Lime removed scooter from scene of fatal accident before police arrived - Auckland Councillor Christine Fletcher

Lime removed one of its scooters from the scene of a fatal accident last week before emergency services arrived, an Auckland Councillor has claimed.

A 23-year-old man died on Friday after falling off an e-scooter in St Mary's Bay on Monday last week. 

Christine Fletcher, who is running to be Deputy Mayor on a ticket with John Tamihere, said she has heard from an eyewitness that Lime made it to the scene first and took the scooter away.

"The scooter started to wobble, and stopped. He went over the handlebars, and the person who has advised us of this called the ambulance," Fletcher told The AM Show on Monday morning. 

"Before the ambulance could even arrive on the scene, Lime arrived on the scene and removed the evidence," she said. 

Lime later told the council it had carried out a "thorough assessment" of the scooter involved in the accident and concluded that there was no mechanical fault. 

But Fletcher says it is not good enough for Lime to do its own investigation.

"I think it's quite wrong that the scooter was removed before the ambulance came and before the police came. So what I'm asking for - if council have come out over the weekend and said scooters are safe - I want our own processes investigated."

Fletcher said she could not reveal anything more about the eyewitness as the case was now before the Coroner.

Another witness, Jeff Young, said he was driving along Westhaven Drive when he saw the accident take place.

The scooter rider was travelling around 15km/h to 20km/h in the left-hand lane of the road, he said. At one point he looked like he had a problem and veered to the right.  

"In the process he was thrown over," Young told NZME. "It was like the rear wheel came up and threw him off, which probably told me his front wheel must have locked up in some way, which meant the handlebars could have been locked to one side."

He was not wearing a helmet at the time, Young said.

Young said after witnessing the crash he was joined by a small group of other people, one of whom called emergency services.

They were told by emergency services not to touch the man, Young told NZME.

An ambulance arrived around 15 minutes later, he said.

Fletcher said if it was up to her, Lime scooters would be taken off the streets "as of this morning" and not allowed to be used again until an independent investigation had proven they were safe.

"We have a really hurt and grieving family and what they want is an independent investigation of this."

Fletcher says a number of councillors have also been "screaming out" for a thorough investigation. 

The e-scooters may turn out to be safe, Fletcher says, but until that was proven beyond a doubt, they should be taken off the roads.

"I accept that Lime scooter since 2017 - they're a very new technology - they have a place, I'm not denying that.  But we need regulation and NZTA need to actually act on that. "

In a statement released on Saturday, Lime's NZ public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox said the company was "deeply saddened" by the death and was cooperating with police. 

When asked to comment on Fletcher's claims, Mentjox said:

"We are co-operating fully with the authorities on their investigation and this includes providing the scooter and its data to them. Out of respect for the people affected, we feel it is inappropriate to comment further at this time."

A police spokesperson confirmed that authorities have obtained the exact scooter involved and Lime is cooperating with the investigation.

Police say they were not notified of the incident until "approximately two hours afterwards".