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Injured in CBD mobile scooter incident

A woman is recovering in hospital from leg injuries suffered when hit by a mobility scooter in Gisborne's central business district last week.

Lynette Fitzgerald, 78, sustained the injuries while waiting to cross the road at the Grey Street/Gladstone intersection.

Ms Fitzgerald said a woman on a scooter ran straight into the back of her leg. She suffered abrasions, bleeding and loss of skin.

She had stopped for a car approaching from Grey Street.

“The lady on the mobility scooter just went straight ahead into the back of my leg without warning.

“I looked up and said, ‘oh my God'. She replied with ‘sorry' and drove off without taking any note of my injury or waiting to call the ambulance for me.”

Ms Fitzgerald managed to get to the entrance of nearby store Michael Hill Gisborne. Staff administered first aid and called for an ambulance.

She was taken to Gisborne Hospital for treatment before being allowed to go home. However, she has since been readmitted to hospital following an infection to the wound.

Before that, Ms Fitzgerald had gone to Citizens' Advice Bureau to find out what her next steps should be in relation to the person who hit her.

She was advised to go to the police, which she did, and filed a complaint on Friday (January 14).

“I asked the constable to talk to her (the mobile scooter rider) and inform her that it was not OK.

“All I wanted was for her to call me, apologise or even follow up on my wellbeing.”

Police informed Ms Fitzgerald a community constable would visit and talk to the person who hit her.

Ms Fitzgerald told The Herald before being readmitted to hospital that her routine had been severely disrupted.

She wasn't able to go to yoga classes or do gardening without her leg hurting.

“The injuries will take more than two months to recover properly given my age,” she said.

“And each time I go to the doctor it is costing me $18 even though the injury comes under ACC.”

The law regarding the use of mobility scooter says you don't need a licence to use a scooter and your scooter doesn't require a warrant of fitness or registration. However, the scooter user must do the following —

' Ride in a careful and considerate way.

' Ride on the footpath whenever possible. If there's no footpath, keep close to the side of the road.

' Travel on the footpath at a speed safe for other people.

' Not ride (or let anyone else ride) in a way that could cause injury to the rider or others.

' Not let anyone else stand or sit on your scooter while it is in use.

' If involved in a crash, stop to see if anyone is hurt and help them if they are injured. The incident should be reported to police within 24 hours.

' A scooter should not be ridden if a rider is affected by alcohol, drugs or any medication. If medication is being taken, the rider must talk with their doctor or pharmacist about how their driving may be affected. More information on this is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/medication

RECOVERING AT HOME: Lynne Fitzgerald was hit by a mobility scooter in the city centre on January 11. The woman who was riding it said 'sorry', then drove away. Ms Fitzgerald suffered leg injuries and was taken to Gisborne Hospital by ambulance after being helped by staff from a nearby store. 'All I wanted was for her to call me, apologise or even follow up on my wellbeing,' Ms Fitzgerald said. Picture by Paul Rickard