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Jonathan Sisto, 17 -- Head Injuries/Skateboard Accident

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Orinda, Calif. -- A college-bound Orinda 17-year-old who dreamed of running for public office one day has died from head injuries after he fell off a skateboard he was riding while holding onto a car.

Jonathan Sisto, a recent graduate of Miramonte High School, fell onto Dalewood Drive about 7 p.m. Thursday just after letting go of the back of a friend's car, police said.

"As far as we know, he was not wearing a helmet,'' Orinda Police Chief Larry Gregg said.

Police were already responding to a neighbor's complaint about youths riding skateboards while holding onto vehicles when they received the call that Sisto was injured, Gregg said.

"It looks like what happened is that he was being pulled by a vehicle down the road, and he let go of the vehicle at some point and then fell from the skateboard,'' Gregg said.

A police officer started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and Sisto was airlifted by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m.

The driver of the vehicle -- an 18-year-old former classmate of Sisto's -- was not arrested, and it is not clear whether he will face charges, said Gregg, who would not release the driver's name.

It is a violation of the California Vehicle Code to tow anyone behind an automobile on "toy vehicles,'' which would probably include a skateboard, he said.

Sisto graduated from high school in June and was expecting to head for George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in about a week, said a girl who lived next door to him.

Recently, Sisto, who had ambitions of running for public office, had become an Eagle Scout after building an access ramp at Lafayette Community Park.

Sisto had been living in recent years with his father in Orinda, but had lived previously with his mother, who is a resident of Lafayette, said Tom Steuber, scoutmaster of Troop 204 in Lafayette.

Steuber worked with Sisto for three years and called him a "real leader.''

Recently, a batch of 10-year-old boys joined the troop, and Sisto, despite being a senior in high school, made it a point to spend time helping them out, Steuber said.

"Jon was the guy who was consistently there. He was like a big brother to these boys who had just started,'' Steuber said. "They just thought he was a great guy.''

Sisto was active in sports in school, including football and track. He was "highly regarded by his friends and classmates,'' said Sharon Bartlett, an associate principal at Miramonte High School.

"This has caused almost like a mourning across the community,'' Bartlett said.



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