Early Morning Car Surfing Turns Deadly for NM Woman

It's at least the 7th such death this year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2016 3:10 PM CDT
Early Morning Car Surfing Turns Deadly for NM Woman
Don't do this.   (Getty Images)

A young woman from New Mexico taking part in a dangerous activity in the early morning hours Sunday paid for it with her life, the Farmington Daily Times reports. Wilberta Becenti, 23—though the AP notes her online obituary has her age as 21—was standing on top of a moving vehicle, or car surfing, as it drove over bumpy dirt roads on Bureau of Land Management property just south of Farmington, local cops say. At around 4:30am, however, Becenti, who police say was intoxicated, fell off the car; it's not clear if she died at the scene or after being transported to the hospital. The Daily Times reports this is at least the seventh car-surfing death this year around the country; a 2012 USA Today article notes that it's difficult to calculate exactly how many car-surfing deaths occur each year because police and ERs don't track them.

Cops don't know yet if the driver was also intoxicated, and no charges have been filed. A teen from Columbia Heights, Minn., who fell off a car in April and was in a medically induced coma for a month told KMSP in June that what he did with friends that day in April wasn't worth what happened to him afterward, including missing the whole last part of his senior year in high school, enduring constant severe headaches, and having to go to therapy. But he knows he's one of the lucky ones. "I could be paralyzed. I could have lost my ability to talk like this," he says, adding that he's speaking out because "I don't want anyone [else] to end up like this." (An Iowa teen died in 2015 after falling off an SUV bumper.)

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