A moped operator was seriously injured Friday afternoon after losing control and crashing near the seawall in Oak Bluffs.
The incident occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon and involved a single moped with two passengers, according to Oak Bluffs fire and EMS chief Nelson Wirtz. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
Both passengers sustained injuries and were transported to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in separate ambulances.
“The driver of the moped lost control,” Chief Wirtz said. “The driver sustained some serious, significant injuries.”
Chief Wirtz said the driver, a male, was “moderately responsive” and answering questions at the scene. The passenger sustained minor injuries and was responsive, Chief Wirtz said.
In a follow-up voicemail message Friday, Chief Wirtz said that the driver was receving sutures and should survive.
“Thank goodness,” Chief Wirtz said.
Oak Bluffs fire and EMS responded, along with police. Police were not immediately available for comment.
In an email Friday afternoon, hospital spokesman Marissa Lefebvre confirmed that two patients involved in the crash had been transported to the hospital.
“Both patients are in fair condition and are currently being treated,” Ms. Lefebvre said.
The moped was also badly damaged, Mr. Wirtz confirmed.
After a slew of traffic incidents and injuries in 2017 and 2018, the town of Oak Bluffs severely limited the rental of mopeds in the town and filed a home rule petition to ban their rental. The bill has languished at the statehouse, however, with Island moped vendors voicing opposition at a hearing before the joint committee on transportation prior to the pandemic.
Hired in early May, Chief Wirtz began duties running the Oak Bluffs fire and EMS departments on May 24. He said the moped incident was his first EMS call on the job.
“It’s been great,” Chief Wirtz said of early interactions with his peers. “I am always astounded at the dedication and professionalism of both the EMS and call personnel who drop everything to come to help. It’s absolutely amazing.”