E Scooters

A pair of Bird electric scooters are parked along Grove St. in downtown Boise,Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

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BOISE — Two women riding an e-scooter who fell into a downtown Boise construction hole have filed tort claims against the city of Boise and the Ada County Highway District.

Last week, Emalore Brenneman and Alanna Brenneman filed claims asking for upwards of $50,000 each for their injuries stemming from the July 26 crash in an alley behind Main Street near Capitol Boulevard. The exact amount the two women are asking for is yet to be determined, according to their attorney Matthew Bennett. He did not comment further on the matter.

A tort is not a lawsuit, but it is often the precursor to a lawsuit — it’s simply a notice from one party believes it is entitled to damages from another party.

According to the claim, the two women were both riding one e-scooter and Emalore Brenneman lost control of the vehicle due to the rough surface in the alley. The pair crashed into an orange construction barrier around the 12-foot hole, and because the barriers were not staked down, they tumbled into the pit.

There was no scaffolding, which meant Emalore Brenneman was stuck injured at the bottom of the hole until firefighters arrived at the scene. The claim also said Alanna Brenneman was hit in the face by one of the construction sign, leaving her with “significant injuries” and since the accident she can no longer feel her nose. They still experience chronic pain following the incident, the claim said.

“The City of Boise failed to take appropriate actions to provide safety for the drivers and pedestrians in the alley, located west of Capitol Boulevard,” the claim said. “The failure to stake down the construction barriers and put netting over the massive hole caused significant injuries to Emmalore and her sister.”

Neither ACHD or the city could comment further on the issue because it is an ongoing legal matter; both confirmed the claim has been filed.

E-scooters hit Boise in October 2018 and were celebrated by some as a quick, fun way to get around town without driving. Others expressed concerns about safety, and posed questions about scooters being left in places that block pedestrian access to buildings and public transit.

In order to cope with the new form of transportation, Boise City Council passed a series of ordinances regulating the number of devices, limited their speed to 15 miles per hour and banned two or more people riding on e-scooters at once.

Sixteen-year-old Kyler Davis died in October after he and another rider on the same scooter were hit by a truck in a crosswalk at the intersection of 15th and Main Streets. Davis was killed at the scene, and was the first e-scooter fatality in Boise.

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