BRENTWOOD — A 17-year-old girl had to be flown by helicopter to a hospital Tuesday evening after she was run over by her own car while trying to "ghost ride," a car stunt popularized in the East Bay, police said.
"Ghost riding" typically entails a car owner walking or dancing alongside or on top of a vehicle that is idling forward without a driver. The stunt has local origins, particularly in the Bay Area rap scene radiating from Oakland and Vallejo.
The injured girl was "performing a horseplay maneuver" as her 1980s-model Chevrolet Blazer idled along about 6 p.m. near San Jose Avenue and Stonewood Drive, said Brentwood police Sgt. Mark Misquez.
With music blaring from the vehicle, the girl apparently was standing on a footstep on the driver's side while the SUV crept forward, Misquez said. At some point, she slipped, lost her grip and fell to the ground, and shortly after the vehicle ran over her upper legs, he said.
The girl was taken by helicopter to a local trauma center and although her injuries are serious, they do not appear to be life-threatening, Misquez said. He added that the girl appeared to be performing the stunt alone and was not part of an impromptu sideshow, a sort of street corner exhibition where the ghost riding maneuver is done along with other car stunts such as "doughnuts—" quickly driving in a circle.
A smattering of ghost-riding-related injuries have been reported throughout the country in the past few years after the stunt was given national exposure through the rap hit "Tell Me When to Go," a 2006 song performed by Vallejo-based rapper E-40.
"We wouldn't recommend folks doing this type of thing," Misquez said. "This is what can happen."
Misquez said while Brentwood police have responded to car stunts, he couldn't recall being specifically called out to a ghost ride.
Robert Salonga covers public safety. Reach him at 925-943-8013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.