2012 Skateboarding Fatalities

Skateboarding Fatality Report for the USA, 2012

Skateboarding down hill

At SPS, we greatly mourn the loss of our fellow skateboarders as we continue to push for safe skateboarding facilities around the globe. Our condolences go out to the friends and families of those named in this report. We hope to prevent these senseless tragedies from happening in the future.

As explained in the 2011 skateboarding fatality report, the different setups of a skateboard are as unique in their specialties of use as a formula one race car is to a dune buggy. There is a drastic difference between long boards and short boards. For statistics, we mention which type of skateboard was involved in the accident, as well as where the accident occurred, what the activity was at the time, and if any protection was worn. Not all reports gathered include this valuable information so much will be left unsaid.

As we were gathering information for this report we also came across those in Australia, the UK, Canada, and South Africa. This report does not include the statistics or names of those in countries outside of the USA, but for the first time we will include the name of a Canadian skateboarder who lost his life while skating in the mountains of Virginia.

In 2012, thirty skateboarders lost their lives. This report includes two skateboarders who suffered their accidents in 2011, but did not pass away until days or months after the original incident.

It is important to note that all thirty deaths occurred in a roadway. Two occurred despite the helmets they wore.  The fatalities included the youngest, an eight year old child, who was butt boarding down his driveway and rolled into his neighborhood street.  The eldest was a veteran skateboarder and long time mentor, advocate and former shop owner in Chicago, skating to his car.

As you read each name please note how the tragic accident occurred due to unforseen circumstances. It is obvious from previous reports (and this one) that the number one cause of death for skateboarders is bodily blunt force trauma caused by a collision with a vehicle, even one as small as a motorcycle.

Zachery Taylor Lindley Date of Incident 12/06/2011
Died 09/12/2012
White City, UT
Struck by a vehicle while skating through a crosswalk. Zachery was riding a long board.
17 years old

Gerardo Garcia Date of Incident 12/31/2011
Died 01/01/2012
Lake Elsinore, CA
Struck by a hit and run driver.
19 years old

Landen Swanson Date of Incident 01/09/2012
Died 01/13/2012
San Marcos, CA
Struck by a hit and run driver.
20 years old

Justin Stone Date of Incident 01/18/2012
Struck by a vehicle by while skating through a cross walk.
San Fransisco, CA
34 years old

Tucker Hacking Date of Incident 01/27/2012
Died 01/29/2012
Lafayette, CA
Fell while skating down a hill.
20 years old

Caleb Daniel Simpson Date of Incident 01/28/2012
Died hours later
San Pedro, CA
Collided with another skateboarder while skating down a hill.
15 years old

Tyler DeMartini Date of Incident 01/30/2012
Died 02/01/2012
North Berkley, CA
Struck by a vehicle while skating in the street.
18 years old

Steven Fisher Date of Incident 02/15/2012
Denton, TX
Struck by a vehicle while skating along side a rural road at night.
16 years old

Da’ Jion Sha-King Blie Date of Incident 03/08/2012
Bloomington, CA
Struck by a vehicle while skating in the street.
14 years old

Brandon Campbell Date of Incident 03/17/2012
Tamarac, FL
Struck by a vehicle while skating through a crosswalk.
14 years old

Noah Austill Date of Incident 03/27/2012
Temecula, CA
Struck by a vehicle while skating through an intersection at night.
14 years old

Josh Thorne Date of Incident 03/28/2012
New York, New York
Struck by a vehicle while skating in the street during early morning hours.
25 years old

Nathan Strube Date of Incident 05/08/2012
Livermore, CA
Struck by a vehicle while riding a long board. Nathan was wearing a helmet during the accident.
13 years old

Jonah Kelley King Date of Incident 06/11/2012
Raleigh, NC
Fell riding a long board while skating down a hill.
16 years old

Andrew Dudley Uhlman Date of Incident 07/06/2012
Fell while bombing a street
14 years old

Maxime Benoit Date of Incident 07/27/2012
Meadows of Dan, VA (Maxime was visiting the states from Canada)
Struck by a vehicle while skating down a hill. Maxime was wearing a helmet when the accident happened.
26 years old

Jacob Van Staaveren Date of Incident 08/28/2012
San Luis Obispo, CA
Struck by a vehicle at an intersection.
22 years old

Peter Cernansky Date of Incident 08/28/2012
Burlington, VT
Died 08/30/2012
Fell while skating down a hill.
18 years old

Carlos Salas Date of Incident 09/07/2012
Laguna Niguel, CA
Struck by a hit and run driver.
20 years old

Charles Delgado Date of Incident 09/11/2012
Anchorage, AK
Died 09/12/2012
Struck by a motorcycle while riding a longboard at night.
22 years old

Jarod Alan Maxwell Date of Incident 09/14/2012
Oak Hills, CA
Struck by a vehicle while skateboarding to school.
14 years old

Stefvin Caswell Date of Incident 09/20/2012
Seattle, WA
Struck by a vehicle while skating in the street.
29 years old

Patrick Gurschke Date of Incident 10/12/2012
Brookfield, IL
Struck by a vehicle while skating through an intersection.
17 years old

Reginald “Reggie” Destin Date of Incident 10/19/2012
Chicago, IL
Struck by a vehicle while skating to his car. Longtime skateboarder and skateboarding advocate.
Died October 27, 2012 at the age of 42

Justin Hertzberg Date of Incident 10/24/2012
Chula Vista, CA
Fell while skating down a hill. He had just formed a skateboarding group in his neighborhood to promote skateboarding.
14 years old

Ryan Earl Esslinger Date of Incident 11/05/2012
Shoreview, MN
Struck by a vehicle at night.
24 years old

Michael Gradzki Date of Incident 11/15/2012
Farmingdale, NY
Struck by a drunk driver as he was skating a cross the street.
28 years old

Kyle Larson Date of Incident 11/20/2012
New York City
Struck by vehicle while trying to avoid an oncoming cyclist.
20 years old

Elijah Crayton Date of Incident 12/02/2012
Largo, FL
Struck by a vehicle when buttboarding into oncoming traffic.
8 years old

Scott Hickerson Date of Incident 12/07/12
Concord, CA
Struck by a vehicle skating through a crosswalk.
21 years old

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The Average Age of the 2012 Fatalities is 20 years old.

Twenty four out of the thirty skateboarders listed were struck by a vehicle.

Most fatalities occurred in CA, where skateboarding is now outlawed in the streets of most major cities. 14 of the 28 deaths occurred in CA. This is three more fatalities than last year.

For the first time, NYC witnessed two fatalities, and the State suffered the loss of three skateboarders. This is one more fatality than last year.

All of the fatalities were male.

Fatalities went DOWN to 30 in 2012 from 42 in 2011 AND in all States except New York and California. Fatalities counted here are only of those riding a four wheeled deck. Any other activity or equipment is not considered. As shown, skateboarding is typically a safe activity and far safer than watersports, baseball, football, and other high impact activities. If you would like to add to this report, please comment.

Broken Board Pic


For further information on Safe Skateboarding and Promoting Skateparks, visit our article 30 Reasons to Build a Skatepark in your Community!