Atwal cleared of charges in fatal crash

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ORLANDO, Fla. – Pro golfer Arjun Atwal won’t be charged in a street race where the other driver crashed and died.

Prosecutors decided last week not to charge Atwal in the March 2007 death, saying the cars never made contact. Witnesses said Atwal and John N. Park were driving nearly 100 mph in a 45-mph zone when Park failed to negotiate a turn, sending his car airborne into a tree.

“The two racing vehicles did not come into contact with each other,” assistant state attorney Robert Eagan wrote Thursday. “There is no evidence that either vehicle was driven in a manner causing the other to brake or evade the other.”

Florida Highway Patrol investigators had recommended Atwal be charged with vehicular homicide.

Atwal could have been charged with participating in a street race. But the state attorney’s office didn’t receive a citation from the highway patrol, prosecutor spokeswoman Danielle Tavernier said Tuesday.

Atwal and Park, who did not know each other, were driving on a suburban road connecting the Walt Disney World resorts and upscale communities west of Orlando.

Atwal won the Malaysian Open on Sunday and finished second on the Nationwide Tour’s Panama Movistar Championship in January. He joined the PGA Tour in 2003 as its first Indian-born player, but lost his card after failing to finish in the top 125.

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