that doesn’t mean they’ll walk out and steal a car.”
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