TEMECULA: Teen run over, seriously injured, by own truck while “ghost riding”

TEMECULA – A teenager’s horseplay while driving a pickup truck resulted in the boy suffering major injuries Sunday evening, May 28, about 8:25 p.m. The 16-year-old victim was injured while participating in a dangerous new trend called “ghost riding” that has reportedly already resulted in many injuries and deaths across the country.

The accident happened on Mandarin Lane near Nora Circle in a newer, rural housing development southeast of the Redhawk Golf Club, in an unincorporated area of Temecula.

“Ghost riding,” also known as “Ghosting” is usually performed by a driver leaving a car in gear or placing it in neutral as the vehicle is still moving, then exiting the moving vehicle while it is rolling forward.

After leaping from the moving car, the driver and/or passengers will usually either run or dance along the moving vehicle. With the vehicle left in gear and the vehicle’s engine running at idle speed, the vehicle continues moving forward.

The accident left the boy, who was not identified due to his age, hospitalized with a collapsed lung, fractured scapula, ruptured ear drums, and various abrasions, according to CHP officials, who investigated the “tragic and unnecessary” accident.

Emergency first responders rushed to the area after citizens called 911 to report the accident.

When they arrived, medical personnel found the teen down in the road, suffering major, traumatic injuries and in terrible pain. Firefighter/paramedics treated the young victim before American Medical Response medics transported him to Inland Valley Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment. He was listed in serious condition.

No further, updated information regarding the teen’s injuries was available.

CHP officials who investigated the accident determined the incident happened when the teenager was driving a 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup truck westbound on Mandarin Lane approaching the intersection of Nora Circle at about 5 mph.

As the truck rolled towards the intersection, the young and inexperienced driver “purposely placed the truck’s transmission in neutral…exited the truck and began running along the (vehicle) as it continued rolling westbound,” CHP Public Information Officer Mike Lassig explained.

“As the teen ran along side of the truck, he lost his footing, fell to the roadway and was run over by his own vehicle,” said Lassig.

After the driver was run over by his own truck, the vehicle continued forward.

A 16-year-old passenger who was in the truck when the accident happened managed to stop the vehicle before it was involved in any other collisions.

After the accident, CHP officials took the opportunity to remind citizens about practicing safe driving, writing, “(We) would like to remind all motorist to always remain seated in their vehicle seat when the vehicle is in the roadway and always wear your seat belt.”

CHP officials from the Temecula Area Station are conducting the traffic collision investigation and their investigation is ongoing.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.