"The accident he had was completely avoidable": 75-year-old man dies from injuries after trying to move abandoned electric scooter in Northampton

"If he didn't have to get off to move the Voi scooter I believe he would still be here today," brother tells inquest

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 9:12 am

The family of a 75-year-old man who died from injuries he picked up after trying to move an abandoned scooter said his death was "completely avoidable", an inquest in Northampton heard on Wednesday (April 7).

Philip Jones was driving his personal mobility scooter to Queensview Medical Centre, in Kingsthorpe, to get his flu jab vaccination on October 17 last year when he was confronted by one of the abandoned scooters left on the pavement.

The inquest heard how Mr Jones got out of his mobility scooter and tried to move the Voi scooter so he could proceed on his journey. However, the grandfather fell and landed in the road while moving the scooter and was left laying on his back in cold weather conditions, the inquest heard.

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Philip Jones

An ambulance crew arrived at the scene at 8.52am after two members of the public spotted Mr Jones in distress.

Mr Jones' brother, Dennis, said at the inquest that he was "mad and upset".

He said: "The accident he had was completely avoidable. If he didn't have to get off to move the Voi scooter I believe he would still be here today.

"I spent time with my brother in hospital. He explained what had happened at the time. He was in good health and I truly believe this discarded scooter was a direct factor in my brother's death.

"It's been a very difficult time and I feel these scooters are stupid things to leave lying around on the pavement/road. He was on a mobility scooter for five years and he would go everywhere on it, this would unfortunately by his downfall.

"To rub salt into the wounds, when we went to the funeral directors at the Co-op, there was one scooter left outside."

The elderly man was taken to Northampton General Hospital (NGH) but due to his "background of poor health", according to Dr Polly Davis, Mr Jones would not survive intensive care and invasive surgery.

Dr Polly Davis, from NGH, said in a statement that Mr Jones' family were subsequently told to "focus on comfort, dignity and palliative care".

Mr Jones died 12 days later on October 29. The cause of death given by Dr A Bisset of NGH was multiple organ failure and a fractured neck.

Dennis Jones went on to pay tribute to his brother at the inquest.

In a statement he said his brother was a "very caring person", a fan of Arsenal Football Club, a "lover of history" and that he spent his whole working life "involved in trucks, buses and cranes".

Mr Jones emigrated to South Africa for 30 years where he had a daughter and granddaughter.

Coroner Anne Pember concluded Mr Jones' death as accidental.

After the inquest, a Voi spokesperson said: "I am afraid Voi was not invited to attend this inquest so at this moment we really can’t provide further comments on this until further legal details are shared with us.

"We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate situation and we can confirm that we have been in contact with Mr Philip Jones' family since this accident was first reported to us, to extend our deepest, heartfelt sympathies, support and any relevant information we can provide.

"We have been in regular liaison with the relevant authorities, including Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire County Council, and Voi will fully cooperate with any official investigation should this be required.

"We take the safety and security of all road users extremely seriously and employ strict measures, including technology to track our e-scooters and we have street patrols regularly monitoring the streets to monitor the e-scooter activity, to help to prevent dangerous riding or street clutter.

"On this particular occasion, one of our ambassadors was at the scene a few minutes after this incident happened."