Woman, 83, dies after being struck by skateboarder
Maryann Slettehaugh was in a crosswalk when she was struck by a skateboarder.
July 7th, 2011
01:14 PM ET

Woman, 83, dies after being struck by skateboarder

An 83-year-old Northern California woman has died after being hit by a skateboarder moving at 15 to 20 miles an hour, police said.

Maryann Slettehaugh was crossing a street in Capitola, California, Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a 17-year-old boy, Capitola police Sgt. Andrew Dally told CNN affiliate KSBW-TV.

Dally said the skateboarder, who was traveling down a steep hill, jumped off the board and tried to avoid colliding with Slettehaugh but was unable to, according to KSBW. He stayed with the injured woman after the collision.

Slettehaugh was in a crosswalk and a panel truck had stopped to let her pass, according to media reports.

Slettehaugh was airlifted to a San Jose hospital, where she was pronounced dead, CNN affiliate KION-TV reported.

The teen has not been charged in the incident, but detectives are investigating, Capitola police Detective Marquis Booth told CNN.

Booth said municipal code prohibits skateboarding the Capitola Village commercial district where the accident occurred and the teen was cited for a violation.

"It just isn't a good mix when we have skateboarders," Booth said. "You can gain some pretty good speed going down that hill."

Dally told KSBW, "It was not a malicious type of act. He seemed like a pretty clean-cut and honest kid."

Slettehaugh's husband of 64 years, George Slettehaugh, told CNN affiliate KTVU-TV his wife had been hit by a skateboard 15 years ago.

"She was leery of them and tried to avoid them," George Slettehaugh said in an interview. "[She] kept watching for them all the time."

Maryann Slettehaugh was on her daily walk from her home to the beach when she was struck, according to media reports.

"It was her daily routine. She lived just two or three blocks away," Dally told KSBW.

Post by:
Filed under: California
soundoff (1,053 Responses)
  1. CaseyAnthony

    Awww shucks, that kids a goner for sure! Who sticks around for something like that to be pinned on you? You should have lied. That's what I did, and look where it got me.

    Sailing in the wind, baby...

    July 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. poppy

    Awwww poor lady. RIP

    July 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oops!

      His parents didn't need that house anyway.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Liberty Queen

    Skateboarders are suckie litttle punks... time to kick'em in their little peanuts and say, "It was an accident!"

    July 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Interesting, I am 40, I still skateboard. Great exercise, keeps you on your toes. "Skateboarders are suckie litttle punks", Ya I am not little either and can not guarantee your safe being if you try to "kick'em in their little peanuts" as you say on me.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Playgurl89

      You have no idea what you're tlaking about. Skateboarders, just like any athlete, are people with passions. If someone called you a suckie little punk for doing what you love, how would you feel? Honestly this was an accident. It freakin sucks that it happened but you can't go on a rampage about how skateboards are bad when you have no idea what you're tlaking about. And obviously he wasn't a 'suckie little punk' if he stayed with her and probably felt HORRIBLE about it. I know I would have. I am sorry this woman died, it is very tragic, however accidents happen. If this was my grandma or mom I would probably be furious but it could have happened with anything. She could have gotten hit by a car.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • someguy

      You're a moron

      July 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Been there done that

      That's a nice generalization of a group of very diverse people. Do you hate blacks and gays too? Skateboarders come from all walks of life and just because they enjoy a form of exercise that is contrary to your style, I'm guessing pilates and yoga (I'm going out on a limb like you did), doesn't mean they are any less worthy of the respect they may or may not deserve as individuals.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stopbeingmean

    LOL guys that wasnt me that posted that. That was some guy named "Common Sense no longer exists.....clearly". I reposted it because it was THE most AWESOME comment I've read on this thread! Glad you agree!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. charlie

    Really? She watched out for those damn skateborders all the time, yet she was killed by one, thats the definition of irony.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh for Pete's sake!

      Well, they say you will attract what you fear most. . . I better stop fearing lung cancer!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RCBinTN

    "...the teen was cited for a violation." I guess that means killing an elderly woman who's standing in a cross walk.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Karen onCape Cod

    Maryann Slettehaugh should not have died this way. I have seen many skateboarders who are reckless and skating illegally. Since when is it legal to skateborad down a public road or a sidewalk? And yet I see it every single day. I send my sincere regards to her family and friends who are stripped of their opportunity to share this womans' life again.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    Very sorry to hear. However, getting hit by a skateboarder once is bad enough, but twice almost makes it seem like this was in the cards for this poor old lady, and she was dealt a bad hand. The "kid" (a little old to be on a skateboard, no?) at least did the right thing by staying with her, but deserves more than a citation for being in the wrong and riding where he wasn't supposed to.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AZ Wildcat

    I guess you are off your meds?

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carter79

    As sad as this story is, I don't think that the kid should be demonized as long as he legitimately feels remorse and offered assistance to the poor woman.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marry Ann

      Atleast you have some common sense.
      This kid, no matter what, has to live with this on his concious for the rest of his life.
      He is JUST A KID! Not the same mentality as a full grown adult.
      My uncle was smoking in bed and accidently burned down a family house in Mississippi many years ago and my Grandmothers mother died from smoke inhalation. He was never the same...yes, he screwed up but after that it was a downward spiral.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Karen onCape Cod

    Maryann Slettehaugh should not have died this way. I have seen many skateboarders who are reckless and skating illegally. Since when is it legal to skateboard down a public road or a sidewalk? And yet I see it every single day. I send my sincere regards to her family and friends who are stripped of their opportunity to share this womans' life again.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ignorance truely is bliss

      Really? Since when is it legal to skateboard down a public road or sidewalk? *facepalm* Let me guess, it's illegal to ride a bicycle on a public road or sidewalk too, right? It's a fricken' mode of transportation! Do you believe all Amish should be in prison for riding in carriages on the public road as well?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John Smith

    They should put little holes in all sidewalks, and rows of bumps on all curbs, see how well they can skate in a safety minefield for wheels.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • What if . . .

      I really hope this is a poor attempt at sarcasm. . . laughing pretty hard @ safety minefield . . so thanks.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dk

    First of all, I'm pretty sure skateboarding in this town is not considered a crime just as parking illegally is not. They are ticketable offenses. Comparing this accident to a drunk driver killing someone is a bit of a stretch also. And in most states dwi is a trafic violation and not a criminal offense. Secondly, a pedestrian has the right of way only when crossing with the light. If she happened to be crossing illegally (which is not specified) then she too was "breaking the law" and just as culpable. This is no different than someone crossing the street and being hit by a car. Sometimes it is the drivers fault and sometimes the pedestrian's. which I am sure is why they said they are INVESTIGATING!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • FaolRua

      She was crossing in a marked pedestrian crossing where traffic was stopped by a stop sign. In California, pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marry Ann

    That was one determined skateboard, finaly after 15 years the skateboard got it's prey...Sort of like the Road Runner and Coyote.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill93

    Hope her kids or estate sue the teen's parent for wrongful death and clean them out, taking their house and savings. That is the only ways they will learn and control their kids. Sue the teen also in case he ever gets a job and you can garnish his pay. Get a good ambulance chaser.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marry Ann

      Sure, sue everyone..Isn't that the American way?
      You idiot monkeys and all you care about is money.
      Next, sue everyone riding a bike. Sue the doctors so they don't want to practice medicine.
      Let's also put speedbumps all over on public streets so kids have a place to play because they might go play in the streets and get run over so people like yourself can sue them also.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28