Man Falls While Car Surfing, Dies

Teen drivers face serious charges

Sunday, Jul 3, 2011  |  Updated 11:46 AM CDT
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Man Falls While Car Surfing, Dies

A 20-year-old man hurt when he fell from two cars while "car surfing" Thursday night has died. Three teens have been charged with reckless driving in connection to the incident.

Austin Watts was trying to balance on the trunks and roofs of a Dodge Neon and a Chevy Impala in a Crystal Lake Wal-Mart parking lot Thursday night.  

He fell from the roof of the Impala, and hit his head on the pavement, a release from Crystal Lake police said. He was taken to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, where he was initially listed in critical condition.

Watts, of Hoffman Estates, died Saturday, according to the McHenry County Coroner's office. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday morning, a deputy coroner said.

Watts had been car surfing -- riding on the rooftops of vehicles -- before he fell from the car driven by 19-year-old Stephen D. Gallagher of Schaumburg, police said.

Gallagher, along with Eva M. Carlock, of Crystal Lake, and a 17-year-old girl were all driving their cars in a "reckless manner" in the parking lot, police said. All three were arrested.

Carlock, 18, was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving, reckless conduct and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 19.

The 17-year-old girl from Crystal Lake was petitioned into juvenile court on the charges or reckless driving and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released to her parents.

Gallagher was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and felony reckless conduct involving great bodily harm, the release said. He was taken to the McHenry County Jail to await a bond hearing.

The Crystal Lake Police Department's Targeted Response Unit is investigating.

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