Amherst student dies after trying TikTok ‘blackout challenge’

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A local family is bringing awareness to the dangers of a new social media challenge after their 8th-grader died this week from serious injuries. 

Amherst Regional Middle School student Nate Squires was found unresponsive Monday after attempting the new “Blackout Challenge,” his family said in a GoFundMe.  

The social media challenge, seen on TikTok, encourages children to choke themselves until they lose consciousness.  

The GoFundMe organizer, Samantha Thomas, sister-in-law, said the “entire family feels like the rug has been ripped out from under.”  

GoFundMe for Nate Squires

“All over the world families are losing children to this. We ask that if you cannot donate, please reach out to a child in your life and talk to them about the Blackout Challenge,” Thomas stated. 

The GoFundMe, which was created a day ago, has raised nearly $22,000. Their goal is $25,000 to help “take away any financial burdens” they may face in upcoming months as they deal with the tragedy.

“Both Rachel and Dave [Nate’s parents] want the world to know of the circumstances that surround Nate’s death to ensure that this does not happen to another family,” Thomas added.

They hope bringing Nate’s story to light will help or change the minds of others attempting the dangerous challenge.

22News contacted the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools for a statement Wednesday night, we have not heard back yet.

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