The Jakarta Post
Two young adults riding a GrabWheels electric scooter died after being hit by a car outside the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex in Central Jakarta early Monday morning.
Grab Indonesia, which operates the electric scooter sharing service, has issued a condolences statement over the deaths, which came amid ongoing debate on the safety risks faced by electric scooter riders, especially in a metropolis like Jakarta.
The victims have been identified as 18-year-olds Wisnu and Ammar, who together with four friends had rented three electric scooters near FX Sudirman mall. Some of the four friends, named Fajar Wicaksono, Bagus, Wulan and Wanda, also sustained injures in the accident.
“The six of us rented three GrabWheels scooters at around 1 a.m.,” Fajar said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
He said that while riding the scooters, the battery of the scooter Ammar and Wisnu were riding together ran low on power near the Senayan overpass.
The two swapped scooters with Bagus and Wanda, who were riding together.
Ammar and Wisnu then headed toward FX Sudirman. Fajar said they were riding on the side of the street near Gate 3 of the GBK when a Toyota Camry came speeding from behind and hit the six friends.
“Bagus was thrown 10 to 15 meters. I immediately abandoned my scooter and went to help my friends. I went to Bagus. He was conscious, but he had a graze on his left arm and he couldn’t move his ankle,” Fajar said.
He and the others then checked on Ammar and Wisnu, who had been thrown quite far by the car.
They found Ammar and Wisnu unconscious and took them to a nearby hospital. Ammar was found to have head and spinal injuries, while Wisnu sustained head and back injuries. The two were later pronounced dead.
GrabWheels CEO TJ Tham issued a statement on Wednesday reading: “We received the information regarding the accident early Monday morning. All of the Grab management regret the accident and extend our condolences to the friends and families of the victims.”
Tham said Grab had reached out to the victims’ families and offered the company’s full support in their time of need. “Grab is committed to improving the safety of GrabWheels customers by educating our users and cooperating with relevant authorities to ensure their safety.”
Electric scooter users have recently been criticized for inconveniencing pedestrians, damaging footbridges over Jl. Sudirman. The safety of the scooters has also been publicly questioned.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo said electric scooters should not be ridden on sidewalks or footbridges as it inconvenienced pedestrians, plus they should not be used at Car Fee Day events.(ami)