Woman badly hurt in mobility buggy crash

POLICE fear a woman left with serious injuries might never leave hospital after she was struck by a man driving a mobility scooter.

Laurence Cawley

POLICE fear a woman left with serious injuries might never leave hospital after she was struck by a man driving a mobility scooter.

The 94-year-old victim was taken into hospital with serious leg and pelvic injuries by the ambulance service following the crash, which happened in East Street, Sudbury, outside a bridal shop.

Police say the woman might never be well enough to leave hospital.

A spokeswoman for the police told how the 86-year-old man was driving his scooter with the plastic rain cover down when the accident happened.

Paramedics and police were called to the scene of the collision at 1.10pm on January 10.

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Witnesses to the incident are being sought by police, who say although an investigation into the crash is being carried out no prosecution will be brought against the driver.

“The driver of the mobility scooter did stop at the scene but we are still seeking to establish the series of events,” the spokeswoman said.

Figures from the Medical Devices Agency reveal there are about 8,000 accidents each year involving mobility scooters or wheelchairs, and between 1999 and 2003, 18 people were killed in scooter-related accidents and 36 died in wheelchair-related incidents.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) told the EADT it was campaigning for a formal training scheme to be put in place for those using powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

“We are aware that there have been injuries and deaths both on the road and on the pavement involving mobility scooters. These include mobility scooter riders being struck by cars and pedestrians being hit by mobility scooters.

“We do take calls from members of the public who are alarmed about the way some mobility scooters are driven. Mobility scooters are hugely important to people with mobility problems and we get a lot of calls from people trying to work out where they can be trained to use one. There is no formal system of training in the UK and that is what we would like to see introduced. That is really important because what we need is for people to know how to use them for their safety and for the safety of others.”

She added a brand new section was recently added to the Highway Code dedicated to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. The spokeswoman urged all members of the public, including pedestrians and car drivers, to read it.

Anybody with information about the East Street crash should contact PC Barry Simpson at the Sudbury and Great Cornard Safer Neighbourhood Team on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.