Mother, Driver Charged In Scooter Death Of 5-Year-Old Tulsa Boy
TULSA, Oklahoma - Negligent homicide and child neglect charges have been brought against the mother of a 5-year-old boy killed while riding a scooter at 31st and Riverside April 23.
The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office filed the charges Friday, April 26. They also filed charges against the driver who hit him, Renier Davison.
An affidavit of probable cause states Evelyn Ortiz-Luevano broke several traffic laws while riding a Lime scooter with her son Caiden Reyes-Ortiz on board.
"She crossed both lanes and recklessly rode the scooter into on-coming traffic, and in an attempt to veer out of the path of a vehicle, caused her son to fall from the scooter and then to be hit by that vehicle, causing his death," a Tulsa Police officer said in the affidavit.
Caiden was killed around 8:30 p.m. on Riverside Drive near the Gathering Place. Police say Ortiz-Luevano and a friend both rented scooters and started to go into the park on its east side of Riverside.
Instead, they pulled onto Riverside to the entrance on 31st Street, an officer said.
A witness said he saw the two women going southbound in the northbound lanes of traffic. That witness said when the driver of a northbound SUV stopped and honked, the two scooters split around the SUV and kept going southbound. That witness said the last they saw of the scooters, they were going into one of the tunnels, and he could hear more horns honking.
Another witness said Ortiz-Luevano swerved to avoid a northbound vehicle, and Caiden was thrown from the scooter. The northbound vehicle struck and killed him.
The driver of that car, Renier Davison of Tulsa, drove off without stopping, authorities said. Davison turned himself in to police the next day. He has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision, causing an accident without a valid driver's license and driving under suspension.
"Sadly, I wasn't surprised - having watched literally out my office window for the past six months since scooters have come to Tulsa. I've seen people engage in incredibly reckless behavior," said Attorney Gerald Jackson, partner at Crowe & Dunlevy.
Attorney Jackson said people need to understand the risks involved and abide by the rules.
"The bottom line is you are essentially assuming the risk and assuming liability, and you're waving liability against the owners of the scooters," said Jackson.
Some of Lime's rules and regulations said you must wear a helmet, follow all traffic laws - and only one rider is allowed at a time.
Tulsa also has ordinances in place that cover where you can park scooters and where you can ride them.
Some riders told News On 6 they did not even read the rules before taking off.
"I used the little app and downloaded the scooter and took off," said scooter rider Jared Price.
Others were more detailed.
"I know you gotta be 18, you're supposed to be wearing a helmet and stuff like that," said Colton Sullivan, who was riding a scooter Friday.
Jackson said the bottom line is to use common sense.
"Its not child's play. They need to be more serious and think about what they are doing," said Jackson.
Next week, the city council will discuss scooter safety.