Lime car crimes have attorney calling LimePods a 'public safety problem'

A hit-and-run crash involving a LimePod rental car is the latest crime committed by people using the ride-sharing vehicles.

The crash happened at West Harrison Street and Elliott Avenue West in Seattle. Now, the victim of that crash and his attorney say Lime needs to be held accountable.

Jonathan Gunning, who lives in Magnolia, says he was stopped at a red light when a LimePod car suddenly plowed into him.

“They slammed into me, and it caused my bumper to fall off here,” Gunning said. “Complete shock. My sunglasses flew off my face, blurry vision,” he said.

The impact was so forceful, he said, it pushed his car into the vehicle in front of him, seriously damaging the front of his car.

Gunning said he then saw two young men get out of the Lime car and take off running.

“The Lime car rolled through the intersection, and I saw the kids run in different directions. The Lime car proceeded and ran into an electricity pole,” Gunning said.

He said a good Samaritan ran after one of the kids and brought him back.

Seattle police say, according to the report, the kid was a 15-year-old passenger, but they have no age information on the driver who got away.

Now, three weeks after the crash, Gunning is still dealing with his injuries and struggling with his work as a mechanic.

“Lower back pain -- my hip got crunched really bad,” Gunning said.

He found an attorney, and both Gunning and his lawyer say there's a bigger problem than just this crash.

“This is not a unique incident. For LimePods to get hijacked by young kids, or vandals, thieves -- that's a huge issue,” said Catherine Fleming, Gunning’s lawyer.

KIRO7 has told you before about thieves using Lime cars to steal packages in Bellevue.

In May, KIRO7 reported that some police agencies are seeing an increase in the number of thieves using Lime cars as getaway vehicles after receiving a report about a suspected mail thief in Renton.

Photos show an abandoned upside-down LimePod in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood on Aug. 11.

A Reddit post from this week shows an aggressive LimePod driver swerving, running a red light and nearly hitting a pedestrian.

To rent a car, you just need the Lime app, a credit card and a scan of a driver’s license. Approval can take just seconds.

“The app allows for a lot of folks who basically shouldn't be behind the wheel to access the wheel with a LimePod,” Fleming said.

Fleming said Lime won't release the name on the account for the car involved in the crash without a subpoena. Seattle police said Lime told them they’d need a warrant.

Ultimately, Gunning plans to sue.

“We need to make sure Lime understands they need to bolster their security,” Fleming said. “This is a public safety problem,” she said.

There are 1,500 LimePod Fiats in Lime's fleet, scattered all over King County. Drivers pay a $15 fee and can unlock a car by scanning a code into their phones for $1. Drivers pay 40 cents per minute to drive the car, with insurance included.

KIRO7 has asked Lime if its security needs improvement but did not hear back on Tuesday.

Anyone who may know the identity or information about the driver and passenger in the crash, is asked to contact Info@CFlemingLaw.com.

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