Thursday, August 21
After what must be one of the first recorded deaths involving an electric mobility scooter police are investigating a case of possible manslaughter. A frail grandmother died after being involved in a hit-and-run incident involving an unidentified mobility scooter rider. The 84-year-old was making her way across a road when she was struck by the electric buggy. A woman driving the vehicle fled the scene after claiming she was going to call for an ambulance. The victim, who has not been named, suffered a broken hip and was taken to hospital where she died 12 weeks later. The death was reported to the Sunderland coroner by the hospital, which was concerned that it was linked to the crash. Now an inquest has been opened and witnesses have been asked to come forward. The incident happened as the victim was crossing the road in the Hendon area of Sunderland last May. Northumbria Police checked nearby CCTV footage but failed to locate the scooter rider. Because electric-powered buggies are not classed as motor vehicles under road traffic legislation, the driver cannot be prosecuted for a motoring offence. This leaves open the option of a manslaughter charge against the rider, if they are ever identified.