18-year-old Cody Doolittle died last Sunday evening after sustaining fatal head injuries in a skateboarding accident. A friend driving a Jeep was pulling the Ojai teen down the highway on his skateboard when his board hit the rear tire of the vehicle, causing him to fall and hit his head. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene of the accident.
“Unfortunately, car surfing has become a popular pastime among thrill-seeking teenagers,” remarked an Orange County injury lawyer who recently wrote about a trunk riding accident that took the life of a 14-year-old boy in Lake Forrest.
Doolittle’s skateboarding accident marks the second instance of car surfing to occur in the Ventura area this summer. According to an Orange County injury lawyer, Doolittle was practicing a variation of car surfing known as “highway surfing,” in which an individual rides on a skateboard or sled and is pulled by a vehicle. One of the most unique incidents of highway surfing occurred last winter in Orange County when a teenager sustained serious head injuries after the car pulling the Christmas tree he was sledding on abruptly turned, sending him crashing into a parked car.
Head injuries, like the one Doolittle sustained in his skateboarding accident, are a common car surfing accident injury, explains an Orange County injury lawyer. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covering the years between 1990 and 2008, 78 percent of the fatalities resulting from car surfing injuries were the result of head injuries. The CDC study also found that incidents of car surfing among teenagers were increasing.
In Ojai, authorities have not decided yet if they will file charges against the teenager who drove the Jeep Doolittle was holding onto before he fell. In many cases, the driver, depending on his or her age, is charged. In the previously mentioned Lake Forest case, the driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter.
“A car surfing accident can have a tremendous impact on all of the parties involved,” explained an Orange County injury lawyer. “The parents must not only deal with the emotional pain of almost or actually losing a child, they must also navigate a complex legal system in order to seek compensation for their medical expenses and other losses related to the accident.”