No one wants to be involved in the first electric scooter death in Atlanta, but the family of a 20-year-old who was killed last week didn’t get a choice in the matter.
Despite their devastation, they’re calling for action.
The family of Eric Amis Jr. is asking legislators to ban scooters from the road after he was hit and killed by a car while riding a Lime scooter early Friday, Channel 2 Action News reported.
“I know that they’re a convenience for people, but we want them taken off the roads,” David Roy, Amis’ uncle, told Channel 2.
Amis was studying for his GED while working jobs at a church and a hotel downtown, his family said. He was on his way home from his hotel job when the wreck happened.
Credit: Channel 2 Action News
Credit: Channel 2 Action News
Amis was riding the scooter out of the parking lot of the West Lake MARTA station just after midnight when he was hit by a red Cadillac SUV traveling south on West Lake Avenue, Atlanta police previously told AJC.com.
It was the first fatal accident involving a “dockless electric scooter” investigated by Atlanta police.
The SUV’s driver told police she tried to avoid Amis “but was unable to do so in time,” department spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty previously said. The speed limit on that stretch of West Lake Avenue is 25 mph.
She stayed at the scene and has been cooperative with investigators, Daugherty said. Investigators have not determined whether charges will be filed.
“He just died like a dog in the middle of the street, and something needs to be done about it,” Sandra Garrett, his mother, told the news station.
While they mourn Amis’ death, his family said they have a new purpose, which they hope will save lives. In addition to advocating for scooters to be banned from roads, they’re talking to legislators about safety training and mandatory helmets for riders.
“If we can save the next person from dying, I think he wouldn’t die in vain,” Eric Amis Sr., his father, told Channel 2.
A vigil for Amis was held at the West Lake station at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Friends and family of Eric Amis Jr are out tonight to honor the first man killed on an e-scooter in Atlanta. He died last week. Many of them want new legislation to make riding scooters safer. pic.twitter.com/OXm7xANs0H
Electric scooters, which are narrow, two-wheeled devices, can be rented through smartphone apps that charge by the mile. The devices are considered an alternative mode of transportation for short trips, and they’re growing in popularity in urban areas, with Atlanta having at least four operating rental companies.
In a previous statement sent to AJC.com, California-based Lime said, “We're devastated to learn of this tragic incident in Atlanta and our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. We have been in touch with local authorities to offer support and stand ready to assist however we can.”
In recent months, Atlanta city officials have tried to get a handle on scooter-related injuries since the devices became a prominent fixture on sidewalks last spring.
While no data exists for Atlanta, Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest hospital in Georgia, estimated it receives between 80 and 100 scooter-related injuries per month, AJC.com reported in March. The injuries range from serious head injuries to broken limbs.
Prior to the accident Friday morning, local authorities had not reported any deaths related to electric scooters. However, a Woodstock man was killed in an electric scooter accident in March while on business in San Diego.
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.