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. MrMajestik

    If that was my grandma... I can assure you justice would be served up cold

    July 8, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Breazzano

    That old lady clearly neglected to check both directions before crossing the street.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. douginator

    The kid should have had an air bag equipped skateboard, not hit an air bag.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Random

    That skateboarder should be charged, he was not even supposed to skateboard there. So he broke the law, and then he ended up killing someone for it. So because he's "clean cut" and a "good kid" and he felt bad about it means nothing will happen to him? This is ridiculous, he should be locked up for a few years and never be allowed to ride a skateboard again.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • No

      You, sir or madam, are a fool. Let me guess, you never, ever broke any rules thinking they were stupid when you were a teenager? Right? RIGHT?

      Accidnets happen. It's tragic, but they happen. Charging him with more than the law he did break will not change that fact, so stop pretending that it will.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Killhim

    Hope someone hits him with a skateboard until he dies, preferably a relative of the deceased

    July 8, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. what?

    clean cut?

    July 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. what?

    clean cut? so he's a good kid? skin heads are clean cut.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Musicdorian

      Yeah ! Bernie Madoff was clean cut. Joseph Stalin was clean cut. Hinrich Himmler was clean cut. Jim Jones was clean cut. Kim Jong IIll is clean cut. Ted Bundy was clean cut. Al Capone was clean cut. John Dillinger was clean cut.... and I'll bet even the ole Sgt. Dally, there in Capitola is clean cut !!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • No

      and all those people you just listed were good people.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. chazzz

    It's hard to picture a little old lady on a skateboard...but I'm tryin...

    July 8, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. CozKaren

    It is a sad state of affairs w/ almost 700 comments. There are so many that are callous, self-righteous, and just plain senseless drivel.
    It was an accident w/ a tragic end. Both parties were doing what they enjoyed. I am quite sure the kid will have regrets all of his life. It is admirable that he took responsibility and stay w/ the women until help came.
    The woman is fortunately to have lived a long life and to have a stable marriage for 64 yrs. She died doing something that she enjoyed. May we all be so fortunate. Those of you with sick, sarcastic, disrespectful, cruel and inappropriate comments die a slow and miserable death.
    May you rest in peace MaryAnn. My condolences to your family.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip Porembski

    the only way you can put people in jail and prison is if people break the law so you do want people to break the law because you do put people in jail and prison. nobody else wants people to break the law.
    dont tell people not to break the law when you know you want them to break the law.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joshua Ludd

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

    So, in other words.. if he hadn't had the right haircut and clothes.... it would have somehow been malicious?

    July 8, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • No

      You people are morons. The phrase "clean cut and honest" has been used as a term of personality over physical style for a very very long time.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Musicdorian

    This Sergent Dally referring to someone as clean cut makes me think that the police dept has some morons working there. Clean cut hasn't got squat to do with this accident. However it does have to do with a cops preconceived notions of who is good or bad. The facts are that this kid killed someone out of neglegence, regarless of his appearance. I suspect that this was just 17 year old numb skull behavior, with no maliciousness. However I'd suggest that Sergent Dally stick to the idea that it was an accident, without throwing in comments about appearance. By the way, Al Capone was clean cut. Hinrich Himmler was clean cut. Heck even Adolf Hitler was clean cut. Stalin was clean cut. Ted Bundy was clean cut. Reverend Jim Jones was clean cut. What does clean cut really say?

    July 8, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Julia

    What an incredibly sad, tragic story! My heart goes out to her family and to the boy who will never be the same after what his foolishness caused. At least he was responsible enough to stay with her, instead of running off. What he did was dangerous to others and himself. Most likely he had the warnings about skateboarding safety and knew he shouldn't have been going down that hill. It's really too bad he had to finally learn to listen the hard way.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Trip

      My God the women was older than dirt, let it go. The lord did!

      July 8, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      @Trip- "Older than dirt?" Only little immature, smart-A$$ creeps, who will never become anything more than fry cooks talk like that. Clearly the 17 yr old who caused this accident has more sense than you. He at least showed compassion and obvious remorse by staying with her until help arrived. If this were you, you would have just said, "ah, she's just an old hag- time for her to die" - then rode off.
      I had an uncle who was wonderfully spry and a pure joy at 100!
      Let's see how YOU (and those like you) feel about getting old once you get there- IF you get there. One thing we all do from the minute we are born is age. Keep notes on the things you say about the elderly so you can read them again someday in the distant future. Then see if you feel the same way or if you suddenly have a different outlook.

      The woman was taking her daily walk, a RIGHT we all have, regardless of age.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. TruthBeDone

    Duh!!!! I guess that is why the powers that be made it a law not to skateboard there!!!! And we all thought the leaders were stupid!

    On what planet is it okay to ignore whatever cautions, rules, signs, laws there are?

    July 8, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      One would expect a person to have enough sense to not skateboard down a steep hill. Sadly, many don't have any sense at all, so laws are passed to protect them and the people they could injure.
      I live at the top of a rather steep hill and once in a while a couple of boys (about 8 yrs old) come to skateboard down the hill. To add to the danger, visibility for drivers is poor there and they always show up at dusk to have their fun! An accident waiting to happen.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jonathan

    And... this is news? I feel bad for the family but CNN doesn't run stories of 83 year old women getting hit in crosswalks by cars.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      Maybe because it's unusual? Why are you so outraged?

      July 8, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
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