ELIZABETH, NJ - After a teenager riding a Lime E-scooter collided with a tow truck and died Wednesday night in Elizabeth, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage says it's time to re-evaluate the program.
The youth has been identified as 16-year-old Nelson Miranda Gomez, a resident of Elizabeth.
Mayor Bollwage released the following statement on Wednesday.
"On Wednesday evening at approximately 8:05 p.m., a 16-year-old male collided with a large tow truck that was making a right turn onto South Spring Street from Elizabeth Avenue. He died of his injuries shortly after," said Mayor Bollwage. "This was a tragic accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young man. The City Council will discuss the parameters of its relationship with Lime.”
Salaam Ismial, chairman of the National United Youth Council Inc, is calling for the removal of the scooters. In a press release on Thursday, he stated he had attended a previous Elizabeth City Council meeting and heard the discussion on the inception of the Lime e-scooters and immediately had his concerns in regards to the lack of safety regulations.
As of 2018, the e-scooter boom is responsible for 11 deaths and over 1,500 injuries last year alone according to Business Insider. The death of 16-year-old Nelson Gomez makes this the 12th fatality.
Some activists, have openly expressed their disapproval about the e-scooters since its inception in Elizabeth.
“Why are kids allowed to operate those motorized scooters without protective headgear when, other children who drive bicycles have to wear helmets,” said James Carey, President of the Resistance Movement Organization of Union County.
The Lime e-scooter program launched in Elizabeth less than a month ago on Nov. 1.
A memorial has been set up at the scene of the accident by family and friends.