The wife of a Tauranga man who was seriously injured in an electric scooter crash at Mt Maunganui said her husband is “lucky to be alive”.
Mate Glamuzina, 38, was believed to be riding down the Mount on his e-scooter when he crashed and was taken to hospital with a broken neck, spine and cracked ribs.
His wife, Ulenj Glamuzina, said she believed he survived only because he was wearing a good helmet, which prevented him from cracking his skull.
“Mate can’t remember how the crash happened, so I guess we’ll never know. But what we do know is e-scootering is extremely dangerous and a crash can be devastating,” Ulenj said.
She believed he was scooting downhill and may have lost control.
Ulenj said she called Glamuzina’s mobile when he did not return home on Thursday evening, but an ambulance staffer picked up the phone.
“I rushed to Tauranga Hospital and saw Mate just lying there and he couldn’t move. He was conscious, and the first words he said to me were ‘I’m sorry’,” she said.
“The doctor told us about his injuries and it was really distressing to see him lying there in pain.”
Ulenj said her husband was a life coach who was passionate about helping others. The couple have a 2-year-old child.
Glamuzina had spinal surgery yesterday and Ulenj said doctors indicated it would be the first of several.
He had just bought the e-scooter about five months ago, but Ulenj said there was no way she would allow him to get back on it – even if he fully recovered.
“It may not look like it, but riding an e-scooter is extremely dangerous even if you’re wearing safety gear,” Ulenj said.
“Riders can go 40 to 50km/h, that’s a speed of a car, but without the protection of a shell.”
It was reported this year that e-scooter injuries have cost taxpayers more than $7 million since their launch in October 2018.
Between October 2018 and January this year, ACC recorded 4382 e-scooter injury claims.
ACC’s SAFE RIDING TIPS
• Share the space: respect the people around you by allowing space when passing, and if on the road, follow the road rules.
• Wear a helmet: it should fit nice and snug, and have two fingers of space from your eyebrows. If you do fall off and have a serious knock to the body or head, see a doctor.
• Start off slow: if you’ve never ridden a scooter before, get a feel for it first and find your balance before you go racing off.
• Have fun: Most of all, enjoy being out and about, and trying something new.
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