Golf cart DUI crash under investigation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Golf cart DUI crash under investigation

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A Halloween block party Saturday night drew nearly 300 people  to Pendleton Street in the Doublegate neighborhood.

The street was filled with children and adults enjoying the festivities. That was until a drunk driving crash sent one woman to the hospital and another to jail.

"Kids were out there trick-or-treating. We don't want to see anyone get hurt. But if this had been a child, it could have been deadly," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

Police reports indicate that 32-year-old Christal Potter was walking north on Pendleton when she was struck by a golf cart around 9:30.

Paramedics found her suffering from a serious injury to the leg and knee cap which required emergency surgery.

Police say 40-year-old Catherine Chandler was driving the golf cart while intoxicated with no headlights on. The impact was so hard it threw her off the cart. Officers arrested her at the scene and charged her with DUI, reckless driving, and serious injury by vehicle.

Dougherty County School officials confirmed that Chandler is a guidance counselor at Westover High School and that administrators will meet soon to discuss possible discipline.

As far as the investigation goes, police say right now they still don't have all the answers they're looking for.

"There was a male occupant on that golf cart who we have not been able to identify. She has not identified him. He took off with the golf cart. We've not been able to locate that cart," said Cheek.

Chandler doesn't live on Pendleton, but police have gotten complaints about golf carts in the neighborhood having close calls with cars and being driven by kids.

Chief Cheek hopes this incident serves a wake up call to anyone operating a cart improperly.

"Our concern is not to disrupt anybody from having fun, but we've got a situation that is dangerous and unfortunately this has come home to roost this week and we've got a lady who was seriously injured," he said.

It is legal to drive a golf cart on a county road with a speed limit of 35 or less, but the carts are supposed to be equipped with an amber strobe light and a "slow moving vehicle" warning sign.

Christal Potter remains hospitalized at Phoebe Putney in good condition.

Catherine Chandler was released from the Dougherty County Jail on a $4,100 bond.

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