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. Modern Philosophy

    God wills it

    July 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Common Sense no longer exists.....clearly

    See? THIS is how you handle accidents that result in death, people. It happens all the time. You stay with the victim. You contact authorities. You own up to your actions (or lack thereof). And you hold yourself accountable and trust that the earlier events add up to an honest accident or mistake with a reasonable form of punishment. You don't go shopping, party for a month, come back to the accident, duct tape it, bag it up, and drive to the nearest swamp. YOU HEAR THAT JUROR #3? F_kking idiots.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Agreed.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      Tried to avoid her, stayed with her and owned up to the collision. Sounds like he did all he could. Now separating skateboarders from pedestrians sounds like city council needs to take a closer look at things, but in all other ways this is one time a kid did the right thing. Not every young person is an animal, some (I'd guess even most) know what the right thing to do is when they've hurt someone.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juror #3

      that's a really solid comparison now I get it. Thnx TTYL!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kudu

      Amen, man! fr iggin morons!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      That is, without a doubt, the post of the decade.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      blah blah blah

      July 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nelg Ronleged

    What actually killed her? .......Depends

    July 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. badcompany

    y thank u bill! I do try... sometimes.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. splint

    In the United States, misdemeanor manslaughter is a lesser version of felony murder, and covers a person who causes the death of another while committing a misdemeanor – that is, a violation of law which doesn't rise to the level of a felony.

    Constructive manslaughter

    Constructive manslaughter is also referred to as ‘unlawful act’ manslaughter. It is based on the doctrine of constructive malice, whereby the malicious intent inherent in the commission of a crime is considered to apply to the consequences of that crime. It occurs when someone kills, without intent, in the course of committing an unlawful act. The malice involved in the crime is transferred to the killing, resulting in a charge of manslaughter.

    For example, a person who runs a red light in their vehicle and hits someone crossing the street could be found to intend or be reckless as to assault or criminal damage (see DPP v Newbury[12]). There is no intent to kill, and a resulting death would not be considered murder, but would be considered involuntary manslaughter. The accused's responsibility for causing death is constructed from the fault in committing what might have been a minor criminal act.

    There are three requirements for constructive manslaughter:

    * The defendant must do an unlawful act. This must be a criminal, not civil, offense[13] and must involve mens rea of intention or recklessness. Crimes involving negligence or omission will not suffice.[14]
    * The act must be dangerous. Whether the act is dangerous is objectively judged from the point of view of a sober and reasonable person present at the scene who witnessed the act.[15] The defendant need not be aware the act is dangerous[16] and the act need not be directed at the victim.[17]
    * The act must cause the death of the victim.

    for it to be manslaughter it would have to be constructive manslaughter since if anything it would be a misdemeanor and not a felony. and constructive manslaughter has 3 criteria to meet. one being that (The defendant must do an unlawful act. This must be a criminal, not civil, offense )

    now we all know that it is not against the law to ride a skateboard. if this town passed a town ordinance that states there is no skateboarding in the down town area this is not a criminal law. it is a town ordinance or a civil citation. so by definition of the law there was no criminal act that caused the death. the kid was guilty of violating a town ordinance that is at the most a civil citation.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sav

      Thats it.
      It's a shame that the Sargent tells of his bias by saying "He seemed like a pretty clean-cut and honest kid" as if the boys appearance would have a sway in his opinion. Even Sargents are out there profiling accused persons.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wrawn

    The same people who don't want to see the skateboarder punished, are the same people who are headhunting when one of their relatives are struck down by someone else's neglect.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      And how do you know this? Are you God? How nice it must be for you to know everything. I am one of those who believe the young man "should not be punished" (at least not with prison.) What I have (and you do not apparently) is called compassion.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrawn

      to Beadlesaz
      We will see if compassion comes into play with his sentencing.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Righteous1

    Anyone heard of involuntary manslaughter?

    July 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jonathan

    What was this woman doing skateboarding anyways at 83?? I think the parents should sue if anything.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Common Sense no longer exists.....clearly

    –See? THIS is how you handle accidents that result in death, people. It happens all the time. You stay with the victim. You contact authorities. You own up to your actions (or lack thereof). And you hold yourself accountable and trust that the earlier events add up to an honest accident or mistake with a reasonable form of punishment. You don't go shopping, party for a month, come back to the accident, duct tape it, bag it up, and drive to the nearest swamp. YOU HEAR THAT JUROR #3? F_kking idiots.–

    July 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rick springfield

    At most he should get negligent homicide. He would have to stay in JV until age 21. He needs to learn respect of life. He won't have a felony conviction as long as he does not reoffend. But to just let him walk would be a tragedy for the nice lady. There is a price to pay for a risky lifestyle such as base jumping, drag racing, and any activity that leads to the death of an innocent bystander. It also needs to send a message that you will not walk away scott free from killing someone for your own reckless acts. Kids are already on the cusp of total anarchy as they are killed people in my state and making youtube videos of them standing on the corpses. Just a couple months ago, 3 teenagers killed an elderly couple, laughed over the corpses as they made a publicity video, and then set the bodies on fire. I realize those three boys don't represent the entire class of 2011 but that's where many are going in the twitter, facebook, and youtube generation. So this case is just as heinous as a lady lost her life. So we should treat it as such.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Robita

    Manslaughter would be fine. He dosn't have to spend the rest of his life in prison, but he sure as heck should be punished in some way for being reckless. I know everyones first reaction is to want to hang the kid up by his toes and roast him over a low flame (including my own). However, when you calm down and think in a rational way about it he can be punished and not totally ruined. It was a mistake after all and not an intentional act.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Will

    WOW

    July 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beadlesaz

    To those of you who want to send this young man to prison: BEFORE you post that sentiment, please ask yourself what you would want done if it was your child or your grandchild who had been on that skateboard. Only after careful consideration, make your opinion known. Our prisons are filled to overflowing and have turned into cash cows for private businesses – AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE. Do you really want to put this kid in prison? Absolutely no good will come of it. It is most likely that yet another life will be destroyed. We need to find a better way of exacting appropriate punishment for people who do something stupid – community service, whatever.

    My sincere condolences to the family of Mrs. Slettehaugh.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrawn

      and while you're at it, extend your apologies to her family for your opinion as well.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lolwutno

    Those of you calling this manslaughter have the intelligence of my dog. And my dog probably knows more about law than you do.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tucas

    unfortunate event but no criminals in this one

    July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | 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