UPDATE: From the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office: one juvenile is facing the following charges in relation to a deadly “car surfing” incident last month in Douglas County: Vehicular Homicide-Reckless Driving (F4), Vehicular Assault-Reckless (F5), and Reckless Endangerment (M2). Under Colorado law, cases heard in Juvenile Court have strict guidelines on what information can be publicly released. Since last month’s deadly “car surfing” case in involves a juvenile, we are unable to release their name. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Douglas County, Colorado – It is with heavy hearts that we inform you about the recent death of a teenager due to “car surfing” in Douglas County. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time.
In the wake of this devastating incident, we feel compelled to raise awareness about the dangers of car surfing. Car surfing involves riding on the outside of a moving vehicle being driven by another person. It is crucial to understand this activity is incredibly dangerous, and the consequences can be fatal.
Over the past several weeks, Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies have responded to six calls involving youngsters engaging in this incredibly dangerous behavior. Some examples:
- On April 17, 2023, a Douglas County deputy spotted two teenagers seated on the roof of a car, through the sunroof. The car was traveling over 55 mph on C470 near S. Quebec Street. Case number: CR-2023-00032844.
- On May 5, 2023, Douglas County deputies were called to the scene of a roll-over crash on Quarry Road, east of Finn Avenue, where one occupant was critically injured. The 16-year-old later passed away. Witnesses reported the back seat passengers were hanging out of the car’s windows. Case number: 2023-00038321.
- On May 12, 2023, a citizen reported taking pictures of a juvenile seated outside the vehicle on the rear passenger ledge of a moving car near East Wildcat Reserve Parkway and Fairview Parkway. Case number: CR 2023-00042177.
No thrill or adrenaline rush is worth sacrificing your life or the lives of your friends or family members. Here are a few essential points to keep in mind:
- Life is Precious: Remember, our lives are invaluable, and reckless activities like car surfing can have irreversible consequences.
- Peer Pressure Awareness: Never succumb to peer pressure or feel compelled to engage in dangerous activities for the sake of fitting in or seeking thrill.
- Speak Out: If you notice someone planning or participating in car surfing or any other dangerous stunts, don’t stay silent. Speak up and report it to the appropriate authorities or a trusted adult.
- Educate Others: Share this message with your friends, family, and social media followers. Together, we can spread awareness and prevent further tragedies.
- Drivers can face serious criminal charges, including: Reckless Driving, Various Seatbelt Violations (depending on age of passengers), Permitting Person to Hang On/Attach Themselves to the Outside of Vehicle, Permitted Passenger to Ride in an Unsafe Manner, Reckless Endangerment, Third Degree Assault, Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide. Potential charges for the person not riding correctly include: Person Hung On/Attached Themselves to the Outside of Vehicle.
“Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of each and every one of you. Please remember to stay safe, make responsible choices, and encourage others to do the same. We need to work together to prevent further tragedies,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly.