Teen, 17, dies after playing 'fugitive' game - WNEM TV 5


Teen, 17, dies after playing 'fugitive' game

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A memorial was set up for the teen. (Source: CBS 5 News) A memorial was set up for the teen. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Andrew Arellanes (Source: CBS 5 News) Andrew Arellanes (Source: CBS 5 News)

A 17-year-old boy died after he fell from the bed of a pickup truck in Surprise on Saturday night.

Andrew Arellanes, a student at Valley Vista High School in Surprise, fell near 146th Drive and Port Royale Lane just after 10 p.m. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, said Surprise police Sgt. Mike Donovan.

Friends say Arellanes died playing a game called fugitive, similar to cops and robbers. Arellanes was standing in the back of the pickup when the driver hit a dip, they said. The driver swerved and Arellanes was thrown from the truck and hit the ground head-first.

In a game of fugitive, participants split into two groups. The team playing the role of the cops uses their vehicles to "arrest" the fugitives. Their goal is to get to a planned location. Often times, the two locations are far apart, and players have to dart across traffic. Friends say Arellanes was playing the roll of the cop and was standing in the truck looking for fugitives when he fell from it.

"It seems like today's society is boring for kids. Day-to-day life doesn't seem to cut it for kids," said psychiatrist Michael Yasinski. Yasinski believes teens are playing more dangerous games as a way to battle boredom.

The teenager was a quarterback on the school's football team.

Friends tell CBS 5 News Arellanes was a talented athlete with a future in football.

"He had good grades," said Roberto Roman. "He stayed out of trouble. He was going to start in varsity next year and he was so excited about it."

But the people who knew him best said his skills on the grid iron were surpassed by his positive attitude and ability to motivate the people around him.

The accident is under investigation. There's no word yet if the driver of the truck will be charged.

On Monday, classmates gathered near Bullard Avenue and Greenway to leave signs, candles and a T-shirt at a roadside memorial.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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