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Teen on Motorized Skateboard Hurt in Crash With Councilman

September 22, 2004|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

Three weeks after supporting a crackdown on gas-powered scooters, Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith was involved in an accident in which his car struck a 16-year-old on a motorized skateboard, fracturing the teen's leg, officials said Tuesday.

A car Smith was driving hit the boy, whom police declined to identify because of his age, about 9 p.m. Monday in a Granada Hills neighborhood near the councilman's home, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

"A motorized skateboard being driven on a sidewalk darted out into the street and was struck by the councilman's vehicle," LAPD Officer Esther Reyes said.

Smith was not cited, and there was no indication that alcohol was involved, said Lt. Al Zardeneta.

The teenager was taken by ambulance to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where he underwent surgery to set pins in multiple fractures in his right leg, Zardeneta said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday September 23, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Greig Smith -- A photo with an article in Wednesday's California section about a traffic accident involving Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith showed Los Angeles Police Commissioner Alan Skobin and misidentified him as Smith. Skobin had no connection to the story.

A cousin of the injured youth, who was riding behind him on a scooter and saw the accident, told the police that Smith could not stop in time, Zardeneta said.

It is illegal to drive motorized skateboards on city streets.

Smith, a reserve LAPD officer, said the boy suddenly appeared in his headlights and he had no chance to stop.

"This was an unfortunate accident, and I wish the boy a full and speedy recovery," Smith said. "Hopefully, other young people and their parents will learn that these illegal motorized scooters are extremely dangerous and should not be driven on city streets, particularly at night."

Smith seconded a City Council motion on Aug. 27 that asked the LAPD to "pay particular attention to the growing number of personal motorized transportation devices on our streets of all types."

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