Teen killed in crash as NJ city begins electric scooter contract
ELIZABETH — A teen was killed Wednesday night when his Lime scooter collided with a tow truck, police said.
This appears to be the first fatal accident in the state involving an electric scooter provided by companies that have contracted with several municipalities. This city began pilot rental program with Lime this month.
Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said the scooter and tow truck hit at the the intersection of Elizabeth Avenue and South Spring Street around 8 p.m. as the tow truck made a right turn.
The driver of the tow truck stayed at the scene, police told NBC 4 New York.
The teen later died from his injuries, according to Bollwage. Elizabeth police identified the boy as Nelson Miranda Gomez.
"This was a tragic accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young man," Bollwage said.
The city of Elizabeth began a six-month pilot program on Nov. 1 that made 150 of the lightweight scooters available for rental. Scooters are placed throughout the city in high-density areas such as shopping centers and transportation hubs.
Bollwage said that the city council "will discuss the parameters of its relationship with Lime.”
Users scan a QR code on the scooter with their smartphone in order to unlock the vehicle; that costs $1, and then riders pay 20 cents a minute thereafter. Drivers must be at least 15 years old and have a moped license or a regular drivers license to operate a low-speed motorcycle less than 50cc, according to the New Jersey MVC.
A test program is also underway in Asbury Park with Zagster scooters until June while New Brunswick considers a program with Lime.
Hoboken's Lime Scooter pilot program ends Nov. 20 and its future is in question. Three people were arrested for DWI while operating the scooters during Hoboken's pilot program.
Lime has a presence in more than 120 cities in the world.