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Fatal golf cart rollover sheds light on nationwide danger

Pinal County authorities say Arancel died Sunday morning after she fell of a golf cart and hit her head. The cart landed on top of her.

Fatal golf cart rollover sheds light on nationwide danger

By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Aug 12, 2013

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz.- (KGUN9-TV) - Nearly 13,000 Americans wind up in the ER each year thanks to one kind of injury.

That's more than 30 a day, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
 
The cause?  Brace yourself.  It's golf cart crashes.
 
Now, an Arizona teen is added to that list, and hers is a story with a tragic end.
 
In California, it was 4 year-old boy.
 
In Indiana, he was only 15.
 
Now, family and friends can count San Tan teen Julieann Arancel as the latest victim,
of what's being called 'horesplay' gone terribly wrong.
 
"Seeing her in the hospital, was like 'No, no no' you know?" said her mother Maryanne Arancel.
 
Pinal County authorities say Saturday night, Arancel was one of nine piled on this modified golf cart,
when a sharp turn caused it to roll.
 
The 16 year-old fell, hitting her head on the pavement.
 
The cart landed on top of her.
 
"It was kind of hard to see everybody, just like reminding you that she's not here," said Jocelyn Sandoval, a friend.
 
It's a tale told far too often.
 
According to the CPSC of those annual 13,000 golfcart related injuries, nearly half involve a victim too young to drive.
 
Tom Sampson is not surprised.
 
"People get a little relaxed when they're driving in them thinking that they won't flip or things of that nature," he said.
 
Sampson works for Golf Cars of Arizona.
 
The company sells modified carts, but caps the speed at 25, the state's legal limit for carts driven on city streets.
 
"When we put them in that mode, they are considered a vehicle.  We classify everything here as a golf car," said Sampson.
 
It's a point that, if disregarded he says, can have dangerous, even deadly consequences.
 
The state of Arizona requires those driving golf carts on the streets to have insurance just like those driving cars.
 
No word yet on if charges will be filed against the driver in Arancel's case.