Denver sees first reported death in an e-scooter crash

Police said the rider, a Montana man, was found to be at fault in the accident.

A Lime scooter parked in a parking spot, Aug. 6, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A Lime scooter parked in a parking spot, Aug. 6, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

A Montana man who was hit by a car while riding an e-scooter in Denver last week has died, Denver police said Monday.

Police confirmed this is the first fatal e-scooter crash in Denver. The victim was identified as Cameron D. Hagan, 26, of Billings, Montana, in a Colorado traffic crash report. In a statement to Denverite on Monday, police said it was determined Hagan was at fault in the Aug. 4 car crash. No one involved in the crash has been charged. Hagan was riding a Lyft “stand-up rental e-scooter.” Hagan was not wearing a helmet, according to Denver police.

The crash happened on the 2800 block of West 32nd Avenue. The traffic accident report said Hagan was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of 32nd Avenue while approaching North Eliot Street when he tried to cross, riding directly in front of a white Honda traveling westbound on 32nd Avenue. The collision sent Hagan flying off the scooter. He was initially cited with careless driving following the crash.

Hagan was taken to the Denver Health Medical Center with serious injuries. He was pronounced dead on Aug. 9, according to the report.

Denver police reported 51 incidents involving e-scooters between May 25, 2018, to Aug. 6, according to the department. They included 24 incidents involving motor vehicles and 27 incidents they deemed non-traffic accidents which means a motor vehicle was not involved.

Only two of the 24 auto-scooter crashes were classified SBI, meaning there was “serious bodily injury” involved.

Lyft said in a prepared statement on Monday they’re committed to providing the best experience for riders and the community, regularly meeting with the city and local advocacy groups like Bicycle Colorado to support safer streets.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and our sympathies go out to all those impacted by this tragic event,” the statement read. “Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and we have built safety processes and guidance into and throughout the Lyft scooter experience. We stand ready to work with local officials to continue making streets safer for everyone.”

Dr. Eric Lavonas practices emergency medicine at Denver Health and said it can be tricky to figure out how many e-scooter injuries they treat since “scooter” can mean electric scooters, things like Vespas or children’s scooters. But overall, he’s noticed a trend among e-scooters.

“There is no question that we are seeing injuries from a scooter accident on an almost daily basis,” Lavonas said on Monday.

Injuries run the gamut from broken bones (the most common injury) to severe traumatic brain injuries. Some crashes leave people permanently disabled.

Lavonas has some straightforward tips for people, like wearing a helmet when riding a scooter. He points out moving that quickly on an uneven surface without proper protection is an easy way to end up hurt. And another tip: Lavonas recommends you never, ever use an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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