PROVINCETOWN — A collision between a bicyclist and an electric scooter rider on Commercial Street on the evening of Aug. 7 resulted in injuries that caused the cyclist, Garen Brennon, 30, to be transported by ambulance to Hyannis and then by helicopter to Boston Medical Center.
Brennon’s father, Delray Brennon, said that his son required spinal surgery four days later. Garen is now recovering at South Dennis Healthcare, a 128-bed nursing home and short-term rehabilitation facility.
“He hit his head, his face was all swollen, and there was a bleed in his brain,” Delray Brennon said. That bleed appears to have been relatively minor, he added, because by morning his son’s speech and memory were fine.
The damage to Garen’s neck was serious, though.
“He’s in rehab because he has a problem walking,” Brennon said. “He also cannot grip anything properly with his hands. He’s coming along gradually. Every day he is improving — but slowly.”
The Provincetown Police Dept. provided a redacted version of the incident report, along with an explanatory letter.
“These records, as you know, are medical in nature,” wrote records clerk Barbara Peters. “For this reason, identifying information of the involved parties as well as information related to their injuries has been redacted from the report.”
The report says the police received four 911 calls at 10:25 p.m. The first Provincetown Fire Dept. ambulance arrived at 10:29 p.m. The ambulance crew transferred Brennon to the helicopter crew at Barnstable Airport at 11:43 p.m., and the flight landed in Boston by midnight.
The bicycle was badly damaged in the crash, with the front wheel smashed inwards and the fork (the part of the frame that supports the wheel) also bent.
The scooter rider was 14 years old, the report said, and accompanied by his father. The report does not describe the scooter or say whether it was privately owned or belonged to either of the two scooter rental companies in town, Storm Scooters Provincetown and Coast Provincetown.
Erika Apicella, a co-owner of Coast Provincetown, and Karen Peliquin and Chris Siar, co-owners of Storm Scooters Provincetown, each told the Independent that their scooters were not involved in the crash.
Apicella said that minors are not allowed to rent scooters at Coast, that a credit card is required to rent them, and that renters are fined $250 if a witness reports a minor on one of her scooters.
The state doesn’t have age restrictions on scooters, Peliquin said, but the town requires riders of rental scooters to be at least 16.
Witnesses told responding officers Michael McCauley and Aaron Kacergis that the cyclist may have caused the accident. The report said Brennon was “weaving around on the street” on his bicycle when the collision took place.
Brennon told his father that a pedestrian had walked in front of the scooter rider, who had swerved to miss her and hit him instead, Delray Brennon said.
The police report was labeled “informational,” and no charges were recommended by the officers.
Delray Brennon told the Independent his family hasn’t received a bill for the Medflight helicopter yet, and he does not know whether to expect one. The elder Brennon lives in Truro, drives for Ptown Taxi, and is from Jamaica; he said his son lives in Provincetown and works in landscaping and trash removal.
Arielle Tasha was getting off work as a manager at JD’s sports bar when the crash occurred. She did not see it happen, she said, but came upon the accident scene at the intersection of Commercial and Ryder streets while medics were tending to Brennon.
“I didn’t see the scooter — it must have been moved to the side already — but the bike was really mangled,” Tasha said. The front wheel had completely folded in on itself, she added.
The scooter rider appeared to be uninjured but badly shaken, Tasha said. It was clear that Brennon’s injuries were serious.
Tasha owns two scooters, one for her and one for her son. She loves them, she said, but she also believes the town needs a more organized approach to traffic.
“I’ve seen all sides of this, as a driver, a scooter user, a pedestrian,” Tasha said. “I’ve had people step right out in front of me on Commercial Street, and I’ve also tried to take Bradford Street and felt how dangerous that can be.”
Tasha said she can set a speed limit on her scooters, which are made by NIU. Both Siar and Apicella confirmed their scooters can be speed-limited, and they each have speed limits in place — these are automated, with speed governors on the vehicles triggered by specific GPS coordinates — in the center of town on the busiest stretch of Commercial Street.
“We’re trying to progress to a fuel-less society, and we don’t want to be banning electric vehicles,” Tasha said. She said her scooter lets her run errands all over town without having to drive her car and struggle to find parking.
“I can also still see the face of the guy who stepped right in front of me — it was that scary,” Tasha added.
“There has to be a happy medium where we can find some safe guidelines and be able to enforce them,” Tasha said. “We have to find a way to keep everybody safer.”