16-Year-Old E-Scooter Rider Dies in Collision With Tow Truck in New Jersey

What to Know

  • A teen riding an e-scooter has died in a collision with a tow truck just weeks after the Lime scooters hit the streets of Elizabeth
  • The crash was reported Thursday night at the commercial intersection of Elizabeth Avenue and South Spring Street
  • The victim has been identified as 16-year-old Nelson Gomez

A 16-year-old riding an electric scooter has died in a collision with a tow truck just weeks after the Lime scooters hit the streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The crash was reported Thursday night at the commercial intersection of Elizabeth Avenue and South Spring Street. Surveillance video shows the e-scooter rider being struck and killed by a tow truck as the vehicle was apparently making a right-hand turn.

Witnesses at the scene say the rider, who has since been identified as Nelson Gomez, was laying face down on the ground and wasn't moving. The truck driver stayed at the scene.

Good Samaritans came to the teen's help after he was run over, but he did not survive the impact. 

It was unknown if any charges will be filed.

Friends describe Gomez as someone who was always smiling and head big plans for the future.

Drivers in the area tell NBC New York that the new edition of electric scooters on the streets are another hazard they have to watch out for.

"As a driver you have to be more aware because you don't want things like this to happen," Johny Anacona said.

Police are urging e-scooters rider to operate them safely and obey traffic rules.

Lime scooters began operating in Elizabeth at the start of November, with 400 of them available for residents to rent at $1 plus $.20 per minute of ride time.

In a statement to News 4, Lime said: "We are absolutely devastated by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the victim's family and friends during this incredibly difficult time."

The company also added that it is cooperating with Elizabeth officials. 

Although it is against Lime's rider agreement for anyone under the age of 18 to ride the scooters, many in the community now are calling the the e-scooters to "ride out" of the city after the teen's death.

A growing number of teenagers gathered aftershool Thursday at a makeshift memorial near the scene of the tragic incident. 

"They are a little dangerous because they don't provide head gear," Anthony Mateo, of Elizabeth, says.

The city's mayor has also vowed that it will discuss the parameters of its relationship with the scooter company, but community advocates say there is no time to waste. 

"We want those [scooters] taken off the streets today -- not tomorrow," Salaam Ismial, a youth and community advocate, said.

In a message posted to the school district's website, Superintendent of Elizabeth Schools Olga Hugelmeyer said that grief counseling will be provided to students and faculty of Dwyer Technology Academy.

"We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the student who passed as they endure this tremendous loss. May they find peace during this difficult time," the message read in part. 

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