Car Surfing Video: 'This Is Insane'

Alyssa Newcomb
ABC News Blogs


What started out as a day of reckless fun - captured for posterity on home video - turned deadly for two Florida teens.

"This is insane!" one of the teen boys can be heard saying in a video shown in court prior to the driver's sentencing on charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Five teens piled into an SUV being driven by Josh Ritter on Feb. 1, 2011. Ritter, 19, drove down a dirt road in DeBary, Fla., at nearly twice the speed limit, when the car flipped over, according to police.

Carlos Velazco, 18, who was hanging from the roof rack of the car during the accident, died.   Hunter Perez, 18, who was sitting in the back seat, was unable to escape when the vehicle burst into flames.

Kenyana Hawkins, 18, who was also riding on the outside of the vehicle survived.

Ritter and another passenger, Ryan Jenkins, 17, sustained injuries.

Ritter pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation. He must also speak publicly twice a year for six years about the dangers of car surfing.

"Teenagers, especially boys, always want to push the envelope. This is what they like to do. They're thrill-seekers," Michael Politis, Ritter's attorney, told ABCNews.com.

Only one of the victims' parents asked for prison time for Ritter.  "It was unfair," said Robin Parker, the mother of Hunter Perez,  in an interview with the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "I saw this coming."

Politis said Ritter, a straight-A student is being given an opportunity to have a productive life, not one ruined by a single mistake.

"He can maintain his career and education," Politis said. "He can't excuse his behavior but can explain it."