One year after a woman’s fatal fall from a golf cart, the attorney representing the man behind the wheel is seeking to have the case thrown out on a technicality.
It was on the night of July 16, 2017, that 51-year-old Shelly Osterhout of Fort Myers met then-36-year-old Timothy Jacob Foxworth at City Fire at Brownwood.
Foxworth had been sipping on vodka and grapefruit when he told Osterhout he would take his father back to his home in the Village of Gilchrist. He said he would come back and continue drinking with her. Foxworth and his father got into the golf cart and the younger man returned to the bar a short time later.
The newly acquainted pair left the bar, and were traveling in Foxworth’s parents’ golf cart when he made an abrupt U-turn and Osterhout fell out, hitting her head on the pavement. By his own account, Foxworth “panicked,” dragged her body into a flower bed and drove away. She was discovered by Good Samaritans who called for an ambulance. She later died at Ocala Regional Medical Center.
Foxworth, a resident of North Carolina at the time of the incident, has been charged with DUI manslaughter leaving the scene of a crash. He remains free on bond.
Foxworth’s attorney, Andrew Moses, is seeking the dismissal of the case.
“This case presents an unusual situation where Mr. Foxworth was driving a golf cart and his passenger, Shelly Osterhout, became separated from the cart. There are no allegations that Mr. Foxworth’s cart collided with another vehicle, person or object in the road. However, Mr. Foxworth has been charged by information with being under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance to the extent his normal faculties are impaired and by such operation of the vehicle caused or contributed to the cause of death of Ms. Osterhout and that Mr. Foxworth knew or should have known that the crash occurred and failed to give information or render aid as required,” Moses wrote in his motion for dismissal.
He cites Florida Statute 316.193 that says, “If a person is driving under the influence and by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing death of another human being and at the time of the crash, the person knew or should have known, that the crash occurred and the person failed to give information and render aid.”
He cites a Florida Supreme Court decision in the case of Gaulden vs. State in which a man driving a truck was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death. A passenger opened the door and fell from the truck, suffering a fatal head injury. But the case established there had been no “crash.”
Moses has also sought and has been granted access to Osterhout’s autopsy photos.
A status conference in the case is set for Aug. 21 in Sumter County Court.