NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Texas woman died in a scooter crash in downtown Nashville Sunday night.
According to Metro Nashville Police Department, the crash happened at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Third Avenue S. and Symphony Place.
Investigators said Melinda Lovelady, 54, was riding the Lime scooter in the northbound lanes of Third Avenue S. when she collided with the rear tires of a moving semi-truck that was in the southbound lanes of the road. She died at the scene.
Metro Nashville Police said she was from Tyler, Texas.
BREAKING: Melinda Lovelady, 54, of Tyler, TX, was killed tonight when she lost control of the Lime scooter she was riding in the northbound lane of 3rd Av S @ Symphony Pl. Lovelady collided with the rear tires of a southbound moving semi tractor. She died at the scene. pic.twitter.com/Dy74qxIuYk— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) October 4, 2021
At this point, Metro Nashville Police haven't said if anything specifically contributed to Lovelady losing control of the scooter. Police said there were not any indications of alcohol involvement at the scene, however, toxicology testing will be conducted by the medical examiner's office.
A spokesperson for Lime Scooters told NewsChannel 5 via email, "We are devastated to learn of this tragic incident. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. We have been in contact with City officials and have offered to assist in their investigation however possible."
Officials from Walk Bike Nashville, an organization that works to make the city more walkable and bikeable, also released a statement following Lovelady's death:
"All of us at Walk Bike Nashville were devastated to hear about Melinda Lovelady’s death in downtown Nashville over the weekend. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends in this difficult time.
It is critically important that the City of Nashville and the Department of Transportation prioritize safety in the design of our streets, and move to take immediate action to achieve Vision Zero in Nashville and eliminate all fatal and serious traffic crashes.
Our streets should be designed to provide safe, separate spaces for everyone trying to move around our city who are not in cars. In our downtown core, we need a network of streets that separate bicycle and scooter riders from car and truck traffic. For the past several years there have been plans in the works to install a protected lane on 3rd Ave for bicycles and scooters. Over 2,000 Nashvillians have signed our petition in support of this critical infrastructure on 3rd Ave. See the city's plans for the downtown bikeways here.
We urge the Department of Transportation to investigate the circumstances of this crash, and what may have been done to prevent it. And we urge Mayor Cooper to move forward on plans to finally complete the downtown bike/scooter-lane network to ensure all Nashvillians can safely move through the city and no other family loses a loved one."
Scooters were first seen on the sidewalks and streets of Nashville in 2018. Their arrival was met with both excitement and opposition. Crashes involving scooters, including one that killed 26-year-old Brady Gaulke in May of 2019, eventually led to former Mayor David Briley calling for them to be permanently banned from Nashville.
Attempts to ban scooters altogether never passed in Nashville. However, new regulations for scooter companies were eventually put into effect later that summer.