Indy man in wheelchair after accident on potentially broken Bird scooter

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A potentially broken Bird scooter may be to blame for an Indianapolis man's shattered future.

“I can’t walk on that. I can’t move that. It will never be right again," said Todd McAdams, who recently returned to Indianapolis for a job.

He spent June 24 getting reacquainted with the Circle City while riding on a Bird scooter. When the battery died on one scooter, he snagged another on the corner of Washington Street and Missouri Street.

“Only got 75 feet from the corner," McAdams recounted. "I had just activated it and started to go down the street."

When he went to brake, McAdams said the back brake on the fender was broken, so he tried the handbrake, but said the scooter accelerated instead of slowing down. The scooter shot toward a bench, and McAdams said he jumped the bench only to shatter his tibia on the landing. His knee was also severely dislocated. It took 14 pins and screws to get it back in place. He fears he may never walk or work his job again.

“I put my right hand on my leg," McAdams said, describing the accident's aftermath. "It sounded like pushing on a potato chip sack. You could just feel it crunch, and all those potato chips that you’re feeling through, that you can feel through that foil pack, is pieces of my bone."

McAdams has a lawyer working his case. Bird said every incident that is reported to them is looked at on a case-by-case basis. Bird said the company does routine maintenance on their scooters, and that any scooter with reported damage is taken offline. In the company's terms and agreements, riders are expected to check a scooter for damages before riding.

“When I started going, that's when I noticed it and went to stop to test the brakes," McAdams said in rebuttal. "When I put my foot on the back brake, it didn’t stop."

McAdams would like to see scooters pulled every 30 days for a complete inspection. He won't begin rehab until his wounds heal. In the meantime, he is hoping to find work he can still do.

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