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.