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Eight-year-old female go-cart driver involved in Sunday accident

Friday, April 14, 2006

Around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Clay County Sheriff's Deputies Jason Frazier and Josh Clarke responded to a two-vehicle accident involving an 8-year-old female juvenile driving a go-cart in Harmony.

Debora L. Hinkle, 48, Greencastle, was traveling east on U.S. 40 in a 1997 Dodge RAM pickup truck and was unable to avoid hitting a go-cart that entered the roadway from Barnett Street after attempting to avoid collision by swerving away from it.

The go-cart was hit at a right angle and dragged approximately 30 feet, which led witnesses to believe the juvenile driver was pinned under the pickup truck, but they were able to get her out before the arrival of members from Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department and Trans-Care Ambulance.

The extent of the juvenile's injuries is unknown, but she was transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital complaining of pain in her neck, back and legs.

A passenger in Hinkle's vehicle, Mary Pfeifer, of Valley Center, Calif., and another witness, Dianne Martin, of Greencastle, traveling west on U.S. 40 at the time, told officers the juvenile appeared to be unable to stop the go-cart from running out in front of the pickup truck before the collision.

According to the accident report, the juvenile's father reported that she "pressed the gas and the brake at the same time," causing her inability to stop.

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