In February, 20-year-old Vinnie Zellefrow was skateboarding with friends after dark. Coasting near Palomar Airport Road and Carlsbad Boulevard, Mr. Zellefrow’s friends warned him of oncoming traffic. As Mr. Zellefrow moved to the shoulder, so did the 17-year-old driver of a silver Sebring convertible coming up behind him. Allegedly intoxicated, the young woman at the wheel struck Mr. Zellefrow and sped off, leaving the grill of her car among the crash debris. Mr. Zellefrow died at the scene.
Skateboarders, pedestrians and bicyclists use roadways with very limited protection. The vulnerability of skateboarders led to 30 deaths in the United States in 2012, according to an analysis by the advocacy group Skaters for Public Parks.
In a report detailing the fatalities, Skaters for Public Parks noted all skateboarding fatalities from 2012 occurred on roadways. The report also stated that:
- All victims were male.
- Twenty-four of the 30 victims died after being struck by a vehicle.
- Out of the 30 fatalities, 14 occurred in California.
The accident that killed Mr. Zellefrow involved the following circumstances:
- It was almost 11 p.m. and dark when the accident occurred.
- It is unknown whether Mr. Zellefrow and his friends were wearing reflective gear, lights or headlamps.
- The teenage driver who struck and killed Mr. Zellefrow admitted she had been drinking.
Tragically, one evening’s deadly mix of circumstances ended the life of Mr. Zellefrow. Arrested for felony hit-and-run, the woman who killed Mr. Zellefrow could serve up to four years in prison if convicted.
If you lose a loved one because of the negligence of another party, speak with experienced wrongful death lawyers in Southern California for legal counsel.