Rogers High School student in coma after longboarding accident; skate shop advocates wearing helmet

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A longboarding accident puts one Rogers High School student in the hospital where he’s fighting for his life.

Police tell us Collin Matthews suffered a serious head injury Friday night when he was riding his longboard and holding onto a moving car.

Matthews, who is a year-round athlete at Rogers High School was taken to Mercy Hospital where he’s still in a coma.

Bradley Neil, who was with Matthews the night of the accident, says he’s trying to stay positive and is asking for prayers.

Neil shares his message for kids. “I will say, from now on guys, please wear helmets,” Neil said. “I can say being an 18-year-old, and him being 17, we thought we were invincible, and I’m sure parents are going to love to hear that for their kids because it’s just not true.”

On Monday night, Neil says more than 150 members of the community held a candlelight vigil outside the hospital to support Matthews.

In the wake of that accident, local businesses are also encouraging skaters to wear their helmets.

The Groove Skate Shop in Springdale teaches kids about the dangers of skateboarding without a helmet.

Owner Forrest Nelson says helmets are the only way to protect your head from skateboard injuries.

“Whether it’s uncomfortable, hot or unstylish is really irrelevant,” Nelson said. “It’s a good thing to require and a good thing to put on your kids and yourself as an adult as a skater.”

Nelson says he hopes skate parks around the area will adopt helmet and full-pad requirements.

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