Two deaths in one week and one thing connects the tragedies– neither teenager was wearing a helmet. They did nothing wrong because it’s not required in Utah to wear a helmet, and that’s one reason ER doctors say they are worried.
Both accidents seemed innocent. A 17-year-old boy fell off a scooter, hit his head and died in Provo. Then, a few days later, a 15-year-old boy fell off his bicycle, hit his head and died in Woods Cross.
Aaron Pugh works the floor at IHC’s emergency hospital in Murray and says the summer months will bring anywhere from two to twenty scooter injuries per day.
“Scooters, Vespas, bikes,” he explains. “They’re sneaky, in the sense that people see them as kind of inherently safe, because they’re cute, or because they’re not as big, or because they don’t go as fast.”
And, according to the most recent study by the National Institutes of Health, people who ride two-wheeled vehicles, usually don’t wear a helmet.
“It’s stark,” says Pugh. “It’s a black-and-white difference, of the severity of the injury of the people wearing the helmet and the severity of the injury of the people not. It literally is the difference between walking out of this hospital and being wheeled out of this hospital.”