Peel Regional Police say the incident happened at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, when a silver 1998 Honda Civic was driving in the Father Tobin Road and Bramalea Road area.
A 19-year-old man was riding on the trunk and ended up falling off. He was first taken to a local hospital, but subsequently transferred to a Toronto trauma centre in critical condition.
Police say the Civic was being driven by a 16-year-old male who is now facing charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The man hurt in the incident and the teen driving the car were friends, police say.
Investigators want to hear from witnesses who saw the incident unfold, or the moments beforehand. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453-2121, ext. 3710, or to contact Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Const. George Tudos said that police are reminding the public that such incidents are both unsafe and illegal.
“Seatbelts were put in the vehicle for a reason,” he said in a telephone interview.
While police are not describing it as car surfing, the incident in Brampton is one of several to take place in Canada recently in which individuals were injured or killed while riding on vehicles.
In August, a 49-year-old B.C. man died after an alleged car surfing incident, in which the victim was seen riding on the hood of a vehicle after leaving a party and ended up being thrown onto the road when it later came to a stop. A 46-year-old woman was subsequently charged with criminal negligence causing death and impaired driving causing death.
That same a month, a 16-year-old girl suffered serious injuries in a car surfing incident in Corner Brook, N.L., which led to charges against another girl of the same age.
A Quebec father was fined for allowing his daughters to ride on the hood of a car he was driving in July.
In June, a 26-year-old Quebec City man was critically injured after falling off a moving vehicle.