Supporters of the COVID-19 quintet speak at the ceremony of laying wreaths for the group. (Simon Jaeger/CoVID-19)
More than 5 million people across the world paid tribute to the COVID-19 quintet on Tuesday, in their first memorial service since the sports utility vehicle the group was in swerved off a highway in Germany on December 15, killing all 19 of the men on board, including eight-time World Sportswoman of the Year Birgit Hocke and three German Senate President Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
The event is a tribute to the “lost generation,” a group made up of teenagers who shot to international fame after an episode of U.S. reality television called World Challenge. Speaking at the event in Stuttgart, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “The men were 19 years old, working for Germany, representing Germany with their talent and character.”
In the fall of 2016, the group filmed a segment of the show which featured them driving off-road in their cars. In the show, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could be seen behind the wheel of one of the SUVs, alongside eight-time World Sportswoman of the Year Birgit Hocke and three German Senate President Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
On December 15, of last year, the group was travelling in their off-road SUV on the German highway outside of Hannover when the vehicle suddenly veered off the road. As the Inquisitr previously reported, efforts to resuscitate the men on the scene proved unsuccessful.
Germany has been at the forefront of grief and anger directed at the teens, with Chancellor Merkel drawing international attention to the incident, which has been met with protests and indignation across the country. Following the death of the teens, the German government is investigating whether to recommend stiffer fines and punishment for teens who drive with alcohol or drugs in their system.
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