The driver of the SUV lost consciousness and veered into a designated golf car/pedestrian lane at the community in central Florida, which is the largest golf facility in the world and where golf cars are the preferred mode of transportation.
Two women died and two other people were seriously injured after an SUV driver lost consciousness and crashed into their golf cars in The Villages on February 19, The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.
The Villages, a community about an hour north of Orlando, is the largest golf facility in the world, with nearly 50 championship courses and executive tracks that total over 600 golf holes. Golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation at The Villages, which was named “America’s fastest-growing small town” by Forbes magazine at the end of the last decade. The community has a population of over 110,000 people, and over 40,000 homes, with an average of one golf car for each home.
C&RB featured The Villages and its dependence on golf cars in its March 2012 issue (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2012/03/01/preferred-mode/).
In 2014, the Bloomberg news service featured the Villages as “America’s Fastest-Growing Metropolitan Area” (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2014/07/07/villages-featured-americas-fastest-growing-metro-area/), and noted that there were more golf cars on The Villages’ property than there are taxicabs in New York City. As part of that report, Elaine Dreidame, President of the Property Owners’ Association of The Villages, told Bloomberg that golf-car accidents have actually killed more people in the community’s history than criminals.
The accident on Friday, February 19 took place at noon at the intersection of County Road 466A and Morse Boulevard, Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol told The Sentinel.
David McCurry, of Fruitland Park, Fla., was stopped at a traffic light on 466A in his SUV when the light turned green, Gaskins said.
As McCurry crossed the intersection, he “suffered a medical emergency and became unconscious,” Gaskins told The Sentinel.
The SUV traveled into the outside lane, struck a curb, drove onto the grass shoulder, struck a speed limit sign, and began to accelerate as it drove onto a designated golf car/pedestrian lane.
Kevin Bruce, 62, of The Villages heard the SUV strike the sign, looked in the rearview mirror of his golf car and saw the SUV coming directly at him, Gaskins said. Bruce swerved to the left as the SUV drove by him, hitting his right side mirror. Bruce was not injured.
The SUV then struck the back of another golf car, Gaskins said, throwing both the driver and passenger from the golf car. The SUV pushed the golf car over a curb and into a pedestrian, Brian David Williams, 38, of Wildwood, Fla.
The golf car then got tangled in shrubbery as the SUV continued south and struck a fence, Gaskins said.
The driver of the second golf car, Nancy Ann Vonnostitz, 66, of The Villages, was pronounced dead at The Villages Regional Medical Center, Gaskins said.
Her passenger, Marsha K. Eger, 68, of Trumsberg, N.Y., was also pronounced dead.
Williams, the pedestrian, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Ocala (Fla.) Regional Medical Center, The Sentinel reported.
McCurry, the SUV driver, also suffered serious injuries. His passenger, Valanna McCurry, was not injured, The Sentinel reported.