On Thursday evening, Tampa Police sent out a Twitter message that said, “Serious Traffic Crash 20th St N and Stuart St. Northbound 20th St N will be closed for 1-2 hours. Avoid the area.”
The reason? Tampa’s first widely-reported traffic incident involving an e-scooter. Police said that the man was riding on the street and near the curb while headed north on N. 20th St. in the Palmetto Beach neighborhood of Tampa. The scooter veered and rode into the path of the semi-truck.
Police told WFLA that the rider was in the proper place, and the station added that the man left the scene in critical condition.
Police told CL that the rider was not wearing a helmet.
Tampa’s one-year e-scooter pilot program kicked off over the Memorial Day weekend. The scooters — operated by Lime, Jump, Bird and Spin — are not allowed on the Tampa Riverwalk, Bayshore Boulevard and Ybor City’s E. Seventh Avenue, but Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill that allowed users to operate e-scooters in bike lanes and on streets.
Lime, which operates the scooter the man was riding, said that the he was riding within the approved area for scooter operations and issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts are with the rider involved in this tragic incident and we’re praying for a full recovery. We have reached out to local authorities and stand ready to assist however possible."
CL reached out to a representative for Mayor Jane Castor to see if she has any comment on the accident.