How YouTube star Emily Hartridge became the first victim of electric scooters on UK roads

TV presenter and YouTube star Emily Hartridge is believed to have been the first e-scooter rider to die on a British road.

The 35-year-old was killed in a collision with a lorry in July last year. A statement on her Instagram page the day after her death said: ‘We all loved her to bits and she will never be forgotten.’

Earlier this month, a coroner ruled she had been riding her e-scooter too fast with an under-inflated tyre at the time of the crash. 

The inquest, held at Westminster coroner’s court, Central London, heard that Emily, of Hambledon, Hampshire, died instantly of her injuries following the collision in Batttersea, South-West London. 

Dr Fiona Wilcox concluded that her death was accidental. 

YouTube star Emily Hartridge was riding an e-scooter too fast with an underinflated tyre when she was killed in a crash with a lorry, a coroner has ruled

The presenter, 35, died instantly of her injuries following the collision in Battersea, south London last July

In notes seen by the BBC, she wrote: ‘Ms Hartridge was riding an electric scooter on Queenstown Road when she lost control after passing over an inspector hatch in the cycle lane and was thrown under the path of an HGV.

‘She died instantly of injuries sustained by the HGV driving over her.

‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death.’

At the time, e-scooters were illegal to ride in the UK other than on private land with permission, but the were given the green light by the Department for Transport earlier this year to help cut down on congestion on public transport amid the Covid crisis.

The new rules state the vehicles can’t be ridden on pavements, are limited to a speed of 15.5mph and that helmets should be worn. 

Ms Hartridge was on her way to a fertility clinic when she tragically became the first person in the UK to have been involved in a fatal crash on an e-scooter

A coroner said at Ms Hartridge’s inquest: ‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death’

However, they remain controversial and, earlier this summer, Future of Transport Minister Rachel Maclean told Parliament that it was ‘not a done deal’ that the e-scooters would stay after the 12-month trial ends. 

‘This is a very big market for e-scooter operators and we don’t want to rush into something that we may regret doing later,’ she added.

Just before her death, Ms Hartridge’s professional and personal life were both on the up. She attracted more than 340,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she would post an episode of her show, 10 Reasons Why… every Monday, and boasted more than 40,000 followers on Instagram.

In recent years she had interviewed the likes of Russell Brand, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, as well as hosting Virgin Media’s first YouTube Channel, The Snap. 

Ms Hartridge’s grieving boyfriend Jacob Hazell said last year he and the presenter – who he described as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ – were overcome with excitement as they planned for a baby. 

Earlier this month, a coroner ruled she had been riding her e-scooter too fast with an under-inflated tyre at the time of the crash

YouTube star Emily Hartridge, 35, lost her life in a collision with a lorry as she circled the roundabout while riding an e-scooter bought for her by her boyfriend Jacob Hazell, 28, as a birthday present less than a week before

The 28-year-old said everything in their lives was ‘going right’. 

But in a heart wrenching interview, he recalled his creeping sense of dread when the clinic said Ms Hartridge had failed to turn up to the appointment. 

And he revealed his anxiety then turned into devastation after stumbling across the news that his girlfriend had died in a collision with a lorry in Battersea on Friday 12 July.

‘I am devastated. I got up first to leave home at 5am. I gave her a kiss on the lips. She was half asleep and mumbled, ‘I love you’. I’m so pleased I did that,’ Mr Hazell told the Sun.   

In her YouTube vlogs, Ms Hartridge would often speak candidly about her and Mr Hazell’s parenthood plans and had previously revealed she was getting her eggs frozen.

However, as Ms Hartridge was on her way to the take the next steps towards pregnancy, she was tragically killed on a roundabout in what is believed to be the UK’s first ever e-scooter accident.

And although Mr Hazell is still raw from the horrific crash and in mourning, he has revealed that some people have blamed him for his girlfriend’s death.

The presenter was killed after the e-scooter she was riding was involved in a collision with a HGV in Battersea, south west London last year (pictured, the scene of the crash)

The personal trainer said: ‘People have told me I’m to blame because I bought it for her, but I can’t think that. Her family have told me I’m not.’ 

Mr Hazell said that when he first presented Ms Hartridge with the vehicle she was ‘over the moon’ but ‘knew the risks’ and would always wear a helmet.

He also said he does not think the vehicles should be banned, despite the accident leaving a ‘hole’ in his life.

He said: ‘We had just moved in together and were planning a family. I’m heartbroken she has gone…

‘I don’t think they should be banned for adults, as they are electric, go a maximum of 20mph and don’t do any harm to the environment.’          

In one of her last online posts, Ms Hartridge gushed she and Mr Hazell were hoping to start a family together, adding: ‘Jake is incredible and I feel beyond grateful to have him in my life.’   

Footage has since re-emerged of Ms Hartridge bringing together her family and friends for the Channel 4 series, ‘Oh S***, I’m 30’, which aired in 2016. 

The TV presenter was described as ‘one of a kind’ during a mock funeral service she hosted for a TV show three years before she was tragically killed.  

Davina McCall led tributes to the young presenter. She wrote: ‘My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers.’ 

Her tragic death was first announced on the 35-year-old social media star’s Instagram account. 

A message posted said: ‘Hi everyone. This is a horrible thing to have to say over Instagram but we know many of you were expecting to see Emily today and this is the only way to contact you all at once.

‘Emily was involved in an accident yesterday and passed away. We all loved her to bits and she will never be forgotten.

‘She has touched so many lives it’s hard to imaging things without her.

‘She was a very special person.’   

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