TikTok Social Media App Turns Deadly For Buffalo Teens

Social media is an exciting tool that lets people communicate, share photos, and stay in touch. Yet, unfortunately, too much social media has also driven some people crazy.

Take a recent case out of Buffalo, New York. This involves the app TikTok, where people post viral videos of themselves dancing, singing, doing pranks and all other manner of things.

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However, for four teens, their last TikTok post cost them their lives.

What Happened?

Four teens died in a brutal car accident in Buffalo after trying to get famous doing a TikTok challenge. The drive for fame and fun can be deadly, as we saw here.

This all went down on the night of Sunday, Oct. 23, when these teens stole an SUV in their neighborhood and then made a TikTok video in it.

During the course of the video, there was a problem; they had a deadly accident which killed four of the teens.

It was apparently part of a TikTok challenge for stealing vehicles, one of many examples of how apps like TikTok have encouraged the worst instincts in some young people.

The car theft challenge was gaining popularity, despite obviously being very dangerous and illegal, and now these four teens are dead.

Among the teenagers killed in this tragic accident were:

  1. Ahjanae Harper, 14
  2. Kevin Payne, 16
  3. Swazin Swindle, 17
  4. Marcus Webster, 19

Two other teenagers involved in the accident were rescued and are in good physical condition. They include a girl of only 14 and a 16-year-old who was driving the SUV at the time of the accident.

Family Launches Fundraising Campaign

A video on Twitter shows Harper had just recently given birth to a baby and was a teen mom. That baby is now an orphan after far too short a time with its mom.

Harper was about to turn 15; now, she never will. Her family is putting out a fundraising campaign trying to raise $15,000. They want the money to help pay for the funeral and help raise her baby daughter.

Nashira Anderson, Swindle’s sister, said her brother was a funny kid and loved to play basketball. Young Webster, on the other hand, was busy with working and school.

The 16-year-old, who was driving the SUV, will be tried in court next month for stealing a vehicle and driving without a license.

Joseph Gramaglia with the Buffalo Police Department said his department has seen thefts go way up since the TikTok challenge went viral. Police are continuing to investigate the tragic accident.

The Bottom Line

Be careful with social media and following each and every trend you happen to see online. If you have young people in your life, please advise them to stay safe.

Social media can cost you your life.

This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.