The parking lot of the Aiken Regional Medical Center in South Carolina (SC) was the scene of a pedestrian accident that proved fatal for the 3-year-old victim. Police have not released many details about the August 27, 2014, crash, but news reports indicate that the vehicle involved was a golf cart being driven by a security guard for the hospital.
The young girl initially survived the collision but succumbed to her injuries after being transported to a more-advanced hospital in Georgia. An autopsy has been requested to determine the exact cause of death, but evidence from similar pedestrian accidents involving golf carts suggest that severe head trauma and traumatic brain injuries likely contributed to the tragic outcome.
Parking lots can be just as dangerous as streets and highways, and the locations often prove more so for people who are outside their vehicles. Drivers do not always keep a proper watch for pedestrians, and not everyone maintains safe speeds when traveling through rows of parked cars and going around obstacles. Walkers also have obligations to look both ways and to not step out in front of drivers unexpectedly, but the damage a car or truck can do puts the greater burden on individuals behind the wheel.
Golf cart operators also need to recognize and respect the harm they can do to pedestrians. Even though the mostly electric, lightweight and low-speed carts seem safe enough to let even teens too young to hold driver’s licenses operate, they are motor vehicles and must be kept under control at all times. Sadly, my Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues have helped grieving parents who lost a child in a golf cart crash.
Regardless of what led to the crash in Aiken, I send my deepest condolences out to the family.