A woman whose son died after he fell off an electric scooter they were riding together is believed to have fled the country, police said.
Evelyn Ortiz-Luevano was “recklessly” riding a Lime scooter on April 23 along with her 5-year-old son Caiden Reyes-Ortiz last week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to police.
The mother rode the scooter into oncoming traffic and made an evasive maneuver, causing her son to fall off. Reyes-Ortiz was struck by a car and transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. His mother’s injuries did not appear to require hospitalization.
Ortiz-Luevano was charged with child neglect and negligent homicide. She is believed to have skipped her son’s funeral and fled to Mexico immediately after she found out about the charges, police said.
The driver, Renier S. Davison, fled the scene but later turned himself in and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision, causing an accident without a valid driver’s license and driving under suspension.
“We see this as a tragedy that has made a victim of three people,” Davison’s lawyer said in a statement to CNN. “A young mother has lost a child, a child has died and a man has to live with the behavior of a mother that put her child in great danger. Our prayers are that a healing is immediate for all involved.”
Lime recommends riders wear a helmet at all times. Its rules say that only one person can ride a scooter at a time and that riders need to be at least 18.
Lime co-founder and CEO Toby Sun said in a statement that the company is cooperating with the police investigation.
“As a father of a young boy myself, words cannot describe how saddened I am by this tragedy,” Sun said. “Nothing is more sacred than our children and to the family of the victim, my heartfelt sympathies go out to you. Our Tulsa Lime team is cooperating with Tulsa law enforcement and will assist in their investigation in any way we can.”
A rise in scooter-related injuries
The proliferation of electric scooters in cities nationwide has led to more accidents related to them.
Last month, Austin, Texas, officials asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look into scooter-related crashes and injuries.
In January, UCLA researchers published a study about 249 patients treated for scooter-related injuries. They found that only 4% of 249 people interviewed wore helmets. The study also revealed that 40% of those injured experienced head injuries, 32% experienced fractures, and 27% had cuts, bruises and sprains.