Wild Ride on Hood of Van Ends in Prison for Manteca Man

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Melissa Best's body was found in the back seat of her van in the parking lot of a Grayslake apartment complex.

    The ride from Manteca to Pleasanton along the Altamont Pass can a tough commute for drivers behind the wheel -- but riding on the hood, clinging to windshield wipers and sideview mirrors for dear life?

    That was the wild ride Manteca resident Christopher Carroll took his 25-year old wife, Rebecca, on during the early hours of Feb. 26 following an argument at their home, according to court proceedings in San Joaquin County.

    Words were exchanged, leading to Carroll storming out of the house and getting into the family car. When Carroll attempted to drive away in the family minivan, Rebecca stood in the driveway in front of the vehicle. Rather than let his wife block his path, Carroll drove on, and Rebecca ended up riding on the hood.

    With his wife up front, Carroll got onto the freeway and accelerated to as fast as 100 miles an hour, investigators said. He headed east on Interstate 580 towards the Bay Area, swerving in traffic in attempts to shake his wife off of the minivan. To drown out his wife's screams, he turned up the car stereo, "dancing in his seat" during the ride, according to court testimony.

    Carroll finally slowed the car down in Pleasanton, where Rebecca rolled off the hood. She was treated for mild hypothermia and some cuts and scrapes.

    For Carroll, the 40-mile wild ride will end in state prison. He was sentenced to serve five years on an attempted murder charge after a judge ruled he was mentally sound enough to stand trial.