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Are dangerous car stunts a problem in the Borderland?

By Andrew J. Polk, Multimedia Journalist, andrew.polk@kvia.com
Published On: Jun 27 2014 07:48:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 08:45:10 PM CDT

     One teen clings to life in the hospital - and a man is behind bars. Police say it's because of stunts like "car surfing." Is this a new trend that's becoming a problem in the Borderland?

     While ill-advised behaviors are nothing new, both El Paso and Las Cruces have seen incidents of car surfing in the past few days.

     Twenty-three-year-old Dominic Estrada is facing child abuse charges, along with DUI and reckless driving. A Dona Ana County sheriff's deputy reportedly saw Estrada driving recklessly Wednesday night, spinning the car in circles with a 14-year-old holding on to the top of the car.

     There are plenty of examples of car surfing and other stunts online, but there have been serious consequences for Borderlanders trying it out this week.

     Besides Estrada, 16-year old Jose Alonso Perez, was critically injured and taken to El Paso Children's Hospital after being thrown from the car he was on top of as it stopped suddenly.

     So are things like car surfing a problem in the region?

     "I would say it's fairly uncommon in El Paso," said Sgt. Chris Mears with the El Paso Police Department. "However, that hopefully isn't taken as a sign that it's OK to do it, because it's not. There's a family right now dealing with a 16 year-old that's in the hospital, the last time that I checked was still in critical condition."

     While EPCH wouldn't give an update on Perez's status, his friends posted on his Facebook page to wish him a speedy recovery, with some saying "We pray that you wake up."

     ABC 7 spoke with some El Pasoans who said they find safer ways to have fun.

     "I cracked my head open right here when I was younger," Ricardo Fierro said, "But ever since then I learned my lesson. I try not to do nothing crazy or be driving under the influence of anything."

     Tragic stunts like the ones this week can serve as a reminder to talk to your kids about not letting other kids talk them into things, and to stay safe.

     "Enjoy themselves this summer," Mears said. "Summer's to have a break from school, to have a good time. But do so responsibly to where you get to go back and tell stories next school year, instead of people talking about how they miss you."

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