Teacher's safety calls after e-scooter hit and run

John Sanders with a bruised right eye and a stitched wound

An e-scooter driver collided with John Sanders in the early hours of Saturday morning. - Credit: J. Sanders

A supply teacher has called for greater safety measures around e-scooter use after suffering nasty injuries in a crash with a rider.

John Sanders, 54, was celebrating his birthday in a friend's garden before walking to his home in at around 12:30am on Saturday, April 17.

Mr Sanders was walking along New Road near to his home in Belton when he was knocked off his feet by a young man riding an e-scooter along the pavement.

The Belton road sign on New Road

The incident took place on New Road near Belton in the early hours of Saturday morning. - Credit: James Weeds

He said: "I looked up at the pavement. It was clear. I took my hat off, checked my phone, and when I looked up again, bang.

"That was it. I was on my back.

 "Someone - a young lad - was standing above me panicking, saying ‘I’m sorry. Oh God, I’m sorry.'

"I told the boy to 'hang on a minute'."

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Mr Sanders was unable to see as his glasses were knocked from his face.

Seeing the light from his phone torch, he then called his wife who was at home with his daughter.

"Blood was dripping on my phone, and that's when it realised it was worse than I thought."

The hill on New Road near Belton.

The hill on New Road near Belton. - Credit: James Weeds

The teacher tried to keep the driver of the scooter with him.

"He was clearly concerned about me, but I think he just panicked," Mr Sanders continued.

"I think he knew he had been a bit careless. There were no lights on his scooter."

As they waited for his family to come, the teacher felt "lousier and lousier" as his face got "wetter and wetter."

He was helped by two passers-by, who stopped to tend to his injuries.

New Road near Belton.

Mr Sanders was walking on the pavement of New Road near Belton. - Credit: James Weeds

"I was worried that the boy was hurt.

"The chap who had turned up went to the boy and asked for his name and if he was alright.

"All the boy kept saying was ‘I’ve gotta go. I need to get home.' And then he went."

Mr Sanders was soon joined by his wife and daughter: "My wife was calm, but my daughter was very distressed when she saw me covered in blood."

He then attended the James Paget University Hospital for further treatment, including stitches and a scan.

John Sanders with a swollen cheek and bruised right eye.

Mr Sanders received two fractures to his eye socket. - Credit: J. Sanders

The doctor said the injury was similar to that of being hit by a motorcycle or car.

The scan showed that he had received two fractures to his eye socket and he was referred to the Norfolk and Norwich ophthalmologist.

"The James Paget team did a great job. I'm a big supporter of the NHS.

"It was just a bit upsetting to see them working so hard at that period of time.

"I got complete support from them, but I just wish they weren’t working under such a strain really."

A bicycle sign on the pavement near Belton.

The pavement is for both pedestrians and bicycles, but should e-scooters be allowed on them? - Credit: James Weeds

Later that morning, Mr Sanders went to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

"I was told I couldn’t go into work next week.

"Now, I'm just waiting to see if there will be any lasting damage and when I can go back to work." 

The incident has caused financial strain on Mr Sanders and his family as he is a supply teacher and currently unable to work.

John Sanders with a swollen right cheek.

Mr Sanders was celebrating with friends moments before the incident took place in the early hours of Saturday morning. - Credit: J. Sanders

The identity of the driver is still unknown.

"If the driver is found, I don’t want to wreck a young person’s life or anything like that, but there has to be some social responsibility," Mr Sanders added.

The teacher is also not against the use of e-scooters: "Anything environmentally friendly is a brilliant idea. I know there’s a huge launch going on for the use of e-scooters, but we’ve got to think about the safety aspects of it.

John Sanders outside his house. His wounds are healing.

Mr Sanders is keen to get back to work, but is waiting to hear when that will be possible. - Credit: James Weeds

"There’s got to be something there to make it safe for people on and off the scooters.

"To me, they can’t share pathways with pedestrians. Anything motorised should be on the road.

"I keep thinking that if it was someone smaller who had been hit or if I was walking rather than standing still, someone could have been killed."

Norfolk Constabulary said: "We would still appeal for anyone with information about the incident to please come forward and share this with us.

"They can call PC Eleanor Cantillon at Great Yarmouth police station on 101 quoting incident number 102 of 19 April 2021."

Anyone with information call also call Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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