Teenage skateboarding fun involving two 15-year-old St. Petersburg boys turned tragic Sunday when one of them was killed.
According to police, one of the teens got into his mother's 2003 Mercedes sedan and drove it down Atwood Avenue N while his friend, Austin Demauro, held onto the right rear corner and sped along on his skateboard.
The daredevil antic is called "skitching," and there are even YouTube videos that show how to do it.
Demauro let go before the car reached Northwest Boulevard, but after the driver turned around and came back, he hitched a ride again.
Police say the driver accelerated with Demauro again holding on. But this time, they traveled only a short distance before Demauro let go, became unstable and fell to the ground, striking his head.
Bystanders performed CPR, and emergency medical personnel were called to the scene. Demauro was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where he was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m., about 2 1/2 hours after the accident happened.
"I don't think he's done the big ramps, bowls or anything like that, that's what I'd expect. But I would not expect him to be towed behind a car,” said Austin’s mother, Christy Randolph.
Austin's friends can't believe he's gone.
"That was the first time ever hearing of him doing that. I've never done it before," said Nathan Glass, who was not with Austin on Sunday.
"He was my life, he was my world, he was my only baby," said Randolph.
Randolph hopes speaking out raises awareness about “skitching.”
"Don't do it or definitely wear protective head gear,” she said.
Family and friends will have a memorial at Fossil Park Sunday at noon to honor Austin.
There are some unique circumstances that will determine what charges, if any, the driver could face in connection with the accident.
Police say the teen driver was violating his restricted license, which requires an adult to be in the car and he's in violation for towing a person.