Three teens, deputy injured in Elkhart golf cart crash

Three teens and a deputy were hospitalized during a drunk-driving simulation Monday evening in the parking lot of the Elkhart County Jail.

A group of teens in the Explorers program, which made up of kids looking for a career in law enforcement, were taking turns driving a modified golf cart wearing goggles that simulate drunk driving.

Around 7 p.m. investigators believe the 14-year-old driver took a turn too hard and then over-corrected, causing the cart to tip. A gust of wind then blew the cart on its side.

A 15-year-old passenger in the rear of the cart was airlifted to Memorial Hospital with numbness to his arms. Alex Whitehead, 18, was hospitalized with shoulder, arm and neck pain. The 14-year-old driver was hospitalized with head pain. Ptl. Bob Smith was later driven to Elkhart General with foot pain and minor cuts.

All were treated and released Monday evening.

"You don’t' want to get those phone calls. I've been around long enough to know that stuff happens, accidents happen and that's what this was and that's all this was. Nobody was doing anything they shouldn't have been doing, it's just something that happened," said Undersheriff Sean Holmes.

The cart, which belongs to Safe Kids Elkhart County, will be taken out of service during the investigation and for repair. The side mirror was broken, the passenger windshield was cracked and the canopy was damaged in the accident.

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