Dangers of Ghost Riding and Car Surfing – Stunts Lead to Personal Injuries and Deaths

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Authorities in DeBary, Florida and other Florida cities are concerned with the increasing popularity of a stunt called “car surfing” or “ghost riding.” In fact, two men from Debary were killed while performing the stunt. Another man was convicted in connection with a stunt performed in Central Florida that killed a friend. “Car surfing” (or “ghost riding”) is where a person hangs on to a moving vehicle and rides on its exterior, whether on top, the side or behind the moving vehicle. According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1990 to 2008 nearly 100 people died or sustained personal injuries while standing on a moving vehicle.
The two young men who recently died were riding on the exterior of a sports utility vehicle. The SUV flipped and burst into flames after the driver, Joshua Ritter, reportedly lost control of the vehicle. The victims were identified as 18-year-old Carlos Velazco of DeBary and 18-year-old Hunger Perez of Orange City. 18-year-old Ritter was transported to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach; passengers Ryan Jenkins, 17, and Kenyanna Hawkins, 18, were transported to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and Central Florida Regional Hospital.
Michael A. Smith was convicted of vehicular homicide by an Orange County jury after a stunt killed his 18-year-old friend in 2008. The victim, Cameron Bieberle was riding in a shopping cart and holding on to the back of an SUV, driven by Smith. The shopping car hit a speed bump, overturned the car and sent Bieberle airborne. Bieberle’s head struck the parking lot. Results of the medical examiner stated the man died of traumatic personal injuries to the head at the scene. Smith was sentenced to 4 years in prison. After his release from prison, Smith will be place on probation for 11 years.
For more information about this topic as well as see video of the stunt please see Car surfing increasing in popularity among males and teenage boys, stunt proves to be fatal.

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