The U.S. Open took a vicious turn on Friday morning when a runaway golf cart plowed into a group of fans near the 16th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The accident left a pair of fans hospitalized with a broken arm and spinal injury, respectively, while three more suffered minor injuries, according to the California Highway Police. Officers are investigating the crash, which injured fans ranging from 25 to 82 years old.
The golf cart was parked by a group of vendors at approximately 10:20 a.m., when one of the boxes fell onto the accelerator and sent the unmanned vehicle in motion. Below is a video of the incident, although the short video cuts off before anyone is injured.
Scary moments at the @usopengolf earlier this morning! This runaway golf cart hit several people after a box fell on the accelerator. The USGA and CHP are investigating. #pebblebeach pic.twitter.com/xENOin6X1w
— Amanda Gomez (@AmandaGomezKION) June 15, 2019
Golf carts will typically be taken out of park when its accelerator is pressed, so the accident required incredibly unlucky circumstances rather than an inattentive driver who forgot to park the vehicle. The golf cart was finally stopped when a spectator jumped onto the cart and was able to dislodge the box that was on the accelerator.
As bad as the damage was, it could have been even worse as the cart neared another densely packed area. Fan Georgi Salant, who was standing near the concessions line, detailed the incident to Golf.com:
“We were standing in the concession line on the 16th hole when all of a sudden there was a runaway cart and one guy running after it, then a bunch of people running after it,” Salant said. “It was actually coming straight for the concession line and then it turned, just on its own, and it didn’t stop. It started driving in circles. It ran over like, five people.”
While dangerous, runaway carts have been rare during recent sporting events. In one other notable incident, a Texas high school football coach was hit by a cart at Cowboys Stadium in 2011 and sued the team for $1 million.
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