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California

Man dies 2 days after crashing scooter into tree in San Diego’s first such fatality

A 53-year-old man who crashed a rented scooter into a tree in downtown San Diego last week has died, becoming the city’s first electronic scooter fatality, police said Monday.

The rider, identified as Christopher Conti of Woodstock, Ga., succumbed to his injuries Friday, San Diego police Sgt. Victoria Houseman said in a statement.

Conti was headed north on the sidewalk of 10th Avenue near C Street shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday when he failed to negotiate a left turn and struck a tree, police said.

He was not wearing a helmet, Houseman said. It was not known if alcohol or drugs were factors.

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“This is the first known fatality in the city of San Diego involving a scooter,” Houseman said.

The county’s first scooter death happened in December when Esteban Galindo, 26, was struck from behind by a car in Chula Vista. The driver involved stopped after the 4 a.m. crash. It’s unclear whether drugs or alcohol were factors.

Dockless scooter companies, such as Lime and Bird, first showed up in San Diego in 2018. Initially, some companies also offered dockless bikes but that transportation option proved far less popular.

Health officials reported seeing a surge in scooter-related injuries and began tracking statistics on the cases they treat.

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The city of San Diego is considering a slate of regulations on dockless electric scooters and bicycles that would address speed limits, parking restrictions and impose fees for company operating permits.

Karen Kucher writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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