Police blame 'Bird Box Challenge' for crash in Layton

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LAYTON — Police are investigating a crash earlier this week that they believe was tied to the viral “Bird Box Challenge,” which involves having your eyes covered while performing tasks.

Police responded to a report of a crash on the Layton Parkway near I-15 just before 5 p.m. Monday, Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said.

“Apparently, as a part of this ‘Bird Box Challenge,’ (the driver) used her beanie to pull over her eyes as she was driving on Layton Parkway, and she ended up losing control of her car and skidded into the westbound lanes of Layton Parkway and hit another car and ended up hitting a light pole as well,” Lyman said.

The 17-year-old girl, whose name was not released, was driving a pickup truck with a 16-year-old passenger. She initially told police she was talking with a friend in the pickup and had gotten distracted.

However, after some follow-up interviews, including with the driver of the other vehicle, a 56-year-old man, police were able to tie the crash to the viral internet challenge, Lyman said.

No injuries were reported in the crash.

The “Bird Box Challenge” is an online sensation related to the movie “Bird Box,” which was released on Netflix in December. In the movie, characters must mask their eyes to avoid death, which means they travel blindfolded throughout the movie.

The movie led to a meme and then a challenge. The challenge was to have people perform tasks blindfolded. That’s what Layton police say happened during Monday's crash.

The “Bird Box Challenge” led to enough safety concerns that Netflix tweeted an advisory against it.

“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” the streaming service tweeted on Jan. 2. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019, and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”

The crash remains under investigation; however, Lyman said police have requested the district attorney’s office to pursue a reckless driving charge.

“I thought the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ — I was really speechless on that one,” Lyman said, “but this one is kind of the same.”

Lyman advised drivers to use caution and not blindfold themselves on the road.

"With driving, the stakes are so high anyway that it's just inexcusable to do something as dangerous as this, not only to yourself but everyone else on the road," he added. "It's just such serious business driving a car."

Contributing: Heather Kelly, KSL Newsradio; Jed Boal, KSL TV

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.


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