Teen faces manslaughter charge for car surfing stunt gone bad.

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.

heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida’s Information Leader

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.

71 thoughts on “Teen faces manslaughter charge for car surfing stunt gone bad.

  1. Well “Amanda and Danielle,” your latest reply has removed any sympathy I may have had for you. You seem intent on insisting that my site is for rude, heartless people so I no longer have any reason not to be rude and heartless. Try this on for size:

    We don’t understand the pain you’re going through! No teenager should be going through this! We wouldn’t be bitching if we understood. Wah! Wah! Wah! Cry me a fucking river. Sometimes life sucks. Quit bitching about it, grow the fuck up and deal with it.

    You want pain? My father died of cancer when I was only five years old because he was an alcoholic who drank himself to death. How well do you think a five year old comprehends the idea that his father died because he was stupid enough to drink too fucking much? Does the truth that my father was stupid enough to engage in risky behavior and end up killing himself in the process change the reality that I loved him dearly and was deeply hurt by his death? No, but that doesn’t change the fact that he died because of his own stupidity and there is no one else to blame for it.

    More recently my best friend of over 23 years, a man whom I loved like a brother, was killed not by his own stupidity, but because of the stupidity of another. Because a glorified Meter Maid decided he wanted to play cops and robbers and got involved in a high speed chase he had no business being in. This asshat ended up slamming into the side my friend’s car at somewhere around 60 MPH crushing my friend’s chest and snuffing out his life at the age of 35. That was over a year ago and a day hasn’t gone by since that I haven’t felt the loss. His killer got two measly years of probation and 200 hours of community service for his crime. Not a day served in jail. Not a single one.

    So don’t give me your bullshit about how I don’t understand your pain or how I’m just rude and heartless because you don’t know jack shit, baby. We’ve all had our fucking tragedies in life and we’ve all been touched by the deep pain of personal loss. You don’t make it through life without learning these lessons the hard way.

    Simple bit of advice: Don’t like what I have to say? Then stop coming to the site and reading it. Or is that beyond your ability to comprehend as well?

  2. Ok, First off Les I no longer concieve the vision of you as a heartless bastard. You seem sympathetic toward human pain, and as much as it feels the whole world should stop when one of our loved ones die, it doesn’t. The only thing on this page that pisses me off is everyones defense of the girls and the other boy (Errol Martin, the boy being charged.)Yeah, they were there, it sucks to them and I sympathize with having to carry that tragedy for the rest of their lives, I could not. But the thing is everyone says “oh, Chris endangered the lives of those girls” So this leads me to believe that Chris actually drove himself AND car surfed at the same time? Amazing. Yeah, the girls were just there and so was Errol at the same time as Chris, drunk on his own power I’m sure forced them to flip the truck over and kill him. Yeah, that was sooo like him. Look, plain and simple Chris fucked up everything when he climbed up there being the ass he was. Then Errol, the ONLY one in the car with a licese and I quote Vanessa when she said Errol was the only one who had been drinking that night (I don’t know if thats a lie or not, it came from Vanessa so expect it to be). So Errol, he crawls ontop of the car too, so he can join Chris. He then leaves his 14 year old girlfriend behind the wheel to drive. Ok now, she wasn’t forced to drive, she volunteerly did it KNOWING she did not know how to drive. She then floors it, now anybody with half a brain knows that when you floor the car it goes FAST and when you have people on top of your car, well right there you need to shot for stupidity because you can’t put 2 and 2 together. Also, Errol had a previous charge of Reckless driving and evading the law. And sice this investigation started all the people in that car have changed their stories too many times to count. I wasn’t there, I’m not defending Chris, and I’m not someone who wants to blame it on anyone other than Chris. I just want people to realize that there was more than just one person in that accident, and that Chris is not the only one to blame. They all endangered themsleves that night, Chris included. Personally, I think more than just Errol should be going up for trial this month. And I’m not just saying that because I was friends with Chris, because before we found out he was going to die (we heard at first it was just a small accident) we were already talking about what an ass he was and how he was going to probably end up in juvie for it. I wish that was all he got.

  3. les,

    you are right about everyone has had their own tragedies in life.  If someone has not had one yet, then hang on because it is coming.  These things are often unexplainable and it seems there is no reason for them, but unlike a lot of us pain, and tragedy is not a respector of person.

    it seems that a lot of people though think their pain or tragedy is so much more difficult to handle.  i believe that too many people want to hang all of their failures in life on a past pain or tragedy.  we all could use that as an excuse (and some deservedly so) as a reason to….well whatever.  but the hard thing is to try and understand, and then even go on when you cant.  many of us live everyday with a very difficult situation.

    i applaud anyone that chooses to go on and not get kicked in the but by their past.

    i know your take on scripture but one “teaching” that has proven to help me is that most of the people in the bible dealt with some kind of major mistake (sin) or even a tragedy.  these people chose to move on and not live in the past.  one of my favorite verses is….“forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to the things which are ahead.”  (not trying to preach or testify here, just relating how i deal with the stuff in my backyard)

    press on…and it sometimes is a press

    hey les, if you do catch this,,,have you ever checked out a “christian” website called bushrevealed.com….if you have not and choose to do so note that there are political views that i do not subscribe to on the site, but it has some stuff that questions the faith of bush that i found very interesting.  (the site will probably be considered very judgemental

  4. I think part of the issue is that younger people, when they encounter a tragedy like this for the first time, can’t focus on anything else.  It’s too new and painful an experience and they have to spend all their energy dealing with it. It’s easy for them to feel as if they invented this experience.

    As years go by and you come across more tragedies, yours and others, you learn to get some distance from it.  Perspective only comes with time.  And the single-minded, inward focus of adolescence goes away.

  5. Now wait a second here.  Samantha.. whoever you are.  I never said Erroll had anything to drink that night.  I said everyone was sober.

    And.  Anonymous.  Since apparently I know you.. I never said I was having fun.  Okay?  I don’t know who you are and I don’t particularly care.  But, my account of the accident has been the same since day one.  I still have the same exact entry in my deadjournal from the day after the accident.  And I stick by everything that is stated in there.

  6. Oh man.. Amanda and Danielle, this as just a shitty thing to post, regardless of how you felt about your friend.  What’s your REAL damage?  Look, I had a tragedy too at your age, and not to get into a slap-fight, but the kids who performed the showiest remorse were the ones who showed the least compassion while the victim was alive. 
    You might want to meditate on this for a moment?
    Most people (I’m guessing) are going to experience great remorse at some point in their lives.  The internet is a place for some to anonymously blow off some steam, but you need to take into account that real people are reading this stuff.

    Les, my best to you and your friend’s family.

  7. to all the teens posting here…..

    you guys need to realize that your life is not an episode of 7th heaven, jackass, or dawson’s creek.  get some help.  get some direction.  listen to your parents they are smarter than you.  “older” people as you put it are not that bad.  they have a lot of money and a little common sense.  if you cared as much for their wisdom as you did their money, you would end up in better shape. 

    no doubt their is someone there in your town/school reaching out to you ( pastor, teacher, coach, school counselor etc.)  you are not doing your self any good by beating each other up.

    your friends life is gone, must of us know what that is like.  you have the gift of still being able to live yours…

    if any of you teens have faith, now is the time to use it.  times like this is what it is for.

    it takes some time but this will pass.  will you ever forget it?  no your not supposed to that is what pain is all about.  remember how much this hurts so it does not happen again.  if you really care about your friend, then dont let his death be dishonored by causing hate and division among you, let it bring you together to help each other out in this crisis for you.

  8. I would like to post to my friends who are posting. You know I love you guys and mean nothing in disrespect to you when I say this, but these people are right. You guys are asking for these peoples sympathy but at the same time calling them names and not taking into consideration that they’ve been here before. You all know that I don’t like this site being up where they’re dissing Chris, he was like my brother and I don’t want to see people disrespect him in death for a mistake he made, and I’ve posted about it too (though not using profanity) They didn’t know Chris, you can’t expect them too. You all know I lost my mom a couple of years ago, and while sometimes you ask about it I highly doubt you sit around and cry for her loss of life at any given moment. Most of you didnt know her, and I would never ask you to do that. You also know that I make jokes about my own mom’s death, its easier than talking serious about it all the time because it still hurts like hell. Chris’s death is still fresh to all of us, we can’t joke yet. That takes time. In time we will, and to be honest if Chris was still here, he’d be the first to make a joke about it. Lets all do ourselves a favor, stop posting here and start posting on the Chris memorial page. There we know its people we love and that Chris loved.

  9. oX overrated Xo [8:49 PM]:  Aw.. no no we were all sober.
    oX overrated Xo [8:49 PM]:  All of us were except Erroll.

    That is your screen name right Vanessa?

  10. ok…im an not trying to get your sympathy…just expressing my love to chris and my friends…and i know that the florida friends were close to chris but right now vanessa and brandi are turning this whole incident to themselves and how they are so sad…and this is no offience to the florida people but the iniana friend knew more about and love chris more (only because he lived up here his whole life….im sorry…Annonymous(right above me) thank you….you totally proved my point if you could email me ur screen name or email…my email is NightRaven201@aol.com…i would like to talk to you in private!!!

  11. but right now vanessa and brandi are turning this whole incident to themselves and how they are so sad

    Uhm, you have me confused with someone else. I’m the well-lived adult who pointed out a teenage drama queen. I’m not sad, nor did I know the deceased.

  12. alright…you people who say i’m being a drama queen, may be right, but i’m just trying to get over the loss of a loved one!..“otis”  you are totally right about the Indiana people knowing and luving him so much more then the florida ppl,but you know he had that affect on ppl, i mean you could become his best friend in minutes cuz he was so awesome!!;)  as for you people that didn’t know chris…i feel really bad for you cuz you really missed out on a GREAT AND WONDERFUL person…who will never be forgotton!!!:)

  13. Yes, that is my screenname, oh anonymous one.  But that does not mean I said that.  Why would I say all of us were sober and then say.. no all of us were except Erroll?  Erroll was sober.  We all know that.


  14. I am not turning this on myself as a sympathy case, thankyouverymuch.  I never said anything about being oh so sad.  Which I am but that’s not the point.  The only reason I posted on here in the first place is because I was pissed off that people were talking badly about the accident.  That is all.

  15. i am not sure if i will never know what exactally happend that night. but i often think about what happend that night, i wonder what was going thru my bestfriends mind as he hit the pavement. did he know that he was going to die? did he think of me? did he think of all of us? did he know that his dieing would cause all this? chris was my bestfriend. i can’t tell you how much he ment to me. i talked to chris a few hours before that accident must of happend. he had called me. he told me he was gonna hang out with some friends that night. you see what makes me think about this whole situation is the fact that if this was ment to happen and he was still living up here then i know that i would of been hanging out with him that night. i being the only licened driver of our friends would be the one getting charged with all this. now, put your self in that mind set. do u still want to nominate this kid for the darwin award when u could just as easy have this happen to you. things like his happen. i thank god they don’t happen that often. but still they do. so why mock how stupid it is. why don’t we nominate him for the hero he was. cus he was my hero. i can’t describe the impact he left on my life. and vanessa i know u must of went thru hell but u can’t just abbandon your friends that were with u that night. chris used to tell me that no matter what we would always be friends. so think would chris want u to get mad at ur friend for not stopping the car or whatever. do chris a favor, stick it out wiht ur friends. i love chris with all my heart and ya know what chris loved everyone that he ever met. the kid didn’t have an enemy so for all of you that think he was dumb for what he did… F**K OFF. cus chris prolly would of jumped up to defend ur honor. i love you chris!!!!!!! thanks 201!

  16. Hey Vanessa, Just so you know I have the entire conversation from that night. And also, your right why would you say that? Then again, you say alot of things about that night.

  17. Well, I’m quite sorry I even came across this site. As people have stated before me, Chris was indeed a great person. Unfortunately, I only knew him for the 2 months he was in FL, but even after that short time I knew he did what he wanted and liked to have fun. We tried to get him back in the car but Chris does what he want and he watned to stay on the roof. Could Erroll have stayed in the car and stopped driving? Yes. Could Bianca have taken the wheel and stopped the car? Yes. But you have to understand when your caught in the moment of things you do things that you would look back and say “Why did I do that?” and I’m sure you all know this already. But stuff happens. All of us make mistakes. Ours led to losing a friend. When this happened, it happened with a clear mind in all 5 of us. And seeing as you based your Darwin nominee on a newspaper article *points up* your story isn’t quite accurate. But I don’t plan on settin git staright for such a pointless cause. The only people that really know what happened are us from the accident and people they have told. I truly hope Chris’ parents never have to see this page. I mean, come on. I think everyone involved, all his friends and family, have gone thorugh enough crap. They really don’t have to deal with their grievances posted on the web as humor for others. What happened to Chris wasn’t meant to be humor. It’s not like someone played a prank or someone hurt themselves and deserve a bit of chiding. Someone DIED. Someone still in the early ages of life. Someone who is and was loved dearly. Someone no one could get enough of. DEAD. So just please think before you act..

  18. Yeah, we’re horrible and evil people. We know already. I’m closing this thread as I’m tired of hearing the same whining repeatedly.

  19. Christopher was my brother. I’m his younger sister and it’s been 10 years since he passed. We miss him dearly. The story is on point, except that he didn’t pass away a few days later, he was in a coma until February the next year.

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