Car strikes senior riding scooter

Bob Clark

A Hornell man was hospitalized Sunday afternoon when his motorized wheelchair was struck by a car.

Hornell police reported Charles L. Converse, 79, of 88 Hill St., Hornell, was crossing Maple City Drive around 1:55 p.m. Sunday in a motorized scooter when he was struck by a car.

According to police, a 1999 Pontiac sedan, driven by Margaret D. Smith, 42, of 34 Pine St., Hornell, was stopped facing west on Main Street waiting to turn left onto Maple City Drive. When the light turned green, Smith told police she made her turn and did not see Converse until she struck him.

Converse was transported to St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell for minor injuries and was discharged from the emergency room, according to a hospital spokesperson.

No charges were filed in the accident.

Hornell Police Chief Ted Murray said issues with motorized wheelchairs are not major issues, but drivers should be on the lookout.

“They should always be aware of anything in the roadway,” Murray said, adding drivers need to be careful of motorized wheelchairs and scooters.

Murray did not say whether or not there were any flags on Converse’s scooter, but added those in motorized wheelchairs and scooters should add visibility aids to their vehicles and stay out of roadways.

“I think anything they could do to increase visibility is a good thing,” he said. “But the motorized scooters aren’t made for traveling in the roadways, but on the sidewalks.”

While Converse was in a crosswalk and not in the roadway, Murray said those in the vehicles should pay attention to where they are.

“In the past, we’ve had a couple of issues that have been addressed,” he said of motorized wheelchairs in roadways.

The Evening Tribune