YouTube star Emily Hartridge was riding e-scooter too fast with an under-inflated tyre when she was killed in crash with lorry, coroner rules
- YouTube star, 35, died following a crash in Battersea, south London, last year
- Grieving boyfriend Jacob Hazell, 28, gave her E-scooter as a birthday present
- He recalled his dread when the YouTuber failed to turn up to her fertility scan
YouTube star Emily Hartridge was riding an e-scooter too fast with an under-inflated tyre when she was killed in a crash with a lorry, a coroner has ruled.
The presenter, 35, died instantly of her injuries following the collision in Battersea, south London last July.
Ms Hartridge was on her way to a fertility clinic when she tragically became the first person in the UK to have been involved in a fatal crash on an e-scooter.
At an inquest held remotely at Westminster Coroner’s Court due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Fiona Wilcox concluded that her death was accidental.
YouTube star Emily Hartridge was riding an e-scooter too fast with an underinflated tyre when she was killed in a crash with a lorry, a coroner has ruled
The presenter, 35, died instantly of her injuries following the collision in Battersea, south London last July
Ms Hartridge was on her way to a fertility clinic when she tragically became the first person in the UK to have been involved in a fatal crash on an e-scooter
A coroner said at Ms Hartridge’s inquest: ‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death’
What is the current law on e-scooters in Britain?
According to the Department of Transport, e-scooters are classed as ‘powered transporters’ and meet the legal definition of a ‘motor vehicle’.
They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and conforming to ‘technical standards.’
As they do not, they are considered illegal to use on roads in Britain.
The Metropolitan Police has also said it is illegal to use e-scooters on the road and riders risk being fined or even having penalty points on their licence.
Riders also risk having their e-scooters seized by police.
The Department of Transport said e-scooters are covered by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine-powered kick scooters), powered unicycles, and u-wheels’.
The ban does not apply to electrically-assisted pedal bicycles.
According to the Department of Transport: ‘For motor vehicles to use public roads lawfully, they must meet a number of different requirements. These include insurance; conformity with technical standards and standards of use; payment of vehicle tax, licensing, and registration; driver testing and licensing; and the use of relevant safety equipment.
‘If the user of a powered transporter could meet these requirements, it might in principle be lawful for them to use public roads. However, it is likely that they will find it very difficult to comply with all of these requirements, meaning that it would be a criminal offence to use them on the road.’
E-scooters are also banned from using pavements under the 1835 Highway Act. E-scooters can be used on private land with the landowner’s permission.
However, since July, you have been able to use them – under certain conditions.
A legal framework governing trials has confirmed that vehicles will be limited to 15mph and will only be allowed on roads, cycle lanes and tracks, but not pavements.
In notes seen by the BBC, she wrote: ‘Ms Hartridge was riding an electric scooter on Queenstown Road when she lost control after passing over an inspector hatch in the cycle lane and was thrown under the path of an HGV.
‘She died instantly of injuries sustained by the HGV driving over her.
‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death.’
At the time, e-scooters were illegal to ride in the UK other than on private land with permission, but the were given the green light by the Department for Transport earlier this year to help cut down on congestion on public transport amid the Covid crisis.
The new rules state the vehicles can’t be ridden on pavements, are limited to a speed of 15.5mph and that helmets should be worn.
However, they remain controversial and, earlier this summer, Future of Transport Minister Rachel Maclean told Parliament that it was ‘not a done deal’ that the e-scooters would stay after the 12-month trial ends.
‘This is a very big market for e-scooter operators and we don’t want to rush into something that we may regret doing later,’ she added.
Ms Hartridge’s grieving boyfriend Jacob Hazell said last year he and the presenter – who he described as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ – were overcome with excitement as they planned for a baby.
The 28-year-old said everything in their lives was ‘going right’.
But in a heart wrenching interview, he recalled his creeping sense of dread when the clinic said Ms Hartridge had failed to turn up to the appointment.
And he revealed his anxiety then turned into devastation after stumbling across the news that his girlfriend had died in a collision with a lorry in Battersea on Friday 12 July.
‘I am devastated. I got up first to leave home at 5am. I gave her a kiss on the lips. She was half asleep and mumbled, ‘I love you’. I’m so pleased I did that,’ Mr Hazell told the Sun.
In her YouTube vlogs, Ms Hartridge would often speak candidly about her and Mr Hazell’s parenthood plans and had previously revealed she was getting her eggs frozen.
However, as Ms Hartridge was on her way to the take the next steps towards pregnancy, she was tragically killed on a roundabout in what is believed to be the UK’s first ever e-scooter accident.
And although Mr Hazell is still raw from the horrific crash and in mourning, he has revealed that some people have blamed him for his girlfriend’s death.
The personal trainer said: ‘People have told me I’m to blame because I bought it for her, but I can’t think that. Her family have told me I’m not.’
Mr Hazell said that when he first presented Ms Hartridge with the vehicle she was ‘over the moon’ but ‘knew the risks’ and would always wear a helmet.
YouTube star Emily Hartridge, 35, lost her life nine days ago in a collision with a lorry as she circled the roundabout while riding an e-scooter bought for her by her boyfriend Jacob Hazell, 28, as a birthday present less than a week before
Mr Hazell has said that he and the 35-year-old – who he described as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ – were hooked with excitement as they planned for a baby and that she was on her way to a fertility clinic when she was killed
The social media star’s tragic death is thought to be the first involving an e-scooter, but mourning Mr Hazell does not believe the vehicles should be banned
Emily with her boyfriend Jacob Hazell. She wrote about him in May saying: ‘Jake is incredible and I feel beyond grateful to have him in my life’
E-scooters still prove controversial
The introduction of e-scooters on to UK streets has been marred with controversy after the death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge while riding one in London a year ago.
Paris has about 20,000 e-scooters available for hire but is facing lawsuits from accident victims. Despite that, the Government brought forward the trial to capitalise on people’s changing habits during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A further 400 machines are set to be delivered to Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar, while 50 local authorities have expressed an interest, including Bath, Bristol, Derby, Nottingham, Southampton, Portsmouth and the City of London.
Earlier this summer, Future of Transport Minister Rachel Maclean told Parliament that it was ‘not a done deal’ that the e-scooters would stay after the 12-month trial ends.
‘This is a very big market for e-scooter operators and we don’t want to rush into something that we may regret doing later,’ she added.
Supporters of e-scooters say they are a clean and cost-effective way to get around, and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has thrown his weight behind the project.
He said: ‘The first week of the pilot has been a great success overall, and the response from people in Middlesbrough has been overwhelmingly positive’, adding that the Tees Valley Combined Authority was liaising closely with Cleveland Police.
He also said he does not think the vehicles should be banned, despite the accident leaving a ‘hole’ in his life.
He said: ‘We had just moved in together and were planning a family. I’m heartbroken she has gone…
‘I don’t think they should be banned for adults, as they are electric, go a maximum of 20mph and don’t do any harm to the environment.’
In an emotional video posted on Instagram last week, Mr Hartridge paid tribute to his late partner and thanked fans for their support.
The 28-year-old fights back tears as he says: ‘I know Emily was the person who encouraged me to talk about how I was feeling I just want to put a video out here to say thank you and let people know I’m okay.
‘I love you all and I love Emily and I appreciate the support, so thank you.’
In a recent online post, Ms Hartridge gushed she and Mr Hazell were hoping to start a family together, adding: ‘Jake is incredible and I feel beyond grateful to have him in my life.’
In the video Mr Hartridge adds: ‘I am fine and I just want to say thank you for all the nice messages.’
Footage has since re-emerged of Ms Hartridge bringing together her family and friends for the Channel 4 series, ‘Oh S***, I’m 30’, which aired in 2016.
The TV presenter was described as ‘one of a kind’ during a mock funeral service she hosted for a TV show three years before she was tragically killed.
In the show, Ms Hartridge is described as a young woman who is single, has no career path and living in her overdraft.
As a way of trying to deal with her ‘quarter-life crisis’ and insecurities, Ms Hartridge hosted her own memorial service to hear what others had to say about her.
Her younger sister, Jessica, is seen overcome with emotion as she gushed about her beloved sibling.
She said: ‘She’s always been very special, even at a young age. Whenever I watch our family video back she’s always bouncing around trying to get everyone’s attention.
‘If anyone asks me to sum Emily up in one word, I would always say kind. And that is why I love her so much. There really is no one like my sister, she really is one of a kind and I wouldn’t have her any other way.’
Ms Hartridge confessed that at age 30, she isn’t entirely happy with her life and said: ‘I don’t hate myself but it’s not like I wake up and think ‘I love me’.
‘I do feel like I live life in a lot of fear, I wish I could handle stress a lot better. I really want to be one of those positive people, but I’m just really pessimistic.’
‘That made me feel so nice, literally my hairs were standing up on end from that. I do waste a lot of time worrying about things that I have no control over.
‘Even though I am single at 30, I have really nice people in my life that really care about me,’ she adds.
Jacob Hazell, 28, has taken to Instagram today to pay tribute to his late partner Emily Hartridge
The presenter was killed after the e-scooter she was riding was involved in a collision with a HGV in Battersea, south west London last year (pictured, the scene of the crash)
Emily Hartridge hosted her own mock funeral for a Channel 4 show which aired in 2016
Family and friends paid tribute to Emily in the memorial service for TV show, ‘Oh S***, I’m 30’
The fake funeral was held three years before Emily’s tragic death on an electric scooter
Emily is seen overcome with emotion as her sister gushes about her during the service
Goosebumps: Emily confesses that hearing others talk lovingly about her was very touching
YouTube star Emily Hartridge was killed in a tragic accident on July 12, last year
Emily Hartridge (pictured) regularly attracted more than three million viewers a month on her YouTube channel. She also has more than 40,000 followers on Instagram
Five years on, Ms Hartridge’s professional and personal life were both on the up. She attracted more than 340,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she would post an episode of her show, 10 Reasons Why… every Monday, and boasted more than 40,000 followers on Instagram.
In recent years she had interviewed the likes of Russell Brand, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, as well as hosting Virgin Media’s first YouTube Channel, The Snap.
A police officer gathers a helmet and places it in an evidence bag close to the scene where Emily Hartridge died last year
The crash happened at Queen’s Circus roundabout, which has been the scene of other fatal incidents involving trucks and vulnerable road users
Emily Hartridge’s death was announced on her Instagram page, in a post saying ‘she had touched so many lives’
On Wednesday, Emily Hartridge posted a video about the benefits of dating a younger man
A message posted on her Instagram page announced the news to her thousands of fans
Davina McCall led tributes to the young presenter. She wrote: ‘My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers.’
Davina McCall led tributes to the YouTube star. She wrote: ‘My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers’
BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark tweeted: ‘Really sad to hear the news about Emily Hartridge. She was such a top girl, so talented and a heart of gold’
E-scooter revolution: Estimated 200,000 electric two-wheelers have been bought in UK
An estimated 200,000 e scooters have already been bought in the UK, according to a report shared by MailOnline in July.
With lockdown slowing how many people could get around, a survey has claimed up to one in seven UK adults are planning to buy an e-bike or e-scooter this year.
Advice to avoid public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic left many with little choice but to travel to work by foot or by bike.
But for those with less experience, an e-scooter has become a viable option.
The pandemic is part of the reason’s for the government decision to run its trial scheme.
Guidance on the government’s website reads: ‘In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we are delivering a green restart of local transport. To support this and to help mitigate reduced public transport capacity e-scooter trials will be brought forward.’
Her tragic death was first announced on the 35-year-old social media star’s Instagram account.
A message posted said: ‘Hi everyone. This is a horrible thing to have to say over Instagram but we know many of you were expecting to see Emily today and this is the only way to contact you all at once.
‘Emily was involved in an accident yesterday and passed away. We all loved her to bits and she will never be forgotten.
‘She has touched so many lives it’s hard to imaging things without her.
‘She was a very special person.’
Television personality Calum Best – son of footballer George Best – wrote: ‘Jesus Christ no way this is so sad I’m so sorry.’
Instagram influencer Maddie Bruce also paid tribute, saying: ‘I honestly can’t believe this.
‘Sending her friends and family so much love I absolutely loved Emily’s account it was so full of light and positivity.’
Television presenter Zoe Hardman said: ‘Absolutely devastating news. Finding it so hard to understand how this could happened.
‘All my thoughts are with her family.’
BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark tweeted: ‘Really sad to hear the news about Emily Hartridge. She was such a top girl, so talented and a heart of gold.
‘Just makes you remember to live every day like your last. Thinking of her close friends and family with this tragic news. RIP Emily.’
Ms Hartridge had more than 340,000 YouTube subscribers to her channel and a big presence on Twitter and Instagram
Television presenter Zoe Hardman wrote: ‘Absolutely devastating news. Finding it so hard to understand how this could have happened. All my thoughts are with her family’
In a recent Instagram post, Ms Hartridge celebrated Pride in London. She is pictured alongside her friends on Saturday, July 6
Earlier this summer, it emerged that hordes of commuters on electric scooters are still putting themselves at risk at the exact spot where Ms Hartridge died.
Scores of electric scooter riders were seen zipped about at the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea, south west London, on the anniversary of the star’s death in July.
Alarming photos show a man in a T-shirt and jeans with no helmet. He’s clutching a Tesco carrier bag on the handlebars.
When he stopped at traffic lights, he can be seen wearing flip flops.
A man and a woman – both wearing helmets – were snapped riding side-by-side on the pavement, despite it being illegal to ride them on paths.
Another man on an e-scooter dressed all in black zooms around a double-decker bus.
A young man with his hood up wearings a cap instead of a helmet as he zips between cars, including a red 4×4 right behind him.
These pictures were taken between 6am and 9am, showing the growing number of people who are turning to electric scooters to get around, despite the risks.
A man dressed all in black zooms around a corner as a double-decker bus comes up behind him
A man in T-shirt and jeans rides an electric scooter in his flip flops without wearing a helmet. He is clutching a Tesco carrier bag on the handlebars