A 16-year-old boy died this weekend in California after doing something a lot of other teens probably wouldn't think twice about: standing on a bus.

Mason Zisette was just one of several teens under the age of 18 who was traveling with adult chaperones on a double-decker Starline Tours bus that had been chartered to attend a private birthday party for one of the young passengers at a venue south of Manhattan Beach. As the bus made its way down the San Diego Freeway at 45 miles per hour, Zisette -- who was seated on the roofless top deck -- reportedly stood up on his seat to dance. He was facing the opposite direction of the freeway signs and had no idea what horrible thing was about to happen.

Zisette's head and hands reportedly slammed into the Arbor Vitae Street overpass, according to police. He was rushed to the hospital and died two days later. At the time of the incident there were 45 passengers on the bus, but all of the adult chaperones were reportedly inside the bus and the top deck was occupied only by teens. Double-decker tour buses reportedly don't often travel on freeways.

Zisette, who was a tennis player at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, was doing something I wouldn't have thought twice about doing as a teen. My friends and I would have probably been so thrilled to travel on a double-decker bus -- just feeling the wind on your face can be intoxicating enough -- that I can picture standing on a chair and celebrating life without considering the potential danger of doing so.

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I don't blame this teen for what happened -- and I really don't think it's fair to point fingers at the adult chaperones, either. This just seems like a freak accident that no one would have suspected could ever happen and that will, sadly, serve as an example in the future. With that said, freeways with overpasses have height restrictions and I question how close this bus came to passing the requirement to travel on this freeway.

At the end of the day -- regardless of who or what is to blame -- this poor teen's family members are dealing with a senseless loss and our hearts go out to them.

Do you blame the adults involved in this trip for this teen's death or do you feel this was just a horrible accident?

 

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