Death of Frenchman who fell off electric skateboard at East Coast ruled a misadventure

A 38-year-old chiropractor, who was on his way to East Coast Park from his Tanjong Rhu Road home on an electric skateboard, died after he fell at the Green Connecting Bridge along East Coast Park Service Road near Fort Road.

Mr Matthieu Thomas Maugueret, a French national, had got the device four days before the accident.

On Wednesday (May 4), his death from the fall, which no one saw, was found to be a sad misadventure. State Coroner Marvin Bay said that based on testimonial, circumstantial and forensic evidence, Mr Maugueret, who was not wearing a helmet, probably fell at about 11.45pm on Nov 12. There was no basis to suspect foul play.

He had a broken skull and severe head injuries, and died without regaining consciousness five days later. A forensic pathologist found Mr Maugueret's injuries to be consistent with a fall from a high-speed electric skateboard, with the back of his head hitting a hard surface.

Mr Bay noted that powered personal mobility devices - including motorised bicycles, e-scooters, power-assisted unicycles, hoverboards, and electric skateboards -have become increasingly ubiquitous on roads and paths here.

"It is essential that users of the devices are fully aware of the particular handling characteristics of their chosen means of transport. The powered versions... may handle quite differently from their unpowered counterparts," he said.

The skateboard's previous owner had found it hard to execute turns and was also concerned about the absence of a feature to allow sudden braking, Mr Bay noted.

"Users of powered personal mobility devices should therefore ride carefully, and at a moderate speed, as they develop experience and build up their level of skill in handling their chosen vehicle or device. It is equally critical that helmets and safety equipment be worn, without exception," he said.

Mr Maugueret's Evolve 2 in 1 Carbon electric skateboard was controlled by wireless remote control. Its average speed is about 15kmh to 25kmh, with a top speed of 38kmh.

Mr Maugueret's girlfriend last saw him at Gardens by the Bay - a five-minute walk from their condo - at about 11.30pm. He said he was going to East Coast Park before heading home. Shortly after, passers-by found him on the ground.

amirh@sph.com.sg

Correction Note: An earlier version of the story stated that Mr Matthieu Thomas Maugueret was 39. This is incorrect. He was 38. We are sorry for the error.