Attorney: Golf cart driver acted responsibly

ALBANY, Ga. -- After crashing into a pedestrian with a golf cart Oct. 30 and causing severe injuries, an Albany woman reacted as responsibly as she could given the circumstances, says her attorney.

Attorney Thomas V. Duck of Albany represents Catherine Chandler, who is charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and serious injury by a vehicle in connection with the crash at 2306 Pendleton Drive during a block party that attracted more than 200 people.

The crash broke Christal Potter's kneecap and shattered her right leg, stated a Dougherty County Police Department report.

A Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday that Potter's condition was fair. On Wednesday night, the spokeswoman said the hospital does not have a patient by that name.

"Chandler deeply regrets the accident and she sought to be responsible for her actions," Duck said. "There was so much confusion at the time that she wasn't sure what the police wanted at the scene."

A witness, who didn't want her name used, backed up Duck's assertion that the party scene was chaotic.

The witness said there was loud music, more than 200 people walking about with some of them drinking.

Just after the crash, police officers reported that they needed to know who the passenger was in Chandler's golf cart and where the golf cart was. It was not at the scene of the crash.

Chandler and her husband, Chad, didn't find out until the next day that the cart and information were needed by police, Duck said.

"Her husband parked the golf cart out of the way of the ambulance. It stayed parked there all night," Duck said. "When we found out the police wanted it, we turned it over. We also told police that he (Chad) was the passenger."

An 18-year-veteran employee of the Dougherty County School System, first as a teacher and now as a guidance counselor, Chandler called school officials and reported the accident Monday, Duck said.

"These are responsible, good people," Duck said. "She has never had any arrests or problems. She is heartsick for Potter. They are friends of friends of each other."

Duck said Chandler got into her golf cart to find her 8-year-old daughter.

"Driving through that number of people, looking for her daughter, in a golf cart," Duck said, "she couldn't be speeding."

The daughter was returned to her father the same night, Duck said.

"But she (Chandler) went to jail that night not knowing where her daughter was," Duck said. "She didn't know until the next day where her daughter was."