HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) — A Holly Springs couple was headed home on a golf cart from a party over the weekend when something went wrong and the 41-year-old woman on the cart was killed.
Holly Springs police identified the victim who died after the Friday night golf cart crash as Stefani Sayers Martin, 41.
They said her husband, Jeremy Rollins Martin, 43, is charged with DWI in connection with the incident.
Neighbors said Stefani Martin was an optometrist and that the couple had two young children together.
Investigators have not revealed how the crash happened, only that the couple was headed home from a party at the clubhouse in the 12 Oaks community at the time.
Neighbors said they are in shock and that the couple was loving, generous and kind.
Police said Stefani Martin was critically injured in the crash and died Saturday.
“Sad, because life is too short to end that way,” said Stephen Gay, a neighbor.
Gay said golf carts are common in the 12 Oaks community and that he has never seen people use them in an irresponsible way.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said it appeared that the couple was headed home. The incident took place on Morning Oaks Drive about a block from where the Martin’s live on the same street.
“Anytime you have a death that is vehicle-involved obviously we want to get a crash reconstruction team there. Blood was taken from the defendant…That needs to be analyzed,” said Freeman.
Freeman stressed traffic laws apply to golf carts.
“This case is a tragedy – two children have lost their mother. A man has lost his wife. You know, I hope that one of the things that will come out of this is especially as people go into the summer season where golf carts are going back and forth from the pool, and the clubhouse might be a common thing for people, that people really will try to be careful and follow the rules of the road,” Freeman explained.
Holly Springs Police Chief Paul Liquorie said incidents with golf carts are becoming more common. In the last month alone, EMS responded to three such incidents involving golf carts.
“Under North Carolina vehicle law golf carts are considered motor vehicles. That includes making sure that you have a turn signal, wearing seatbelts, and of course, that you’re not driving while impaired,” Liquorie said.
Freeman said more charges are possible against Jeremy Martin. He’s due in court next month.