The victim of Britain’s first fatal scooter accident, in Friday’s morning rush-hour, was TV presenter and YouTube star Emily Hartridge.
The 36-year-old was involved in a collision with a lorry on Queen’s Circus, at the junction of Queenstown Road and Prince of Wales Drive, at 8.,36am.
Officers and paramedics found she had suffered serious injuries and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
She had more than 340,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where her show, 10 Reasons Why… was posted every Monday, and had more than 40,000 followers on Instagram.
A message posted said: ‘Hi everyone. This is a horrible thing to have to say over Instagram but we know many of you were expecting to see Emily today and this is the only way to contact you all at once.
‘Emily was involved in an accident yesterday and passed away. We all loved her to bits and she will never be forgotten.
‘She has touched so many lives it’s hard to imaging things without her.
‘She was a very special person.’
The accident came after London’s transport chief Mike Brown had called for law changes on e-scooters which are currently banned from public roads and pavements in the UK.
Transport for London and Wandsworth Council redesigned Queen’s Circus roundabout in 2015. This trialled raised kerbs and separate traffic lights to keep cyclists and vehicles apart at junctions, but concerns were raised that the new layout was too complicated.A cyclist was killed there in July last year after being hit by a bin lorry.
A DfT spokeswoman said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to all those involved in this tragic incident, and fully support the police as they carry out their investigations.
“Safety is at the heart of all our road laws and it is important that retailers continue to remind people at the point of sale that it is illegal to ride e-scooters on public roads.”
The personal trainer and vlogger’s family, who live in Hampshire, have said they do not wish to talk about it.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark tweeted: ‘Really sad to hear the news about Emily Hartridge. She was such a top girl, so talented and a heart of gold’. TV host Davina McCall said: “My heart goes out to Emily’s family and friends. Such a shock. Sending you love and prayers.”
TV presenter Zoe Hardman wrote: ‘Absolutely devastating news. Finding it so hard to understand how this could have happened. All my thoughts are with her family’
Her family had already paid tribute to her in a mock funeral Emily hosted for Channel 4 in 2016, ‘Oh S***, I’m 30’, where she tried to deal with her ‘quarter-life crisis’ – feeling low because she was single and financially insecure.
Her younger sister, Jessica, paid tribute to her on the programme, saying: “She’s always been very special, even at a young age. Whenever I watch our family video back she’s always bouncing around trying to get everyone’s attention.
“If anyone asks me to sum Emily up in one word, I would always say kind. And that is why I love her so much. There really is no one like my sister – she really is one of a kind and I wouldn’t have her any other way.”
Emily said on the programme: “I don’t hate myself but it’s not like I wake up and think ‘I love me’.
“I do feel like I live life in a lot of fear. I wish I could handle stress a lot better. I really want to be one of those positive people, but I’m just really pessimistic.
“I do waste a lot of time worrying about things that I have no control over.”
She had interviewed Russell Brand and movie stars Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, as well as hosting Virgin Media’s first YouTube Channel, The Snap.
Police are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage following the collision.
E-scooters are classed as ‘powered transporters’ and meet the legal definition of a ‘motor vehicle’ – but they do not meet minimal technical standards to be used on the road.
The Metropolitan Police said it is illegal to use e-scooters on the road and riders risk being fined, having penalty points on their licence, or having their e-scooters seized by police.
The Department of Transport said e-scooters are covered by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine-powered kick scooters), powered unicycles, and u-wheels’.
The ban does not apply to electrically-assisted pedal bicycles.
E-scooters are banned from using pavements under the 1835 Highway Act, but can be used on private land with the landowner’s permission.