Sioux Falls boy, 13, sneaks out with grandparents' car, kills motorcyclist

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 19, 2014 - 8:42 PM

The boy is charged with reckless driving.

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The victim of the collision was Jason A. Rollings, 37, of Sioux Falls. With striking artwork of a motorcycle and a highway that runs into the horizon, the funeral home obituary online for Rollings left no doubt his passion for riding.

A 13-year-old sneaked out for a drive behind the wheel of his grandparents’ new car in Sioux Falls, S.D., and struck an avid motorcyclist, who later died. The teen is now charged with several crimes.

The victim of the Sunday afternoon collision was identified as Jason A. Rollings, 37, of Sioux Falls. Rollings died two days later at Sanford Hospital.

The boy, who was released to his family and whose identity has not been disclosed, has been charged with reckless driving, failure to yield and not having a driver’s license.

Police Capt. Blaine Larsen said the boy could later be charged with a felony, namely vehicular manslaughter.

“This is why we don’t let 13-year-olds drive,” said Larsen. A 14-year-old can drive legally by themselves in South Dakota with a restricted permit.

Larsen said the boy “sneaked out with Grandma and Grandpa’s new car,” a 2014 Ford Fusion, and was less than a mile from his Sioux Falls home when he struck the motorcycle. “[The grandparents] were totally unaware of it.”

According to police:

The boy was driving west on E. 6th Street and was turning left onto LaSalle Avenue N. when he hit the eastbound Harley-Davidson.

Rollings, riding within a few blocks of his home, was taken to the hospital with leg injuries “believed to be serious but not life-threatening,” a police statement said.

However, police continued, Rollings developed complications and died Tuesday night.

Rollings’ family told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that a blood clot formed in his brain and he had a massive stroke. The damage meant he would never walk or talk again, the family added, so relatives chose to remove him from life support.

Larsen said Rollings was not wearing a helmet, but he does not believe that was a factor in his death.

With striking artwork of a motorcycle and a highway that runs into the horizon, the funeral home obituary online for Rollings left no doubt of his passion for riding.

“He enjoyed life and the freedom of motorcycle riding,” read the notice for Rollings, who owned a graphic-design company and leaves behind a wife, two sons, a stepson and two stepdaughters.

Also among the survivors was twin brother James, who wrote on Facebook that “I lost my best friend, my brother, and my better half.”

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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