According to various posts that have circulated on and off for several years, popular wrestling star John Cena has been killed in a car accident.
The car accident death rumours, which mourn the loss of the WWE icon, tend to reappear regularly on social media.
The claims in the posts are untrue. John Cena has not been killed in a car accident.
The original version of the fake death story was derived from a bogus news report published via FakeAWish.com back in 2015. The report noted:
John Cena Dies In Car Crash
THIS STORY IS STILL DEVELOPING…
(Local Team News 9) John Cena died in a single vehicle crash on Route 80 between Morristown and Roswell. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics responding to the vehicle accident and was identified by photo ID found on his body. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in this accident –
The ‘news’ story included the following disclaimer in small print at the bottom of the page:
FAKE… THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic ‘template’ and is not factual. Any reference to specific individuals has been 100% fabricated by web site visitors who have created fake stories by entering a name into a blank ‘non-specific’ template for the purpose of entertainment. For sub-domain info, name removal requests and additional use restrictions: FakeAWish.com
As the disclaimer notes, FakeAWish.com allowed users to enter a celebrity’s name into a template and choose from a variety of death or injury stories, thereby generating a false news story like the one above. One such template generated the fatal ‘single vehicle crash’ story.
Since the original 2015 version, a number of other hoax-news websites have falsely reported that John Cena died in a car accident. These later stories closely mirror the original 2015 death hoax report.
Old news reports indicate that John Cena was involved in a car accident back in 2012, but sustained only minor injuries. Some of the fake death posts have included images depicting this 2012 accident.
Moreover, John Cena has been the target of several other death hoaxes in recent years. In 2012, a widespread social media message claimed that Cena had died during a wrestling stunt gone wrong. That version was designed to trick people into installing a rogue Facebook app.
Social media rumours claiming that a celebrity has died are very common. Some are outright hoaxes. Others attempt to trick users into installing malware or participating in survey scams.
It is thus wise to check any celebrity death reports that come your way before you share them or click any links that they contain.
If a celebrity really does die, the story is sure to be extensively covered by mainstream news outlets around the world. A quick check via a news portal such as Google News should reveal if reports about a famous person’s demise are true.
The 2015 Version of the death hoax: