A Brighton, Mass., woman died on Sunday after falling from a golf cart in
Dune Acres, while the San Francisco, Calif., man who was driving the golf
cart was charged with operating while intoxicated, the Porter County
Sheriff’s Police said.
The victim was identified as Jennie Welch, 25.
According to police, at 3:52 a.m. the Porter Fire Department and EMS
personnel were dispatched to the area of Cypress Lane and West Road in
response to a report of an unconscious woman with a head injury.
Also at the scene: Jason Pelton, 27, who advised police that he had been
driving the golf cart and was heading home from a wedding reception,
accompanied by Welch and Andrew Mellen, 26, of 17 Ridge Drive in Dune Acres.
Pelton stated that Welch was sitting on the right passenger’s side and
Mellen in the middle and that as they crested a hill and were on the
downgrade “the golf cart began to pick up speed and vibrate severely,”
“It was vibrating and wobbling and she just fell out, I guess,” the
investigating officer quoted Pelton in his report.
Pelton also advised that he and Mellen initially thought that Welch was
“joking with them,” police said. “After a moment when (Welch) had not picked
herself off the pavement, they drove back to check on her. At this point,
she was unconscious and bleeding heavily from the back of the head.”
Pelton stated that, at the time, none of them had cell phones so he ran to a
nearby residence to call 911.
Pelton advised that “all three of them had been drinking a lot throughout
the evening” although he also stated that “he had stopped a couple of hours”
earlier, police said. Pelton showed signs of intoxication, failed several
field sobriety tests, and subsequenlty registered a blood alcohol content of
.13 percent on a chemical test, poilce said. Motorists in Indiana are
considered legallly intoxiated when they score a B.A.C. of .08 percent or
Welch was transported to Porter Regional Hospital and then airlifted to
Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, police said, were she died on Sunday
Pelton was initially charged with operating while intoxicated resulting in
serious bodily injury and transported to Porter County Jail.