Biker still sore over crash with young PTC cart driver

Amy Hill in a photo taken before her mishap. Photo/Special.

A run-in with a golf cart in Peachtree City has halted a Sharpsburg woman’s bid to participate in an Ironman triathlon.

Amy Hill said she was going 26 mph on her bike heading westbound on McIntosh Trail in front of Huddleston Elementary School when a golf cart piloted by a juvenile driver struck her Oct. 6.

The crash sent Hill tumbling to the pavement, tangled in her bike. She ended up with a broken kneecap, several lacerations and a number of bruises, her chance at the Ironman event later this month dashed completely. An ambulance took her to Piedmont Fayette Hospital.

Because the cart was heading diagonally toward her path on the road, Hill said she started screaming “What are you doing!” at the cart driver. She said the cart then swerved twice and went directly toward her.

“My thought was, this was intentional,” Hill said.

Hill wants city government officials to change the golf cart laws, as she thinks 15-year-olds are not mature enough to drive a golf cart unsupervised. She also advocates for young cart drivers to be trained properly, as this is not her first run-in with a young cart driver.

“I don’t see why they should be able to drive a golf cart without a learner’s permit at least,” Hill said. She added that it would be good to make sure new cart drivers passed a basic driving test.

Hill noted that because golf carts are motorized vehicles and can be as dangerous as a car. Hill used to run on the city’s cart paths but does so no longer because she was run off the path several times by young irresponsible cart drivers, she said.

In this case, Hill pointed out that not only was she on the road at the time, but so was the golf cart even though there was a cart path along the road where the crash occurred. Under city ordinance, carts are required to use a cart path instead of the street if a cart path is adjacent to the roadway.

The crash not only sent Hill to the hospital, but also has left her physically reeling in the days after. Used to daily training, Hill has been unable to be active as she recuperates, with her knee expected to heal in six to eight weeks.

A former Peachtree City resident who moved here in 1979 and went to Huddleston Elementary, Hill said she moved away in 2003 because of the danger on the path system because of poor decisions made by golf cart drivers. She added that she is upset because no one from the cart driver’s family has called her to apologize.

The Oct. 26 Ironman race in Wilmington, N.C. would have been Hill’s third such triathlon. Instead, she is left trying to do rehabilitative exercises on her own because she can’t afford to pay her medical deductible to cover the necessary physical therapy.

Hill admitted that the episode has angered her, while also causing depression too.

“I am just so angry at the teenagers that did this to me,” Hill said, adding that others have confided in her that other teens “drive like maniacs” on the city’s cart paths.

“It’s one reason I don’t ride or walk on the cart paths, because of golf carts,” Hill said, adding that many cart path run-ins go unreported because once the cart passes by, it’s difficult to identify the driver. Also, unlike cars with license plates on the rear, identifying decals are on each side of the golf cart.

ptc_mom_101
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with Elfie on this one

I personally am with Elfie on this one.
"A former Peachtree City resident who moved here in 1979 and went to Huddleston Elementary, Hill said she moved away in 2003 because of the danger on the path system because of poor decisions made by golf cart drivers."
- Why on earth would you come back in ride in a city where you think it is dangerous? Your intelligence level should be questioned at best. Poor judgement on your part. I ride my bike on the trails, and have had no issues. I see how cyclists jump through stop signs like they don't have to obey the rules of the road. We have a huge cycling community and golf cart community and sometimes they clash, but everyone needs to obey the rules of the roads and path systems.
I am about sick of seeing people let their kids drive the carts around just because they look old enough. And I personally loved watching the police ticket these people the other day up by McIntosh. We have so many dang police officers, but do we honestly ever see them on the path system. Our police dept has more cars than officers, and yet we still don't see them enforcing the rules of the path system. I would also like to see them pull over more and more of the illegal people who are here driving around the golf carts that don't have licenses to drive in our country.

skarfy
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please...

Sorry you were hurt, but this is a bit of a headline chase...

1. Love the picture provided to the Citizen of you on your bike. ...Glad you had one handy on file they could use.

2. Did you really move from Peachtree City in 2003 because of the dangerous golf cart paths???

3. You are doing exercises on your own because you can't afford to pay your medical deductible? Perhaps less training, more working...at least until you get that endorsement deal with Trek or Saucony. Even Obamacare will require a deductible.

4. You don't ride or walk on the CART paths, because of golf CARTS? I think that's a good plan.

5. Not sure if driver training will help, if your thought this was intentional by the teen

Elfie
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Ann Hill : Courage. Grace. Respect. Common Courtesy. Humanity.

To bring more publicity to her case, Ann Hill interviewed for a segment on CBSAtlanta news stating her displeasure with the city rules that PTC residents are comfortable with. Ann, how about some humanity and common courtesy for the young driver who made a mistake. You imply in the video that she was "hotdogging and showing off". Perhaps some respect for the hundreds of teens who drive daily without incidents and the residents of PTC to govern themselves. The courage in acknowledge that you choose to ride in PTC over other communities, for what reason? Grace in accepting what happened and moving on. I'm sure the 15 year old driver regrets what she did, and her life is pretty miserable right now also. Your continued public outcry is growing and spreading animosity from citizens to cycling athletes, especially out of townees. BTW-On my way home today, a cyclist ran through the 4 way stop at N. PTC Pkwy and Walt Banks.

pumpkin
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golf carts and underage operators

all you need do is go stand or sit in target parking lot for ten minutes and you will see almost babies wheeling these carts around. no adult in cart and often times front and back filled with teens not to mention more in cart than allowed.

parents get your children under control. quit letting the city at the golf carts baby sit these spoiled brats.

demand our police actually police that area and ticket these little pest. target you could do something too.

Elfie
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Biker Amy Hills prior statement

After already running her story in the Fayette paper, on October 10, Amy Hill posted the following comment on Thecitizen.com "I am the cyclist hit, and criticaly injured by the teen drivers on the golf cart driven ON THE ROAD. I was safe, doing what I was supposed to be doing. Shame on the drivers, they never apologized to me nor asked me if I was ok as I lay with blood gushing from my body on the side of the road." Above she says the cart was heading diagonally toward her path on the road. Police say the driver was in the crosswalk. Driver was sited for failure to yield and violating the rider permit regulations, not endangerment, reckless driving or driving on the street. Notice that her postings have stopped since Cyclist warned her that her postings could hurt her civil case? I think that Amy Hill may be a believer in that a civil lawsuit is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Unfortunately, I think her comments are going to bring resentment and more scrutiny for the other cyclist.

Cyclist
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Elfie - Lawsuit and Lotteries

Who knows what she will pursue.

One thing though, I sure hope those that do not have have cart insurance will reevaluate their decision.

AmytheCyclist
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Courage. Grace. Respect. Common Courtesy. Humanity.

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/23762445/bicyclist-seriously-injured-by-...

Please read the interview below the video.
Thank you, God Bless, and Please, let's all respect each other and stop the nastiness. It is not necessary, and will not solve anything.

moelarrycurly
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Amy

You told CBS that you want a test and a permit for teenagers. That would have prevented this? Is that what you are saying?

Spyglass
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And some motorcyclists want cars banned too....

I wish we lived in a perfect world...here's to you getting better...

I live very close to this area and it can be a blind curve at times...

As far as carts and kids, I find the ADULTS on the newer faster carts headed to/fro from the golf courses to be just as much of a hazard. That said, been on the paths for almost 10 years now and no troubles yet....

yeahwhatever
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AmytheCyclist

One question for you Amy:

As you train for your triathlons on your road bike with clip-ons, do you come to a complete stop at every stop sign you encounter and obey all other traffic laws?

uvgxg
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Path Rules

Persons 15 years old with a valid learners permit (unless suspended or revoked) in their possession. If unaccompanied by a parent/grandparent, or person 18 or older, they may drive accompanied by up to one other person who must be at least 15 years old, or may be accompanied by up to 3 immediate family members.

Persons 15 years old with NO learners permit must be accompanied in the front seat by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a person age 18 or older with a valid drivers license.

http://www.peachtree-city.org/documents/3/GOLFCART.pdf

booklover
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Change rules in your own town

Why is a citizen of Sharpsburg trying to change the laws in Peachtree City? Lots of roads to ride on in Coweta County, why don't you work on the laws there?

Yes, there are plenty of kids (and adults and elderly people and moms and dads) who do not follow all of the rules. And I have seen plenty of bikers who flagrantly disobey the rules of the road--let's hope this isn't one of them. But there are plenty of PTC citizens who DO follow the golf cart rules, who have insurance on their carts, who don't let their kids drive until they have their permit. Tenagers are just such an easy target. This former resident of PTC probably drove her cart around when she was 15, but now that an unfortunate accident occurred, she wants to take that away from today's teens.

It's a terrible shame that this accident derailed this athlete's training and goals, but all of that anger and bitterness and litigous attitude would be better used to look forward to the next race, to healing and getting back on that bike again. It was an accident--stuff happens, and it's time to move on. An apology would not satisfy this rider. Seems that this woman is being coached by a lawyer, is using all the right buzz words, and is looking to profit from a terrible accident.

Moses in PTC
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Lots of underage golf cart drivers...

I regularly see drivers in the 10 to 12 year old range piloting golf carts around. It is also quite usual to see golf cart drivers, of any age, steering their cart on the road while running parallel to a path only a few feet away. While a few tickets might help, the best thing is for parents to be a bit more responsible with their children and for adults to be more courteous.

Amy, I am sorry about your accident and hope you are well enough to be back in the game soon. Please keep riding your bike through our wonderful city. We have great streets and this amazing path system. We all pay taxes and it's public ground. The reason folks from outside PTC use it is because it's so nice. I think that's a nice compliment and should be incentive to keep it nice, and safe.

tunnelmotor99
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The worst problem I see is

The worst problem I see is that there is absolutely ZERO enforcement of golf cart rules, so why am I not surprised to see stories like this? I never see the police out on the paths anywhere enforcing the laws and catching reckless drivers!! I can't tell you how many times I've had stupid teenagers (and adults) aggressively riding up my cart's rear axle, driving 100 mph down hills and around blind curves and nearly hitting us head on, driving through people's yards to pass and just generally having NO regard whatsoever for anyone but themselves. Things like that make me very nervous when we go riding around with our 2 year old.
I also love driving my car down Steven's Entry and getting dirty looks from idiots with their carts on the road (instead of the path that parallels it the entire length). Not to mention that the carts have the registration decals on the sides, where they're nearly impossible to see before or after they pass, and the ones with enclosures completely cover up the registration decals! I live in a neighborhood that is a major thoroughfare for cart traffic so I see this stuff all the time!
Ok, my rant is over. I'm sorry about what happened to you and I hope you recover soon!

lettinguno
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26 mph on bicycle

Sorry about your accident and hope for a quick recovery. 26 mph on the roadway is fine, but far too many times have I seen bicycle riders on the cart path that seem to think that they think they are on the AMS track headed for the finish line. If you feel the need for speed, get off the cart paths and keep the walkers and joggers safe. Also remember to give an audible signal when passing, this is one thing that needs to be enforced, it's just not happening.

Elfie
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Bike accident article leaves many questions

I feel bad for Ms Hill and wish her a speedy recovery. As an avid runner and biker, I know how depressing and discouraging injuries can be. But readers, let's remember that this is just one side of the story. I'm surprised the paper ran such a biased article. Are there some witnesses that can back up her claims that it was deliberate? Yes, the 15 year old girl was at fault, but the police report says that she was in the crosswalk and was sited for failure to yield when she pulled out in the path of the bicyclist. Nowhere did the police state that the cart was driving on the street. Hill's story doesn't match the police report. Any lawyer will tell you to never contact or apologize when involved in an accident because that is used as an admission of guilt in court. Ms Hill should be compensated for her injuries and temporary loss of enjoyment, but suing her "parents for everything they're worth"? Ms Hill says she moved from PTC in 2003 because of the golf cart drivers, but chooses to come back to train here even though the amount of registered carts has greatly increased since then. Why not ride and run in your hometown Sharpsburg, or the course of her 3 and 4 hour Riding Dead bike tours if PTC is that bad? I've been running 4.5 miles on the cart paths 4-5 days a week for years and unleashed dogs are my greatest concern. Denying the driving permits to all 15 year olds because of the action of a few (including adults) is ridiculous. In that case, lets demand that bicyclist who ride on the streets take a safety course and be permitted. Any weekend you can watch arrogant bikers racing through the four way stops on Peachtree Pkwy. I have had bikers dangerously close dart in front of me on Robinson Road to make a turn rather than slow down or stop, and they never use hand signals. I ride my bike to the farmers market, the grocery store and library whenever I can, so I am not against bikes, but you must ride defensively and follows the rules of the road just like cars. I do hope that the girls parents have an umbrella policy to cover the lawsuit that seems impending.

PTC Observer
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Elfie - Interesting

"but the police report says that she was in the crosswalk and was sited for failure to yield when she pulled out in the path of the bicyclist."

This is a new twist to this story. If I was in a crosswalk on foot, who would have the right of way if a car was approaching?

If I am in a cross walk in a golf cart does it make a difference?

Would a car need to yield to someone crossing in a cross walk? I always do.

G35 Dude
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PTCO-Snow Bunny
Quote:

"but the police report says that she was in the crosswalk and was sited for failure to yield when she pulled out in the path of the bicyclist."

This does put a new spin on the story. As Snow Bunny points out below the law states that a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way. Unless the pedestrian enters the crosswalk too late for the auto to stop. (See Link below) Is there a stop sign at this crosswalk? If so did Ms. Hill stop for it? I'll assume that there is not one as the golf cart was sited for failure to yield. Ms. Hill states that she saw the cart coming and even yelled at the driver, the driver of the cart swerved twice then hit her, but I see no mention of her trying to stop. Was she determined to maintain her speed since she was in training? Could she have avoided this accident if she were moving slower? From what little I know it does seem that the golf cart may be at fault legally but I'm not so sure that Ms. Hill was riding in totally safe manner. Still I do wish her a speedy recovery.

http://peds.org/resources/pedestrian_right_of_way/

Snow Bunny
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I believe law dictates that

I believe law dictates that vehicles are to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk regardless..

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Cart Path Rules & Info

http://www.peachtree-city.org/index.aspx?NID=216

There has always been a lot of issues with people not understanding how to use the paths or who is supposed to be on the paths, not the streets, or not on the paths, but the streets. Or on neither.

For any additional questions, please email info@peachtree-city.org

No comment or implied comment on this accident has been made here. Just sharing some information for those who are not aware of the rules.

Peachtree City Mayor
donhaddix.com
The Comprehensive Strategic Plan Proposal
Is in the Updates Forum

Harlot OHara
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Not just teenagers

There are many people on the paths of all ages who are uninformed about the rules, particular the ones about when it is and is not acceptable to be on the road instead of a path. I followed a man and woman in their 60s for quite some time as they traveled down the middle of a street, apparently oblivious to my presence and to the fact that they were supposed to be riding on the path that ran parallel to the street. Once they finally turned, not onto a path but onto another street, the woman turned around and flipped me a bird. Very classy, especially when she and her husband were driving illegally on the road. Teens are inexperienced drivers, and people like to gang up on them. What's the excuse of the other jerks out there?

Snow Bunny
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and just the same, many

and just the same, many vehicle drivers are unaware that there are golf cars which are allowed to be on the roadway (provided the posted speed limit is 35mph or below). Automobile drivers are to show them the same respect as any other vehicle on the road but yet there are those who don't. They tailgate these vehicles, honk their horns, and give the finger to the golf cart driver all because their trip to the liquor store was impeded by a vehicle driving too slow in their eyes.
Before you accuse this driver of driving illegally, please be sure you have all the facts and were not actually the one at fault.

poipendicular
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Driving unaccompanied.

Did I miss something about under aged drivers on golf carts? When my child was at the cusp age of driving a cart, we looked up all the rules involved. Insurance, legal obligations, when and where they could use it, the speeds, etc. One thing that we got from it was under aged drivers had to have a legal guardian in the front passenger seat when driving. They could drive by themselves if they had a valid learner's permit or driver's license. Unless I read the rules and regulations wrong, or took a higher standard of precaution when it came to my teen driving, the victim of this accident has more than a civil case against the family of the teen driver, but also a criminal one too. The family probably doesn't have insurance on the cart. Part of the basic homeowner's insurance, and since it wasn't on the actual home property, they are liable for the victim's costs out of their own pocket.

Thank goodness for kind people to stop and help the cyclist and detain the teen driver of the cart. That teen would have just gone off and denied the accident.

AmytheCyclist
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I am the Cyclist

I am the athlete that was hit be the teenagers on the road. My life has been hell ever since. I trained all year for my race, and in a split second, someone else's carelessness robbed me of my dream. I am badly injured, sore, depressed, and very angry. I cannot ride my bike for months until I fully recovered... and this is what I am most passionate about. I've been a rider since 1998, so safety is always my top priority. I did nothing wrong. The teen drivers didn't even bother to ask if I were ok. The only reason they didn't flee was because there were too many witnesses (the kind people that immediately stopped to help). God Bless the first responders that literally gave me the shirt of their back to splint my arm and create a turnekit to stop all the bleeding.

Cyclist
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AmytheCyclist

I have some free advice for you; STOP POSTING INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INCIDENT! Anything said here could impact your civil case.

I do hope for your speedy recovery.

BTW, welcome to The Citizen.

Cy

mudcat
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I too have some advice for Amy - stay home, its safer

First, a speedy recovery.

Now the advice:
You live in Sharpsburg - go bike in Sharpsburg where you pay taxes or if you are a renter, maybe your landlord does. The good people of Peachtree City pay taxes to maintain the bike paths on which you should have been riding on instead of the streets and they also pay for the EMT's, the streets and even the mayor's salary - and his personal legal fees when he defames someone. You don't. You should not be trespassing here with your fancy bike unless you pay a usage fee.

I guess you lived here under your parent's roof where they paid taxes to educate you, well partially as it costs $8k a year now to do that but anyways get a grip, girl. An accident is an accident. We taxpaying snobs in Peachtree City have a perfect right to let our young teenagers drive golf cats with or without supervision. You going down the road at 26mph? Ain't gonna pass the test for a young and inexperienced golf cart driver to get out of the way. You are going too fast! The kid on the cart has the right of way because she is younger than you. She (guessing it is a she) had, like no clue what to do with a like speeder in a, like Speedo. She, like has a right to, like drive on the street because her parents, like pay taxes here.

Seriously Amy, hope you recover and prevail in any lawsuit and hope your brain damage is less than the mayor's. Anybody know where he crashed his bike?

PTC Observer
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Carts on roadways

This has become more and more of an issue in recent years, I have had encounters with carts on roadways more than once. Most recently the cart was driven by a father with the entire family on board. There was a cart path parallel to the direction of travel. The cart was driven in the middle of the roadway just like any other vehicle. Now get this, you'll love it, as I attempted to pass carefully to the left of the cart, into the on coming lane, the father simply turns left in front of me without warning down an adjoining street. THAT street, had a cart path running parallel to it as well. I assume the father believed that if he was in the middle of the road, that I must be a mind reader, because he didn't look, signal or in anyway indicate he was turning left. Luckily, I was traveling very slow and stopped in time to avoid hitting him. He certainly didn't stop, he kept right on going.

It seems to me that more and more people have decided to use the roadways because the tree roots make it nearly impossible to enjoy an outing with the family. So, on top of teenagers, kids driving that can barely reach the peddles riding with mom or dad, teenagers on cellphones traveling a breakneck speeds, or families out for an outing, the cart paths and roadways in PTC have become very hazardous.

Whatever you do, if you are on foot at night in PTC on multi-use paths, wear a light on your front, back and reflective clothing.

Snow Bunny
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Some golf carts are allowed

Some golf carts are allowed to drive on the roadway (provided the posted limit does not exceed 35) and YOU are to show the same respect as any other vehicle. Since most of the streets which these carts are allowed to be on are single lane each way, it sounds as if you were in a hurry and crossing into oncoming traffic in order to get by. Maybe you did not see the driver signal because you were bent out of shape at this golf cart being on the road blocking your way.

As for your advice about walkers/runners, I could not agree more. I would also add to give an audible signal in some capacity when you are in the tunnels as there are some drivers who do not maintain their carts properly and either do not have headlights or just one..

PTC Observer
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Snow Bunny - nope

Nope, actually I am never in a hurry. That is the only way I avoided hitting him. Though, I suppose if I had hit him it would have been my fault as I did attempt to pass him.

Please note however, there was a path parallel to the roadway and it would have lead to a path that continued to his left. He had no reason to be in the road way. He also did nothing to indicate he was turning left until he actually did it!

Snow Bunny
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If you were not in a hurry

If you were not in a hurry then why were you trying to pass? How would you have reacted had a large black SUV or a 1972 Lincoln town car with Grandma Mabel been driving the same exact way?

My point is rather than lay blame on the guy for being on the road that maybe you need to stop and think that he was making a proper turn (with the exception of giving proper signal - i'll give you the benefit on this one) and never expected you to pull out and try and pass him (possibly illegally).

PTC Observer
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Snow Bunny - yep

I'll give you that one, but had I been traveling at 12 MPH behind grandma, I would have done the same thing I guess. I am not laying blame on the guy, but he shouldn't have been putting his family in this position. He could have been on the path right next to him and followed that path across the road when he turned left. Remember this guy had what looked to be his entire family on this cart, at best it was overloaded.

Someone, other than a slow poke like me, could have ripped around him while they were on their cellphone. He wouldn't have been so lucky in that case. It's all about following the rules in the end, I suppose you can say that passing him was not legal, but I was exercising caution, he wasn't AND he was breaking the law.

The fact is that there is a problem with cart drivers on the roadways, I have been in this city for a number of years, in the same neighborhood. It's getting worse, not better.

The Wedge
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Carts on Streets

Perhaps we are talking about two separate topics, but there are several places where cart paths empty into streets and the streets are the only way to get to the houses on the street or a path beyond it. For example, the path system empties onto the south end of Clydesdale Road. One has to take the street (Clydesdale) to access the houses there, cross Bridlepath to access the Morgan's Turn street. This is one of the main ways to get to the Highway 54 tunnel at the shopping center. Are golf carts not allowed on those roads? It is nonsensical to me if that is the case

Spyglass
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If a path is directly adjacent

To street, cart is supposed to use it. You are right, most folks could not even get to their driveways without using the street, I know I couldn't.

AtHomeGym
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Biker Crash with cart

I hope we readers see some follow=up on charges brought against the cart driver!

Husband and Fat...
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Insurance, lawyers, and decency

I feel real bad for this athlete run over by this teen. Training hard to meet personal goals and taken away due to a dumb teen mistake.

I would bet that the parents, if there are two, are being told by the insurance company and or their lawyers not to contact the victim because some how, they will argue that it was not their fault.

What ever happened to human decency and actually apologizing when one is in the wrong. Perhaps taking over some food, ect..

There was an accident a few years ago when some Fayette teens ran a stop sign and killed someone.

If this is how people act, I hope this woman sues and takes mom and dad to the cleaners. Maybe they will then teach their kids responsibility.

BMF
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Rush to Condemn

I hope that some of your statements were written just out of frustration over a bad situation. I don't know either party nor any details of what occurred other than what is written in the article. I don't know whether the teenager acted recklessly or simply made an error in judgement. I doubt that her actions were malicious.

Let first steps proceed and see if insurance will cover medical bills, rehabilitation, etc. if it is determined that the golf cart driver was at fault before calling for legal action to take the parents "to the cleaners". We all make mistakes Husband and Father. I hope that you're never in a reverse situation where one of your children makes a mistake and someone rushes to escalate.

Amy, I hope you recover quickly and feel better soon.

pumpkin
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amen brother

the cart is not a toy. honestly teenagers should not be allowed to drive carts and that's the answer.

they were never intended for children's play nor to run an errand for mom or day. I say take care of your child we are tired of your spoiled brats.

AmytheCyclist
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Couldn't Agree More!

You took the words righ out of my mouth! Thank you!

Theprez
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Questions

Amy if you saw the cart and had time to give an audible warning why did you not apply your brakes? I am trying not to be critical or defend the teen but questions pop up that need answers

Husband and Fat...
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As a former competitive

As a former competitive athlete I understand the anguish sitting on the sidelines due to an unexpected injury. My prayers are for your speedy recovery.

I too would be infuriated with the lack of class displayed by the youth and her parents. I sincerely hope you get a good attorney and take them for all their worth before they file a Barlow, I mean bankrupsey.

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