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Electric scooter crash: Boy fighting for life after second London accident in days

Accident involving 14-year-old follows death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge in e-scooter collision with lorry

Adam Forrest
Monday 15 July 2019 16:57 BST
Electric scooters have become popular all over the world, here seen in Paris
Electric scooters have become popular all over the world, here seen in Paris (Getty)

A teenage boy is fighting for his life after a second electric scooter crash in two days in London.

The 14-year-old suffered a serious head injury after crashing into a bus stop in Beckenham on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police said.

He was taken by air ambulance to hospital, where he remains in a critical condition, after the collision on Monks Orchard Road shortly before midday.

It came only a day after YouTube star and TV presenter Emily Hartridge, 35, died after being struck by a lorry while riding an electric scooter.

Ms Hartridge was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea, southwest London, shortly after 8.30am on Friday.

It is illegal to ride scooters with electric motors on public roads and pavements in the UK, but the law is routinely flouted by users of the increasingly popular vehicles.

Ms Hartridge’s death prompted a warning from the Department of Transport (DfT) that e-scooter retailers should tell customers they can only currently be used on private land.

The DfT is carrying out a review of the current legislation in an effort to adapt to changes in how people are getting around.

Emily Hartridge was one of the first Youtubers to hit the big-time in the UK (Instagram)

The e-scooters can exceed 30mph and are increasingly being used for short journeys in a number of countries, including in the US and Europe.

Nick Lloyd, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said although Ms Hartridge’s death is the first involving an electric scooter rider in the UK, there have been a number of fatalities in other countries.

He said: “This is an issue that needs careful consideration. The use of electric scooters is increasing, including on the roads and pavements where they are currently illegal, and so we would urge the government to take a look at current legislation to ensure it is fit for purpose to maximise the safety of road users, as you would expect it to with any change in transport technology.”

A DfT spokeswoman said: “Safety is at the heart of all our road laws and it is important that retailers continue to remind people at the point of sale that it is illegal to ride e-scooters on public roads.”

Ms Hartridge had nearly 350,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and presented Oh Shit, I’m 30! on Channel 4.

Her latest online video shows her receiving a scooter as a birthday present from her boyfriend, 27-year-old personal trainer Jacob Hazell.

Davina McCall led tributes to the 35-year-old, writing on Instagram: “My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers.”

Chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine added: “Finding this very very hard to compute. Devastating.”

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