Teen Falls To His Death In Apparent Los Angeles Social Media Stunt: Police

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A 17-year-old boy died May 20 after he fell from a Los Angeles-area bridge in an apparent social media stunt gone wrong, police say.

Law enforcement responded to the recently opened Sixth Street Viaduct, also known as the Sixth Street Bridge, at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday morning, where they found the teen, the Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the outlet.

L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore said the unnamed boy had been “climbing upon one of the arches, in order to post, apparently, a social media broadcast” before he “slipped and fell to his death,” the Los Angeles Times reported. (RELATED: Four New York Teens Die In Car Crash Linked To Viral TikTok ‘Challenge’)

The new bridge, completed in 2022, replaces the “iconic” historic landmark in Los Angeles originally built in 1932. The original structure was characterized by two “graceful steel arches” and a Classical Moderne design, and was featured in countless TV shows, films and photographs over the years. The new bridge boasts 10 sets of illuminated white arches and has been hailed as a “love letter” to L.A., The New York Times (NYT) reported upon its unveiling.

In the initial weeks of the bridge’s opening, however, the structure was subject to markings by graffiti artists, high-speed drag racing stunts, and skateboarders and climbers scaling the new arches, the outlet reported at the time. To deter mischief-makers, the city of Los Angeles installed speed bumps and looked into fencing to keep people from climbing onto the arches. (RELATED: TikTok Escapes Responsibility For Death Of 10-Year-Old Victim Of ‘Blackout Challenge’)

“Tragically we see that location, while it has spawned a great deal of pride in Los Angeles, it has also unfortunately served as a backdrop now for tragedies such as this,” Chief Moore continued, according to the Times. “Our added patrols will continue at that location … to counter such reckless actions.”