Scooter rider was uninsured, without helmet and light

POSTED: 01/4/12 12:12 PM

Skeleton scooters create additional traffic hazards”

St. Maarten / By Torana Granston – The collision that claimed the life of 21-year-old Jasias Hodge last Friday just after midnight might have been avoided if the deceased had paid more attention to road safety procedures.  Acting police spokesman Major Geovanni Sprott said that Hodge was on the skeleton of an unregistered scooter which was uninsured, with no light and unprotected gas tank. He was also without a helmet when he was struck by an oncoming SUV on the Bush Road as he attempted to exit a private property in the vicinity of Kwik Bargains. The driver of the SUV, A.J., sustained no physical injuries but remains traumatized by the ordeal.

Police responded to the scene ten minutes after midnight. After initial investigations, it was ascertained that the driver of the SUV was neither speeding nor under the influence of alcohol.

Sprott opined that “skeleton” scooters create additional hazards on the roadways for which all drivers need to be on the alert. These types of vehicles are often stolen, stripped and then used by gangs dominated by young adult males. The police have dealt with situations in the past where “skeleton” scooters were used in traffic accidents and crimes because of their versatility and anonymity.

“Many young men upon hearing our sirens would abandon these bikes at the scene and escape on foot,” he added.

Hodge, an employee of a major hardware store on the island, succumbed to head and body injuries after being rushed to the St. Maarten Medical Centre. The police force issued condolence to Hodge’s family in a press release and expressed hope that this unfortunate incident would not be indicative of the year 2012. They are also calling on all motorists to ensure that they adhere to road safety regulations; scooter riders in particular can protect themselves by wearing proper shoes, gloves and helmets, Major Sprott explained.

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