Chesterton Tribune



Woman dies after golf cart fall in Dune Acres; man charged with OWI

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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,” police said.

“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 higher.

Welch was transported to Porter Regional Hospital and then airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, police said, were she died on Sunday afternoon.

Pelton was initially charged with operating while intoxicated resulting in serious bodily injury and transported to Porter County Jail.



Posted 7/15/2013





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