Scooter rider's concern for pensioner

A MOBILITY scooter owner at the centre of a hit-and-run search today told of his concern for the pensioner he knocked into the road, breaking his hip.Paul Quartermain today revealed he was the driver of the scooter which bowled 77-year-old Derek Hunwicks over and left him sprawling in Grimwade Street, Ipswich.

A MOBILITY scooter owner at the centre of a hit-and-run search today told of his concern for the pensioner he knocked into the road, breaking his hip.

Paul Quartermain today revealed he was the driver of the scooter which bowled 77-year-old Derek Hunwicks over and left him sprawling in Grimwade Street, Ipswich.

Sending his best wishes to Mr Hunwicks as he recuperates at his Ipswich home, the 42-year-old said: “I hope he has a speedy recovery. I'm going to get him a 'get well' card now that I know he was hurt pretty severely.”

The accident happened as Mr Quartermain reversed his £2,000 scooter, which has a top speed of 8mph, out of his front gate on to Grimwade Street just as Mr Hunwicks walked along the footpath outside.


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Mr Quartermain said: “I reversed out of my driveway at 2mph - my scooter can only do 2mph in reverse.

“I was reversing and turning to the left and couldn't see him in the mirror.

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“I was about to stop reversing when he was just there all of a sudden. The next thing he was falling off the kerb.”

Mr Hunwicks, of Chilton Road, Ipswich, fell into the road and was rescued by passers-by who helped him until paramedics arrived.

He was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he underwent an operation on his hip. After the accident, which happened on November 8, he remained in hospital until November 17 but is now at home recovering and being cared for by his wife of 54 years, Barbara.

Amid the commotion Mr Hunwicks never knew who drove the scooter and contacted The Evening Star to appeal for witnesses.

Suffolk police also investigated and officers have spoken to Mr Quartermain and a witness about what happened. They say they are satisfied with his account and will not be pursuing a prosecution.

Today Mr Quartermain said that he left his name and contact details with one of the people at the scene and had waited for the paramedics to arrive and treat Mr Hunwicks.

However those details were not passed on, leaving Mr Hunwicks thinking that the scooter driver had abandoned him in the road.

Mr Quartermain, who has a false leg after losing his right leg in a motorcycle crash in 1986, said: “It was 9.15am and I was going to get a bus at 9.30am to go to a meeting in Sudbury so I had to go, but I did wait until the paramedics turned up.

“I tried phoning Accident and Emergency later that day but it was a different shift and they didn't know what happened to him.

“I was worried about him all through the day and all week.”

Mr Hunwicks said he was relieved to have discovered who hit him.

He said: “I feel a bit better that he has said that. I understand that these things can happen.

“I'm glad the police have established exactly what happened. I'm just trying to avoid this sort of problem happening again.”

BRITAIN'S ageing population has seen the number of mobility scooters on our roads and footpaths steadily rising.

The Department for Transport today said only mobility scooters which are capable of travelling at 8mph and used on roads need to be registered with the DVLA.

Recent research suggested that many of Britain's 250,000 mobility scooter owners were riding illegally because their vehicles weren't registered.

However many scooters in the UK are built to travel at speeds of about 4mph and those models do not need to be registered as usually their use is limited to the footpath.

The department said it was currently evaluating the use and spread of scooters across the country and was considering the implications of the increasing numbers of the scooters now being used because of the UK's ageing population.

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