(HUTCHINSON, Kan.)—A Hutchinson police officer involved in a crash while riding a Segway has sued the maker of the upright motorized scooter and a local business that sold it.
Ofc. Jamie Schoenhoff was injured in an on-duty accident September 16, 2010 while responding to an emergency call at the Kansas State Fair.
Schoenhoff said as he rode full speed to the scene, the Segway went over a bump and the metal kickstand came down. He likened it to a pole vaulter on the track.
"If you're running down the pole vault lane and stick your pole vault in the pit it's not going anywhere," said Schoenhoff.
The officer was thrown from the machine and slammed to the ground, landing on his mace can and cracking his helmet in several places.
The mace can exploded under his weight and got in his face. Schoenhoff has been treated for neck, back and rib injuries. Some of the injuries still bother him two years later.
In the suit, filed in Reno County, Schoenhoff claims Segway knew its kickstands were flawed and didn't do enough to correct the defect or inform users.
In an email to FactFinder 12, Segway spokeswoman Suzanne Dumaresq writes: "We appreciate the opportunity to provide a statement. However, our investigation into this matter has just begun and therefore, we are not prepared to comment."
The suit also names Jim's Water and Woods as a defendant. The recreation retailer declined to comment on the case.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000. The Hutchinson Police Department is not a party in the civil case.