May 23,2007 00:00
PALA, Calif. - A 65-year-old golfer was killed Tuesday morning when he drove his golf cart over a rocky cliff and plunged some 75 feet to his death.
The man, who was from Irvine, Calif., and had recently retired, was golfing at the Pala Mesa Golf Resort in north San Diego County with three other friends when the accident happened around 10 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Kerns.
He had just hit another on the second hole and was on his way to his next shot, Kerns said.
He was alone in the golf cart and was driving along a concrete path when for unknown reasons, he drove over a raised curb that lines the pathway on both sides and onto a brushy embankment, Kerns said.
He traversed about 20 feet down the embankment to a point where there is a sheer drop-off and hurtled over the side, Kerns said.
The cliff is made up primarily of large rocks and boulders, and is adjacent to Old Highway 395 near Pala Mesa Road, Kerns said.
Witnesses said the man rode the golf cart almost entirely to the bottom but was ejected before it hit the ground, Kerns said.
He landed on the asphalt in the southbound bike lane of the highway where he died, Kerns said.
Authorities are investigating the accident and are examining the golf cart which had its top and seat sheared off. Kerns said that the cart was capable of 7 to 10 miles per hour.
All lanes of Old Highway 395 were closed for about two and a half hours one-quarter mile in both directions, although people still had access to the resort, Kerns said.
Kerns said the man's friend worked for a realty company and they had come to the resort for some rest and relaxation.
No drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident, Kerns said.
The man was married, his identity is being withheld until his family is notified.
Copley News Service