Teen charged in skateboarding mishap that killed friend

June 18, 2013

The 17-year-old Washington-Lee High School student who was driving the pickup truck in an incident earlier this month in which his skateboarding friend was killed was charged Tuesday with reckless driving, authorities said.

The student, who was not named because he is being charged and prosecuted as a juvenile, appeared before a judge in Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and has a trial date set for Aug. 8, authorities said.

Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos declined to comment on the specific calculations that went into charging the teen, but said, “In light of everything, it was the appropriate charge.”

In a news release, authorities said the 17-year-old was driving a pickup truck on South Highland Street in Arlington while 18-year-old John Malvar, a friend, rode a skateboard and held onto the driver’s side window frame. At some point, authorities said, Malvar fell and hit his head on the road. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and later pronounced dead, authorities said.

Malvar, a senior at Washington-Lee High School about two weeks from graduation, had planned on attending Virginia Commonwealth University next school year and dreamed of one day working as a nurse.


John Malvar, 18, was killed in a skateboarding accident earlier this month. (Arlington County Public Schools)

Authorities said the 17-year-old was released to a parent after he was charged.

George Malvar, John’s father, said a reporter was the first to inform him of the charges against the 17-year-old, and he did not want to make any comments immediately. He said he was more focused on paying the bills from the hospital and funeral home.

“I have no thoughts right now,” George Malvar said. “I don’t understand why all of this happened.”

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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