Woman warns others after electric scooter crash sends brother to ICU

SAN DIEGO -- A woman is warning others about dockless electric scooters after her brother was seriously hurt while riding one.

The crash happened on June 11 around 8:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Washington Street. According to police, 41-year-old George Gardikas drove into the path of a car that was exiting northbound state Route 163. Officers said Gardikas was not wearing a helmet and was cited for DUI. He has been in the ICU at a local hospital ever since.

“It’s been a nightmare for us,” Afrodite Gardikas, George's sister, said. “He had suffered six broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a broken scapula. After about 24 hours here in the hospital, his lungs collapsed."

In a statement, a Bird spokesperson said: "Our hearts go out to those impacted by the accident in San Diego in which a Bird rider was injured. According to reports, the rider was intoxicated and not wearing a helmet. Rider safety is a top priority at Bird, and we will work closely with law enforcement on the investigation and will provide updates when available."

The company adds that it takes several steps to inform riders about how to safely and lawfully ride the scooters. Bird also said they provide free helmets to all riders who request one.

However, Gardikas feels that is not enough.

“He may have made a wrong decision in that regard, but there’s a sense of responsibility I feel on the manufacturer and the companies that put them out, and the city,” Gardikas said. "I know with the placement of them and the easy accessibility of them, it’s a choice that a lot of people make."
Hoping to make a difference, she spoke to San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward. Ward sent FOX 5 the following statement:

“My colleagues and I are committed to moving forward with regulations that will ensure the safety and well-being of the public. I look forward to engaging the community in this process as we search for solutions to the issues we are seeing with this technology.”

Gardikas said she is hoping changes are made sooner rather than later.

“I don’t want anybody to have to go through this and if it makes a difference for one person that’s enough for us,” Gardikas said. “Think twice before you get on them. Your sister, brother, loved one, mother, father, child -- this could happen to them."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for George Gardikas' medical bills.

It is illegal to ride the scooters under the influence, without a helmet and on sidewalks. Here's a full list of the laws when it comes to riding a motorized scooter.