An 18-year-old from Lauderhill is facing a vehicular homicide charge after he allegedly let another man ride on the trunk of his car and said he intended to “mess with him and rev the engine a little bit,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
The victim fell off, suffered brain damage and was declared dead three days later, the affidavit said.
Kaiden Funk was arrested Thursday. He was driving a 2004 Volvo S60 sedan west on West McNab Road in North Lauderdale about 4 a.m. Aug. 11 and stopped at a traffic light to make a left turn onto Southwest 81st Avenue, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
Funk told deputies after his arrest that he, the victim and another male passenger all talked about whether the victim should try to ride on the trunk, the affidavit said, which Funk said the victim wanted to do.
Funk told deputies that he said “he thought this was not a good idea but decided to allow it to happen,” the affidavit said. With the victim sitting on the trunk, Funk then made the turn onto Southwest 81st Avenue.
He later told deputies that while he was driving south on the road, “he felt like he was having transmission issues” and put the car into neutral and stepped on the gas to prevent the engine from stalling. Funk said that the car had stalled one or two times in recent days, according to the affidavit.
“The defendant claimed his shoes were wet and his foot slipped off the brake pedal and onto the accelerator where he revved the engine which caused the vehicle to stall out between neutral and drive,” the affidavit said. That is what, according to Funk, made the car “lunge forward,” knocking the victim off into the road.
A deputy drove Funk’s car and noted that he “could not replicate any transmission issues” and did not note any mechanical problems, according to the affidavit.
Funk’s other passenger told deputies that whatever happened to the car made it “jump” and the man on the trunk fell off, the affidavit said. The victim was flown to a local hospital in critical condition and placed in an intensive care unit with severe head trauma.
Body-worn camera video from the deputies who responded to the crash scene recorded a conversation with Funk, according to the affidavit. Funk said he and the other men were “being stupid” and that he planned to “mess with” the man who was on his trunk by slowing the car down and putting it into neutral.
The victim, whose identity is withheld under Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that gives crime victims the opportunity to shield their identifying information from the public, was declared brain dead by doctors at the hospital on Aug. 14.
Funk has been released on bond and was placed on a GPS monitor, court records show. He has been ordered not to drive while his case is pending and cannot leave the South Florida area without the court’s permission.