Woman hospitalized immediately after start of e-scooter pilot program

BTW

A 62-year-old woman was hospitalized in Massachusetts on Monday just minutes into the state’s launch of an e-scooter pilot program, WBUR reports.

The Brookline woman, Kim Smith, was loaded into an ambulance and eventually given four stitches. She crashed a scooter just 15 minutes after the event began.

The program has brought around 200 e-scooters developed by companies Bird and Lime to the area in an attempt to gauge whether the mode of transportation is a good fit for local residents.

Smith, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, is said to have lost her balance and fell to the ground while on a Lime scooter, bloodying her head in the process.

When asked for details on the accident, Scott Mullen, Lime’s director of Northeast expansion, said information was scarce but jokingly asked whether a banana peel had been involved.

“I need more details,” Mullen said. “Was she hit by something? Was there a banana peel? We’ll figure it out. Let me get the facts, and we’ll figure it out.”

Smith’s partner, Dan Weiner, said that the accident altered his feelings about the e-scooter program.

“As her partner, my opinion of this whole program went down a lot, but that’s the way it is,” Weiner said. “It was already approved, so I guess it’s already Brookline now.”

As noted by WBUR, although the e-scooters have been approved for the time being, the city still must decide in November whether the program will remain.

E-scooters have made similar headlines in states across the country over issues of safety. Lime was even forced to recall more than 2,000 models last year after it was learned that a manufacturing defect led some scooters’ batteries to smolder or catch fire.

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Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.