YouTube star in UK's first fatal electric scooter crash

Emily Hartridge posted about health and fitness to her 340,000 subscribers

Electric scooters from Swedish startup VOI and Belin-based Tier sit parked side-by-side in Stockholm, Sweden July 7, 2019. Picture taken July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Esha Vaish
Powered by automated translation

A prominent YouTuber and television personality has become the first person in the UK to be killed in an electric scooter crash.

Emily Hartridge, 35, was hit by a lorry in south-west London on Friday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene. She had 340,000 YouTube subscribers and 45,000 Instagram followers and often posted about mental health and fitness.

“We all loved her to bits and she will never be forgotten. She has touched so many lives it's hard to imagine things without her. She was a very special person,” said a message from Ms Hartridge’s family on her Instagram.

Among those to publicly comment was fellow TV presenter Davina McCall who said: “My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers.”

The use of electric scooters, which can reach speeds of 45 kilometres per hour, is controversial after a number of deaths and injuries around the world. According to UK legislation they can only be used on private property and not on public roads or pavements but the government is considering legalising them.

Supporters say they are an environmentally friendly transport system but others say they are a nuisance.

Speaking last week to The Evening Standard, London's transport chief Mike Brown said it was inevitable electric scooters would be licensed soon but warned that local authorities needed to have an input.

“I was on the Millennium Bridge the other night and there was some guy on an electric scooter rocketing down the middle. I did think to myself ‘This is actually not that safe',” he said.

“I think we have to get some guidance between us and the Department for Transport, because it’s not just a London phenomenon, it’s all over the country.”

Germany has allowed scooters on the road but imposed a speed limit of 12 kph.