Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
A 10-year-old boy who fell from his mother's car while car surfing had to be flown to the hospital. He's in stable condition now at Primary Children's Medical Center.
The boy was standing on the running board of his mother's car, holding the side-view mirror and handles. His mother didn't want to do an interview, but she told me she has let her kids ride like this before and never thought anything like this would happen.
Sgt. Greg Butler, with the West Jordan Police Department, said, "Apparently mom thought that was OK, and it's a hard lesson that she's going to learn."
What seemed like a fun ride at the time proved to be dangerous. Police say the mom allowed her 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to stand on the running boards of their Ford Expedition. They held onto the side- view mirrors and inside handles as she drove a lap around a mobile home park at 8400 S. 4000 West.
She says she was going under the speed limit, about 5 miles an hour.
A witness, Daniel Ramos, said, "He was standing on the plastic, grabbing on the window and holding on tight."
On the phone from the hospital, the victim's mother said she never saw her son fall or let go. When she realized he wasn't hanging onto the vehicle, she got out to find him lying face down on the pavement.
Sgt. Greg Curtis said, "It looks like when she went over a speed bump it knocked him off, and he fell. He impacted his head on the cement. He has some critical injuries."
The boy's mother said, "I was really stupid in what I did," and, "we're lucky, we're so lucky right now."
A report published in 2000 shows over a period of five years, nearly 500 people were killed while car surfing. Since 1990, car surfing-related accidents have gone up 20 percent.
Videos from YouTube show more extreme forms of the game, including a skateboarder hanging on to the back or side of a moving car. It's a stunt police don't approve of.
"Your kids belong inside the vehicle, and they belong seat-belted up. That's how we stay safe," Butler said.
The boy's mother says no parent should allow their child to do anything like this. Police cited the mother with child abuse, driving with a suspended license and having no insurance.