Published On: Mon, Feb 12th, 2024

Young mother among 4 teens killed in car crash while attempting TikTok ‘Kia challenge’

Four teenagers killed in a car crash while attempting a TikTok challenge have been identified — with a teenage mum among the victims.

Marcus Webster, 19, Swazine Swindle, 17, Kevin Payne, 16, and Ahjanae Harper, 14, were killed when the stolen Kia they were riding in crashed on Monday morning, ejecting them and one other passenger.

The driver, 16, 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, the New York Post reported.

In a video shared on Twitter, a local says Harper had recently welcomed a baby girl.

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

Harper was set to celebrate her 15th birthday on November 1. Her family launched a $15,000 GoFundMe in her honour on Tuesday.

Swindle’s sister, Nashira Anderson, told WIBV that the teen enjoyed playing basketball and was known for his goofy personality.

Webster, meanwhile, is said to have been a hard worker who juggled school and a job.

The driver of the Kia, which was reported stolen on Sunday night, has since been charged with unauthorised use of a vehicle and criminal possession of the stolen property. He is due back in court in November.

The teens are believed to have wrecked the car while trying to complete the “Kia challenge”, a TikTok trend that shows viewers how to hot-wire Kias and Hyundais.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters on Monday that law enforcement has seen a spike in car thefts since the challenge went viral. Even so, experts remain sceptical that an online dare can inspire random people to commit an illegal act.

“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,” Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo communication department, told WIBV.

“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.”

The investigation into the accident remains ongoing.

“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 in the wake of the crash.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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