MORONGO VALLEY — A 16-year-old Yucca Valley High School student suffered fatal injuries when he and a friend fell off the hood of a Land Rover that they were riding on top of late Saturday night.
Chase Bottroff, 17, of Morongo Valley and Brendan Snyder, 16, of Yucca Valley, were riding on the hood of a 2006 Land Rover LR3 just after 9 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver was a 17-year-old boy from Morongo Valley whose name was withheld by the CHP. Gabriel Osborne, 16, of Yucca Valley, was a passenger in the SUV.
The driver was going south at an undetermined speed on Juniper Avenue, south of Pioneer Drive, when the Land Rover hit a rise in the road, throwing Bottroff and Snyder from the hood.
Snyder suffered moderate injuries, including lacerations, and was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center, where he was later released, said CHP officer Simon Miller.
Bottroff, however, was much more seriously hurt.
“CPR was in progress when the first response team arrived at the scene,” Miller said. “He was then transported to Desert Regional Medical Center.”
Bottroff succumbed to his injuries at the hospital and was pronounced dead at 12:18 a.m., according to the Riverside County Coroner’s Office.
The accident is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol and no arrests have been made at this time.
The Yucca Valley High School community has been mourning Bottroff’s death and had a moment of silence for the 16-year-old on Monday morning. A small memorial for Bottroff is also set up outside of the school gymnasium.
“Some kids that are close to him are obviously having a really hard time,” said Bottroff’s coach and teacher, Jay Stepp. “Others are just in shock about how it happened.”
Stepp had Bottorff as a student in the classroom and also coached him in track and field, where Bottroff was a junior varsity athlete.
“He was a great kid,” said Stepp. “He was always looking for ways to get better and you could see how much he enjoyed being out there on the track with his friends.”
Friends of Bottroff’s family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a memorial fund. For those who wish to donate visit, https://www.gofundme.com/chase-bottroff-memorial-fund.