Parents sue school district after son killed in car-surfing accident

The parents of Lupo Benson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kent School District this week, claiming the District’s negligence caused the death of their son.

Benson died three years ago this weekend.

Jimmy Benson Jr. and Christine Benson claim the district knew “car-surfing” was an issue in the parking lot of Kent-Meridian High School, that the District and school took action to supervise the lot, but not on the day the 18-year-old Benson suffered a fatal injury.

Lupo Benson had been holding onto the hood of his friend’s silver SUV during a ride around a school parking lot when he suddenly fell off.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury and died the next day. See our 2015 story here.

In a complaint filed in King County Superior Court, the Bensons claim the Kent School District had a policy "forbidding 'reckless driving' in the parking lot" of Kent-Meridian High School.

The complaint also alleges the district "even assigned multiple staff and District personnel to monitor" the Annex lot, but that there was no parking lot supervision on March 31, 2015, the day Lupo Benson was injured.

According to the lawsuit, Kent-Meridian staff knew "the staff member assigned to monitor the Annex Lot was unable to supervise that afternoon.

Despite this, School District officials took no steps to find a replacement supervisor to...ensure student safety" that day.

The parents further allege, "'car-surfing' was a known after school activity in the Annex lot at Kent-Meridian High School and School District officials never took any action to prevent this dangerous activity from occurring on campus."

KIRO 7 sent a copy of the complaint to Melissa Laramie, the director of communications and public affairs for the Kent School District, seeking comment.

So far, Laramie has not responded.

The driver of the car, Tyler Reber, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving in November of 2015 and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

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