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Massachusetts woman dies after fall from golf cart in Dune Acres

JasPelton

Jason Pelton

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Updated: July 16, 2013 12:34PM



A 25-year-old Massachusetts woman is dead after falling out of a golf cart early Sunday morning as she left a wedding reception in Dune Acres.

Golf carts are legal on the streets of the town, which is surrounded by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. However the driver, Jason Pelton, 27, of San Francisco, was drunk, police said.

Pelton admitted to police that he and the golf cart’s passengers all had been drinking heavily at the reception. The woman, Jennie Welch of Brighton, Mass., was sitting on the passenger side, and their friend Andrew Mellen, 26, of Dune Acres, was sitting in the middle.

At about 3:40 a.m., coming down a hill at Cypress Lane and West Road, the golf cart picked up speed and started vibrating, and Welch fell out, Pelton told police. Mellen held Welch, who was unconscious and bleedly heavily from the back of her head, as Pelton ran to a nearby house to call 911.

As paramedics and Ogden Dunes police officers tried to save Welch, Porter County Sheriff’s Police had Pelton perform field sobriety tests, which he failed. They arrested Pelton, who had a blood-alcohol level just short of twice the legal limit, for felony drunken driving causing serious injury, a class D felony.

Pelton already had bonded out of jail by the time Welch died, at about 4 p.m. Sunday at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.



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