Teen on Life Support Following Scavenger Hunt

Erik Nava, a 17-year-old student at St. Charles North High School, remains in critical condition today following an underground scavenger hunt gone terribly bad Friday.  According to the Sun-Times, Nava “leapt from an SUV in order to garner ‘points’ for his team.”

Police believe he jumped from a Dodge Durango moving at 25 mph as part of the game in which as many as 200 students participated.

One former St. Charles North student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the scavenger hunt has been a tradition for at least three years.

Students make a list of dares they film for points, then destroy the video after the participants prove they completed the tasks.

Some St. Charles students who participated in this year’s event said each participant contributed $5. The group that earns the most points wins the cash.

The students estimated that Nava’s group won first or second place off the four-page list of scavenger hunt activities.

Nava was supposed to fall from the vehicle onto grass, but landed on gravel instead.  Police say when they arrived, they found Nava “unconscious with a puddle of blood under his head.”

Nava’s friends initially fled the scene:

As the first officer began basic first aid, four girls — some of whom were in the Dodge Durango that Nava jumped from — drove away, police said. They returned to the scene after called by police.

The people in the car thought 25 mph was too fast, and planned to take a photo of the speedometer at 25 mph, then slow down to 10 or 15 mph, according to the police report. But Nava jumped without giving notice, one of the girls told police.

According to the report, Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti is not sure if any crime has been committed.  Still, Barsanti is calling a special grand jury to investigate.

No one interviewed the school for this story.  I’d like to know whether anyone in District 303 had a clue that this had been going on for so long.

The school’s Web site appears to be overloaded right now.  Let’s hope this young man recovers.


  • elysium

    As a former student at St. Charles North, I would like to make it clear that no faculty or administrators had any knowledge of this “tradition”. It had only been occurring for the last three years, and was entirely run by the students.

    I do not believe that any crime was committed. The student voluntarily jumped from the vehicle. Barsanti should stop pushing for investigation and get back to the real crimes of the area.

  • G

    Thanks for the update. It just seemed unlikely to me that 200+ kids kept a secret like this. Apparently they did.

    Still hoping for a full recover for the student.