Bad Idea: Allowing your 15 year old friend to climb on top of the SUV so he can car surf.
Worse Idea: Climbing out the driver’s window to join him leaving a 14 year old girl in the passenger’s seat to try and steer the vehicle.
According to police records, Martin, a senior at Charlotte High, was driving a sport utility vehicle that night in a remote and sparsely populated area of North Port. With him were Trowbridge and three 14-year-old girls.
Martin stopped the SUV to allow Trowbridge to climb on top, according to police records, and then began driving around.
Martin then slowed the vehicle, according to the report, and asked a 14-year-old girl who was riding in the front seat to take the wheel while he climbed onto the roof with Trowbridge.
The vehicle began to drift off the roadway and the girl reached across the vehicle and attempted to steer from the passenger seat using one arm.
The vehicle continued drifting, so the girl climbed across the center console, slid into the driver’s seat and attempted to take control. Instead of stepping on the brake, however, she pressed the gas.
The vehicle accelerated to 50 or 60 mph and the girl lost control, the police said last year.
When the girl tried to steer back onto the roadway, she turned too sharply, causing the vehicle to roll and throwing both Martin and Trowbridge onto the roadway.
Trowbridge died three days later at a St. Petersburg hospital. Martin and the three girls suffered minor injuries.
I’d say this qualifies for a decent shot at this year’s Darwin Awards.