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Sister's role in boy's death is probed

October 16, 2008|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

Anaheim police Wednesday were investigating whether a 14-year-old boy's older sister may have played a role in his death after he allegedly fell off the trunk of her car as she was driving.

Paramedics responded to the 1800 block of Via Burton Street about 7:30 p.m. Monday, answering a call about an unconscious male in the road with serious head trauma.

People at the scene told paramedics that the boy slipped and fell, authorities said. He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange for treatment. But hospital officials called police later that night after concluding that the boy's injuries were not consistent with that kind of fall, authorities said.

When police began investigating, witnesses told a different version of events: The boy's 23-year-old sister had gone to the scene with friends in her car, and her brother and two 15-year-old male friends may have wanted a ride out of the area. Rather than getting into the car, the three boys sat on the trunk, and the brother either jumped off or fell as the car began moving.

The boy died Tuesday afternoon as a result of his injuries.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said the law requires passengers to ride inside a vehicle and that knowingly allowing someone to ride on the outside is a criminal offense.

Police also are investigating whether the boys were illegally tagging in the area before the accident because spray-paint cans were found matching the colors of what appeared to be new graffiti on buildings along the street.

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christian.berthelsen@latimes.com

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