Aspiring Doctor is First U.S Electric Scooter Fatality
Jacoby Stoneking, 24, died the day after he fell off an electric scooter that broke in half. According to a report in the Daily Mail, Stoneking was riding the e-scooter early morning on Sept. 1 near South Munger Boulevard in Dallas. Police said they received an injured-person call after Stoneking managed to call someone and tell them he had fallen off a scooter. Stoneking had asked the unidentified person for help ordering a ride from Lyft. The Lyft driver who arrived soon afterward found Stoneking unresponsive.
He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead the next day. Officers searched the area where Stoneking was found and discovered a Lime rental scooter that was broken in half. Stoneking also had scrapes and bruises on his hands and legs. Officials are still investigating the incident and waiting for information about cause of death. A GoFundMe account has been set up for Stoneking’s memorial service. The Dallas City Council first legalized the electric scooters in June.
Our deepest condolences go out to Stoneking’s family members and friends for their tragic and untimely loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to media reports, this is the first known death involving an e-scooter, which has been the rage in a number of cities especially those that attract a large number of tourists such as the beach cities in Southern California.
The Problem with E-Scooters
Electric scooters or e-scooters are dockless scooters you can rent by the minute that travel at speeds of up to 15 mph. The scooters are usually powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. They are equipped with GPS trackers and wireless connectivity. Companies such as Lime and Bird offer these e-scooters that you can rent through their apps, much like getting a ride with Uber or Lyft.
While e-scooters may sound like an appealing alternative mode of transportation particularly for cities that promote tourism, they have become somewhat of a public nuisance in many towns. Pedestrians have reported riders operating these vehicles recklessly crashing into those walking on sidewalks or walkways. Pedestrians have reported suffering major injuries including broken bones and head injuries. There have also been reports of riders themselves suffering major injuries as a result of losing their balance on these flimsy, poorly-designed e-scooters.
The Issue of Liability
The other big question is: Who can be held liable for e-scooter accidents? Who is liable if a scooter rider injures a pedestrian and leaves the scene? Can the manufacturer of the e-scooter be held liable for an injury or death caused by a defectively manufactured or designed scooter? These are some of the questions that must be answered in the months to come as e-scooters gain in popularity and become more ubiquitous. If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident or have lost a loved one in an e-scooter accident, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who can provide more information about pursuing your legal rights.