15-year-old from Vermont at wheel of golf cart in crash on Morse Boulevard


A 15-year-old from Vermont was at the wheel of a golf cart that overturned last week on Morse Boulevard. The crash sent the teen and three passengers to Ocala Regional Medical Center.

Haley Hathorn Madison of Hartland, Vermont had been at the wheel of a Yamaha golf cart rented from The Villages Golf Cars when the crash occurred at about 1 p.m. Thursday, according to an accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

She had been traveling eastbound on Morse Boulevard and was preparing to make a left turn onto San Juan Drive when the golf cart overturned. She told the FHP trooper she had been going too fast.

She and three passengers, 57-year-old Denise Zera, 57-year-old Catherine Johnson and 13-year-old Ryan Carter, all of Vermont, were transported by ambulance to ORMC.

The report indicated the golf cart was not equipped with seatbelts.

Madison was ticketed on a charge of careless driving.


  1. Some forget, that we were all teens at one time in our lives. We were invincible. It is our obligation as adults to provide the safety element that is needed by them. It is up to each of them to accept what is offered. However, like ourselves, did we follow all the rules? Did we pay the price for our actions? I would suspect this young lady will have memories about this for the rest of her life. May this have been a major positive change for her.

  2. Ban ALL children from driving carts! Require a valid drivers license. Failure to comply should result in a fine for the registered owner (or renter) plus license points for the child in the future as well as the owner/renter. Get tough and the sooner, the better for all concerned.

  3. I believe the rental contract prohibits anyone other than the rentor from driving the cart. There is no insurance available and the rentor is liable for any damage to the cart or any legal action resulting from an incident. Over 20MPH it is no longer a (speeding) golf cart but an “Unregistered Vehicle” with hefty fines to the speeding driver. These vehicles are not toys and children should not be driving them. Ignorance and defiance is ramped in The Villages.

  4. this Sunday coming back from Lowes, used morse southbound and happened upon 3 RENTAL cars, one driven by a very young person, passenger also young, HOLDING AN INFANT… they were able to turn left to enter morse because i slowed to 25… it dawned on me i probably did them a disservice, if they believe cars on morse are going to do the 30 mph speed limit, and therefore can cart it with surety of safety… it was okay for all, cuz there was very little auto traffic, but please parents/grandparents do not allow them on that road on any other day but Sunday…it is very unsafe, even for the experienced drivers… i think it is borderline criminal that multi-modal path was not moved from morse when they redid the rode recently

      • didn’t mean to convey Sunday was okay, but there is hardly any traffic on Sunday compared to during the week… and i fully agree about the babies. on laps.. when my grands were small, i had them in their infant seat in my yesteryear cart (with doors) and i still wasn’t fully comfortable… think about it, some person, at any age, can have a “medical episode” and take out lives>>>as happened last year on 466a… attn all grandmas: please think long and hard about this

  5. There are several problems here. First of all you must have a driver’s license to drive a cart on the street. Secondly The Villages Carts should install seat belts on all carts they rent. They sure like to sell them but they don’t use them. I believe they will be some day found negligent for not installing seat belts on rentals. Grandparents should be wise enough to not let children drive a vehicle on the roads without a driver’s licence.

    • Never, EVER let the facts get into the way – seems to me they were obeying all laws…dont let reality alter your thoughts though.

      “While the operator of a golf cart does not have to be a licensed driver, the driver must be over 14 years of age. A LSV is defined as a four-wheel electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but less than 25 mph. LSVs may operate on streets where the posted limit is 35 mph or less”

      • Chip she was on a public road not one within a private community. She will get points when she applies for her driver’s license which is why she was issued a ticket. Your arrogant “Never ever let the facts get in the way” was not necessary. Can you just disagree without the sarcasm?

        • Rich – The VIllages is, in its entirety – “A Golf Cart Community…(and I live for the sarcasm! 🙂

          Golf carts are not allowed to be used on public roadways, with the exception that local governments may designate certain roads as permissible for their use. This typically would be within some type of gated community. Even there they may not be operated on public roads or streets by anyone under age 14 and may only be used between sunrise and sunset (some communities will allow them on certain roadways after dark if properly equipped). As far as safety equipment is concerned, golf carts are required to have the bare minimum, including brakes, steering, rear view mirror, and reflectors.”