A Richmond scooter operator died after colliding with a sport utility vehicle on U.S. 27, police said.

Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash in the 3700 block of Chester Boulevard in Richmond.

Deputies were initially told that the crash involved a motorcycle, and a person was laying in the middle of the roadway, Sheriff Randy Retter said in a news release.

The preliminary investigation determined that Charles Stephenson, 46, of Richmond, was operating a Tao scooter southbound on U.S. 27 in the driving lane.

Stephenson was struck from behind by another motorist, Ila Smith, 27, of Winchester, who also was traveling southbound on U.S. 27, Retter said.

Smith was driving a blue 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and told deputies she did not see the scooter prior to the collision.

A witness indicated that the lights on the scooter appeared to be functioning just prior to the crash, Retter said.

Stephenson was transported to Reid Health, where he later died from the injuries sustained in the accident.

Retter said there was no indication that Smith was impaired, and all preliminary tests to check for intoxication were negative.

The crash remains under investigation, Retter said.

Wayne County Emergency Communications Department, Richmond Fire Department and Wayne County Coroner’s Office also responded, Retter said.


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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.