Accident adds to Isenhour’s woes

Senior Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. – Once again, Tripp Isenhour is making news off the golf course.

Isenhour, the Nationwide Tour player charged recently with two misdemeanors in the death of a red-shouldered hawk, was involved in a traffic accident near Orlando on March 17. Neither Isenhour nor the driver of the other car was injured; both cars were heavily damaged and had to be towed from the scene, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

At 9:15 a.m., according to the FHP report, Isenhour was heading north on Apopka-Vineland Road and was trying to turn left onto Conroy-Windermere Road. His 2006 Mercedes-Benz crossed into the path of a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by a 33-year-old Orlando woman. The woman’s airbag deployed, the FHP said. Neither driver was cited.

“My first thought was, 'Oh, my God; what if my son was sitting back there?’ ” Isenhour said.

Isenhour reported the incident to the FHP. Officials could not determine who had the right of way and are continuing to investigate.

“Neither of us were not charged for a reason,” Isenhour said. “The officer said she could not determine if anyone was at fault.”

Isenhour, 39, created a national controversy when, in filming an instructional video at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando on Dec. 12, he attempted to quiet a noisy red-shouldered hawk by hitting golf balls at the tree in which the bird, a member of a federally protected species, was roosting. On about the sixth shot, Isenhour hit the hawk and killed it.

Reaction to the incident was swift. Animal-rights activists and others called upon the PGA Tour to discipline Isenhour. The Tour, per its policy, does not disclose what disciplinary action, if any, had been taken.

Isenhour finished 152nd on the PGA Tour money list in 2007, with $471,980. He has missed two cuts in three starts this year on the Nationwide Tour and is 91st on the money list, with $4,118.

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