By Shari Phiel
Several months ago I made the suggestion to my 73-year-old mother, who was having a slightly difficult time keeping up with me while we walked through a parking lot, that perhaps it was time for her to get a mobility scooter. Let’s just say my suggestion was not well received. Who knew my mother knew those kinds of words.
I still thought it was a good idea. After all, mobility scooters are relatively affordable and easy to use solution for seniors having trouble getting out and about. At least I thought so until a recent story cam across the Internet news sites.
Eileen Bishop is an 87-year-old woman from Perranporth in the United Kingdom’s Cornwall area and regularly rides a scooter around town. Bishop and her husband Anthony were recently headed to church when “suddenly she passed me at full tilt,” he said, adding that because of a previous mechanical problem with the scooter, it had been set for three-quarter speed and had apparently become stuck with the throttle fully open.
Anthony Bishop said he shouted after his wife but because “she’s a bit deaf” she was unable to hear him. He also noted that because he recently had a triple heart bypass, he was unable to chase his wife or the scooter down.
Mr. Bishop and a neighbor then searched the area for his runaway wife, but eventually turned to the local police when they were unable to locate her. Police officers found Mrs. Bishop about five miles away on a two-lane highway after passing motorists reported a scooter swerving back and forth across the road.
Mrs. Bishop was transported back home in a police car while another officer drove the scooter back to town. Police believe Mrs. Bishop may have been gripping the controls too tightly and, in a panic, could not let go.
Mrs. Bishop noted, “I just lost him. I was half asleep to tell you the truth.”