Skip to Main Content

It’s amazing how so many things go out of style only to reemerge years later as the “newest trend.” We’ve seen it with clothes, hairstyles, music, and many other genres. And it now appears that an age-old daredevil pastime is coming back into fashion: car surfing, where a person attempts to stand on the hood or roof of a vehicle while another individual drives it down the street.

This phenomenon also calls to mind one of the reasons car surfing went out of style in the first place: because it tends to kill people.

One Valley family has been thrown into turmoil because of the tragic consequences of car surfing. The incident happened on Monday evening shortly before 8:30pm on Violetta Avenue, which is near the intersection of Commerce Street and West Centennial Parkway in North Las Vegas. Matthew Galvin was trying to car surf on the hood of a 1988 Ford Bronco that was being driven by his 17-year old brother. But when the vehicle stopped suddenly, the 20-year old man was thrown head first to the ground. Witnesses say that he went into seizures before being transported to UMC Trauma Center, where he succumbed to his injuries several hours later.

Here’s what may be hard to fathom: the vehicle was only traveling about 10 or 15 miles per hour when the sudden stop occurred. We might infer from this that the brothers were actually trying to exercise some degree of caution during this activity. But as we can see, this low speed was more than enough to cause fatal injuries to Galvin. (In fact, you can sustain significant injuries inside a car if you are not belted in during a collision at that speed.)

Now, the rest of the family is forced to mourn Galvin’s death, while his brother may be wracked with guilt for the rest of his life. As bad as this situation is, think about what else would happen if the driver was not related to the victim. The family of the decedent could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver (or his/her parents, if the driver were a minor), which would suck a second family into the grief and sorrow of this heartbreaking event.