Danville police said the man was riding on the sideboard of the sport utility vehicle around midnight on Glen Road. He apparently wanted to join a group of his friends who were driving off and jumped on the side of the car. The group was in the Danville neighborhood for a party.
The teen, identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office as Justin Deyoung, apparently tried to jump onto the slow-moving sport utility vehicle at the last minute, Danville Police Chief Steve Simkins said.
Witnesses said he somehow fell off the vehicle and was killed. Police said his friends were very upset by what happened.
Initial reports said the man was "car surfing," which means he would have been on the roof or hood of the vehicle. That was not the case. This teenager was on the stepping board just outside the door of the Land Cruiser.
"It was a last-minute, bad decision," Simkins said. "I have three boys myself, so it's heartbreaking to see a parent lose their child."
Danville police were still on the scene early Monday morning. They were knocking on doors to see if they could find any more witnesses.
Simkins said it is not yet clear whether he was killed in the fall or if the car ran over him. An autopsy will be conducted today or Tuesday.
He said it does not appear that alcohol or drugs contributed to the accident