Four teenagers have been killed in a car accident in Buffalo while attempting a TikTok challenge encouraging car theft, the “Kia Challenge”. Here’s everything we know about the case.
The Kia Challenge is a disturbing social media trend, launched on TikTok, which sees participants attempt to hijack a Hyundai Group car using a USB cable. A few months ago, owners of certain Hyundai and Kia models were told by the police to take special precautions to protect their vehicles from a wave of thefts after the challenge appeared.
This daring challenge eventually took a tragic turn, as a failed attempt in Buffalo resulted in the deaths of four teenagers. It is not uncommon for thieves to then board the stolen cars in high-speed rides to make their TikTok videos more interesting. These show wild swerves and crazy ridesbut can sometimes be fatal.
The Kia Challenge claims new victims
According to a report by Insider, six teenagers from the city of Buffalo stole a Kia Sportage late last week. The group of teenagers aged between 14 and 17 then hit the road, before finally have an accident on Route 33 in Buffalo. The latter was fatal for four passengers, while the other two were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Police said the driver was ticketed for criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. As often with the Kia Challenge, police say excessive speed may have played a significant role in the accident. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the crash and plans to file additional charges, spokeswoman Kait Munro said.
TikTok tries somehow to strengthen the detection of dangerous challenges, but not all are detected in time. This is far from the first deadly challenge that comes from TikTok, since we had already seen two girls aged 8 and 9 die after participating in the “blackout challenge”which consisted of choking to pass out in front of the camera.