NEW YORK, NY- According to Q13fox.com, an Uber driver in New York is facing charges after he allegedly permitted a teenage boy to “surf” on the roof of his vehicle. The tragic car accident led to the boy’s death.
The driver, Danyal Cheema, has been charged with manslaughter and was arraigned on Monday. According to the reports, a group of teenagers offered Cheema $40 for a chance to ride on top of his vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Highlander. The incident took place on September 23, 2018, in Huntington Station.
Cheema admitted that one of the teens rode on top of the vehicle while the boy’s friends posted a video of the act on Snapchat. The victim, Ryan Mullen, 15, fell from the vehicle’s roof and hit his head on the road. The teen’s injury was not noticed immediately. Within hours of the fall, Mullen went to sleep and then died from the head injury.
If convicted, Cheema will face as many as 15 years in prison.
Car surfing is a dangerous practice that became popular among teenagers in the 1980s after it appeared in movies including “Footloose” and “Teen Wolf.” In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study on car surfing that indicated that there were 99 reported incidents of people dying or suffering severe injuries because of the activity between the year 1990 and 2008.
In 2009, another study looked into severe head injuries caused by car surfing, including many permanent head injuries, and individuals who had to have parts of their brains removed in order to ease swelling in the brain.
Online videos seem to have piqued interest in car surfing and “ghost riding,” which involves a person exiting a vehicle while driving, and then dancing or walking along with the car.
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