Girl Seriously Hurt by Campground Golf Cart

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August 24, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

The family of a girl struck by a golf cart at a Limoges, Ontario, campground wants an end to drinking and driving at the popular seasonal facility.

On Saturday evening (Aug. 22), 5-year-old Amélie Bornais of Orleans was taken to a hospital with serious head injuries after she was hit by a golf cart at Kittawa Camping, located east of Ottawa. Jacques Caron, 39, was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm while driving a motor vehicle. He was also charged with having a blood alcohol content exceeding 80 milligrams while driving a motor vehicle, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

At the campground on Sunday, Amélie's grandmother was surprised a similar tragedy hasn't happened before.

"It was a Christmas party going on Saturday night," Adéle Sauvé said. "Every weekend people come from the outside and there's a lot of partying going on. They go too fast. There's kids all over."

Sauvé, who has lived at the campground every summer for 15 years, wants to see a greater security presence. Her granddaughter, Chantal Sauvé, thinks carts should be off-limits after dark.

"After 9 p.m., the carts should be parked and nobody should drive," said Sauvé, who is Amélie's cousin.

Kittawa Camping is a seasonal campground just off of Highway 417 on Limoges Road. There are 400 campsites, mostly filled with seniors and young families. The campground is a paradise for children – with a beach, playground, pool and bicycles.

Guy Moreau, the manager of the campground, said many campers have their own golf carts to navigate the 135-acre site. Some have mobility issues and others simply enjoy it, he said.

A speed limit of 10 km/h is posted, and a security guard drives around the camp from 8:30 p.m to 1 a.m.

Moreau said there's never been a problem with drinking and driving, and there's no need to enhance security.

"People have their own responsibility, we're not a prison here," he said. "People have to take care of themselves."

But Moreau said he would consider changing the rules about night-time driving in light of Saturday's incident.

Amélie and her father left the Christmas dance at 9 p.m. Saturday and walked past the playground when Amélie decided she wanted some juice at her trailer. Before anyone could stop her, she darted across the dirt road, said her aunt, Joanne Presley.

Caron, 39, was driving a golf cart down the road at the same time, according to police. He could not avoid her, police said.

Presley said her niece cried when she was struck, and remained semi-conscious. She had no injuries on her body, but multiple cracks to her skull. She was taken to CHEO and sedated overnight Saturday and again on Sunday.

She woke up Sunday morning and tugged at the tubes on her face – a sign of hope for her parents, who remained by her side. Her condition improved to stable, but she is being kept under surveillance as doctors monitor her brain for swelling.

Caron, who is from Ottawa, was released on a promise to appear in court in L'Orignal on Sept. 30.

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