Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Car-surfing' suspected in teen's major injuries

RCMP believe girl was on top of speeding vehicle

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Manitoba RCMP are investigating whether "car-surfing" was involved in an accident last week that has left a 17-year-old girl seriously injured.

Few details have been released about the Oct. 23 incident on Kelsey Trail in the RM of St. Andrews. But sources told the Free Press the young victim may have been on top of a moving vehicle at some point before falling off and being struck just after 4 p.m.

Her 17-year-old friend was behind the wheel at the time.

The victim was flown to Health Sciences Centre by STARS air ambulance. She remains in hospital with major injuries.

Officially, RCMP would only confirm Monday their investigation is ongoing and nothing has been ruled out. No charges have been laid at this time against the female driver.

An RCMP traffic-collision analyst is assisting with the investigation.

Sources told the Free Press several witnesses to the incident have given statements.

Police across the country have issued warnings about so-called car-surfing, saying some young people are occasionally doing it for the purpose of making videos they post online.

"That's probably why kids are doing it, because of the danger aspect of it," Dane Wilson, a former Winnipeg police officer who now owns Crossroads Driver Training, previously told the Free Press.

According to an analysis of newspaper reports done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58 car-surfing deaths were reported from 1990 to 2008 in the United States, and 41 people were reported injured.

"It's living on the edge... so they do this not ever thinking anything would ever happen to them. They get on the roof of a car, the hood of a car. A lot of them stand up, some will lie down and hang onto the side," said Wilson.

Last week, a 19-year-old Ontario man died after falling from a speeding car he was riding on top of. His 16-year-old friend was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Police said several young people had gathered to "car-surf" in a parking lot located near a school.

Earlier this month, a 17-year-old Ontario teen suffered a fractured skull when he was thrown from a moving car after the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes.

Closer to home, a 23-year-old Manitoba man died last year after falling off a Ford Escape being driven along a country road near Elie. Police ultimately charged his 29-year-old friend with impaired driving causing death. That case remains before the courts.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2013 A4

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