Lime scooter rider to pay $4000 for collision with woman, causing serious injuries

A woman who was left concussed and seriously injured by a lime scooter said the speed of the driver “pummelled” her, turning her into “a human spear”.

Debra Christensen has read her victim impact statement at the sentencing of the rider, Mitchell McIntyre, at Auckland District Court today.

McIntyre has been found guilty of careless and inconsiderate vehicle operation after a judge-alone trial last month. He has been ordered to pay $4,000 in reparations.

He knocked over Debra Christensen as she exited a bus on Fanshawe St while heading to work on June 25, 2019.

“Clearly the speed pummelled me, turning me into a human spear, my feet not even touching the ground,” she read to the courtroom.

“Onlookers were shocked to the core.”

The now 65-year-old said she woke up face down on the road.

“We don’t look as we get off the bus, we are watching our step.

“I went back to sleep thinking I’ll let someone else take care of this.”

In reading his outcome earlier today, Judge Field said McIntyre’s standard of driving the scooter fell below that of a reasonable and prudent driver.

Both McIntyre and Christensen had to be mindful of their surroundings and modify their behaviour, he said.

The bus stop was on a footpath so Christensen defended her decision not to look left or right before stepping off, the court heard during the trial.

Christensen said she was concussed, needed a brain scan, and had injuries to her cheek, chin, and hand.

CCTV footage shows the collision, and that Christensen was partially under the bus.

There is no record of the speed in which McIntyre was travelling, but footage shows it was faster than walking pace, Judge Field said.

“CCTV footage shows the defendant approaching on the scooter, becoming aware of complainant on the bus and attempting to swerve, unfortunately swerving towards the bus rather than away from it,” he said.

McIntyre apologised to Christensen at the time of the collision, the court heard.

Defence counsel Alistair Haskett said safety measures have since been provided with the scooters, and warnings for people signing on to apps on their mobile devices, but these were not present at the time.

During the trial, defence counsel Alistair Haskett said McIntyre epitomised broader problems which resulted from authorities making motorcars less attractive to people.

He said McIntyre was “something of a guinea pig” caught up in a bigger issue about a lack of guidance and facilities for scooter users.

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