• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Roof skater falls 40 feet through skylight

August 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
He survived a wild ride that could have cost him his life. A teen skateboarder plunged 40 feet through the roof of an Orange County high school.A 14-year-old skateboarder was riding on the roof of the Trabuco Hills High School gym in Mission Viejo when he went crashing through a skylight and landed on the floor below.

There is plywood covering the skylight where the teenager fell through. He dropped 40 feet to the floor, suffering several fractures. Fortunately, officials say his injuries are not life-threatening.

Skateboarders ride stair rails as they show off their skills in a video posted on YouTube.com, shot on the school grounds of Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo.

Last Sunday afternoon, a 14-year-old skateboarder and three friends decided to take it to a higher level -- to the roof of the gym.

"He was skateboarding and then stepped onto a glass skylight that couldn't support his weight and broke through," said Orange County Sheriff's Sgt. John Meyer.

Plywood covers the skylight where the teenager fell through, dropping 40 feet to the gym floor.

"I heard he broke ribs and his arm," said skateboarder Micah Egan.

"He had to crawl his way to the doors of the gym to allow people that were there with him to render aid," said Sgt. Meyer.

"He is pretty lucky," said Mission Viejo resident Kevin Egan. "It is dangerous going on those rooftops."

The signs are clear: Skateboarding is not allowed anywhere on school grounds, let alone the rooftop. But YouTube video clearly shows the rules being ignored. One skateboarder says it is a popular place to play, but it's easy to get caught.

"Usually we get kicked out," said skateboarder Stephen Cabaniss. "It's annoying."

"I just think it's more being irresponsible," said Kevin Egan. "There are places to skate for kids to be skating that's a safer environment."

At a skateboard park in Mission Viejo, young people here had all heard about the accident.

"I thought that was pretty silly," said Cabaniss. "I mean, why would you want to go on the roof?"

Kevin Egan said he thinks the accident has made some skateboarders a little more careful.

"Especially my little brother," said Kevin. "He's going to be more cautious."

"Would you ever go on the roof?"

"Probably not," said skater Ricky Benedix. "After what he did, you can fall off and die, get really hurt."

Authorities are not releasing the name of the 14-year-old because he is a juvenile. As he recovers from his injuries, he has been cited for trespassing.

 

- Get more local news headlines from Orange County
- Have a news tip? Send your tips, video, or pictures


Load Comments