Woman still unconscious after e-scooter accident

Madam Ang underwent two brain operations at Changi General Hospital over the weekend. The accident has cast a spotlight on the safety of pedestrians amid the growing popularity of personal mobility devices.
Madam Ang underwent two brain operations at Changi General Hospital over the weekend. The accident has cast a spotlight on the safety of pedestrians amid the growing popularity of personal mobility devices.PHOTO: COURTESY OF WILSON LEONG

Family told her chances of waking are slim and will monitor her condition over next week

A housewife apparently hit by an electric scooter remained unconscious in hospital yesterday, as it emerged that a teenager - believed to have been its rider - was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous hurt.

Madam Ang Liu Kiow, 53, was injured in the accident last Saturday and underwent two brain operations at Changi General Hospital over the weekend. Her 22-year-old son Wilson Leong told The Straits Times yesterday that doctors said her chances of waking are "slim".

A 17-year-old e-scooter rider was arrested on Tuesday although no further details have been released.

While details of how the accident along Pasir Ris Drive 1 happened are not fully known, it has cast the spotlight on the safety of pedestrians amid the growing popularity of personal mobility devices (PMD) and electric bicycles.

Mr Leong, a university undergraduate, said the family will monitor Madam Ang's condition over the next week before they decide whether to gradually take her off life support.

Madam Ang underwent surgery on Saturday to remove a blood clot in her brain and a day later she had a tube inserted in it to regulate the blood pressure.

"The first operation was supposed to take two to three hours but it took about six," said Mr Leong. "Doctors said she's not waking up because she suffered multiple mini strokes."

Mr Leong's father, 53, and brother, 16, and sister, 26, remain hopeful that her condition will turn around.

While Madam Ang had left her Pasir Ris home with her bicycle on Saturday morning, Mr Leong believes she may have been knocked over while on foot. Her bicycle was found locked up at a rack at Block 541 Pasir Ris Street 51. "She may have been going to the bus stop and the e-scooter user didn't see her," he added.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said he was "extremely saddened" by the accident. Mr Sitoh said "pedestrian safety is paramount" when footpaths are shared with PMD users and electric bicycles.

While it is illegal to ride a bicycle or use PMDs on pavements, the authorities are looking into amending the law to allow bicycles and most PMDs on such paths.

Mr Sitoh said "the welfare of victims must be adequately protected and provided for", and one way to do this could be for PMD users to be made to buy third-party insurance.

The Traffic Police did not provide numbers of accidents or fatalities involving PMDs, when asked by The Straits Times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2016, with the headline 'Woman still unconscious after e-scooter accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe