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October 7, 2013

5-year-old girl injured in golf cart incident

TERRE HAUTE — A 5-year-old girl was seriously injured in a golf cart accident Sunday at the intersection of Oakbrook and Saginaw in southern Vigo County, officials said.

According to the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department, the 5-year-old had been a passenger on a golf cart that was operated by her 11-year-old sister. No adults were present at the time of the accident, authorities said.

Police investigation revealed that the children had been driving the golf cart around the neighborhood, and had driven through a pothole in the roadway to splash water, police said.

Police found that as the golf cart approached the water, the 5-year-old suddenly stood up, and when the golf cart hit the pothole, the jarring motion caused the 5-year-old girl to fall from the cart. She was then struck by the moving golf cart, police said.

The injured girl was transported to Regional ER by Transcare Ambulance then airlifted by Lifeline Helicopter to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis with head injuries, police said.

She remained in serious condition at the time of the report, Vigo County Chief Deputy Clark Cottom said.

The golf cart, a battery-powered 1996 EZ-GO, was owned by Jim Perry, a friend of the kids’ mother, Angela Cooper, police said.

Authorities reported that both Perry and Cooper said the two girls have driven the golf cart many times in the neighborhood and had been responsible with the cart in the past.  

While no citations were issued at the time of the accident, Vigo County Sheriff's deputies notified the Indiana Department of Child Protective Services, a standard procedure, police said. Indiana Department of Child Protective Services was present at the hospital, police added.

Honey Creek Fire-Rescue also responded to the incident, authorities said.

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