FRYE ISLAND, Maine — A golf cart crash on a dirt road on an island in Sebago Lake sent five people to a Portland hospital Tuesday evening, two of them with serious injuries, the police chief said Wednesday.
As of Wednesday evening, four of the injured remained at Maine Medical Center, Chief Rod Beaulieu of the Frye Island Police Department said. The chief said police were not immediately releasing the names of the injured but did say that the group included adults and school-age children.
Bealieu said that the accident happened about 5:30 p.m. on Ridge Road, a dirt main road on the island’s east side that runs alongside the Frye Island Golf Course. He said homeowners on Frye Island were taking guests on a tour of the island in their nine-passenger EZ-GO limousine golf cart at the time.
“They were going down a fairly long, moderate grade slope and when they got about halfway down, the driver of the cart braked but the braking was not enough to stop the cart and it got into a wobble,” Beaulieu said. He said that the cart then rolled, ejecting the seven people riding in it.
The five people who were taken to the hospital suffered broken bones and abrasions, he said. Further information about their medical conditions was not immediately available, he said.
Beaulieu said that the driver of the golf cart said that the brakes malfunctioned. He said the cart appeared to be fairly new but he was not sure what year’s model it was.
The cart has been impounded, Beaulieu said. He said it was not yet clear if a vehicle autopsy will be performed.
“We may do one based on the extent of the injuries,” he said.
Golf carts and similar off-road vehicles are used for local transportation by roughly half the island’s mostly seasonal 525 households. Residents may use such vehicles if they are registered, insured and driven by licensed operators under a state exemption for island residents, Beaulieu said.
The chief said that alcohol was not a factor in the accident, which remained under investigation Wednesday night.
Tuesday’s golf cart accident was the second in Maine — and in the same region — in less than a week.
On Saturday, 52-year-old John MacKay of Sanford suffered serious injuries when he fell off a golf cart at Point Sebago Resort in Casco. MacKay died from his injuries on Monday at Maine Medical Center.
MacKay was a passenger in a cart driven by Gary Belinsky, 59, of Westford, Mass. Belinsky has been charged with operating under the influence in connection with the crash. He is out on bail, according to a previous report.
After a review by the Cumberland County district attorney’s office, charges against Belinsky could be upgraded to aggravated OUI, a Class C felony, Capt. Shawn O’Leary of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said earlier this week.