Northern California Woman, 83, Killed After Being Struck By Skateboarding Teen

SANTA CRUZ (AP) — Authorities in the Northern California city of Capitola say an 83-year-old woman has died after being hit by a teenager on a skateboard.

Capitola police say Maryann Slettehaugh was knocked to the ground after she was hit by a 17-year-old skateboarder as she crossed a street a little after 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Police Sgt. Andrew Dally told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that the teen was going about 15 to 20 mph when he hit the woman in a crosswalk. She was taken by helicopter to a hospital, where authorities say she died just before midnight.

The skateboarder was not hurt and he was not arrested, but Dally says his parents were notified and that detectives are investigating.

The teen’s name has not been released.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Wondering

    Wow! How sad. RIP. Skateboarders, there is a reason you are confined to certain areas so others aren’t in danger. Obey laws and posted signs. I hope you were wearing a helmet. It could have been you.

    • rick

      telling the skateboarder to stay in a spec area is bull they have the right to skate where ever any other ped can go

      • Rick is a Dolt

        Actually they do not. You are sadly misguided. You are also abusing the term “right”.
        Pay attention to posted signs. Hopefully idiots like you are not long for this earth.

  • rick

    i know legally they cant ride anywhere what im saying moron is that law is stupid no one should be limited where they can or can not be this accident is not the skaters fault totally the woman has to have seen him if she crossed infront of a fast moveing kid on a skate board then she shares the fault

    • Roger Wallace

      You may want to re-read this story more carefully and also maybe brush up on the laws on California, as well. It clearly states that the woman was walking across the street at a CROSSWALK. According to current law, pedestrians always have the right-of-way when crossing a crosswalk, even if they are doing so against a red light or don’t walk indicator. Therefore the moron skateboarder (which all to often is a redundant term here in California) was at anywhere from about 95 – 100% at fault because he did not yield the person crossing.

      • rick

        i know the laws well yes the ped has the right of way but if they are stupid and step off in front of a fast moving car, bike skater or what ever which often would not have ample time to stop then it stops being the drivers fault and becomes the ped fault

    • Ron

      Unfortunately RICK is NOT the EXCEPTION to the RULE. This IS how too many SKATERS think. There needs to be more stringent laws on skaters, for exactly this reason and Parents you BETTER talk to your kids about the potential for injuring or KILLING someone other than themselves. It is EVIDENT that these kids take NO RESPONSIBILITY for ANYTHING and that is their PARENTS FAULT. This is also why they feel that they can damage any other persons personal property or public property, while SKATING(boarding, not rolling).

  • Mark

    This was a tragic accident, but would be a suitable punishment for the crime? Should this 17 year old’s life be thrown away because this? Casey Anthony gets away with murder but this skater will probably face more jail time.

    • Ron

      You’re DAMN right it IS a TRAGIC accident and ANYONE that KILLS someone, NEEDS to be held ACCOUNTABLE Mark !!!

      Mark, if you are a skater or have a kid that is, you need to talk to them about the risk of killing or injuring SOMEONE else, NOT just themselves.

  • Efrain

    This is simply a freak accident. I’m sure the teen was at fault. I’m also sure his intentions were not to kill this woman. Or was it? Hmm. Also, I’m not sure how the poor lil ol’ lady would have gotten outta the way? Pretty dumb remark Rick.

    • rick

      Efrain my father is 76 my mother 71 both are slower today then they were in their youth your right it might be hard for them to get out of the way HOWEVER both still have their eye sight in tact im am POSITIVE this woman saw this kid in the vacinity of the cross walk she was in my parents know their limits as well im sure this woman did SO if she STILL went into the cross walk KNOWING this kid was there and that SHE could not move fast enough to get out of the path of this kid then SHE should have kept her self on the sidewalk till the kid was past her THIS WAS IN NO WAY THE KIDS FAULT

      • rick

        here is a seniro for you ron the skater sees her standing on the curb sees shes still there so he does not slow down then at the last min she steps off into his path he jumps off the board to try to stop but the FORWARD motion of his body sends him into her anyhow is that really his fault or is it more hers? im not saying this is how it went down but im sure you have seen ped do some really dumb things like that and step off into traffic thinking they have time AND THEY DONT just cuz someone has the right of way does not mean they always use it in the right way

      • Ron

        Rick, even I watch out for pedestrians, in or out of crosswalks and I try to anticipate someone stepping off a curb or into the street. It is part of being a responsible driver or in this case a skater. She was 83 yrs. old and I would have at least attempted to stop or avoid her. He should not have been going any faster than what would be considered safe(15 to 20 mph, on a skate board is NOT the same as in a car, as far as control).

      • rick

        so ron your saying that a ped should just step off the curb even if there is something that could hurt them comming?? im not a skater im 45 years old would likely break my neck if i tried but im smart enough not to walk across a street if i see something moveing faster then i can

      • Ron

        BULL@HIT, rick. The kid is at fault, because he(like all skaters)feels like everyone should get out of his way. Skaters do NOT have the right of way. And you are full of @HIT, if you think that “she should have kept her self on the sidewalk till the kid was past her”.

  • cindy

    just because a ped has the right of way folks does not mean they need to be stupid and step into a cross walk when they see a car or bike or skater or what ever coming close by them basic common sence says you wait on the curb till it is clear to walk

    • Ron

      Cindy, your attitude is too similar to the inconsiderate youth that are raised with very little CHARACTER and that do NOT have RESPECT for their ELDERS or authority(Skater’s creed). Growup.

  • 35yr Old Skater

    I think Ron never learned to skate so he’s bitter now.

    • Ron

      @35yr old skater, unlike you & most skaters, I did learn to skate, did it, but I learned to be respectful of other people’s property and lives.

  • Joe

    I’m sure the kid didn’t mean it. I’ve been skateboarding a little over 8-9 years and have moved on to the big city where people are everywhere! I’ve been in scenerios where I think the ped is going to move and winds up staying at their already adjusted speed so I make the adjustment to either go around, give a pre-warning( shout, “beep, beep”, or or just plain excuse me, etc.) Or I just slow down. This kid probably hesitated on what to do or the wheels could’ve locked up or something. The dude may be at fault but I’m sure it was a complete accident unless he’s out for little old ladies crossing the street. The only creed I live by as a skater is ride fast but be aware, especially in the streets.

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