Whether you love or loathe the idea of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, chances are you probably didn't even consider the possibility that the challenge could turn deadly.
And, sadly, we have our first -- and let's hope last -- fatality that resulted after a teen took the craze to a whole new, much riskier level.
Cameron Lancaster, 18, reportedly jumped to his death after he opted to, instead of dumping a bucket of cold water over his head and donating money to ALS for Lou Gehrig's disease, leap off a cliff and into a disused quarry containing water.
Lancaster, who was preparing for his freshman year at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, reportedly jumped feet first off an 80-foot cliff and into water at Preston Hill quarry. The exact circumstances of his death and what led him to choose to do this after being nominated for the challenge are still unclear, and police continue to investigate the incident. The teen's body was recovered after a four-hour search.
Lancaster's parents were obviously distraught and unable to come to terms with their son's sudden and senseless death. They released the following statement through police: "Cameron died in a tragic accident. His death is such a great loss. During his short life, he touched so many people with his friendliness, kindness, and thoughtful generosity of spirit. He will be hugely missed by his family and friends."
Unfortunately, Lancaster's dangerous stunt comes at the same time several others -- mostly teens and young adults -- have chosen to forego using a harmless bucket of ice while performing the challenge in favor of more perilous acts. A few days before this tragic accident, a woman filmed herself taking the challenge while sitting on a horse. As you can imagine, her horse became frightened when it was hit by freezing-cold water and ran off, throwing the woman to the ground.
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The Ice Bucket Challenge was created for an admirable reason -- but it isn't beyond the scope of possibility to imagine a young person going to extremes to make their challenge more intriguing. Parents should talk to their children about the very real risks associated with performing online stunts -- no matter how commendable their intentions.
Do you think the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been taken too far?
Image via Police Scotland/PA