SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A man whose child and ex-wife were seriously injured in a scooter crash over the weekend on Monday called for a boardwalk ban.
Dan Dewitt said his 11-year-old daughter and her mother, who were visiting from Arizona, rented scooters to ride along the Mission Beach boardwalk last Friday when they collided with pedestrians.
Dan’s ex-wife sustained multiple skull fractures and his daughters suffered internal bleeding from a fractured spleen.
“If it is so unique, why don’t you regulate it more? Because that is what it needs. This is the type of thing that needs regulation,” said Dan.
Dan’s daughter, Ally, was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital. She has been able to walk since the scooter accident. “She walked for the first time. That was a big deal. I think she is going to be okay,” he said.
The issue hit so hard for Dan that he flew to San Diego and spoke before the San Diego City Council. "I'm highly upset and concerned with this council's recent decision to not place an emergency ban,” he told the City Council.
Dewitt said the motorized scooter ban brought forth last month by Councilmember Lorie Zapf with strong recommendation from lifeguards and police officers should not have been shot down. "I've been a firefighter for 17 years. These injuries are worse than most automobile accidents that I've responded to. A nurse at the hospital told me she's seen as many as five injury victims in a day,” he said.
Dewitt did admit mother and daughter were sharing a scooter and not wearing a helmet – both safety violations. He defended them by saying, “They're not from here they don't know the history of this issue. They just did what everybody else is doing.”
Scott Chipman, who also addressed the San Diego City Council, said, "We recommend that you revisit this issue immediately and correct the mistake that you've made so that a father like this doesn't have to come up here next week and give you the same report."
Both mother and daughter are expected to be released from the hospital and plan to drive back home to Arizona.
Councilmember Lorie Zapf statement regarding serious motorized scooter accident:
I am sadden to learn of this very serious life threatening scooter accident that happened on the Boardwalk involving a child and mother on vacation.
My office worked with staff to develop an emergency ordinance to address this issue and unfortunately the City Council majority did not support it. We are now seeing firsthand why common-sense rules should be approved, and I urge my Council colleagues to revisit this issue on the very clear grounds of protecting public safety.