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Police concerned TikTok trend could have led to car crash that killed four

Police concerned TikTok trend could have led to car crash that killed four

There has been a rise in car thefts in the wake of the trend

Police in New York have expressed concerns that a TikTok trend could have led to a car crash which resulted in the deaths of four teenagers.

The crash took place in Buffalo, New York, at approximately 6:30am local time on Monday (24 October), after six teenagers had been speeding down a road in a stolen Kia Sportage car.

All five of the passengers in the car were ejected from the vehicle during the incident, and four of them, aged between 14 and 17, were killed. Three were reported as having passed away at the scene, and a fourth later died in hospital.

Police have reported a rise in Kia thefts following the challenge.

The fifth passenger was taken to hospital for treatment in intensive care, while the driver, who was just 16 years old, was treated at hospital before being released.

The incident took place hours after the Kia had been reported stolen on Sunday night, and as a result, the driver was ticketed for criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorised use of a motor vehicle.

Following the crash, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters the teenagers may have been in the car after taking part in a TikTok challenge which involves breaking in to Kia cars.

“It’s a horrific morning for the families, their friends, our police officers and our investigators and fire department that were there investigating this,” said Gramaglia said.

“This is a terrible, terrible outcome for such young kids that had their entire lives in front of them.”

The so-called 'challenge' was first shared online over the summer, and demonstrated how Kia cars built in the last decade could be hotwired using a USB cord and a screwdriver.

Police have expressed concerns the TikTok challenge could have sparked the theft.
Geoff Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

"They’re very easy, unfortunately, to steal,” Commissioner Gramaglia explained. “You can look up the information that’s been put out there. There are numerous cities across the country that are looking into or have filed lawsuits against Kia because of the ease that they are able to steal these cars.”

The crash is now being investigated by the Erie County district attorney's office, which expects to file additional charges. The driver is set to appear back in court on 15 November.

After footage of the 'challenge' first came to light, police departments around the country began to report increases in thefts. Police in Portland, Oregon, announced that thefts of Kias are up 269 percent, while Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said that car thefts had increased by 85 percent.

UNILAD has reached out to Kia for comment.

Featured Image Credit: WIVB

Topics: TikTok, Viral, US News