Girl, 8, struck by e-scooter driving ‘over 20mph’ in horrific hit-and-run ordeal

News

An eight-year-old girl suffered concussion and a broken leg when a hit-and-run e-scooter rider ploughed into her on a footpath at “over 20mph”.

Elliemai Smith was sent flying as the scooter smashed into her before the man riding it sped off, leaving her crying on the ground. She was then rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

Police are now hunting the illegal rider and Elliemai’s mother, 28-year-old Kayleigh McColl, has appealed for anyone who recognises his description to come forward.

Ms McColl was walking her daughter home from school in Andover, Hants, when the shocking incident happened and left the youngster with two broken bones in her right leg.

The pair were with one of Elliemai’s school friends and the two girls had run ahead.

Ms McColl said: “The two girls were running towards an alley, but as she came around the corner this lad came flying up the path and took her off her feet. She did a 360 – I nearly had a heart attack, and I ran over to her.”

She described the driver of the e-scooter as being in his early 20s, with curly hair that was ginger-ish in colour. She said the vehicle was large and black, and that he was driving at “well over 20mph”.

The mother-of-two said the driver initially seemed in shock and apologised, before promising he would come back and then riding off. He did not return.

Elliemai had a large bump on her head, her legs were “floppy” and her mother says she was in extreme pain, even appearing to drift in and out of consciousness. Ms McColl called an ambulance which took them to hospital in nearby Basingstoke, Hants.

There they discovered the eight-year-old had fractured both the bones in her lower right leg. A temporary cast was put on, to allow for expected swelling before a full cast is made.

Ms McColl added: “It was awful. Elliemai was freaking out, and I was freaking out but trying to keep her calm. She’s my baby girl and she could have died.

“The force at which she hit the ground, if that had been her head it could so easily have been much worse. And it was so easily preventable.”

Describing what she remembers of the incident, Elliemai said: “He was so fast, I couldn’t see him coming. I was very scared. It felt really really painful.”

Ms McColl, of Andover, said: “I am so angry. I shouldn’t have let him leave but at the time my focus was on my daughter.

“I think him not staying, and driving off, makes it one hundred times worse. Imagine if that had happened to a child who was walking home on their own?”

She has managed to get use of a wheelchair for Elliemai, and hopes to secure a right-leg elevation one soon.

“It’s right before the school holidays, and this is going to affect our whole life for the next six to eight weeks,” she added. “Her friends will come down to see her, but it completely ruins her summer holiday.

“She has been so brave, it just breaks my heart. She should be able to run home from school without having to worry. No little girl should go through that.”

It is currently only legal to ride e-scooters on private land with permission, apart from in certain trial areas where they are being allowed on public roads and cycle lanes. It is illegal to ride them on pavements, footpaths, and in pedestrianised zones.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary today said: “We are investigating a collision which occurred in Andover, involving an E-scooter and a pedestrian. This took place between 3.20pm and 4pm on 7 July, on a footpath between Rimini Road and Smannell Road.

“The pedestrian, an eight-year-old girl, suffered a concussion and a broken leg as a result. The E-scooter rider initially stopped, but left the scene without providing any details and rode off towards King Arthurs Way via the bridge over the A343.

“Officers have been making enquiries to locate the rider, and we are keen to hear from anyone with information about the incident. We would also urge the rider to make contact with us directly.”

Police described the rider as white, slim, aged in his late teens to early 20s and around 5ft 9ins to 5ft 10ins tall. He had curly gingery/brown hair which was shaved on the sides, wiry facial hair and was wearing black jeans and grey trainers.

The E-scooter was black with “a chunky board and chunky tyres”.