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Teen Girl Was 'Car Surfing' Before She Died, Friends Say

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Friends of a 15-year-old girl who died earlier this week in Tarzana are saying that she died after trying to do a "car surfing" stunt.LAPD told CBS Los Angeles that Tsophia Mesica was hanging out with a group of friends, of about 10 to 15 people, in the remote 3500 block of Reseda Boulevard on Monday around 9:15 p.m. when she was struck by an SUV and found bleeding on the ground.

"An SUV impacted this 15-year-old girl, and we’re trying to figure out how it happened," LAPD Detective William Bustos told the L.A. Daily News.

Friends called 9-1-1, but at the same time, another car driven by someone not in the original group arrived at the scene. The friends put the injured teen into the car and rushed her to the hospital, where she died. "The fire department ambulance was on the way to the top of the hill as this private vehicle was transporting the victim to the hospital," Bustos said. "Unfortunately the medical staff could not do anything for her, and she lost her life."

Investigators are still looking into what exactly caused the death of Mesica, including the possibility that she was car surfing. LAPD Officer Arriaga told KTLA that a teen who was at the scene told him Mesica may have been car surfing. Another witness said that Mesica was holding on to the roof of the moving SUV when she fell off. However, another witness said Mesica was just leaning against the car when the driver accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing her to get thrown from the SUV.

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A friend of Mesica's, Liam Giat, told ABC 7: "She was car surfing, holding onto the side vehicle, and the driver he pushed on the gas pedal, and I guess she slipped off, and she fell and hit her head."

Another friend, Sean Ashkenazi, told CBS Los Angeles that witnesses told him a similar story, that she was hanging from the running board of an SUV as it was driving around a roundabout. "She was grabbing on to the car. And then I don’t remember if they said he braked or he pushed the gas too hard. And then she slipped and fell back and hit her head," said Ashkenazi.

Police said the 16-year-old driver of the SUV stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers. They interviewed him early Tuesday morning. "The SUV is in our possession and we are going to inspect it," Bustos told the Daily News.

Authorities have not arrested anyone, but it's unclear if a crime was even committed, Bustos told KTLA.

Mesica was a sophomore at the Jewish Yeshiva Los Angeles Girls High School. Other students had only kind things to say about her. "She always brightened up everybody’s day, I still can’t believe it," Zahan, a freshman at Taft Charter High School, told the Daily News. "The last time I saw her, she was so energetic. She was always up for anything. I would never expect this to happen."

Shaked Kadosh, another friend of Mesica's, told ABC 7: "Amazing, such a nice girl, and she was always there for everyone."