Mobility scooter rider dies after driving through glass wall and falling 12ft in Fareham

Mobility scooter rider dies after driving through glass wall and falling 12ft

The wreckage of the mobility scooter.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN elderly man plunged to his death while riding a mobility scooter out of a doctors’ surgery.

The 82-year-old man fell 12ft from a covered walkway outside Fareham Health Centre in Osborn Road.

Police say he had left the building through automatic double doors and his mobility scooter smashed through the first floor walkway’s glass walls.

The scooter, surrounded by shattered glass and wood, could be seen on its side with its lights still on after the accident, which happened at around 2.50pm yesterday.

 

A police cordon was set up around the scene as detectives worked to establish how the accident had happened.

Shocked shoppers and employees from nearby Fareham Shopping Centre, the town’s library, council offices and Ferneham Hall saw the aftermath of the accident as they left work.

Dan Stratton, 30, from Osborn Road South in Fareham, said he saw the mobility scooter soon after it had crashed to the ground.

He said: “I saw his buggie was on its side and everyone was gathered round it.

“He was on the ground – he was out cold. He was just lying there.”

Dr Richard Polson, 53, from Botley, said he heard the commotion from where he works at the nearby Osborn Centre.

He said: “I heard a bit of shouting and I think I heard the sound of something falling. It sounded like a bit of roof falling off.”

Paramedics and the air ambulance were called to the scene but the man, from Fareham, was pronounced dead.

Staff at the health centre, which is currently undergoing a refurbishment, told the Daily Echo they were unable to comment.

Inger Hebden from Southampton , Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Primary Care Trust Cluster said in a statement: “Everyone at the health centre is shocked and saddened by what has happened.

“We will, of course, do all we can to assist the police in their investigation.”

Detective Sergeant Fiona Wright from Fareham CID said they were working with the Health and Safety Executive to investigate what happened.

She said: “The man had exited the building through the double doors. His mobility scooter then went through the glass wall of the walkway.

“Sadly, he fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and are working with our colleagues in the Roads Policing unit and the Health and Safety Executive.

“I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed what happened or who can help with our enquiries.”

Anyone with information should call Fareham police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Comments (22)

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4:37pm Thu 20 Sep 12

sarfhamton says...

Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced. sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Shoong says...

sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences.
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences. Shoong
  • Score: 1

5:20pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Paraletic says...

Shoong wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences.
They are not that heavy, I have one for the use of mobilitty impaired residents in my flats, and I've tried it against the glass doors of the entrance. The doors win. There is something very wrong here as I would have expected at least metal railings at that point.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences.[/p][/quote]They are not that heavy, I have one for the use of mobilitty impaired residents in my flats, and I've tried it against the glass doors of the entrance. The doors win. There is something very wrong here as I would have expected at least metal railings at that point. Paraletic
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Thu 20 Sep 12

cantthinkofone says...

Paraletic wrote:
Shoong wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences.
They are not that heavy, I have one for the use of mobilitty impaired residents in my flats, and I've tried it against the glass doors of the entrance. The doors win. There is something very wrong here as I would have expected at least metal railings at that point.
They do vary in size, weight, and speed quite a bit.

I do agree with your point though. Even the biggest ones aren't exactly a tank, and you'd expect the sides of the walkway to be sturdy enough to prevent an accident like this.

Condolences to the poor man's family and friends.
[quote][p][bold]Paraletic[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]Could have been reinforced, they are pretty heavy with the batteries I think. My condolences.[/p][/quote]They are not that heavy, I have one for the use of mobilitty impaired residents in my flats, and I've tried it against the glass doors of the entrance. The doors win. There is something very wrong here as I would have expected at least metal railings at that point.[/p][/quote]They do vary in size, weight, and speed quite a bit. I do agree with your point though. Even the biggest ones aren't exactly a tank, and you'd expect the sides of the walkway to be sturdy enough to prevent an accident like this. Condolences to the poor man's family and friends. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

My condolences to the poor man's family and friends but I do agree with the comments saying there was something funny with the glass because the windows in modern high-rise office buildings are strong enough that you could theoretically run and jump at them without them breaking, though of course, given the right conditions they will break but technically this walkway should have had the exact same type of glass used on it.
My condolences to the poor man's family and friends but I do agree with the comments saying there was something funny with the glass because the windows in modern high-rise office buildings are strong enough that you could theoretically run and jump at them without them breaking, though of course, given the right conditions they will break but technically this walkway should have had the exact same type of glass used on it. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Maine Lobster says...

A very sad incident but how this gentleman manged to do this has to be questionned. An increasing number of accidents involving very elderly people in cars and other rmachines ought to suggest there should be some sort of regular testing to check on the driver's ability and prevent this type of awful outcome.
A very sad incident but how this gentleman manged to do this has to be questionned. An increasing number of accidents involving very elderly people in cars and other rmachines ought to suggest there should be some sort of regular testing to check on the driver's ability and prevent this type of awful outcome. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Huey says...

These scooters are dangerous things frequently driven by the frail and feeble.
It would have killed anyone it landed on,
What a way to go.
BAN THESE DANGEROUS MACHINES
It's just asking for trouble otherwise.
These scooters are dangerous things frequently driven by the frail and feeble. It would have killed anyone it landed on, What a way to go. BAN THESE DANGEROUS MACHINES It's just asking for trouble otherwise. Huey
  • Score: -2

9:56pm Thu 20 Sep 12

dolomiteman says...

This thread is going to turn into a elderly drivers rant from the Echo forums residents armchair experts?

Condolences to the family involved.
This thread is going to turn into a elderly drivers rant from the Echo forums residents armchair experts? Condolences to the family involved. dolomiteman
  • Score: 1

10:02pm Thu 20 Sep 12

cantthinkofone says...

Huey wrote:
These scooters are dangerous things frequently driven by the frail and feeble.
It would have killed anyone it landed on,
What a way to go.
BAN THESE DANGEROUS MACHINES
It's just asking for trouble otherwise.
And confine the majority of perfectly competent & responsible users to their front rooms.

Brilliant. Just... brilliant.
[quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: These scooters are dangerous things frequently driven by the frail and feeble. It would have killed anyone it landed on, What a way to go. BAN THESE DANGEROUS MACHINES It's just asking for trouble otherwise.[/p][/quote]And confine the majority of perfectly competent & responsible users to their front rooms. Brilliant. Just... brilliant. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 1

10:09pm Thu 20 Sep 12

MGRA says...

The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly...
The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly... MGRA
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

MGRA wrote:
The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly...
Exactly but you do also have to ask, what caused the man to hit the glass wall in the first place? Did he have a heart attack and lose control? Did he fall asleep? Or did his steering and throttle break? What ever it was, one thing is certain, that glass should never have given way so easily and there should have been extra precautions in place JUST in case as well.
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly...[/p][/quote]Exactly but you do also have to ask, what caused the man to hit the glass wall in the first place? Did he have a heart attack and lose control? Did he fall asleep? Or did his steering and throttle break? What ever it was, one thing is certain, that glass should never have given way so easily and there should have been extra precautions in place JUST in case as well. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Thu 20 Sep 12

legod7 says...

MGRA wrote:
The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly...
How do you know. Have you been called in by the police as an expert.Or can you tell just by looking at the photos.
Moron
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: The whole glass panel and frame gave way so dribbling morons like "Huey" have missed the real problem here, the people who installed that glass screening without anchoring it to the platform properly...[/p][/quote]How do you know. Have you been called in by the police as an expert.Or can you tell just by looking at the photos. Moron legod7
  • Score: 0

7:54am Fri 21 Sep 12

dogbruce says...

sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious....
Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim!
sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious.... Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim! dogbruce
  • Score: 0

8:52am Fri 21 Sep 12

jimbobbo says...

I must admit, when I first read the headline I merely skimmed it, and the first scene that came into my mind was that of a Batman film. In particular, the one where Christian Bale (who plays Batman) drove his Batmobile through a skyscraper window only to land on the road below and drive off at speed in his pursuit for a crime-free Gotham.

That scene is, regretfully, not the case here, and after further reading I feel that I have to pass on my condolences to the family of the poor man.
I must admit, when I first read the headline I merely skimmed it, and the first scene that came into my mind was that of a Batman film. In particular, the one where Christian Bale (who plays Batman) drove his Batmobile through a skyscraper window only to land on the road below and drive off at speed in his pursuit for a crime-free Gotham. That scene is, regretfully, not the case here, and after further reading I feel that I have to pass on my condolences to the family of the poor man. jimbobbo
  • Score: 0

9:38am Fri 21 Sep 12

Ford Prefect says...

Once again I am astonished that the Echo is allowing comments on a story like this. A man has died and all the resident "experts" are speculating on how that happened. This can only add to the distress of his family.

The police are investigating. I expect the Health and Safety Executive will also be called in and eventually there will be an inquest. Until then, shouldn't we all just keep our opinions to ourselves?

Please close the comment facility on this story.
Once again I am astonished that the Echo is allowing comments on a story like this. A man has died and all the resident "experts" are speculating on how that happened. This can only add to the distress of his family. The police are investigating. I expect the Health and Safety Executive will also be called in and eventually there will be an inquest. Until then, shouldn't we all just keep our opinions to ourselves? Please close the comment facility on this story. Ford Prefect
  • Score: 1

2:23pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Snowman says...

.. On first reading this my first question was "Why breakable glass"? Surely for the safety of anyone, plexiglass or similar should be used ..

Condolences to the poor man his family and friends ..
.. On first reading this my first question was "Why breakable glass"? Surely for the safety of anyone, plexiglass or similar should be used .. Condolences to the poor man his family and friends .. Snowman
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Huey says...

dogbruce wrote:
sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious....
Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim!
I see it daily.
These problems will only get worse until some kind of action is taken.
On the 2nd Sept some crazed fool did a hit and run on a scooter in Dorchester.
They are becoming as bad as boy racers.
[quote][p][bold]dogbruce[/bold] wrote: sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious.... Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim![/p][/quote]I see it daily. These problems will only get worse until some kind of action is taken. On the 2nd Sept some crazed fool did a hit and run on a scooter in Dorchester. They are becoming as bad as boy racers. Huey
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Fri 21 Sep 12

luckypigs says...

why are some health centers, surgeries on floor above ground floor, there is no real need many places have other levels but sould only be used by generally fit or otherwise younger people, lifts exist in most. but should refrain those in propelled chairs being used. no one to blame directly but those reinforsed large windows dating back to the seventys wern't built with mobility scooters in mind. All our condolenses going out to the family. this could have been prvented
why are some health centers, surgeries on floor above ground floor, there is no real need many places have other levels but sould only be used by generally fit or otherwise younger people, lifts exist in most. but should refrain those in propelled chairs being used. no one to blame directly but those reinforsed large windows dating back to the seventys wern't built with mobility scooters in mind. All our condolenses going out to the family. this could have been prvented luckypigs
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Sat 22 Sep 12

chunky_lover says...

dogbruce wrote:
sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious....
Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim!
You could drive past and chuck a bucket of water over the driver!
[quote][p][bold]dogbruce[/bold] wrote: sad story but many drivers of mobility scooters should not be allowed out on them ,Shirley High Street there is one scooter driver who just drove off the pavement without looking into the path a of a veichle the veichle had to swerve to avoid the scooter and the scooter driver was still oblivious.... Another case the driver of a light blue scooter spends all day on the pub in Shirley again ! and will get on the scooter worse for wear....Hamble another scooter every day drives in the middle of the road and wont let anyone pass gim![/p][/quote]You could drive past and chuck a bucket of water over the driver! chunky_lover
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Sun 23 Sep 12

Niel says...

sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC.

SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting.
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC. SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting. Niel
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Sun 23 Sep 12

Inform Al says...

Niel wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC.

SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting.
The original picture with this story showed the viaduct the scooter fell from. There was no sign of any metal uprights and as the glass panel was at least 12 feet long there would have been at least 3 of them by your figures, or are you saying he managed to take all 3 of them out? Also most of these scooters only have one speed setting and a top speed of 4mph
[quote][p][bold]Niel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC. SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting.[/p][/quote]The original picture with this story showed the viaduct the scooter fell from. There was no sign of any metal uprights and as the glass panel was at least 12 feet long there would have been at least 3 of them by your figures, or are you saying he managed to take all 3 of them out? Also most of these scooters only have one speed setting and a top speed of 4mph Inform Al
  • Score: 0

9:31am Mon 24 Sep 12

Niel says...

Inform Al wrote:
Niel wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.
It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC.

SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting.
The original picture with this story showed the viaduct the scooter fell from. There was no sign of any metal uprights and as the glass panel was at least 12 feet long there would have been at least 3 of them by your figures, or are you saying he managed to take all 3 of them out? Also most of these scooters only have one speed setting and a top speed of 4mph
Yes the glass panels were ~3 feet wide with metal glazing bars between!

A lot of these buggy's in the Fareham area seem to have the two speed option, giving an 8 mph top speed or 4 mph in 'slow' mode, of course most 'drive' them in an "all or nothing" style, so even with soft-start they're up to full power/speed in a matter of a few feet... And it would appear, from the lights (headlight and tail light) and size, it probably was an 8 MPH unit.
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Niel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Terrible news, you would have thought the glass would be reinforced.[/p][/quote]It WAS reinforced glass, with metal uprights every 3 feet, and a 6" deep ~2" thick wooden beam at hand-height a hand-rail was attached to IIRC. SWTSMBO worked in a health centre and they had no end of incidents where these buggies were being driven dangerously and people getting hurt as a result. It doesn't help they won't use the low speed setting more suitable for enclosed spaces (4 mph average walking speed) but zoom about using the high speed setting.[/p][/quote]The original picture with this story showed the viaduct the scooter fell from. There was no sign of any metal uprights and as the glass panel was at least 12 feet long there would have been at least 3 of them by your figures, or are you saying he managed to take all 3 of them out? Also most of these scooters only have one speed setting and a top speed of 4mph[/p][/quote]Yes the glass panels were ~3 feet wide with metal glazing bars between! A lot of these buggy's in the Fareham area seem to have the two speed option, giving an 8 mph top speed or 4 mph in 'slow' mode, of course most 'drive' them in an "all or nothing" style, so even with soft-start they're up to full power/speed in a matter of a few feet... And it would appear, from the lights (headlight and tail light) and size, it probably was an 8 MPH unit. Niel
  • Score: 0

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