Scooter rider out of surgery, remains serious

The female lime scooter rider struck by a truck early this morning is now out of surgery, but remains in a serious condition in Dunedin Hospital. 

The 26-year-old, who was critically injured in the incident, appears to have run a red light moments before the crash, it is understood.

The Otago Daily Times has been told the 26-year-old woman was heading south on Dundas St when she rode through a red light and into the path of the truck travelling along Cumberland St about 1.45am.

A police spokeswoman said the Serious Crash Unit had examined the scene, but "we are not able to speculate on the cause of the crash while the investigation is ongoing". 

Police want to hear from anyone with dashcam footage or information which could help the investigation.

The woman was understood to be from the United States and her family were in the process of being notified by police.

Questions were also being asked about how the Lime scooter was able to be used in the early hours of the morning.

The company's memorandum of understanding with the Dunedin City Council included a requirement for scooters to be removed from public places every evening.

A Lime scooter rider has serious injuries after a crash with a truck in Dunedin this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Lime scooter rider has serious injuries after a crash with a truck in Dunedin this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

The ODT understands juicers have also been told to collect those needing charging from 8pm every evening, and not return them to city streets until the next morning.

All other scooters were to be off the streets by midnight, they have been told.

A Lime spokeswoman, contacted in Australia, would not answer specific questions this afternoon.

Instead, she would only say: "Our thoughts are with the rider involved in this tragic incident in Dunedin and we wish her a quick recovery. We have been in touch with the local authorities and will continue to assist in any way we can.”

Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said the council was already talking to Lime in the wake of the incident.

"This is a tragic accident and our thoughts are with this young woman, her family and the truck driver.

"While the DCC has no formal role in relation to e-scooters, we are in touch with the Police, the NZ Transport Agency and Lime. We have no plans at this stage to review the Memorandum of Understanding, but we will continue to work with Lime around its operations in the city." 


Earlier today, Senior Sgt Dinnissen said the circumstances of the crash were still being investigated, but there was an NZTA camera at the intersection and police would be reviewing footage of the area.

"There's a lot of footage in that area, there are speed cameras and campus cameras around.

"It's still the early stages yet but the investigation is ongoing... we're just trying to piece everything together and contact family overseas."

The woman was a foreign national, but police did not know whether she was a student.

There was no mention of the woman wearing a helmet in the incident report, he said.

It was too early to decide whether there was a safety message, Senior Sgt Dinnissen said, but he urged all scooter users, as well as skateboarders and cyclists, to wear a helmet.

Earlier this morning State Highway 1 (Cumberland St) was closed to southbound traffic between Howe St and St David St, however all lanes reopened just after 7am.

A Lime e-scooter lies on the road beside a truck after a crash in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Lime e-scooter lies on the road beside a truck after a crash in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

Pictures taken of the scene show an e-scooter lying in the middle of the road, with a plastic shopping bag still slung over the handle with contents inside.

Both a truck parked alongside, and the scooter, appear to be undamaged.

A steady stream of Lime scooter-related casualties have made their way to Dunedin Hospital since the scooters made their debut in the city just last week

Otago University Students' Association was unaware whether the woman was a university student or not.

A statement from OUSA president James Heath said the association's sympathies were with the woman and her family.

"We hope for a speedy recovery,'' he said.

"OUSA believes that the onus resides with Lime to educate consumers on responsible use of the product, and are open to discussions with Lime re joint marketing or promotional initiatives  targeted to the Otago student community.''

Southern District Health Board nursing medicine director Jenny Hanson said staff were seeing five to seven presentations a day in the emergency department directly attributable to Lime scooters.

So far they had mostly been a mix of minor to moderate injuries to hands, feet and heads.

ACC had received four scooter-related claims in the first four days since Lime launched in Dunedin on January 9, but could not specify if they were Lime-related or injuries suffered on other scooters.

Lime e-scooters hadn't even been in Dunedin for one day before someone attempted to ride one down the world's steepest street.

Footage of the attempt shows the young man slowly but steadily creep his way down Baldwin St, falling off for a short moment before getting back on the scooter.
He had to evade other members of the public walking up the tourist hotspot but made it down in one piece.

Earlier this week, someone dumped a Lime scooter on train tracks in Dunedin, an act that endangered people's lives, according to KiwiRail.

The scooter ended up getting hit by a shunt train on Sunday.

There was no damage to either the locomotive or the track, and services were not delayed; however it was both "dangerous and illegal to place objects on railway tracks", a KiwiRail spokeswoman said.

Police in the city are keeping a close eye on Lime scooter users to try curb reckless behaviour, especially on Baldwin St.

 - Additional reporting RNZ 



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