San Diego

Husband Wants Scooters Off Streets After Wife Fractures Skull in Crash

The husband of a woman who was hospitalized with a skull fracture she suffered in a tumble from a dockless scooter wants the devices removed from city streets.

Karen Riggott, 50, was taking her first spin on an electric scooter Saturday in Liberty Station when she became distracted and crashed. Her head slammed against the pavement, cracking her skull and causing bleeding in her brain.

As she fights for her life in the hospital, her husband Dean is fulfilling a promise that he made to her -- to keep falling in love with her, and to keep everyone else from falling off scooters.

Dean said he hopped on a scooter first while Karen recorded him riding around on her phone. He said he tried a different scooter first but the brakes were not working so he got on another one and it worked fine.

Then they swapped places. Dean was about to start recording his wife when he saw her fall.

“The handle bar just clipped to the left,” described Dean. “The thing looked like it buckled beneath her and it just threw her onto the pavement, onto her head.”

When Karen fell down Dean ran to her immediately and tried to keep her from moving.

"She started trying to sit up and I had to put my body on top of her to hold her down," he said.

She was rushed to UCSD Medical Center's ICU.

The owner of El Primo Hotel, Karen Riggott is also known as Karen Roque in her business dealings.  She made some progress in the ICU Tuesday, but still has a long road to recovery, her husband said.

He and their 9-year-old son Micah are counting the days until they can be with her again.

“She doesn’t speak, my son can’t talk to her, we can’t hug her," Dean said.

In their initial report, San Diego police said purse straps got tangled up in the scooter handlebars and the rider lost control and fell to the ground. She was not wearing a helmet while riding the scooter.

However, Dean said his wife wasn't the only one nursing head injuries from a recent fall on a scooter.

"I got to the trauma center and we were not alone," Dean said.

In East Village Sunday, another man fell from a motorized scooter near Tenth Avenue and G Streets and suffered a fractured skull, a broken bone around his eye socket and a brain bleed, according to SDPD.

And on Monday, just after 9 p.m., police said a man fell and fractured his skull while riding a rental scooter near 1st Avenue and C Street downtown.

There are too many people getting hurt, Dean said, and there has to be more than a conversation regarding the risk of riding scooters. 

"Not everybody is driving them poorly. Not everybody is at fault," he said. 

Once his wife is well enough, Dean said he'll take on his mission to get scooters off of San Diego streets.

He questioned why more wasn't being done to avoid this happening to another family. 

"If you can, you wouldn't want to be here. This is unimaginable," he said. 

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