DougCo officials warn of dangerous ‘car surfing’ trend after teen dies

Heather Willard
Two young people sit on the roof of a sedan as it moves.Photo byDouglas County Sheriff's Office

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / May 30, 2023

(Douglas County, Colo.) The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warns residents to refrain from participating in a dangerous activity that recently claimed a teenager's life.

The agency reported that the teen died by “car surfing” in a rollover accident on Quarry Drive on May 5. Witnesses reported that backseat passengers were hanging out of the car’s windows.

Car surfing is a trend where an individual rides outside a car’s cabin, such as through the sunroof or a passenger window. The activity has been long regarded as highly dangerous and deadly in the event of an accident or crash.

“In the wake of this devastating incident, we feel compelled to raise awareness about the dangers of car surfing,” the agency stated in a release. “It is crucial to understand this activity is incredibly dangerous, and the consequences can be fatal.”

According to the agency, deputies have responded to six calls over several recent weeks of youths riding outside a motor vehicle at high speeds, including the May 5 fatal crash.

On April 17, a DougCo deputy spotted two teenagers seated in the sunroof of a car, traveling over 55 mph on Colorado 470 near S. Quebec Street.

After the teen’s death on May 5, a citizen reported taking pictures on May 12 of a juvenile seated outside the vehicle on the rear passenger ledge of a moving car near East Wildcat Reserve Parkway and Fairview Parkway.

The agency also shared dash camera footage of two teens moving in and out of a sunroof or convertible’s backseat as it drove down the road at about 3:30 a.m. on April 18.

“No thrill or adrenaline rush is worth sacrificing your life or the lives of your friends or family members,” the agency stated.

The agency listed several items for young people to remember, including the irreversible consequences of a serious car crash.

The agency also noted that peer pressure could result in thrill-seeking behavior. It warned teens to stay alert and speak out if they notice someone planning or participating in car surfing or any other dangerous stunts.

The agency also reminded drivers that their actions could result in criminal charges.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of each and every one of you,” said DougCo Sheriff Darren Weekly.

“Please remember to stay safe, make responsible choices, and encourage others to do the same. We need to work together to prevent further tragedies.”

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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