HOMEWOOD (KDKA) -Police have filed charges against a woman whose cousin died while car surfing in Homewood.

Back on Feb. 29, 15-year-old Ronte Goins-Nelson fell from the trunk of a car along Race Street.

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Goins-Nelson was unconscious and transported to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. The teen never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on March 8.

Police have charged the victim’s cousin, Nadia Goins-Samuels, with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Witnesses say a group of people were at a party along Race Street. Goins-Samuels told police that a man at the party jumped on the hood of her car when she was ready to leave the party. She went on to say she drove up the block with the man on her hood, did a U-turn and came back to the site of the party.

At that point, the man jumped off of the car and Goins-Samuels says her cousin, Goins-Nelson, jumped on the trunk. She claims Goins-Nelson told her to drive, but she claims she told him no several times. After he kept asking, she eventually drove away with Goins-Nelson on the trunk of her car.

Goins-Samuels told police that she was going about 25 or 30 mph up Race Street when she heard her cousin say “whoa” and she noticed him starting to slip off the trunk. Eventually, Goins-Nelson jumped from the trunk and landed on his head.

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Goins-Nelson was unconscious, so several people at the party picked him up, put him in the car and drove him back to the home on Race Street. At that point, when Goins-Nelson wouldn’t wake up, someone called for an ambulance.

A week-and-a-half later, Goins-Nelson died from his injuries. The coroner ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma to his head.

Allegheny General Hospital Trauma Director Dr. Allan Philp says they see a few people every year for injuries related to car surfing, or riding on the outside of a vehicle.

“Tend to be significant injuries. A lot of bony injuries. Broken bones, orthopedic injuries, brain injury is common. Spine injury behind that,” Dr. Philp said.

Doctors told police that Goins-Nelson had severe trauma to his brain as a result of the fall off of the car.

“Tragic as it always is and unfortunately, these are just poor judgement. Tends to be younger males, often teenagers. They do something that seems like fun, or seems exciting, or seems brave at the time and unfortunately, we see these kinds of outcomes,” Dr. Philp said.

Goins-Samuels is scheduled for a preliminary hearing later this month.

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Heather Abraham