San Diego

Woman Who Suffered Brain Injury in Scooter Crash Returns Home

Dean and Karen Riggott said they want to stop scooters from rolling out across the county

A woman is making a miraculous recovery after doctors in the ICU said she would likely not survive her electric scooter accident nearly three months ago.

Karen Riggott, 50, of Chula Vista fell off an electric scooter on Aug. 3 and hit her head, suffering a brain injury and two brain hemorrhages that left her unconscious for weeks.

“I’m doing better every day. I still go through a little pain through my head and my body but in time it will go away,” Karen Riggott told NBC 7.

She said she was nervous to leave the safety of the hospital where she could rely on the support of an entire medical staff, though she didn’t recall being in the hospital until she was in rehab.

“I don't remember anything,” she said. “I had fractures [at the front] and the back of my head.”

Her husband, Dean Riggott, can recall Karen Riggott’s time in the hospital better than she can. He said watching his wife walk on her own through their home was a moment he thought he'd lost forever.

“When we got to the point where they were saying 'She’s going to make it home,' I kept telling the people in the ICU that, 'You just wake her up and we’ll do the rest,' she’ll do it. She’s a force of nature," Dean Riggott told NBC 7.

He said he never doubted Karen Riggott's strength but doctors told him soon after the crash that he needed to start preparing for end of life arrangements.

“There was a high likelihood they felt that she wasn't going to survive this blow that she took to the head,” he added.

“I felt that God put me here and I've got a lot more things to do in my life,” Karen Riggott said.

Karen Riggott was not alone in her injuries.

local orthopedic surgeon said he has treated at least 48 people who were also injured on electric scooters in San Diego since February 2018 when the scooters first started to roll into the city.

A mother is battling for her life after falling off an electric scooter. This and two other incidents are raising concerns over the dangers of the motorized devices. NBC 7's Danica McAdam has the story.

Dean and Karen Riggott said they want to stop scooters from rolling out across the county. In fact, Chula Vista launched a scooter pilot program with Lime the same weekend Karen Riggott came home from rehab.

Dean Riggott said he will continue to urge Chula Vista city leaders to prevent the program from growing and keep them out of the city even with the safety regulations.

“I would never in a million years want anybody to feel what our family has felt when we watched her lay there. It is completely unavoidable,” he said.

The Riggotts, who own El Primo Hotel, are involved in their Chula Vista community and some members brought them a poster that said “Life is boring without you” and filled it with messages of love and support.

City leaders remind users the scooters should not be used on the sidewalks, and recommend people wear helmets.

The city claims Lime violated a geofencing rule but Lime said the city has not given any guidelines and has not been clear about specific violations. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda has more.
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