Teenagers are always trying to push the envelope. Plus, with summer arriving in Illinois, teens won’t have to worry about going to school for a few months, and you know what happens when teens have a lot of extra time on their hands: they tend to do stupid things. Sometimes, their behavior leads to someone getting hurt.
That’s what happened in Wheaton earlier this week. A group of teenagers – all of who were honors students and new drivers – were in a car in Northside Park around 2:30pm Tuesday afternoon. For some inexplicable reason, they decided to try “car surfing,” which is when one or more people stand on the hood or the top of the car while it is in motion. A 16-year old student from nearby Wheaton North High School began “car surfing” on the car’s hood when he rolled off of the front of the vehicle and was run over by it.
The teen suffered serious injuries including broken bones, but he is expected to fully recover. A spokesperson for the school district said that the boy behind the wheel at the time of the accident was the victim’s best friend.
It’s safe to say that the driver had no intention of hurting the car surfing teen, and that he feels pretty bad about running over his friend. There’s even a reasonable chance that the victim understands the situation and does not blame his friend for what happened.
But these sentiments are largely irrelevant when it comes to possible civil action. For one thing, the only people who could be a plaintiff or a defendant in a lawsuit are the parents of the boys, since the teens are minors. And the victim’s family is undoubtedly racking up substantial medical bills for the treatment of their injured son. So even though there may not be any animosity between the two boys themselves, the victim’s parents may choose to recoup their costs by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the parents of the driver. Then the two teens may have lots of time to contemplate the consequences of their actions if the lawsuit drags on for months or even years.