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California skateboard accident kills veteran

Craig McClellan

A 24-year-old Navy veteran was killed Monday when a car hit his skateboard in a Pacific Beach intersection. According to police, the skateboarder was speeding down a hill and did not have time to stop before entering the intersection at Garnet and Lamont Street. Police will not cite the driver, whom they believe had the right-of-way in this skateboard accident.

While skateboard accidents are not as frequent as pedestrian and bicycle accidents, skateboarding on public roads is inherently dangerous. Furthermore, the popularity of the sport has put more and more skateboarders on the road, which has led to more accidents. Only 5 percent of skateboarding injuries happen at skate parks, which means the majority of injuries are caused by irregular surfaces and collisions with automobiles.

In 2012, for example, 30 skateboarders lost their lives on U.S. roads. The principle cause of death was blunt force trauma from a collision with an automobile. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the average age of those killed in skateboarding accidents in 2012 was 20 years old and all fatalities were male skateboarders.

Also unsurprisingly to many California residents, the majority of skateboarding fatalities and serious injuries occurred in California (14 deaths). California's skateboarding population is robust -- so robust that skateboarding in the street is outlawed in most of California's major cities today.

Since it is outlawed in the streets, are skateboarders who skate in the streets liable for any accident that occurs? Not exactly. If a car driver fails to see a skateboarder and causes an accident, that driver would be liable for the injuries the skateboarder sustains, though the skateboarder may face a fine for breaking the law.

Source: CBS8, " Navy vet struck, killed in skateboarding accident," July 29, 2013