11-year-old boy dies after social media challenge

His mother says she regrets not supervising his internet use more closely

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The Independent US

An 11-year-old died while taking part in a social media challenge online, his mother has said.

Da’Vorius Christopher 'Chi-Chi' Gray of Lyman, South Carolina, was found dead in his home after playing games called ‘hangman’ and ‘pass out challenge'.

His mother, Latrice Hurst, blamed online influences for the death and called for stricter supervision of children on the web.  

In a statement released through the family’s pastor, Mark Pangel, she said: "If I could rewind time I would go back and monitor heavily his use of social media, YouTube and the internet.

“He was on a sight [sic] called ‘kick’ and had been playing games called ‘hangman’ and ‘pass-out challenge’ where kids choke themselves to the point of passing out and it is apparently a widely popular game.  

“He showed no signs of depression or destructive behaviour, but Da’Vorius was a prankster and loved to play tricks. 

“He talked about how much he loved his family and people and never showed us any sign otherwise. 

“I would just say I don’t believe young people should be on social media and it should be limited to adults or at the very least with extreme adult supervision where the parents can see everything that takes place on the sights [sic] should be a requirement.”

Paying tribute to her son, Ms Hurst said: “Chi Chi took up for others, loved people and loved life.” 

“I hate this happened and I feel part of me died but I feel Chi Chi has been given a platform to help others in his passing to realize the dangers of ‘playing with fire.’”

Mr Pangel said: “Da’Vorius was “seriously one of the sweetest kids I've ever met. He was the one that would come up to you and hug you. He was always smiling.

“It was the most humbling experience in my life because little Nae, his 8-year-old sister is in [the hospital], and she's stoic and hurting and doesn't know how to react.

“I wanted to fix it and there's literally nothing I could do,” Mr Pangel told WYFF4 news.

The coroner’s office and police are reportedly investigating Davorius’ death.