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Six-year-old dies in Trinity County golf cart accident

A 6-year-old girl is dead after riding as a passenger on a 2010 EZ-Go golf cart that rolled over on its side.

The one-vehicle accident occurred on Sunday, Jan. 17 at Huckleberry Drive in Trinity County; Houston County DPS Troopers arrived around noon to investigate. The scene is located about five and half miles west of Trinity.

The preliminary crash investigation indicates that the 8-year-old operator of the golf cart, from Trinity, was turning around on Hucklebbery Dr. when the vehicle overturned on its left side and onto the 6-year-old passenger from Bacliff, TX.

The 6-year-old, identified as Kendall Lasseter, was transported from the scene to ETMC in Trinity where she was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m. The driver was not injured.

This crash is still under investigation.

According to Trooper IV David Hendry of the Lufkin Sub-District Office, motor vehicle safety should be applied to golf carts and operators should be limited to experienced drivers.

According to golfcartsafety.com, the fundamentals of golf cart safety are as follows:

01. Never drive recklessly or joy ride. Drive courteously. Obey all vehicle traffic laws and rules of the road.
02. Never drive intoxicated or under the influence of any drug or narcotic.
03. Avoid distractions while operating the golf cart just as you would in an automobile. Be safe and attentive — avoid talking, texting, or reading while driving, reaching for objects, applying makeup or eating.
04. Golf carts should be equipped with seat belts for driver and all passengers. The driver and all occupants should utilize available seatbelts anytime the vehicle is in use.0
05. Only carry the number of passengers for which there are seats.
06. Drivers and all passengers should keep all body parts (arms, legs, feet) inside cart while vehicle is in motion, except when signaling a turn.
07. Do not allow anyone to ride standing in the vehicle or on the back platform of the vehicle. Do not put vehicle in motion until all passengers are safely seated inside vehicle.
08. Operate the vehicle from the driver’s side only.
09. Always use hand signals to indicate your intent to turn due to the small size and limited visibility of the turn signals on a golf cart.
10. Check blind spots before turning. When making a left hand turn, yield to the thru traffic lane and merge into that lane before turning left. Never make a left hand turn from the golf cart lane.
11. Carefully turn and look behind golf cart before backing up.
12. Avoid sharp turns at maximum speed, and drive straight up and down slopes to reduce the risk of passenger ejections and/or rollover. Avoid excessive speed, sudden starts, stops and fast turns.
13. Reduce speed due to driving conditions, especially hills or other inclines or declines, blind corners, intersections, pedestrians and inclement weather.
14. Do not leave keys in golf cart while unattended and make sure the parking brake is set.
15. Always yield to pedestrians and be cognizant of motor vehicles.
Use extreme caution in inclement weather. Although a golf cart may shield you from the rain, it may not protect you from a lightning strike.

For more information regarding golf cart safety, visit www.tdi.texas.gov and learn about golf cart safety procedures, maintenance safety, and more.

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