ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A teenager fell out of a golf cart Tuesday and had to be flown to a hospital for treatment after a firework went off inside the cart, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Friends of the boy who was injured and their parents identified him as Luke Tabor, 14.
The boy had a head injury after the incident, which happened on North Durbin Parkway in the Durbin Crossing subdivision, the Sheriff's Office said. A total of six teenage boys were in the golf cart.
One of the boys who claimed to be in the cart told News4Jax the firework startled Luke and he jumped out of the cart, hitting his head.
Luke Babey knows Luke Tabor and his family. He arrived on scene right after Luke Tabor was hurt.
"It was horrific. They had almost 12 paramedics, police officers and firemen around him," Luke Babey said.
The 14-year-old was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition. A parent at the scene who is friends with Luke Tabor's mother said the teen was placed in a medically induced coma.
While at the scene, Luke Tabor's mother called Jacob Akel, who is Luke Tabor's friend. She asked him to tell everyone to pray for her son.
Jacob was one of the six boys who was in the golf cart. He would not comment about exactly what happened.
Investigators said after the incident, there were a number of fireworks still in the golf cart.
Neighbors told News4Jax it's common for teenagers to drive golf carts in the area.
The Sheriff's Office has been sharing reminders on social media that golf carts can only be operated by people age 14 and older. A driver's license isn't required to operate a golf cart, but a photo ID is required.
Neighbors told News4Jax they've seen people younger than 14 operating golf carts without adult supervision. They've also seen children driving the carts recklessly, and they were not surprised to learn what happened Tuesday.
"It's a tragedy," said Eric Jones, a neigbor. "We see a lot of these golf carts in this community and it was probably a matter of time before something like happened."
"It was a matter of when something was going to happen," said Luke Babey. "I see them all the time here in the neighborhood driving around in all the streets."
Olivia Love, 17, is still recovering after she fell out of a golf cart and injured her spinal cord in January. It happened outside her home in St. Johns County when investigators said another teenager was driving carelessly.