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. dyell

    stay strong kid.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. joey

    laura bush killed someone running a stop sign, and didnt even get a ticket

    July 8, 2011 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • The Power of Money, exactly...

      Great POINT!!! NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth was charged with killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence, running over a homeless man, WHILE INTOXICATED and does 30 days. Then, the victim's family settle out of court for "X" amount of dollars with Stallworth and he played that following season. And you guys want to convict a 17yr old kid for accidently running over an 83 yr old woman (an accident which most people [other than a 83yr old woman] would have survived). Get real people.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Exactly...

      Great POINT!!! NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth was charged with killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence, running over a homeless man, WHILE INTOXICATED and does 30 days. Then, the victim's family settle out of court for "X" amount of dollars with Stallworth and he played that following season. And you guys want to convict a 17yr old kid for accidently running over an 83 yr old woman (an accident which most people [other than a 83yr old woman] would have survived). Get real people.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wren

    The skateboarding teen killed someone. He may not have meant to kill, but he did. There are reasons that skateboarding is banned in the area where the "accident" happened, and he chose to disregard the law. Whether he is 17 or 60 is immaterial. A woman is dead because of his carelessness and disregard for the law. At the very least, he's guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. TomT

    Negligent manslaughter...
    The kid knew the risks and took it. Now he needs to know the cost of that risk.
    We all take risks, and that is exactly what it is. Sometimes it just doesn't pay and this time, luck was against the lady and the kid. The kid pays. Simple laws of life... Bet he will NEVER skate down at any hill at full clip. Lesson learned, price to be paid by the kid. The poor lady paid with her life...

    July 8, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jamal

    unfortunate accident. I dont think he should be tried, and he will not be as I learned when further investigating.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dee G

    It amazes me (though it shouldn't) that most of you posting on here feel for the 17 year old and act like the 83 year old was just a life to be thrown away. This was someone's MOTHER, WIFE, GRANDMOTHER!!! I mean honestly, how would *you* feel if she was a beloved part you *your* family?!? I'm sure the 17 year old feels like crap, and *maybe* (hopefully) learned a lesson from this, but some of you people need to learn a little RESPECT!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. JW

    17 Years old and still on a stupid skateboard. I was driving my first car at 16.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Exercise

      Did it occur to you he is exercising?

      July 8, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • joepfsdafa

      Skateboarding is not a crime.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • joepfsdafa

      It was just a very unfortunate accident.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kyser

    For all of you people Villifying Skateboarding, it's a recreation and thus the reason why it was a acident. Maybe we should cite people for riding bikes on roads intended for cars, those acidents happen all the time. Skating is not a crime, and nor did he display criminal activity, he even stayed by the womens side and never left her, unlike most hit and runs. I'm sure the kid was just enjoying himself and things went wrong as they do in an acident.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Art

      I was riding a bicycle in a town once and hit someones car that pulled out in front of me. I dented their trunk and was ticketed for reckless driving and had to pay to fix their trunk. I was told that I had to obey the traffic laws just like everyone else. Even though I couldn't stop in time to avoid rear ending them, I paid. So should this kid: he was riding illegally in that area .

      July 8, 2011 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Unless there is a sign indicating no bicycles (ie, freeways) – roads are intended for cars and bicycles.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jack

    Charge the little creep, he is 17 and riding a skateboard, manslauter.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • B-RL

      WIth the current 'Jack Ass' mentality, I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • mbro

      Seriously? i bet you voted for obama and want the government to save you! get a life!!!! it was an accident!

      July 8, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheap Cheap

      @mbro: "get a life!!!!" Unlike the woman who lost her life because a 17-year-old was breaking the law, skateboarding in a place where it is not allowed. She will not be able to "get a life!!!!"

      July 8, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Art

    Skateboards do not have brakes, nor horns. There is NO ability to control their, or their riders', trajectories after attaining certain speeds, down certain slopes. Just as in skiing, you are responsible for what you or your skateboard or ski strikes. What would happen if someone was skiing down a hill in town and struck and killed someones daughter during winter in a winter town? Seems to me the stupid are going to ruin it for the rest..... again..... Make skateboarders get a permit/license.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Edward C.

    Communities are so cheap!!!! Yes, I know it costs money, but build kids a skateboard park, even if it only has the basics. People complain about skateboarders on the streets and parking lots all the time, but what do they expect? Kids will be kids, and we know they are energy-filled and restless. If you have a designated area for these kids to congregate and skate, then you don't have them running into you on the streets!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • mrbubbles

      simply building a skatepark wont keep kids from skateboarding on the street haha. how do you know this kid wasnt on his way home from a skatepark? maybe said skatepark was at the top of this hill he went down.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheap Cheap

      Why should the government build skateboard parks? Either private businesses can do so if they see a profit opportunity or the skateboarders can pool their money to do so.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • El Kababa

      Building parks for kids and families is an appropriate function of government. You are just being silly.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Pjd

    Look both ways before you cross the street. The old women must of been crossing at .5 mph. Speed bumps suck.

    July 8, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheap Cheap

      You are sick and demonstrate "speed bump" mentality yourself.

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

    "Can't we all just along?" For the childrens??

    July 8, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pjd

    speed bumps suck

    July 8, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. riff1060

    most of you sound like he killed her while taking her purse. im sure that this kid regrets what happened, but it was an accident. now go renew your aarp memberships, and get off of the internets.

    July 8, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • mbro

      well said!

      July 8, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • JMM

      Accident? First of all, he was skateboarding where it was illegal to do so. Second, common sense would tell a 17 year old that going down a steep hill at 20 miles an hour was reckless, especially with pedestrians in the area and especially when they were in a crosswalk. His behavior was irresponsible, and a woman died due to his actions. I feel bad for the young man, but let's not gloss over what transpired here. He needs to be held responsible for his behavior. If he had been driving a car and struck the woman in a crosswalk he would be in serious trouble. His negligent behavior on a skateboard is no different.

      Unfortunately, immature and irresponsible acts like this give all skaters a bad name. Don't defend this.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
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