GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a Grand Rapids woman say she died after falling off an electric scooter.
The Grand Rapids Department said officers responded to a home in the area of Lake Drive and Eastern Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Friday to reports of a person who had been going in and out consciousness and was having trouble breathing.
Family confirmed to News 8 the victim was Elle Yared. Police said lifesaving efforts were performed by medical personnel, but Yared died at the home.
Steve Yared said Elle was riding an electric scooter downtown when she fell, causing a brain injury that took her life.
The victim was using one of the rentable motorized scooters seen throughout the city, according to police.
Police say that the 33-year-old victim had fallen several times throughout the evening, including while on a scooter. Investigates said that alcohol may have been a factor in her death.
With no cause of death yet confirmed, Grand Rapids police said the medical examiner is conducting an autopsy.
As loved ones grieve this sudden loss, close friend Derek Allen shared with News 8 more about Yared and her life as a transgender woman.
“She always lived true to herself,” Allen said. “She was just a person who was always wanting the best for those around her.”
Investigators said at this time, they do not believe the incident involved any other pedestrians, scooters or vehicles.
The scooters are part of a pilot program the city rolled out in October in partnership with Spin, which is owned by Ford Motor Company. That program is currently set to end at the end of 2021.
In a Monday statement, the city said it was “aware … of the reports that riding an electric scooter was potentially involved” and that it was working with GRPD as the investigation moves forward. For now, the death has no effect on the pilot program:
“The City of Grand Rapids is aware of the tragic fatality Friday evening and of the reports that riding an electric scooter was potentially involved. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family and friends of the victim.
“Mobile GR is working closely with the Grand Rapids Police Department as it investigates the incident. No conclusions have been reached as the matter remains under investigation.
“We remain committed to the safety of all people who use our City’s diverse transportation network. We strive to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries while increasing equitable mobility options for all users. We encourage all users of our City’s streets – including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and drivers – to exercise safe walking, riding and driving habits, and to be aware of their surroundings. Doing so helps keeps everyone safer.
“As the City continues to explore shared micromobility options through its ongoing pilot program, we continue to promote safe and responsible riding habits, which include riding with a helmet, avoiding riding on sidewalks, and parking micromobility vehicles in a designated parking zone.”Mobile GR
In a Monday statement released to News 8, Spin said it was committed to safety and ready to help the city with its investigation:
“We are committed to the safety of our riders. We are working closely with the City of Grand Rapids as they investigate this incident and stand ready to assist in any way we can. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the individual.”Spin