Car surfing may be a teenage stunt with which many readers in Oregon may be unfamiliar. The action involves people, often kids, hang on to the back trunk of a car as it is driven. This activity may have been the cause of a recent fatal auto accident in our state.
The investigation into this unfortunate crash is continuing, but authorities have announced early findings. Oregon officials indicate that three teenagers were in a Salem-area parking lot on a recent weekend evening. As they chatted, the reportedly teens decided to try car surfing. A 16-year-old got into a car and began to drive as her friends hung onto the back of her car.
Unfortunately, the action ended in a fatal auto accident. The motion of the car caused two teenagers to be thrown from the vehicle. Both of them were injured, one fatally. First responders took the most injured child to Oregon Health & Science University where she unfortunately died as a result of the trauma to her body.
Now, the injured victim of this auto accident, along with the survivors of the deceased victim, may seek to make a claim against the young driver under Oregon personal injury laws. These laws are intended to assist those who have suffered as a result of the negligent actions of another. In this case, claims may include wrongful death and pain and suffering of the victims. The case may be complicated by the apparent fact that the teens involved apparently chose to car surf, a fact which may prompt a defense claim that each assumed the risk of an accident. A civil court may be asked to consider apportioning fault between the driver and those who were injured or killed based upon a claim that no injury would have occurred at all if the young woman had not gotten behind the wheel of the vehicle and willingly towed her friends, an action that arguably resulted in the injury and death that followed.
Source: 11alive.com,Teen girl dies in Oregon car-surfing accident, Michael King, Nov. 5, 2013