No, a Man Didn't Cause a Major Traffic Accident While Playing Pokémon Go

By Matt Novak on at

There’s currently a story doing the rounds about a man who had to catch them all. Pokémon, that is. According to websites like Techworm and Cartelpress, 26-year-old Lamar Hickson recently caused a massive car accident while playing Pokémon Go. The only problem? The story is totally fake.

Yes, a lot of weird stuff has been happening lately with the release of Pokémon Go. People have been exploring the outdoors and accidentally getting exercise. They’ve even been getting robbed at gunpoint. But so far, nobody has caused a massive pileup on the freeway. So far, mind you.

This story of the fictional Lamar Hickson of Massachusetts was fabricated by Cartelpress, one of those fake news sites that only creates plausible-sounding news for clicks.

Cartelpress claimed to speak with an officer named Fredrick Jones who reportedly said “Texting and driving was already a very serious issue, but now playing Pokemon Go and driving could make things worse.” We can’t emphasize enough that there’s obviously no Officer Jones.

As Snopes notes, the photo that the site uses comes from a real pile-up near Denver in 2014. Other Cartelpress headlines at the moment include “ISIS is Taking Responsibility For Pokemon Go’s Login Problems; Server Issues” and “Pokemon Go: Teen Kills Younger Brother Because He Thought He Deleted His Pokemon.” Not exactly Onion-level satire.

With Pokemon-mania sweeping the world it really does seem like just a matter of time before a horrible car accident is blamed on someone playing Pokémon Go. But this story of Hickson on some unnamed highway in Massachusetts is, in fact, bullshit.