NEWS

Alberta Man Killed In B.C. Golf Cart Crash

06/08/2012 02:26 EDT | Updated 08/08/2012 05:12 EDT

The same model of golf cart involved in a B.C. fatality Thursday is the subject of a lawsuit in the U.S. for alleged mechanical and design defects, a U.S. lawyer has told CBC News.

Glenn Thordarson, of Edmonton, was driving the cart at the Predator Ridge course in Vernon, B.C., Thursday night when witnesses said the vehicle hit a retaining wall and rolled six metres down an embankment.

Thordarson, 52, CEO of Milltech Millwork Ltd.,died and his 44-year-old golfing partner from Calgary was injured. The Calgary man has since been released from hospital.

The U.S. company that makes the cart, E-Z-GO, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., has a history of recalls and lawsuits over certain models, according to lawyer Richard Burke, of Chicago.

Burke is representing clients in a lawsuit against Textron after an Illinois man was killed when his cart accelerated suddenly and ran over him.

Burke alleges the company’s RXV — the same model as the cart involved in the Vernon fatality — has a faulty accelerator pedal. "It allows debris and gravel, stones, sand, the type of things that are present on golf courses, to fall down around and immediately beneath the accelerator pedal," Burke claims.

The lawsuit alleges the debris can interfere with the braking mechanism or cause it unexpectedly to accelerate.

Textron denies liability in the lawsuit and none of the claims have been proven in court.

Besides the mechanical condition of the golf cart, RCMP are investigating if the men in the Vernon incident had any medical conditions that might have contributed to the accident or if alcohol was a factor.

The BC Coroners Service also is investigating Thordarson's death.