published Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Georgia girl, 16, dies while 'car surfing’ on vehicle hood

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Authorities say a Dawson County teenager has been killed while riding on the hood of a moving vehicle in a stunt known as “car surfing.”

Law officers say 16-year-old Anna Hawkins was killed shortly before 10 p.m. Monday, when the driver of the car lost control on a curve on Couch Road. She died when being taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Georgia State Patrol Post spokeswoman Robin Stone said the 16-year-old driver, whose name wasn’t released, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed.

Hawkins was a rising junior at Dawson County High School. She played on the girls’ varsity soccer team her freshman and sophomore years, The Times of Gainesville reported.

“This is our worst nightmare, losing one of our kids,” Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the phenomenon and reported in 2008 that at least 99 people had died or sustained serious injuries while car surfing since 1990. CDC researchers reviewed newspaper reports to compile the research. It found that males were more likely to participate in the activity, and that injuries were reported in 31 states.

It is difficult to know how many people are injured or killed while car-surfing because national injury surveillance systems, trauma registries, and death certificates lack sufficient detail to distinguish victims from others who have fallen from moving motor vehicles, the CDC reported.

In their 2008 report, researchers noted that car-surfing was increasingly being filmed and posted on video-sharing websites.

“However, these videos often do not portray the associated risk for injury or death,” the researchers wrote.

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