Richard Oates, a 32-year-old former chef, skateboard shop owner, husband, and father of two, unfortunately passed away on Tuesday in a skateboard accident. The New York Times reports that the accident occurred on Tuesday around 1 p.m. in lower Manhattan. Oates was riding his skateboard and hanging onto the passenger side of a Mack truck before losing his balance and slipping underneath the rear passenger wheels.
Oates was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. The driver remained on the scene and an ongoing investigation is in place, however no charges have been filed against the driver, according to Gothamist. The New York Times says what Oates was doing is prohibited by state law.
‘Skitching,’ or hitching a ride on a vehicle, is a well-known and risky practice in the skateboarding community. Matt Willet, who manages SHUT Skateboards says, “There is a certain rush you get from holding onto a car. I don’t think it’s ever going to stop — but it should.”
Oates attended the French Culinary Institute and served as the chef de cuisine at Left Bank and Freemans Restaurant before quitting the business entirely to open his own skateboard shop with his wife in Greenpoint in order to follow his passion and spend more time with his children. Friends and family of Oats have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Oates’ wife and children. The page has already raised its goal of $20,000 in just one day.