Death of e-scooter rider Andrew Hughes was a tragic accident and he had been saving for protective clothing before Blackpool prom crash
and live on Freeview channel 276
Andrew Hughes, 39, died when he lost control of his vehicle on the Middle Walk promenade, on Sunday, June 25.
An inquest, held at Blackpool Town Hall today (07 Dec 2023), heard how Andrew, from Poulton Le Fylde, had been trying to get used to his new e-scooter, which was ‘a lot more powerful than his old one’, when he fell off at around 12.40pm that day.
Inquest for a ‘much loved man’
Paramedics took him to Royal Preston Hospital, where he was found to have a ‘non survivable head injury’. He sadly died that evening, at 9:30pm.
7 members of Andrew’s family attended the court hearing, where Blackpool & Fylde’s Senior Coroner, Alan Wilson, described him as a ‘much loved man’.
Was planning to buy safety clothing when he could afford it
His heartbroken mother told the court: “We had been looking at new protective gear [for him] to wear while riding, as his new scooter was more powerful that his old one.”
Mrs Hughes explained that he was hoping to buy the safety clothing soon, but ‘a very expensive vet bill’ meant he had to wait until next month until he could afford it.
He’d been an experienced rider, who regularly used his e-scooter to commute to and from work.
She added: “I just don’t want people to think he was irresponsible”.
He was a responsible and experienced rider
At 12pm, Andrew had finished a shift at Gentings Casino, on Queen's Promenade, where he worked as a cleaner.
He’d met with a friend, who was a cyclist, and they had been for a ride to South Pier.
Andrew had then left his friend, and turned back the way he’d gone – which is when he’d entered Middle Walk.
This was confirmed by various eyewitness accounts and CCTV footage obtained along the route that Andrew had travelled.
Andrew lost control of his e-scooter
Sgt Laura Kendall, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, told the court that the area where Andrew had lost control of his e-scooter was a ‘straight thoroughfare’, and an asphalt surface which had ‘no defects’.
The exact reason for losing control could not be established. There were no faults with the scooter, and that a post mortem examination revealed that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system when he crashed.
‘He was not riding irresponsibly at all’
CCTV showed that during his commute, he had been seen ‘slowing down for pedestrians’. Sgt Kendall added: “I can confirm that he was not riding irresponsibly at all. In fact, he stopped to let tram passengers past’.
‘Scooter shook from side to side for around 15 seconds’
A number of eyewitness statements were read out by the coroner. One woman described how she heard a ‘hopping and banging sound, like a car backfiring’.
Another account said there had been a ‘violent’ sound, like an ‘engine stuttering’ and then he saw the scooter ‘shook from side to side for around 15 seconds’ before Andrew came off, onto the carriageway.
Although pedestrians thought he had been riding quite fast on the scooter, Sgt Kendall explained that it’s easy to misjudge speed so they can’t rely on the accounts too heavily.
Alan Wilson concluded by saying it was an ‘accidental death’, and as no other vehicle had been involved it could not be considered a road traffic collision.
Following his accident, Andrew’s family released a statement. It reads: “Andrew was a much-loved son, brother, uncle and friend. He could always be counted on for a hug if needed and his positive outlook on life was inspiring.
“He loved Man City, his job at Gentings Casino and buying the latest gadgets.
“His loss has left a huge gap in his family and friends’ lives, we can only try to heal and remember him with love.”