Man died in mo­bil­ity scooter rollover

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - AM­BER WIL­SON

AN in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled Tas­ma­nian man died from a brain haem­or­rhage fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent on his mo­bil­ity scooter last year, a coro­ner has found.

Keith Thomas Ste­wart, who also suf­fered Tourette syn­drome, os­teoarthri­tis and con­ges­tive car­diac fail­ure, was rid­ing his scooter with­out a hel­met in July last year when he lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle and it rolled, throw­ing him on to the road.

The 73-year-old, who lived in a unit op­po­site the Bea­cons­field District Health Ser­vice af­ter his par­ents passed away, died three days later at Launce­s­ton Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

In his find­ings re­leased this week, Coro­ner Simon Cooper said Mr Ste­wart had used his scooter safely for sev­eral years be­fore the ac­ci­dent.

He added Mr Ste­wart fol­lowed a set of “Keith’s Rules for Scooter Use” in­clud­ing that he wear a high-vis­i­bil­ity vest and a hel­met, nav­i­gate to the flat­test path­ways pos­si­ble and not go out­side a 50km/h or 60km/h zone.

On the day of his death, Mr Ste­wart trav­elled “rather fast” at a speed be­tween 27km/h to 29km/h.

When he was as­sisted by a nurse, Mr Ste­wart mut­tered words to her about hav­ing “pressed the wrong pedal”.

“Mr Ste­wart dis­en­gaged the gear lock on the scooter and free­wheeled down the drive­way, en­abling it to build up speed,” Mr Cooper said.

Al­though Mr Ste­wart died from a head in­jury, a pathol­o­gist noted he also suf­fered con­ges­tive heart fail­ure.

Mr Cooper said it was “cer­tainly pos­si­ble” Mr Ste­wart may not have died if he had been wear­ing a hel­met.

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