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.

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Filed under: California
soundoff (1,053 Responses)
  1. Toni

    You are a total moron. No compassion, no sense, no nothing. Just a smart mouth little brat with too much time on your hands and not enough brains to keep you stupid comments to yourself. No, you would rather write them down and let everyone know what a complete idiot you are. You're gonna be old some day too kid ...... just remember that!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • She

      Let it all out.

      July 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. FU

    It's now "skate AND die"

    July 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jim C

    Now it no longer bothers when the police give the skateboarders a hard time.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. OU812IC

    Please it was an accident
    Next you morons will be claiming the kid was looking up the meaning of chloroform on his laptop, while drinking a high power alcohol drink, smoking Meth, flipping off a cop, spray painting an overpass, as he was rolling down the hill

    July 8, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tiffany who is also 17

    My heart goes out to the woman's family. some of you guys just need to calm down and shut up this guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he will live with this for the rest of his life and all you guys can do is talk crap yes its unfortunate that the woman had to pay the ultimate price, but there is no reason he should be bad mouthed by you people. Being a teen in these times is hard theres way to much peer pressure and way to many adults calling us vandals and nuisances instead of encouraging us to be all that we can be.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • EuphoricCrest

      OK, Tiff, The kid can be all he can be by accepting responsibility and doing his time. You, on the other hand, can be all you can be by staying in school until you improve your grammar and spelling.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Derek711

      @Euphoric Way to go buddy! You put down a kid who was trying to be positive and ask for adults to encourage them instead of bashing on them, yet you proved her right by bashing on her... loser! Yeah, tell me to fix my grammar you pathetic moron, and I'll tell you it's time to for your adult diaper to be changed. Go take a nap grandpa, and while you're at it, please stop leeching off my family's income for your SSI, because I know it wont be there for us when we get older.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. skaterforlife

    this has gotta be a first

    July 8, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. bruce Heinemann

    to all you skateboarders: "Skateboarding is not a Crime".. until you hit someone and kill them....!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. EuphoricCrest

    Yes, I'm sure the kid feels badly. However, after 6-12 months in jail he can feel he has paid his debt and move on with his life. Otherwise, he may never get over it.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. mikey

    I see some weird skateboarding behavior where I live. These kids come zigzagging down the street with cars around. You think they're turning and start to pass – they've already crossed to the other side of the street – then they turn right back in front of you and act surprised that they almost got run over.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. CozKaren

    Are you an idiot? Why is the husband at fault? It is clearly written that this was her daily routine to walk from her home to the beach. So you think the husband should of forbade her from walking? I suppose that your are a control freak and don't allow your wife/girlfriend/women to live her life?

    July 8, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Oldie in TampaBay

    I think CNN should STOP these sound offs! It is so hard to believe that there are so many people filled with hate.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Arick

    We should lock the kid up and turn him into a real hardened criminal so that he can terrorize society when he gets out. BRILLIANT!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sick Of It

    CNN sucks. This is not news folks. Neither is Casey Anthony. Sorry for both families, but let's focus on issues that impact us all.

    I'm sure a crazed orangutan escaped somewhere today and took a huge bite out of someone's butt; yet again, not news. Let "News of the World" cover this stuff.... Oh yeah, they folded.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Gabe

      You should start your own news site.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • AfghanChap

      Hmmm... You clicked on the story, so that means it was interesting to both of us.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • BlindSquirrel

      It's pretty simple...if you see a skateboarder, shoot him. Sooner or later they'll stop skateboarding where they could hurt others.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan123

      Too right mate. I too am sick of manipulation to get website hits. This is definitely not news and certainly would not be if she were killed by a motorist distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone (more illegal in Cali then the signs about no Skateboarding in this area). People die in accidents all the time, frequently caused by people doing all manner of things they should not have been doing. Skateboarding has nothing to do with it, and is only a tool for CNN to incite hate and get web hits. The real point here is that accidents happen, and it's what you do after the accident happens that defines your character. Near as I can tell this kid did the right thing, stayed with the victim, did not pull a Casey Anthony, and waited for authorities to arrive, and accepted the consequences of his actions. The fact that he was on a skateboard is not material.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • NickolausTucson

      Dan123: Couldn't have said it better!!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      So, if it doesn't occur on your property, you don't care. Thanks for sharing that incredible insight.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      Who is forcing you to sit at your computer, with it set on this site? And did someone have a gun to your head, forcing you to click open this story? "Sick of it" is right... sick of people who get online for the sole purpose of complaining! Go read Fox. Go watch TV... JUST GO!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael J.

      You're a moron.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Hunter S Lives

      I do hope that Mark Fuhrman is the lead investigator...

      July 8, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. MrMajestik

    Skateboard culture sucks...
    I see them practicing for hours trying to master the move... but do they spend a 1/10 studying for a good job someday? Hardly...

    I wish they would do a study on correlation between boarders and employed teens...would be interesting?

    July 8, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Crysco

      I am a skateboard and I study Civil Engineering. I am graduating in on year. So SUCK ON THAT!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Crysco

      Spelling errors -.- I was too full of rage to notice.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jan F

      Well, as a former skateboarder who spent hours practicing moves and ended up graduating in the top 1% of my high school class, graduated from a prestigious college with a 4.0 gpa and 2 degrees (while I brought my skateboard AND rollerblades with me to campus) and now after a 10+ year career in cable television am taking a hiatus to write my second novel, I think I can safely say that skateboarding didn't do much to deter my success in life. However, I'm sure your closed mind has severely limited yours.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      I don't know... there weren't any skateboards when I was a kid in the 60's but I spent every minute I could at the skating rink. You'd likely say that was a wasteful past time too. Still, I grew up, went to college, and had a normal life.

      What did you do for fun when you were that age or were you just born an adult? Now you're a grouchy old man who hates the "youth of today?" Wonder how many generations have used that same phrase.

      And to the once-skateborder, now Civil Engineer: BRAVO!!!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ben

      I am a former professional skateboarder. My accomplishments include:
      -Toured the world starting in high school....skateboarding...paid
      -College Graduate (paid for with my skateboard earnings)
      -Owner of my first business by the age of 21 (an internationally circulated action sports magazine)
      -Currently hold the position of VP Sales at a national printing company
      -Married; homeowner

      ....and what have you done with your life. Did your high school football career pay off in any comparison to the above???

      July 8, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Breazzano

    after this tragic crash, Federal regulators will likely require all new skateboards to be equipped with a black box

    July 8, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
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