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St. Petersburg scooter collision leaves 81-year-old woman dead, police say

Nobody has been arrested in the crash, which involved a Veo scooter on a sidewalk.
 
Veo scooters are parked in a scooter corral in downtown St. Petersburg in 2020. One of the scooters, available through the ride-sharing service Veo, collided with an 81-year-old woman on a St. Petersburg sidewalk earlier this week. She later died of her injuries.
Veo scooters are parked in a scooter corral in downtown St. Petersburg in 2020. One of the scooters, available through the ride-sharing service Veo, collided with an 81-year-old woman on a St. Petersburg sidewalk earlier this week. She later died of her injuries. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sept. 16, 2023|Updated Sept. 16, 2023

An 81-year-old woman died Saturday morning from injuries she suffered earlier this week, when an electric scooter ran into her on a sidewalk in downtown St. Petersburg, police said.

At about 7:30 p.m. Monday, Silvia Henao and another pedestrian were walking on the sidewalk along the 1000 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg’s Edge District when a Veo scooter carrying two women approached from the opposite direction, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department. The scooter’s driver “failed to stop or take any action,” police said in a news release, and knocked Henao to the ground.

The collision left Henao with life-threatening injuries, police said, and she was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where she died Saturday morning.

The woman piloting the scooter stayed on the scene after the crash and is cooperating with the investigation, police said. Police did not announce any arrests in the case and said an investigation is ongoing.

Veo, a scooter-sharing service, allows users to rent electric scooters for travel in and around downtown St. Petersburg. The company has locations in dozens of cities and college campuses nationwide, including four in Florida.

Scooter rentals in downtown St. Petersburg — which also includes the Razor brand — have been praised by city officials after some initial skepticism when they appeared several years ago.

There have been a handful of local deadly incidents involving electronic scooters reported in recent years. Last year, a scooter driver died after being hit by a car on 34th Street North; police did not say at the time whether the scooter was a rental or belonged to the driver, but it was outside the geographic area available to Veo users. And in 2021, a St. Petersburg man was arrested after he collided on his privately owned scooter with a 77-year-old bicyclist, who died of her injuries. Prosecutors declined to charge the man in that case.

In both those cases, the scooters were in the road, not on the sidewalk, where electric-scooter riding is prohibited.