Police identify longboarder killed in crash

RCMP Spokesperson Gord Molendyk

VERNON - Police have identified the Vernon teen who died in a tragic longboarding accident Sunday night.

“We have been in touch with his family,” RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says. “It’s very devastating.”

The 17-year-old, who was rushed to hospital in critical condition, had no ID on him and his family did not immediately come forward. It was legwork involving officers who’d been in contact with the teen, such as the RCMP school liaison, that led police to his identity and to his family’s doorstep with the terrible news.

The B.C. Coroners Service hasn't released the teen’s name. RCMP investigators believe he entered the roadway at 39 Street and Okanagan Avenue without halting at the stop sign, giving the driver who hit him scarce time to avoid the collision. At 11 p.m., it was also dark. 

“It is a terrible state for the driver,” Molendyk says. “In the blink of an eye, things have changed dramatically. A young person is critically injured. You’re thinking, ‘What could I have done?’”

Molendyk says the driver fully cooperated with police.

Longboarding on public streets is illegal, though Molendyk admits enforcement is challenging. The City of Vernon hands out a general $75 fine for violating the municipal traffic bylaw and has discussed bylaws to make the sport safer.

“Although there’s the thrill of the ride in longboarding, (riders) must be very cognizant to the danger they could put themselves in and the consequences of others utilizing the road,” Molendyk says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724

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