Police are searching for two women after a pedestrian died after being hit by an electric scooter while walking in Paris.
The victim, a 31-year-old Italian named only as Miriam, had been in a coma since she was hit by the e-scooter, which was reportedly travelling at speed, while she walked along the Seine in the early hours of Monday.
Divers from the river police, who were patrolling the area, gave the victim, who suffered a cardiac arrest after hitting her head on the pavement, emergency medical treatment while waiting for an ambulance.
They restarted her heart after 30 minutes and she was taken unconscious to hospital, where she died on Wednesday.
The public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into “murder, aggravated by failure to stop”. Police have appealed for witnesses of the fatal incident, which happened at 1am on the Voie Georges-Pompidou on the right bank of the Seine near the Île de la Cité, and are attempting to trace the e-scooter’s two female riders.
CCTV in the area is also being examined.
The death has rekindled controversy over the place of e-scooters in the French capital. Though hailed as an ecological means of urban transport and a welcome alternative to motorised vehicles, others have warned of the risk that scooters pose to pedestrians, particularly as they are often used on pavements.
It also comes as London embarks on a 12-month trial of electric scooters that started on 7 June. This follows trials in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK in advance of a government decision whether to legalise them on UK roads.
About 70 people are believed to have been injured since the trials were launched last year. Privately owned e-scooters are illegal to use on public roads, cycle lanes and pavements, but those rented in trial areas can be used on roads and cycle lanes.
There are three licensed private operators in Paris offering about 15,000 electric scooters, introduced to the city in 2018.
David Belliard, a deputy Paris mayor responsible for transport in the city, expressed his condolences to family and friends of the dead woman, originally from Capalbio in Tuscany, who worked in an Italian restaurant.
“The safety of the most vulnerable, that’s to say pedestrians, is one of my priorities,” Belliard said. He called on the two female riders to come forward.
In May, police in Balaruc-les-Bains, in the Hérault, stopped a man riding at 98km/h (61mph) on an electric scooter.