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ACL attendee crashes on e-scooter Friday night, warns others to take safety seriously

Jackie Cawthon and her husband both hit a pothole Friday night after ACL. Jackie broke her wrist and hand and her husband had widespread road rash on his body.

AUSTIN, Texas — Weekend One of Austin City Limits Music Festival is in the books, and while festival attendees had fun running between stages to catch their favorite artists, not everyone's weekend went as planned.

With a 3-day wristband fit snug around their wrists, Jackie Cawthon and her husband had big plans for their weekend. 

"I was mostly excited to see Miley [Cyrus]," Cawthon said.

When the first night ended on Friday, the Pflugerville-based couple thought they would skip the rideshare line by scootering to their car parked further North on Burnet Road. 

Along the way, the two hit a pothole they did not see in time and were thrown off their scooters.

"We were ... I was panicking a lot and I saw what my wrist looked like and was like, 'That is not OK,'" Jackie explained.

After calling for an ambulance, the two were taken to the hospital. Jackie broke her wrist and hand, which she will need surgery to fix. Her husband sustained road rash on a large portion of his body. 

As scooters become more popular across the country, including Austin, reports of crashes are increasing too. 

According to a study released in 2020 by the University of California, San Francisco, Nearly 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises from scooters were treated in emergency rooms nationwide between 2014-2018. 

The City of Austin also conducted a study on electric scooters in 2018 that found nearly 50% of injured riders sustained injuries to their heads.

Jackie hopes her story brings light to the dangers that come with riding the scooters.

"I just always thought that the wrecks people that got when people got in wrecks, that it was just them being reckless or careless, maybe drunk. And after my experience Friday, I realized, like, you can be as careful as can be and still really seriously hurt yourself," she said. 

Austin-Travis County EMS received 260 calls for various incidents that occurred at ACL over the weekend and transported six people to the hospital. 

However, a spokesperson with ATCEMS told KVUE that Ascension Seton managed the medical tent on-site and was equipped to handle most complaints without the need to transport anyone.

"The vast majority of the patients we interacted with were transported to the medical tent, but that doesn’t’ include those that checked themselves in (i.e. walked themselves over there)," ATCEMS stated.

KVUE reached out to Ascension Seton for that data and a representative is in the process of compiling it.

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