Woman Carried Away on Stretcher Minutes Into Launch of E-Scooter Pilot Program

Electric scooters for sharing lay on the sidewalk outside a subway station in Paris, Thursday, March 21, 2019.
Electric scooters for sharing lay on the sidewalk outside a subway station in Paris, Thursday, March 21, 2019.

Shortly into the launch of the first scooter pilot program in the state of Massachusetts, one woman reportedly met the street in an accident that resulted in an ambulance ride and multiple stitches.

According to WBUR, the incident occurred roughly 15 minutes into an event kicking off Brookline’s pilot program, which is bringing roughly 200 Bird and Lime e-scooters to the town’s streets this week. 62-year-old Kim Smith reportedly lost her balance before tumbling to the ground, but was thankfully wearing a helmet at the time of her crash, as is required by state law.

Smith was taken to a local hospital where she received four stitches, her partner Dan Weiner told the Boston Globe. Weiner said that Smith’s injuries were “non-trivial” but that she didn’t suffer any broken bones. He did, however, tell the paper that the incident changed his opinion about the safety of e-scooters.


WBUR reports that the woman appeared to be riding a Lime scooter at the time of the crash. Asked about the incident, Lime’s director of Northeast expansion Scott Mullen told the station that he needed “more details” about the crash, adding: “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.”

Asked for comment, Mullen told Gizmodo, “This is a very unfortunate incident and we have reached out to Ms. Smith to learn more and offer our support, and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

As previously stated, Massachusetts requires scooter riders to wear helmets, which is more than can be said for other states like California. But considering the fact that people are getting seriously hurt on these things—one man who wasn’t wearing a helmet died of head injuries after crashing a Lime e-scooter last year—it’s probably best to opt for one even where they’re not required. This is especially true given that one study found serious scooter injuries often involve head trauma.


Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the scooters in the top image as Lime scooters. In reality, they are Bolt scooters. We regret the error.

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Moose Knuckle

These things are the worst. They take up so much space on the sidewalk even though there are regulations that they are parked in a certain way (shocking people don’t listen). Then you have the people driving them like assholes on the sidewalks along with the people driving them on the streets but not obeying traffic laws. And probably worst, the people going from sidewalk to road whenever it suits them. I am shocked I haven’t seen a catastrophic accident yet, I did see someone blatantly run a red light though and almost get t-boned by a car.