A 58-year-old mother has been killed in what police are describing a ‘freak accident’ while driving around her olive orchard in California.
The Mercury News reports Debra Bedard was killed when she fell from a golf cart being driven by her long-time partner, Richard Clarke, and landed on the broken glass shards of the wine glasses she was holding.
A California Highway Patrol report said the accident occurred around 11:15pm on Friday night, with Debra falling from the vehicle when Richard “made a sudden left turn”.
Debra was unable to “stabilise” herself and fell from the cart. During her fall, two of the wine glasses she was holding shattered and she landed on the shards.
She died from her injuries at the scene.
57-year-old Richard Clarke – who had been with Debra for 17 years – was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanour driving under the influence, but a preliminary investigation indicated his actions did not cause the accident or Debra’s fatal injuries.
Debra's son, Steve Bedard, said the couple were "each other's everything" and "completely understands" how the accident could have happened.
"They would often ride through the orchard just to check things out and enjoy the serenity of the property," he told the Mercury News.
"It was not an irresponsible act but just the worst kind of tragedy.
"I would never want anyone to think of Richard as an irresponsible man. He is one of the most together, responsible men with the strongest of character."